GamerGate was coined in the gaming world after Zoe Quinn, a developer, was brutally harassed and threatened online. A quick Google search will unearth numerous other horror stories of women in geek fields facing harassment that, on a good day, includes comments like, “This is no place for a lady” and “Go kill yourself.” On a bad day, it’s much, much worse. Mockingbird comic writer Chelsea Cain is a recent victim. On leaving Twitter over online harassment, she wrote, in part, “Comics readers are 99% the best people you’d ever want to meet. The other 1% can be really mean.”
What makes Westworld so scary is that it’s built for this 1%. Yes, they really mean the highest tier of wealth, but most guests are closeted trolls. They treat women as objects because, as robots, they are objects, and the more bored they get, the more brutal their treatment of them becomes. The Man in Black may be some renowned philanthropic health physician of some kind in the outside world, but in the game — when he’s “on vacation” — he turns into a pestilence in the hopes of making Westworld more “fun.”
What makes Westworld so scary is that his behavior isn’t so different from what gamers do to virtual characters. Actual gaming developers are pushing the boundaries of 3D technology and virtual reality. So, is it so farfetched to imagine a future, however distant, in which we have our own version of Westworld?
“The use of blackface, even in jest at a Halloween party, is patently offensive and reinforces historically racist stereotypes,” UO President Michael Schill wrote in an email he sent to students. “It was a stupid act and is in no way defensible.”
The unidentified professor has been placed on administrative leave pending completion of a civil rights investigation, according to UO Law Dean Michael Moffitt.
UO Law alumnus Moorisha Bey-Taylor, a member of the UO’s Black Law Students Association, launchedIt had garnered nearly 400 signatures by midnight Wednesday.
Blackface is a practice that dates to the 1800s, when mocking black people with cartoonish depictions that include highly offensive stereotypes was used to entertain white audiences.
Blackface is so hurtful, there’s no reason ever to use it as a Halloween costume, Elie Mystal, the editor of Above the Law, wrote in a blog about the UO on Wednesday.
“I’ve got a way to solve this problem,” he wrote. “Halloween should be banned until white people grow up.”