Let me begin by quoting the general rules section on this here forum.
‘Learn lots. Don’t Judge. Laugh for no reason. Be Nice. Seek Happiness.’
Wise words from our Lord and Saviour, just kidding. But seriously. This should be the standard guiding point for the Starcraft 2 community as I see it. But there is a point at which this doesn’t actually happen.
While watching Scarlett, my favourite Zerg player (Probably favourite SC2 player) stream a week or so ago, I was struck by the negativity from the community. (I wasn’t able to watch Day9’s Scarlett v. Nerchio today, but I hope this wasn’t the case). For those who are not aware, Scarlett is a transgendered female. This means is that while born with male genitals she does not identify with that specific gendered group.
When I first watched Scarlett stomp over everyone at IPL4 and then at WCS Canada I had no idea about the “issue” that was going on. I subsequently found out through various forums and chats with friends. My initial reaction to this was similar if not exactly the same to all things to do with sexuality and gender “Who the fuck cares?” As quoted from somebody on the TL.net webpage “When did what is between your legs dictate your success at Starcraft”?
The “issue” of Scarlett brings up two interconnected points within gaming communities that I think are outdated and should be fought tooth and nail to abolish. The hyper-masculinity of the gaming community and the role of “minority players” (Women, Transgendered, Homosexuals). It disappoints me that in a community that wants the best for e-sports, I see things in chats and forums that say stuff like “I heard she has a dick” or “If she thinks she is a female, shouldn’t she be in the kitchen….” This absolutely sickens me to my core. I have enough time dealing with this sort of crap in my everyday life. Sexism, Racism and Misogyny on the Radio, television, the internet and in traditional sporting codes. I see e-sports as a future, as a mainstream competitor to Soccer, Basketball, NRL. A sport where everyone, no matter their race, creed, gender, sexual preference etc has a chance to play, win and be famous. It shouldn’t matter who you worship, what your politics are, what jeans you wear, whether you have long or short hair, whether your female, male, undecided, whether you are Straight, Gay, Bi and other. What should matter, What should be the only thing that matters is that if you are a nice person and whether you think E-Sports are awesome (If you don’t, then I don’t know why you are here).
We as a community need to seriously think about how we accept others and how we treat others. Sure, people will troll. But those people should be admonished and belittled for treating people who have made a perfectly respectable life choice.
I believe the Day9 community, the Starcraft Community and the E-sports community are accepting, beautiful, interesting people. With as many stories and ideas as there are stars in the sky. But I wish to propose something. If you see hate in the community, rise against it. If you see ignorance, use knowledge. E-sports will not rise if it is not seen as something everyone can enjoy.
My focus was on Scarlett as the most visible “other” in Pro-gaming. But I think the above applies to all. INControl, Sheth get a lot of crap because of their weight, Flo because she is female, there are probably those who get belittled because of their race and beliefs. But seriously this should not matter at all in anything, let alone SC2.
I hope people think that this is a non-issue, not because haters will always hate, but because this will or is already overcome. But to say ‘Trolls will be trolls’ is to me to opt out of the important issue of acceptance of all people. I hope we can challenge this idea that it is ok to make fun of people or to belittle them.
To end, I just want to say it definitely shouldn’t matter what is between your legs when you play SC2 or any other sport. The most important thing is that you are having fun and getting some knowledge out of it at the same time.
P.S I come from a politically radical position. If people want to talk further on this I'm happy to do so, perhaps in another post.