Why a little known South African trended on Twitter at the weekend

South African ethics tutor and occasional writer for publications like The Guardian and The Mary Sue Tauriq Moosa trended on Twitter this weekend after quitting the social media platform. FATIMA MOOSA explains why.

It all started with an opinion piece Moosa wrote on Polygon magazine earlier this month, about the lack of racial diversity in the videogames Witcher 3 and Rust and how videogame characters are assumed to be white and male by default.

In his article, Moosa criticised the way white gamers had reacted to a recent change in how players chose their avatars in Rust and questioned the fact that when non-white gamers were forced to play as white character it was fine, but when the situation was reversed, white gamers called it “forced politics”.

When white gamers are forced to play people not of their race, it’s “forced politics”; when I’m forced into the same scenario, it’s business as usual. When you complain, you’re making a fuss and being political. The argument is a bit scary when you break it down: The only way games can avoid politics in this situation is to pretend that people of color don’t exist.

Things swiftly devolved from there, ala Gamergate.

Watch: The Guardian’s brief history of gamergate or take a look at this breakdown by Al Jazeera. 

Moosa later removed his Twitter account, without warning or elaboration and at the weekend, and two separate hashtags in support of his argument emerged: #GamesSoWhite (a nod to the race-conscious #CokeSoWhite hashtag) and #ISupportTauriq, both of which which were soon hijacked by Gamergate.

The entire incident proves once again that the internet can be a cesspool of hate and vitriol, and that in some circles there is no room for constructive criticism or debate.

– Featured image of people trying out Playstation games at E3 in 2011, by The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, California – via Wikimedia Commons.

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3 Comments

  1. Kendall says

    “in some circles there is no room for constructive criticism or debate.”

    Yes, it’s a shame that people like Tauriq Moosa and his allies treat criticism of their ideas as “harassment” (even if they have to search for their names to find the comments “harassing” them), and label people haters and racists merely for disagreeing with them.

    It would have been nice if Moosa had engaged in debate and tried to defend his claims about racism is gaming (e.g. his claim that the label “PC Master Race” is real racism, rather than an ironic joke referencing console vs. PC arguments), instead of playing the victim and flouncing from Twitter in a huff.

    Looking at Moosa’s feed before he left Twitter, there was certainly no sign of a campaign of harassment against him, and it’s telling that none of the articles about this can provide evidence of one.

  2. Wogan May says

    Tariq’s criticism of Witcher 3 was ill-founded to start with. The game was built specifically to be set in a certain era, portraying a certain mythology, and the reality of medieval Europe is that most people were white. It’s not racist to be historically accurate, or consistent with the rules of your world. If anything, shoehorning people of color into Witcher 3 to meet a race quota would be a more racist action.

    My favorite part of all of this is a couple of his tweets that circulated, and I can’t tell if they’re sarcastic or not, where he basically said that he didn’t know what Steam was, or what a framerate was, or that he knew much at all about the “mechanics” of how games work. That’s telling – a self-purported game journalist without the faintest idea how games actually work?

    Tariq should stick to ethics in the real world, I think – clearly he got in over his head here, trying to apply real-world rules to a fantasy game.

  3. επισκευη υπολογιστη αθηνα says

    Επισκευή υπολογιστη στην Βαρυμπομπη γρηγορα
    και οικονομικα. Τωρα η EASolutions βρισκεται διπλα σας.
    Για οποιαπληροφορια μη διστασετε να εποικινωνησετε
    στα τηλεφωνα μας.

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