Gamers, beware, the left is coming for you.
A new report from Axios exclaims that “far-right extremists are a growing presence in gaming” and that “the industry’s hidden metrics, lackluster content moderation and head-in-the-sand attitudes get in the way of assessing and combatting the problem.”
Axios cited a 2019 report from the notoriously partisan Anti-Defamation League, or ADL, as evidence that abuse and extremism are rampant in gaming.
The ADL report claims, “53% of players who experience harassment during online games believe that they were targeted because of their race/ethnicity, religion, ability, gender or sexual orientation” and that “73% of players in the U.S. had their online multiplayer game experience shaped by harassment in some way.”
Those are some scary statistics, right? But there’s more to these stats than originally meets the eye.
First, these statistics are self-reported. The victims may “believe” they were targeted for things like their sexuality or race, but we can’t know for sure, based on the report. In theory, a black college student who plays poorly might be insulted for his skill level in the game, but he might perceive the insult as being because of his race.
Then there’s that second statistic, where nearly three-fourths of poll respondents said their experience had been shaped in some way by harassment. But what does “shaped by” mean? The ADL report is silent on that.
It could be vicious death threats that psychologically damage a person, or it could be as simple as “Somebody said I was bad at the game, and now I’m sad.”
That’s the big problem here: These nebulous terms are being used as a casus belli against gaming. Some people feel upset playing video games; therefore, we need radical and overreaching intervention to fix the problem.
This is the same strategy the left deploys when it calls for mass censorship against opinions it doesn’t like. The left views discomfort with an opposing opinion in the same light it views physical violence, so it’s inextricably drawn to ban it.
In addition to the left’s unfounded fears about mass harassment and abuse, it also views gaming as a haunt for the omnipresent phantom of white supremacy.
An expert referenced in the Axios report has concerns over the fact that “games are becoming increasingly social.” Alex Newhouse, deputy director at the Center on Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism, said, “Those social hooks provide the structures and the infrastructure for extremists to organize, mobilize and spread their hateful and extreme ideologies.”
God forbid people make connections and have conversations with other gamers that the left doesn’t like.
Even then, these so-called experts are forced to admit the number of actual radicals online is quite small.
“While it may be a small number of players, compared to the billions of players, they are a very hardened, very influential, very dangerous group of people who are living their lives in these gaming spaces, with little to no consequences to their actions or behaviors,” says Rachel Kowert, research director at leftist mental health group Take This.
And what do these experts recommend we do about this clearly existential threat of white supremacy lurking just behind the computer screen?
“Given the high rate of discussion of white supremacist ideology in online game spaces, we recommend that the game industry support research into the use and abuse of online games by white supremacists,” recommends the ADL. “We recommend that the game industry work with experts on white supremacy and white supremacist ideology to find ways to counter their abuse of online games.”
We must trust the same experts who routinely call for more censorship on social media to start influencing gaming? What could possibly go wrong?
Gaming companies should reject these calls to radically alter their products and networks in the face of what these so-called experts admit may be a tiny fraction of disruptive players.
Gamers don’t want a sanitized experience approved by woke scolds. Frankly, they want to be left alone, free to play their games in peace and free of the radical left’s death grip on modern American culture.
So, what happens if the radical left wins here?
It’s GAME OVER.
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