Melanin Gamers Launches The Toxicity Rating

In the wake of the Sweet Baby Inc. blowup, the gaming community is shining a light on the various consulting firms trying to woke-ify video games. The latest exposed cockroach is a group called Melanin Gamers, diversity and inclusion consultants who, according to their website, “help identify barriers for underrepresented groups and create strategies to close gaps.” They’ve got a podcast and a charity (the link to which leads to an error message), some articles, and not much else. They also started an initiative with Leo Burnett Toronto called The Watch, which was created to “put a stop to the discrimination rampant in the online gaming sphere.” The Watch has its own X profile, where it calls itself “a community watch fighting racism in gaming, starting with @CallofDuty.”

Sounds like fun, huh? Well, if we’ve learned anything lately, it’s that video games aren’t supposed to be fun. And to reaffirm that point, Melanin Gamers and The Watch have come up with a concept called The Toxicity Rating, which they describe as “the world’s first rating system for gaming online to show parents and gamers how toxic the communities really are.” The Toxicity Rating website reveals more: this is a system that polls “hundreds of gamers” to rate the “the average amount of racism, gender discrimination, violence towards others, crude humour and controlled substance conversation experienced while playing online.” So far, they have five games rated: Call of Duty, Fortnite, Apex Legends, Minecraft, and Valorant. Five more games are marked “coming soon,” and you can take the survey on each now or continue rating the ones that are already available.

Can you imagine living your life like this? Does the thought of being a perennial hall monitor appeal to you in the least? Why even get into video games if your sole mission is to suck the fun out of them? Well, that one is easy: they don’t really like video games, but they do like the idea of pushing their ideology on every aspect of the culture. It’s no different than Sweet Baby Inc., Black Girl Gamers, or probably dozens more. Melanin Gamers just took a new approach, ringing the bell for all the tattle tales out there to tell their teacher on those games the mean boys are playing. That’s what makes this tactic feel so dirty; they’re trying to create more of themselves, to get everyone in on the unctuous jolt of being a buzzkill. And if the disgusting way a lot of people acted during the COVID lockdowns is any indication, there are plenty of narcs out there who love feeling righteous.

And if you want to know how the ratings will shake out every time, look at the ones they already have. Not a single category on any of those games has less than 50% toxicity. Do you think that’s because of the notoriously hateful Minecraft community, or is it because when you’ve got a bunch of people riled up to look for racism and discrimination, they’re going to find it, whether it exists or not? My bet is the latter, and that’s what Melanin Gamers is counting on. They’ve got Animal Crossing on their list, for God’s sake; how much racism and how many “violent threats” are they going to see in that fandom?  Probably a lot because they’re programming people to see it everywhere. Remember the words of Anita Sarkeesian, the woman who married herself:

This is the mentality these lunatics want to force into gaming. They won’t be happy until no one is playing anymore.

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