Popular Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has a few words of choice for parents in an interview with The New York Times: Listen to, and more importantly, teach your children.
Ninja was asked several questions at the publication about a number of things in his life, from his plans to switch to voice acting to his comments a few years ago about not playing games with women. One question in particular was centered around the behavior of the children as his frequent live streams. Asked what can be done to reduce the often infantile and inflammatory comments in the chat, which inevitably tend to escalate into some form of derogatory or racial ridicule, Ninja said it “all comes down to parents.”
“But it all comes down to parents,” Ninja said. “You want to know who your child is? Listen to him when he plays video games when he thinks you’re not. Here’s another thing: How does a white child know he has white privilege if his parents never teach him or do not talk about it? racism? “
Ninja further said that it is not his job to teach the children about culture or topics related to race, because his first instinct is to assume that he will be trolled in the chat.
“If they play and their first interaction with racism is that one of their friends says the N-word, and they have no idea what it is – what if it was in my stream?” Asked Ninja. “Is it my job to have this conversation with this child? No, because the first thing that happens in my head is, This child is doing this on purpose to enchant me. If someone says a racial slam on someone else’s stream, it could potentially “Get that streamer banned. It’s awful, but that’s the first thing I think of.”
At the same time, however, Ninja noted that the Internet’s illusion of anonymity encourages people to “say what they want.” Ninja still believes that parents should get involved.
“I do not think it’s games. I think it’s internet culture. People are behind the screen. They say what they want and can get away with it. You have complete anonymity. Your information and data are precious and should remain private, but it sucks that there are kids who can say racist things and be incredibly aggressive and threatening to women online and have zero consequences.It would be great if when someone said something threatening, you might be like, ‘Let me look up this guy’s gamer- tag on this site ‘- if the law could do this, not a normal person – and then boom: ‘It’s Jimmy. He said this. Let’s call his parents. ‘”