Falcon Entertainment S2E5: Racism in gaming

Many+multiplayer+games+have+people+saying+racist+thoughts+on+African+Americans.+Special+guest+Kihambo+talking+about+his+views+on+it.+Photo+credit%3A+Skoki+Public+Library

Ruth Sinker

Many multiplayer games have people saying racist thoughts on African Americans. Special guest Kihambo talking about his views on it. Photo credit: Skoki Public Library

Oscar Torres, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Oscar Torres: Hello, Cerritos College faculty members and students. Welcome back to Falcon entertainment. The only podcast here in Talon Marks where we talk about all things entertainment. As always, I’m your host, Oscar Torres, co-editor for arts & entertainment. And I’m joined again with my co-host Rafael Magana, who has decided to come after so long.

Rafael Magana: Are you putting me on blast? What’s going on guys? Rafael here. It’s good to be back. And yeah, we’re gonna have some good stuff to talk about today.

Oscar: Good to have you back, Rafael. And today we have a special guest with us. So why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself?

Kihambo: Hey, guys, my name is Kihambo, and I’m a gamer.

Oscar: and also you’re a Twitch streamer, right?

Kihambo: Ahh yes, I am. You can find me @twitch.tv forward-slash Kihambo the same name as I use for every other social media platform.

Oscar: Alright, glad to have you join us. Kihabo. Great to have you here. And for today’s topic, we’re gonna be talking about African American racism in gaming. Now over the years, like as gaming has been developing having a much bigger audience even much more so than movies or music alike. However, there’s one aspect of it that still remains and that sort of racism in gaming more specifically, like the black community. So I was wondering, I want to get your thoughts and opinions on like that topic. Brandon, how do you feel like about racism in gaming?

Kihambo: Well, racism really stems from a lot of things that’s happened in the past, especially in America here. But I can’t really speak for the whole community, I can only speak on behalf of my experiences. But I can say that there definitely is racism everywhere you go, not just in gaming. So growing up, I used to play a lot of Call of Duty. And I’m sure most of you know, like, lobbies are mad. While they’re crazy, they show no remorse, because it’s the internet, you can say literally anything, and not take any repercussions for it. So they’re gonna say the N-word, they’re gonna say a whole bunch of slander, they’re gonna come out even like my, I grew up with a lot of Hispanic friends, too. There, they’re being called, you know, the B-word, the one that runs with the femur, they’re just bombarded with a bunch of stuff. But right now, as in gaming, I could say, there could be real racism still, because, as I said, it just lingers everywhere, especially before the pandemic happened. I’m talking in person, because, for me, it wasn’t really anything as if we were being underrepresented. Because I’m sure any, any video game company or any eSports competitive industry would take you if you were good enough. But if we’re talking just like, you know, casual gameplay, there are definitely racist racists out there. And yeah, that’s my take on it.

Rafael: You guys might have to jump in real quick I can on that on to that

Kihambo: Go Ahead

Rafael: It’s interesting when you brought up like the, like that gaming, like the companies and stuff, you know, like, you know, usually it’s like the FGC, the fighting immunity, and like, eSports, in general, you know, but, uh, it’s crazy, man. Because nowadays, you kind of like, you kind of see how these players are getting sponsored. And then like, they get stuff dug up in their past, and then they lose their sponsors, you know, and it’s kind of bringing out that, like, it’s, it’s making things a lot more apparent now. And I think that’s also a good thing, because it’s kind of weeding out like those, those bad eggs, you know, like, you don’t really want them in the community. So it’s kind of a it’s kind of been changing in recent years, too, I’d say, but, you know, it’s I as sad as it is, it’s kind of never really gonna 100% go away, you feel me,

Kihambo: I feel that.

Rafael: it’s just one of those. Just one of those things, man, but…

Oscar: but I want to agree that no matter what happens, or what, in the future, they’re everywhere down the line, there will always be like racism, like not only in movies or shows but in gaming, as well. It’s something that people will have to live through or get better at it. Because it doesn’t bode well. And I think it needs to get better for the most part.

Kihambo: Now, most definitely I grew up on, I went to this one birthday party, I think it was around middle school, I grew up with this one guy that used to bully me a lot. And he went to the same Middle School, unfortunately. And since he was friends with my other friend that invited me to his birthday party, there was a gaming truck. So of course, he was gonna be down because he was a huge gamer, too. But he was kind of bothering me still, you know, after years of like, you know, putting up with it, I learned to kind of just let it slide. And never I was never really that good at defending myself, you know, at least in person. Things, of course, are different now because, you know, I just couldn’t stand that shit. But I learned I mean, what was I saying? Right, so back at the birthday party he legit called me the N-word like hard is. He was like one of you wanting Forgot which game it was it was around the time Call of Duty Duty Ghosts taking I think came out we’re doing like a quick scope match. And I think we lost or not we, I lost. I lost one match. He legit just came in my face and said, Take that N-word hard R. Like no remorse, nothing twice. So I mean, that was probably one of the worst experiences of experiences I’ve had with any kind of racism. At least growing up things are of course harsher now. But that’s that’s my take on that

Oscar: you think like they were like the stress or like the anger of losing a game or like competition will get them to the point of acting saying like that, like those harmful words.

Kihambo: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. 1000 100 million, trillion kabillion percent rage from video games, at least for me is a rage I can’t get anywhere else. There’s no game that triggers me more than Mario Kart. And when I lose to some Bs, I just want to I just want to like throw something you know. But at the end of the day, it’s just a game you have to remember. That’s why that’s why a lot of kids growing up nowadays in the digital age. They they don’t know how to cope with stuff. That’s why I’m really scared for the future of our of the children that very growing up in this time and time and day because they don’t know how to, you know, account, take account for their own actions, responsibilities, what they say what they do, they just see other people do it. And they emanate that. And that’s what I’m afraid of that can turn into a huge fundamental problem.

Oscar: And do you feel like it’s more easier like for people to get away with stuff like that online? Or it will it? Will they get like consequences to them like later on?

Kihambo: Well, the thing with consequences, they won’t change what they do, they won’t change who they are online, I’m talking, maybe it feels in person because now they’re in your presence, you can do what you can kind of do what you want to punish them for it. But online, you can get away with so much. There are things you can say you can do. And no one even will know it’s like who actually did it or who actually said it because you could even you could easily put it on someone else. That’s why canceled culture is such a problem now, because it’s not really the kind of just like go out and try to find someone to cancel without knowing enough evidence or information. That’s why I see canceled culture as just toxic and just uncalled for. It’s not something we necessarily need. But there are that’s not to say that there are definitely people that need to be you know canceled. I just hate that word. Now I hate canceled but it’s what it is.

Oscar: All right, and then going from like the just gaming to streaming to twitch as you as you said before you’re a twitch streamer on one give your opinion on how like, how has twitch? handle this and like is it like the black community in twitch? Like going strong? Or is it easy for them?

Kihambo: Well, I do follow a lot of my fellow black community streamers. Just to name a few. I follow Shofu and I’m actually subscribed to him on on Twitch I follow on Dante he’s a rapper on YouTube. And SoundCloud and I think Apple Music. But no, I can then like handfuls of more streamers. But I could say that they’re not really you know, dominating the twitch page. I don’t think they’re really you know, taking it by the throne that it’s not really them that’s that people search for unless they’re actually from somewhere else. Usually, I see twitch nowadays and it’s kind of festered up with a bunch of people that don’t really do gaming any more. I’m talking to the females that that like to show their body and show themselves off but not that I’m mad at that you can’t really blame the girls because if they see an opportunity like that they see an opportunity to chase the bag they’re gonna do it but how this comes down to how twitches handling things now and they never do a good job I actually do not like twitches policies at all because one time there was a guy who showed like barely a bit of his stomach and I think he got permanently banned because of I think I don’t know it was something is had something to do with like it was an old ass policy back in years ago, but he got banned just by lifting up his shirt and accidentally showing some of his stomachs while there are girls now literally showing cleavage and stuff and certain stuff. TWITCH Twitch is definitely not taking this or handling any of these situations. Well in my opinion.

Rafael: I feel you man it’s atrip man because the gaming landscape really has changed over the past couple of years you feel me like.

Kihambo: yeah, definitely has

Rafael: Like Twitch, I remember when I was it used to be called Justin TV back in the day. Do you remember that?

Kihambo: Oh no, I think I’m too young for that. I didn’t even know it was called anything else

Rafael: Yeah, bro the body thought it used to be called Justin TV. There’s no wonder is that person is Justin or something but But anyways, like back then it was like real like it was cool stuff you know like just dudes kicking back like streaming GTA 4 and stuff it was like around that time you feel me and like it’s a trip because he really has changed it’s the landscape is constantly changing and like you know I know that we came here to like talking about like how like communities can be like you know discriminated against specifically in gaming but I don’t know like, I feel like twitch Lokey focuses more on like the like, oh, you’re showing too much skin or whatever. And you’re not really tackling like the important stuff you feel me maybe the problem here is that switch, Lokey, like isn’t doing their job.

Kihambo: Oh, they’re not they’re definitely not because I mean, you’re you’re out here banning people for barely showing their shirt barely looking at their shirt. And you’re not you’re not banning people that are literally showing cleavage on stream. And Twitch is first and foremost a gaming platform. Not that there can be you know, just chatting blogs, because that’s pretty much what what Twitch is nowadays, you’re gonna see a lot of streamers just doing just chatting.

Oscar: It’s kind of the feel is kind of feeling one-sided for like, different people while the other is like lavishing in like popularity?

Kihambo: Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely like undermines the gamers that are actually putting in, you know, hours of content and good content. But you know, they’re drowned out by all the people that you know, they press the go live button, and they literally just stay there stay. They sent the standard, they sit there, whatever.

Oscar: And have you seen any growth in the gaming scene when it comes to like the black community? Or has it been getting worse as time goes by?

Kihambo: I think we’re on the come-up. We’re definitely growing it slowly but surely, because you know, about all the that we just got through Black History Month, what about three months ago? It’s me. So, yeah, February, we just got through that. And we’ve gone through years of that there were like, 1000s of black history months before the one in 2021 just now. And we are you know, trying to just push the black community to not only do better, but you know, to be proud of where they’re from, because, you know, some people, it’s really sad for me to say this, but it’s, I know, some black people, they’re ashamed to be black, because, you know, they wish they were whites, they wish they had, you know, all this money, they, they wish they were rich, privileged, I’m saying it’s not saying all white people are privileged, but you know, that’s what the majority of America makes up. Because you know, if you take notice, most people on Tik Tok is I’ll just use Tik Tok as an example, you’re gonna see mainly, you know, white people, or Caucasian people on the, for your page, or at least that’s how I that’s how, like, I see it. Um, you’re going to be scrolling on the for you page, and most people are going to be, you know, white, you’re going to see some people of color. But that brings me back to the point where you’re just going to see them being pushed out and not really anyone else. So I think as the black community, as a member of the black community, we’re definitely taking a step forward. So that’s my take on that.

Oscar: That’s good. That is you guys are taking like a step forward and risking to get like a better world for you guys. Instead of like, just trying to be in fear. I feel like most people who are filled feel that way towards like, either racism or negligence. They Should get on on that.

Kihambo: Definitely.

Oscar: And um, how do you tackle right races whenever you play a game?

Kihambo: Well, it depends on which game I’m playing. If I hear some kid, you know, shouting out the N-word or the B-word. I just railed them. I just shoot them up all day. If I’m playing Call of Duty, I just decided, you know, I’m gonna just headshot this kid every time, or if I have the option to I just, you know, mute them. It’s, there’s no point arguing because you’re from two different places, you’re not going to tell the kid, hey, don’t do that. Because first of all, I don’t know this kid. I don’t know who his parents are. I don’t know where he’s from. I don’t know what he’s going through. I’m just gonna assume that he lives in a house. You know, his parents are, you know, middle, low to a middle class, income-wise, and he lives he lives under a roof. That’s all I’m gonna assume. Because he’s played. He has a console right in front of them. And he’s playing it. So of course you can afford that. I have nothing else to say. I, I can’t shout the N-word back. I can but I’m not going to because I don’t know this guy.

Oscar: That’s probably one of the best like ways to handle the situation is to never be aggressive. Because if you do then then the kid will will win you you he will get you mad, and he’s just going to be there like laughing. like making fun of your stuff is that it’s better to just be silent than to just talk it all.

Kihambo: Mm-hmm. Definitely. It’s easier said than done too. It’s it’s not always easy. To turn the other cheek, but that’s just something you should keep in mind all the time.

Rafael: Best thing to do is to get a W over them for sure. That’ll shut them up huh.

Kihambo: Who’s saying the N-word now huh?

Oscar: And then one more question before we head out is, like, as a community, what do you how do you feel we could do to make sure that gamers of all races feel more welcomed in into the gaming space?

Kihambo: Oh, okay. Well, there’s no guarantee that someone’s going to make them feel unwelcome because again, there are racists out there. That’s, that’s just one thing you should definitely keep in mind. But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t take pride of where you come from. I think pride is one of the biggest and most powerful traits anyone can have. If you’re prideful. No one can take that away from me. So yeah, you can look to other people to know, you know, give you some, some comfort, find people to confide in. If you’re having problems, you should definitely make friends online. You know, with people you can trust, of course, because anyone online can can backstab you to feel more welcome. As a community though, we should all take note that, you know, people of color go through a lot of troubles. People in Syria and Iraq are dying every day, kids can’t even get an education. They’re still children in Africa, they can’t eat. Ice is still a thing. Like, there’s just a plethora of things that I I wish could be solved, but we can’t right now. So it doesn’t help really, excuse me, when we have, you know, racist people coming in here, you know, slandering everyone, and just bombarding us with racial comments and shit. So I think the best we can do is just keep the ones we can trust closer to each other. And don’t let go of them. That’s pretty much all. That’s, that’s really that starts there. Of course, like in the long run, you can, you know, branch out, maybe reach out to other communities of different colors, the Asian community, which is actually going through a really hard time, right now in present-day America. They can, you can reach out to them, see what you guys can build together. That’s probably one of my favorite things about the gaming community. The fact that you can collab with different people from different places of different colors. That’s probably the most beautiful thing to me. That’s why I love the MCU. Because what it’s not every time you see Spider-Man and Captain America. But you know that that’s what I think, to make us feel more welcome.

Oscar: As drawn on his words, and I agree with everything you just said, it’s better to like, make sure to keep on the honest, truthful people to make sure that the world can live, happier place, knowing that people won’t be afraid to to be like in a world where racism still exists. They don’t need to be afraid anymore. All that stuff.

Rafael: if you guys don’t mind me butting in real quick to, I’ll go ahead. Honestly, man, it’s just just be human man. Just be cool. Like, be the best person you could be. And just put out the energy in the world that you want to receive. You feel me like, that’s Yeah, that’s really it like, because at the end of the day, like people are gonna do and people are gonna say what they want to say. And like, we can’t really change that we can try and we can try to give them like, we can make them aware. But if they don’t change their mind that’s on them. So we just got to focus on what we can do. And that’s what we do what we put out there, you know, so

Kihambo: yeah, exactly, man. We’re, we’re all people at the end of the day.

Just be cool, man. That’s it.

Oscar: Exactly. Because in the long run, everybody who has a console or who has like a, like a PC or phone or tablet knows one thing though, they play games and they’re gamers no matter what color or like, gender you are, you play games to have fun. And I feel like that’s the best mentality to have whenever playing a game. So just have fun with people that are different from you. Because in the end of the day, they shared the same interest as you they like the playing Mario, Call of Duty, or like watching anime, all that stuff. It just the just the same values everybody has. If you like something you should like express it with people who are close to you no matter what gender or race.

Kihambo: Definitely bars.

Oscar: Yeah, bars. And that’s right. And that seems to be the time all the time we have here today again, thank you. Kihambo for being a part of this podcast really means a lot. It’s good to get to share your opinions on like race. I’m in gaming. And before we go any you want to like, hit like your content, what you do for a living?

Kihambo: Follow and subscribe to twitch.tv forward-slash Qian but you won’t be disappointed.

Oscar: Yeah, make sure to check out Kihambo streams. When do you When? When do you stream like regularly?

Kihambo: Oh, well, now that school is over. I just had my last lecture today this morning. I’m gonna be streaming almost every other day, if not every day. So

Oscar: go check it out. All right, they will do make sure to check out Kihambo his twitch channel and YouTube channel for more of his content, you won’t be disappointed. And let’s see is all the time we have for today. Again, thank you all so much for listening to us ramble about like African American racism and gaming. It’s a topic that is very big and more people should get into it and to help out in the future. But with that said, Thank you all for watching. My name is Oscar Torres A&E editor for arts and entertainment.

Rafael: And I’m Rafael Magana co-editor for A&E

Oscar: And this is Talon Mark’s Falcon entertainment. Signing out. Good night.

Edited & Transcribed by Oscar Torres