A bit of background. The year is 2008 and CD Projekt Red’s humble origins as a video game studio begin with the release of The Witcher. Fans love it, critics love it, and one group of fans in particular rally around the game: PC Gamers. They champion the title as an example of why PC gaming is above all else. But a writer at The Escapist, Ben Croshaw, thought they were being a little “elitist” in this attitude and in his video review of The Witcher uttered the first recorded use of the phrase “Glorious PC-gaming Master Race” (Source).
The term quickly became adopted and popularized by the PC Gaming community. They found it a hilarious phrase, one that accurately captured the benefits of PC Gaming while looking down on the term’s counterpart, “dirty console peasants.” But Croshaw didn’t mean for the term to be taken this way. In fact, he thought the ties to Hitler were abundantly clear and that PC Gamers would want to distance themselves to the core principle of Nazism that the term embodied. They didn’t.
“It was intended to be ironic, to illustrate what I perceived at the time to be an elitist attitude among a certain kind of PC gamer. People who invest in expensive gaming PCs and continually spend money to make sure the tech in their brightly-lit tower cases is up to date. Who actually prefer games that are temperamental to get running and that have complicated keyboard interfaces, just because it discourages new or ‘casual’ players who will in some way taint the entire community with their presence. I meant it as a dig.” – Ben Croshaw, writer at The Escapist (Source)
Get your Anti-Semitic bullshit out of here.
The year is now 2017. The term “Glorious PC Gaming Master Race” has become incredibly popular. There’s a subreddit with 790,000+ members and The Escapist has since made the term a core part of their website, building a community around it. But the issue still remains, “Master Race” is a term built and defined by Hitler and Nazi Germany’s campaign to eradicate an entire race from the planet. It’s a term with deep implications and a gross history of the deaths of millions of innocent lives. The man who coined the phrase knew that and the many millions of Jewish people still feeling the effects of Hitler’s Holocaust today know it.
The main idea of both Hitler’s “Master Race” and PC Gaming’s “Master Race” is the same: that one group of people is inherently better than another. That’s fucking bullshit.
I don’t want to quibble about whether PC Gaming is superior to console or mobile gaming. That’s not the point. The point is that the community who have rallied around this term need to realize what the implications of normalizing this elitist term mean in the real world. Anti-Semitism and hate crimes against Jewish people is only bolstered by the normalization and acceptance of terms like “Master Race.” Whether you meant to or not, when you use the term “Master Race” you fan the flame of hate that nazis and antisemites thrive off.
“It worked as a hyperbolic joke when it was first said as a hyperbolic joke, and I did think it was a little funny to embrace the criticism ironically—for a moment, [but] when I see kids unironically boasting about their ‘master race’ affiliation on forums, I cringe.” – Tyler Wilde, Executive Editor of PC Gamer (Source)
Think Before You Speak
So before you turn to your buddy and jokingly refer to yourself as a proud member of the “Glorious PC Master Race,” really think about what you’re saying. Whether you want to or not, you’re endorsing Nazism. You’re making light of the Holocaust. What if a Jewish person heard you? Have you considered what that would mean to them? What your flippant use of such a racially charged term means to someone who’s very existence is threatened by those ideologies? Because if you do consider all of that and decide you’re okay with it, I’d rather never play a game again then normalize your racism.
Update May 3rd, 2017:
We have our first piece of fan art from an avid reader Jake V. from Canada! In this piece, Jake is proposing an alternative to the racist term PC Gamers currently use. Jake suggests they could use the term “Good Computer Man.” While we feel “Good Computer People” would be a more inclusive term we definitely appreciate Jake’s enthusiasm and willingness to search for an alternative to the current Anti-Semitic standard. Good work, Jake 🙂
Update May 5th, 2017:
After trying to share this article in the PC Master Race subreddit and get some feedback I was swiftly banned for “linking the PC Master Race with racial supremacy.” I thought adopting the term Hitler made popular in Mein Kampf was linking you guys with racial superiority before I wrote this piece but I guess not!