I’m a nerd. Always have been, always will be. Some of my earliest memories are of playing video games, Magic: The Gathering, MUDs, and Dungeons and Dragons between bouts of ing to rape you”. I’ve seen people with user names such as “TheRapist” and “I_Rape” act as if nothing was the matter. The majority of these people are younger than myself – they are children. So what is wrong? What is happening on the internet? Society at large is totally unaware of the breeding ground for prejudice that online gaming is. It is the dark underbelly of years of socialized hate. For every news report blaming the country’s economic state on “illegal” Mexican women having too many children there is a 12 year old white boy on the internet making a joke about raping those same women.

As all forms of prejudice the use of rape is highly pervasive. It’s gained an almost revered status in the modern hall of online prejudice along with the term gay. Apparently, when approaching a certain level of usage a word can totally lose its actual meaning and change definition. This can actually happen as language develops, but when based off of prejudice these are not developments at all: they are denials of reality. Gay means homosexual, it does not mean stupid or annoying just as rape means to sexually assault someone against their will and not to win a game.

From outside looking in it makes total sense: the people using this word are almost all boys, they are the same boys who think gay jokes are funny, who make sexist jokes, and most of them are white racists. They hate immigrants, arabs, and black people. A lot of them are Christians or are ex-Christians who are nihilistic and apathetic. They are, simply, a scarily large portion of the youth of America . However, the use of the word rape in this context has become so commonplace that it is going beyond the minds of the average American degenerate. Will it become as main stream as gay? Will junior high kids be walking around saying they raped their test? It already happens a small amount but I can only hope it doesn't spread.

I recently found a friend of mine using it repeatedly while in games. Over the months of him occasionally using it I repeatedly asked him not to. The other night we got into another argument about it after he said that he had been raped the previous game. We stopped playing because of the arguing and soon after I received an e-mail from him. Here is the e-mail:

“I understand that some things were said and done tonight during *******. I
just wanted you to know that you're 100% wrong.

Raped, as defined by dictionary.com, and as used for as long as it's been
a word, and probably longer than it's been used to describe the crime of
forcibly having sex with someone, means:

an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the
rape of the countryside
the act of seizing and carrying off by force,
to plunder (a place); despoil,
to seize, take, or carry off by force.

So to clarify, during our game, I was repeatedly raped by the [other players]
and our team was raped by the [other players] and ultimately we lost the game as
[our team] was raped into disrepair.

Hopefully that clears up any misunderstandings on your end, say, your misunderstanding that I was actually saying that I was forced either physically or through duress to have sexual intercourse with someone.”

He said later after we talked more that the e-mail was meant to be over the top. Of course, he still agrees with everything he said, which in of itself is laughably idiotic and ignorant. Frankly, I didn’t know how to respond to him. That someone in their mid 20s, who is well educated and in graduate school could be so ignorant of language, sociology, psychology, feminism, gender, history, and of how we as human beings work is unbelievable. His e-mail is a fictional explanation that allows him to justify using patriarchal language to himself. It has no basis in reality whatsoever – it’s just an excuse. I told him to tell his girlfriend, the next time he beat her in a board game or a card game, that he raped her and see how she responds. He doesn’t plan on doing it.

And that speaks to the role of the internet – what lurks in our minds that can be said in anonymity? What do white people only say to other white people? Men to other men? When in online games the subconscious assumption is that all players are white heterosexual men and so anything goes. The internet truly is a window into the subconscious hate that American society thrives on. We hate ourselves and we hate all of you.

The fact that millions of times a day people – mainly young boys – on the internet are making light of the term rape speaks to something truly wrong with the deep down essence of who we are as men in America. It all boils down to gender and patriarchy. Online gaming is one more notch in man’s belt of hatred along with the boy’s locker room, the military, men’s clubs, etc. All people can be a victim of rape, it is one of the most consistently under-addressed, under-treated, and wholly ignored problems of the world. It is fitting that it would be mocked incessantly in our most anonymous sphere of society.

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