Games Done Quick is one of the largest gaming events every year. As the name suggests, players are invited to come on and perform “speedruns” of their selected title and beat them in record time to raise money for charity. Since most games don’t perform exactly the way its developers intend, gamers find workarounds and glitches to bypass hours of gameplay to reach the finish line.
It therefore seems odd that such an event so heavily focused on video games would become entangled with social justice advocacy. And yet that’s exactly what’s happened.
Moderators of a progressive mindset have arrived on the scene to make the event as inoffensive and “welcoming” as possible, and they’ve done so by banning anyone and anything they find problematic. Hosted on the livestreaming service Twitch, the latest controversy for Games Done Quick stems from the use of an emoji created by a popular streamer named DansGaming.
The emoji depicts DansGaming, who’s a balding man with a goatee, as a woman with vibrant red hair and an equally cartoonish pair of breasts. As a caricature, it’s as inoffensive as it gets—but it was enough to trigger a transgender attendee named @princessproto, who slammed it for being “transphobic”.
“So a massive streamer has an extremely shitty and blatantly transphobic emoji that is frequently spammed while I’m onscreen at gdq,” wrote @princessproto on Twitter, which lists “she/her” as preferred pronouns. The attendee, who was a constant presence on the GDQ couch. Presumably, some viewers thought it would be amusing to annoy the attendee.
Following the attendee’s complaints, Chris Kourmoulakis, a transgender chat moderator for GDQ reached out to @princessproto and blacklisted use of the emoji.
In response, Twitch broadcaster DansGaming warned his viewers not to use the emoji as it could cause them to be banned from the stream, prompting gaming YouTuber John “TotalBiscuit” Bain to weigh in on the situation.
“SGDQ mods are the worst thing about that event,” wrote Bain. “Every event, some ridiculous drama caused by a mod power trip.”
“Expecting professional behavior from amateurs is unrealistic, which is why we never work with volunteers,” he added. “Case in point as to why.”
Other emojis and phrases commonly used by viewers, which have also been deemed harassment, were banned. These include lines like “haHAA,” and “nebby get in the bag”—an obscure, if harmless reference to the newest Pokemon game.
The gaming community has not been receptive to efforts to censor their speech, prompting the creation of a popular thread on Reddit’s r/LivestreamFail to hit the front page with over 10,000 votes, where users left blistering takes on the situation.
“Another typical ‘I NEED to be offended by this’ personality,” quipped MrAchilles.
“Professional victim, recreational outrage,” echoed WrongAndBelligerent.
The offense-taking extended throughout the night.
“He also has an emote called danTriggered so I think the fucker knows exactly what he’s doing,” @princessproto tweeted.
At this rate, viewers who choose to interact with future GDQ events can expect for only pre-approved messages to go through.