What is gaybots?
gaybots is a group of online gamers who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or otherwise queer.
We're not a gaming clan ourselves. Our ‘members’ choose to identify themselves as a sign of mutual support. You may see us with names like
Some of us are members of other gaming clans. We play many games, but are currently focused in the Australasian Quake communities.
gaybots exists to establish a visible presence of queer people within the game worlds and communities we participate in.
We hope this will remind others of the diversity of their environment, and positively influence their behaviour towards fellow players. For example, we have noticed a marked reduction in homophobic slurs when our presence is known.
We also hope to signal a supportive environment for other queer players, whereas they may feel isolated, intimidated or threatened, given the unchallenged homophobic atmosphere that's common in online gaming.
Who is in gaybots?
At present, we are mostly active in the Australasian Quake communities (esp. Urban Terror). Some players seen wearing gaybot tags:
Who can join? How can I join?
Any online gamer who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, or queer in any way, can take part. As this is really a grassroots effort, it can be very simple:
- Add a tag such as
<gay!>to your nickname/handle. You may use a variant tag or style if you are more comfortable with it (e.g.
bi!), or if technically required.
- Be friendly, helpful and represent your tag positively. Don't cheat, grief, etc.
How did gaybots begin?
It began in 2009, on a public game server, when one of our players added “Gay” to their nickname as a fun self-expression, and to challenge the common use of homophobic slurs.
Among the mixed responses was an unfortunate request by the server's administrators to change the name because it was provocative. To their credit, the administrators were sympathetic on appeal.
However, we felt it appropriate to establish a more permanent and visible identity to inform the broader community of our presence in numbers, and to ensure that such a reaction would not easily happen again.
Where is gaybots going?
We have no plans besides continuing to wear our tags in online games we play. gaybots has no structure, organisation or resources.
- Hat tip to fembots, who inspired this.
- Clan =-KMA-=, whose Australian Urban Terror servers feature a well-administered, friendly and inclusive gaming environment and community.
- All those who have been supportive or at least tolerant of difference in our communities, gaming or otherwise, regardless of their own predispositions. That means you—we hope!