I’m sure by now we’ve all seen the news that Youtube “sensation” PewDiePie used the N-word during a livestream.
His behaviour was abhorrent, and the fact that it’s taken him two days to issue an apology speaks volumes. I’ve got no doubt, however, that despite the initial media backlash, nothing more will come of it. The guy is like Teflon – nothing sticks – and it’s starting to get a bit tiring.
Playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at the time of the offending comment, what has really struck me is that there’s been no comment on the matter made by the game’s creator, Brendan Greene. In the past, Brendan Greene and the developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have been quick to enforce its rules of conduct. Players have been banned for exploiting glitches, stream sniping and even team killing, yet as far am I’m aware, PewDiePie remains unscathed. Apparently, you can’t be an asshole when playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but you can be a racist asshole.
“But it was a heat of the moment thing”, “loads of players are racist and abusive when you play online” some gamers will argue, but PewDiePie is a prominent figure with a huge audience, many of whom are children. He should be setting an example – one that doesn’t involve the use of racial slurs. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds very first rule of conduct is, and I quote, “Do not use any discriminatory language, including but not limited to any language regarding ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, religion, sexual preference or personal beliefs.” Is that not what PewDiePie did?
In the grand scheme of things, being banned from a game isn’t enough of a repercussion for PewDiePie’s outburst, but it’s a start. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is now huge, and if someone like Brendan Greene stood up and took action it would send a clear message that racism has no home in the gaming community. As Edmund Burke rightly said, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”