Looking around for community interest pieces in entertainment and gaming this week, a report about something I’d never really thought about caught my eye. Being an African-American professional gamer and Twitch streamer has its difficulties. Those difficulties include written and emote harassment, if a recent TwitchCon panel is to judge.
Polygon caught the story. At last week’s TwitchCon, gamers of all colors, types and creeds came together for special panels on their favorite topics. One of those panels, focused on diversity. The chatroom accompanying the broadcast of that livestream apparently turned into a hotbed of racist stupidity.
“Moderator and streamer Ryoga Vee showed the audience a screen demonstrating some of the racist abuse he has faced as a person of color streaming on Twitch. He added that most of the usernames that had attacked are ‘still active.’ He showed one follower request whose username was a racist slur aimed directly at him. ‘The lengths that they will go to get under our skin are limitless,’ he said.” That’s a direct excerpt from Polygon’s piece.
Between posting one of the only emotes that Twitch has featuring a person of color and off-hand, remarks like “black people aren’t the only ones who get trolled,” the chat turned into a disaster area, according to the report. Twitch moderators were forced to go into the livestream and manually delete the most inappropriate comments.
You can watch the entire Diversify Twitch panel from here. I’m glad that I did. Back when The en was more than just me, we tried Twitch streaming on the regular. We never got the kind of numbers the guys that hosted the panel did, but I’ve received comments on my skin color before. I know how it feels.
DeejayKnight, a Twitch streamer of color who I personally follow, summed up the entire problem. “If you have hatred, keep it. I have better things to do with my life. I don’t have to deal with it,”