Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Gaming Then and Now

I remember that I used to game before the whole online community took momentum. My first memory of interacting with a "cool" technological device (besides a computer) was my cousin's Nintendo 64, complete with the Mario Bros game and the game where you shoot flying plates/ducks. I then moved on to the Play Station where I would play Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro. Over time, and seeing my younger brother grow up from the Play Station 1 to the Xbox 360, I began to notice the formation of these online communities. I also saw him play online computer games like Gunz and Sherwood. I myself delved a bit into these games, playing online for a while and seeing the chat conversations become part of the gaming experience. I also joined my brother in multi-player online games with Halo and Call of Duty. In the short experience I had with the online games, I noticed that a new network, a new community with it's own sort of cultural norms/practices was being built. This makes me wonder on why people are even racist or biased at all... because as I write this, I think that online gaming is like a country and that like any and all countries there are biases and extremists present within its communities. So, I ask myself... why? Once again, I see how the physical world manifests itself, or rather reflects itself, onto the internet. Just as we have a long way to go in, for example, gender equality where there are discrepancies in the equal pay of persons who do the same job, the online gamer community has a lot of work to do in the same general category of gender equality. and many others.

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