Poetic wrote a post about a former CSM candidate that is apparently a rather unpleasant person. Corelin wrote a rebuttal and covered CCP’s decision regarding the issue. I have no desire to elaborate more, as I do not want to give any more attention to this person, but it brought something back into the forefront of my mind that comes and goes. That something is the language we use in Eve, and other games.
I will not enumerate terms, as they are plentiful and pointless. But one term, in particular, has become personally relevant to me. In the world outside my computer, I am a married man with a wife who is extremely tolerant of my gaming habit. She lets me play quite often, and even lets me schedule things around Eve once in a while so I can make it to a fleet or event. I’ve never gotten the red-box of wife aggro, and for that I am grateful. Some of you may think this is stupid, but to all the other married pilots out there, you understand how great it is when your partner lets you indulge in just a few more minutes of fake spaceships.
One of the things my wife does like is listening to comms. The personalities, accents and comments often make her laugh, and it gives me a way to share the experience with her that she can appreciate, even as a non-gamer. It also helps her understand that I’m not just staring at a screen, I’m playing with other people. She can understand the social aspect of the game, even if gaming is not her thing. But I’m always a little on edge when I put comms on the speakers. I promise I am coming to a point.
My wife is jewish, and like many religious individuals her religion informs her life and her identity. The term “space jew” gets thrown around in Eve, along with many other terms. I haven’t had it come up on comms yet, but I’m sure one day it will, and I’ll have to explain the concept to her. The term is not really related to religion, but it is based on stereotypes and racism that are both very real. It doesn’t matter if the speaker is anti-semitic or not. It is a hateful set of words. Using those words perpetuates the underlying history of discrimination and hate that all such phrases perpetuate. How do I explain that to my wife? More importantly, why should I even have to consider that possibility?
Game are for fun, and for relaxing. Our language can be coarse, and that’s fine. But there are so many delightful phrases that do not spring from real hatred in the real world. Using terms like “rape cage” or “space jew” demeans the speaker and the listener. These phrases are demeaning because they perpetuate hate. They are demeaning because they lack creativity. They are demeaning because they are based on phrases or actions that were created to belittle, demoralize and inflict pain on the people they target.
Eve players are a ridiculously inventive bunch. This creativity is exhibited time after time. Hell, we break the game and exploit the game, and figure out elaborate schemes and cons that can be insanely convoluted just to get a few more kills or a few more isk. Let’s use a bit of that creativity to come up with insults that don’t rely on pointless hatreds and conflicts.
I’ll get you started. Here’s a partial list of terms that are synonymous with greedy:
acquisitive, avaricious, avid, carnivorous, close, close-fisted, covetous, craving, desirous, devouring, eager, edacious, esurient, gluttonous, gobbling, gormandizing, grabby, grasping, grudging, gulping, guzzling, hoggish, hungry, impatient, insatiable, insatiate, intemperate, itchy, miserly, omnivorous, parsimonious, pennypinching, penurious, piggish, prehensile, rapacious, ravening, ravenous, selfish, stingy, swinish, tight, tight-fisted, voracious