The Border House Podcast – Episode 2: Diversity, Cohesion, and the Gaming Community

A glowy keyboard.

A glowy keyboard.


The week we talk about the different ways the social aspect of the gaming community handles diversity issues. Because this episode deals with person accounts of uncomfortable moments of discrimination in gaming, please proceed with caution if this topic could be a trigger for you.

The Border House Speakers

Mattie Brice – Host

Kim – Editing



Referenced Material

Fat, Ugly, or Slutty

To My Someday Daughter

THAT Panel

The Straight Male Gamer

Transphobia and Cissexism in Dragon Age

The Straw Feminist Trope

Online Harrassment


ETA: The transcript for this episode is up here:


Opening & Closing Credits – Was that away message for me? by 8bit Betty



About Mattie Brice

Mattie Brice is a game critic, designer, social justice activist, and student at San Francisco State University. She focuses her writing on diversity initiatives in the video game community, often bringing in the perspective of marginalized voices like transgender and multi-racial women to publications like Paste, Kotaku, The Border House, and Pop Matters. Mattie also consults and speaks at gaming related conferences like the Game Developers Conference and IndieCade. Her studies have led her to explore narrative design and plans to push the borders of how we think of the medium. Tweets at @xMattieBrice.
This entry was posted in Console Games, General Gaming, MMORPGs, PC Games, Podcast and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Border House Podcast – Episode 2: Diversity, Cohesion, and the Gaming Community

  1. Pai says:

    One thing I’ve been noticing lately, which is beginning to really concern me, is the growing usage of the word ‘Jew’ as a derogative term for a scammer or stingy person in gaming circles (“They totally jewed me!” etc). I don’t know if this has always been around and I’ve just not been in the right places to see it, but I wonder if it’s not because misogyny and homophobia in gaming is getting more criticism in recent years so some people feel that moving to anti-semitism is something they can get away with more?

    Does anyone else know what I’m talking about, or noticed this?

    • TheLaquidara says:

      That’s been around for a while. I remember first seeing it in World of Warcraft back in ’05. It’s possible it (largely) started there along within some other places on the net and spread towards a wider audience. However, I think Jew as a derogatory term has been around since the very beginning of the internet considering it’s been used as such for many, many years before its existence.

      Also, I’ve seen it used in many ways. In many cases I see Jew used similarly as a racial slur.

      I don’t encounter it too much these days, but I’ve also lost a lot of interest in online games over the years. I mostly stick with a small group of friends and play co-op games.

    • Sif says:

      I first heard it back around 2002 from people in my old university’s RPG and boardgame club. Not from a lot of people, but a few (non-jewish) members would casually toss it around.

      • Ms. Sunlight says:

        It’s a very old usage, going back to mediaeval Europe where in someplaces Jews were forbidden to engage in many professions and hence some Jews were forced into the (then disreputable trade of) moneylending.

        Your grandparents would have been familiar with it. I’ve heard it all my life. I hope it goes without saying that it’s racist as hell.

        • Sif says:

          Yeah, I figured it was something that had been around a long, long time. That was just my first exposure to it in a gaming space.

        • Pai says:

          I know that it has old usage, that’s why I’m surprised to hear it among (I’m assuming) teenage gamers. It’s such an old-fashioned racist term.

  2. Nigel says:

    Thanks for the podcast! It’s great to hear folks talking about these issues. Any word on iTunes availability?

    • Lake Desire says:

      Ditto. Also, I’d be interested in being on the PodCast sometime. :) I’d be interested in talking about class & gaming.

    • Gredaline says:

      Yes! Even just a podcast RSS feed would be great. So excited you’ve started a podcast!

  3. Opal says:

    Thanks that was even better than the previous podcast! :)

    Just to add a bit to one of the reference materials, after the ‘THAT panel’ controversy, here is the program director’s mature and thoughtful response, if anyone is interested:

  4. Ms. Sunlight says:

    I found the podcast really interesting, and enjoyed reading the article you linked to by Geordie Tait – I hadn’t seen that one. I find the relentless misogyny online in gaming communities just so tiresome. I mean that quite literally, it just wears me down and wears me out. It’s good to see a glimmer of hope now and then.

  5. Deviija says:

    Another lovely podcast. Time certainly flies by, there is so much that can be talked about on all these topics each week.

    I have similar feelings to Rawles about Fat, Ugly, or Slutty. Some of the reasons why I was so negative about it in the comments section back when the BH article went live (talking about the site, etc). Hard place to be in. On the one hand, it gets enough notice and gravitas to even have some traction to the dialogue over these issues happening in the online community… And that is always a good thing. On the other hand, I don’t find it having a positive force behind it (along with the sensation it is purposely trying to distance itself from feminism and the like the panel talked about).

    Anyway, keep them going, guys. It’s great.

  6. Norah says:

    I’d really like to know what this podcast in particular was about. I hope you get around to those transcripts soon. Maybe ask for volunteers if you can’t or don’t want to pay money for them.

    If I have to wait until I can parse the talking, it’s never going to happen: I usually have to spend that on other stuff.

    • Mattie Brice says:

      We are definitely working on it! Alex is trying to put a transcribing effort together, and I’m going to make sure to mention it in the next episode, hoping to rally some community effort behind it. Once more people take interest in the podcast, I’m sure the chances of there being people wanting to transcribe to get better. Hopefully it’s soon enough!

Comments are closed.