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Electronic Frontier Foundation Games Your Rights Online

EFF Moves To Nix Trademark On "Gaymer" 231

netbuzz writes "Spurred by the mark holder's cease and desist letter to Reddit's subreddit r/gaymer, the Electronic Frontier Foundation today officially petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rescind its grant of a trademark registration on the word "gaymer". 'This registration should never have been granted,' said EFF Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry. 'Gaymer is a common term that refers to members of this vibrant gaming community, and we are happy to help them fight back and make sure the term goes back to the public domain where it belongs.'"
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EFF Moves To Nix Trademark On "Gaymer"

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  • Really!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tagged_84 ( 1144281 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:52AM (#42678987)
    What's so different about a gaymer compared to a gamer? Why the need to segregate gamers based on their personal sexuality? Do they prefer certain genres? Or just demand gay sex in the games they play?

    - From a confused gamer
    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:57AM (#42679009)

      From a confused gamer

      don't worry, buddy. lots of people are confused and struggle with their identity. no one will judge you. just be yourself and everything will be o.k.

    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xenx ( 2211586 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:10AM (#42679053)
      Why does any group of people identify themselves as part of said group? They want to. In this case, it doesn't sound like a tag being forced on them. It's a name to identify as a gay gamer. No reason to think too hard.
    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:10AM (#42679057)

      Have you ever seen what happens in online games/communities with people who are even vaguely suspected of being gay? It's not pretty generally. So gay people tend to congregate in communities in which they can play without having to be careful about what they say and without having to pretend, lest they be offended/insulted/stalked/threatened/spammed or other fun things.

    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:11AM (#42679061)

      Why don't you find out? There might be many reasons why gay gamers would group together like this, one being the disgusting, knuckledragging homophobic and sexist abuse that is rampant in the gaming community, kicking back against that. Being proud of who you are. And you only have to read the cretinous, ugly responses to this post to see the truth of how marglinalised supposedly intelligent nerds can make gay people feel. Use your fucking brain for gods sake.

    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Funny)

      by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:30AM (#42679135) Homepage

      An appropriate moment from the Simpsons:

      "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!"
      Lisa: "We are used to it. You do this every year."

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:06AM (#42679331)

        Even ignoring the cesspool that is the twelve year olds of FPS games, no, we're not used to it.

        MMOs are a prime example. Spend five minutes in one, and you'll see rampant homophobia, bigotry and sexism - ranging from the sadly accepted as tame (EVE Online, usually when one of the aforementioned twelve year olds is relieved of their poorly fitted ship) to making you wonder if you've logged into a fucking Klan meeting (Hi, raiding guilds of EverQuest 2, WoW, et cetera).

        Gamers, like most psuedo-anonymous people on the Internets, are largely shitheads; shitheads who will never shut up about buttsex, women making sandwiches, or traps.

        • Oh thats nothing (Score:5, Informative)

          by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:27AM (#42679453) Homepage

          If you want to see *really* abusive language and offensive comments concentrated into their purest form, go play an mmoRPG and try *Roleplaying*. Nothing gets the 12 yr old mentality for heaping offensive abuse on other players up more than encountering a roleplayer in a roleplaying game, believe me.
          In Dark Age of Camelot we had 3 Roleplaying/PvP servers, with a specific set of rules intended to foster RP behavior. We also had some of the best PvPing in the game going. However, there were regularly people who would create a character on one of these RP servers (there were like 17 other servers they could have chosen instead) *solely* for the purpose of standing in a populated area and heaping abuse on anyone they found. I would say I appealed at least 1 person per play session typically for this sort of behavior. I just don't get it. Its not like I logged into the non-Rp servers to insult them for not choosing to roleplay, that would just be a massive waste of my time if nothing else. I can't imagine being so bored as to have nothing better to do that insult people I will never play with.
          Now, I am not gay, but I can easily understand why those who are would group together to form their own community and avoid the abuse they probably get on a regular basis - or at least manage to avoid the typically offensive speech of the gamers around them.
          I cannot really imagine wanting to claim a term that would focus that abuse on me though. That seems *to me* to smack of wanting a reason to get outraged and complain about. Still whatever fills your boots I suppose...

          However I agree that online gamers are typically highly offensive and ignorant as a baseline behavior. Sure, some rise above that but they are the rarity, the vast, vast majority start at pig-ignorant and dig their way down from there. Admittedly this is mostly true only of RPGs that have a heavy PvP element to them. My wife plays LOTRO and it seems fairly mild, but then PvP there is a minor afterthought really.

          • things that the Server Folks could do to help fix this problem

            1 have a class of Ancient Epic NPCs that could NUKE a character for this kind of thing (get caught and find yourself in the Wylds trying to fight an Elder Wyrm Dragon with half of your "toys" left behind in town)

            2 have a Demi-God Wizard convert the character in question into a young girl/pixie (so they drop any armour and weapons, get slapped with a LolKitteh chat filter and get trapped into a special "safe area") and then if they try to just RNC

          • Reading and posting comments on Slashdot is for losers. You guys are freaks and should never have been born.
          • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

            they'd be called faggots online regardless of them being gay or not. of course that can be pretty confusing for any slanderphobe.
            but.. who the fuck would like the trademark on gaymer?

        • MMOs are a prime example. Spend five minutes in one, and you'll see rampant homophobia, bigotry and sexism - ranging from the sadly accepted as tame (EVE Online, usually when one of the aforementioned twelve year olds is relieved of their poorly fitted ship) to making you wonder if you've logged into a fucking Klan meeting (Hi, raiding guilds of EverQuest 2, WoW, et cetera).

          I think that Mr. Sulu has the right response for this. []. :D

        • None of that means they aren't used to the presence of gay people. It just means they are also dickheads.

        • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:15AM (#42679775) Journal

          I played Lord of the Rings Online the most and was a casual raid leader (meaning I organized and ran raids for casual players where often the loot would go to someone who had a birthday or fought well or been really unlucky rather then loot tables, I also didn't care about levels or experience). They were somewhat popular and I was asked to lead other groups... and then found out that in the NON-PUG groups, getting people to talk was a LOT easier. In the PUG raids everyone had sound on but for some reason few had a microphone. Suddenly in the closed raids, most had. And high voices.

          Turns out I had been gaming with a lot of women. And I mean a LOT. Some were raids were majority female but when I asked them to join a pug something became clear... they were willing to play BUT could I not reveal they were female.

          I have had several discussions online and in the real world were I was told about the kind of abuse female players receive. And this is NOT the rage kind when someone just says "bitch" or the sexual innuendo. Women talk like that too. It were attacks that yes as the AC says, you would expect in Klan meeting. One type of attack is that women have no right to play the game... I mean seriously. WTF?

          AND it is not just trolling, there are a lot of REAL misogynists online. They can't vent their putrid bile in real life because they would get beaten up but online they let go.

          So... the women hide online and only reveal their gender if they feel safe. AND THAT IS NOT OKAY! If you think it is, then I hate your fucking guts and hope you die before spreading your diseased genes. Because THIS attitude is what fuels extremists by tolerating them. It is basically nothing else then "if you don't want to be raped, don't reveal your gender". It is YOUR kind that created the burkha.

          People should be free to be who they are. Yes, there can be gentle ribbing like Q.I. makes fun of homosexuals and hetero's alike BUT that is NOT what gay and female gamers are talking about. Gay and female gamers don't want special regonizition, they simply want to be able to be who they are without getting attacked simply for speaking with a high voice.

          And only a closet bigot would start an argument over whether they got the right to be who they are.

          • In the PUG raids everyone had sound on but for some reason few had a microphone. Suddenly in the closed raids, most had. And high voices.

            Sounds like xbox live.

            Turns out I had been gaming with a lot of women

            Ah... nevermind.

    • Re:Really!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gwala ( 309968 ) <> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @10:02AM (#42679691) Homepage

      If you want a legitimate answer from someone who's in one of the larger local Gaymer communities here's a couple of reasons:

      1- Multiplayer gaming is an endless tirade of gay-this, faggot-that. It's nice to play games and socialise with people who aren't jerks. (Yes yes, harden the fuck up, etc - but it is annoying.)

      2- It's an excuse to go hang out at a bar with a group of people with something in common every couple of weeks.

      3- While I know it's not applicable to me (LTR), but the group I'm in has at least partly become a dating pool - for gay guys and girls, that's actually sometimes a bit harder than you may be used to.

      • "that's actually sometimes a bit harder than you may be used to."
        That's what she said.

        No, seriously though - a couple of friends of mine who are gay say they avoid this crap like the plague because what might ostensibly start as something well-intentioned often just ends up being queer-chat-line-hookup-central.

        They've both said to me (entirely separately, they don't know each other) that they're frankly sick of the 'homofication' of everything. If they game, they game and don't really care to 'carry the ba

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CosmicMuse ( 2751635 )

      No, we don't prefer certain genres. And no, we don't demand gay sex in our games, though seeing gay and lesbian -relationships- or -characters- is nice. As for segregation - that implies walling ourselves off from the rest of the gaming community. We don't - usually, the most a 'gaymer' will do is join an LGBT-friendly guild. That's hardly a surprising move when you see some of the vitriol the gaming community at large directs at LGBT people - "faggot" is practically a synonym for any other insulting te

      • by admdrew ( 782761 )

        Agreed. As is the general issue outside of gaming, the "big deal" is probably a lack of understanding and exposure to the gay community (or legit homophobia).

        I think it's easy for some people who have never directly experienced being part of a minority to forget how helpful it can be for those *in* a minority to identify themselves so they can find others to connect with and share their experiences with. As you alluded to, online gaming communities are often very homophobic (and racist and sexist) in their

    • I do agree that the term "gaymer" seems to segregate rather than integrate the gay gamers from the rest of us. However I believe the term in the article refers to a forum where they all congregated. I think it's a neat play on words and a cool name for a forum that they use share their experiences and thoughts with fellow gay gamers ( I assume that it what the forum is for ). I think the person who trademarked the term is a douche bag and I wish them luck in their legal battle.

    • Re:Really!? (Score:4, Funny)

      by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:38AM (#42680423) Homepage Journal

      Or just demand gay sex in the games they play?

      They're still upset about the gender bias in Leisure Suit Larry.

    • Why the need to segregate gamers based on their personal sexuality?

      Its to do with the "u r a fag!1" comment which seems popular on many online gaming communities.

      It's an implied question. The answer is usually "no", "yes" or "none of your business". However, this was generating excessive traffic slowing down servers and also slowing down the whole experience due to the need to frequetly field the same question.

      Now, the original querier can instead go to:

      File > Options > Settings > Game > Users

    • Well for starters we tend to post a lot of pictures of dicks (often but not always gaming related) to r/gaymers and that isn't really welcome in r/gaming and r/games. Our conversations also tend to stray into gay sex which also isn't really welcome in the community at large. Also, I met my boyfriend in the r/gaymers IRC channel so there is also dating reasons.

      I find it strange that so many people find it necessary to criticize us for forming a community based on shared interest.
    • Re:Really!? (Score:4, Informative)

      by seebs ( 15766 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @03:53PM (#42683041) Homepage

      Well, you know, that is a damn good question. And I know a number of people who have been kicked from a guild or clan or whatever after months to years of getting along fine with everyone, because someone heard them refer to a "boyfriend". And it seems to me that they would really, really, like an answer to that question.

      But we don't have one.

      So people who have gotten sick of thinking they found a social group to game with, and then getting kicked out of it or treated in really crappy ways, have started pre-identifying so they can find groups that will treat them basically like normal human beings.

      Usually, the next response is the "erasure" response -- "people should just not talk about their sex lives, then it won't be an issue." That's bullshit. It's bullshit because it's only gay people who are told not to talk about their sexual or romantic lives. No one thinks anything of it when a guy mentions a wife or a girlfriend in a game, or when a girl mentions a husband or boyfriend. But if someone mentions hating mammogram machines, and six months later mentions going out for dinner with a girlfriend, bam, she's in trouble for "shoving her sex life in everyone's face".

      The reality is, social interaction involves some talking about personal lives, and that's part of what makes people engage in social gaming activities to begin with. And the reality is, video game communities are visibly prone to treating people really badly if those personal lives are in some way gay. And as long as that's true, there'll be people using words like "gaymer", or creating "LGBT-friendly" guilds.

      When the day comes that you can confidently join a random guild in an MMO and expect not to get harassed about being a "fag", I doubt you'll see any real interest in "LGBT-friendly" guilds. But that day is not today.

  • In the UK... (Score:4, Informative)

    by zandeez ( 1917156 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:13AM (#42679067) Homepage
    In the UK 'Gaymer' is a company that makes Cider. []
  • Why am I hearing it now for the first time?

    • by admdrew ( 782761 )
      No idea. Lack of exposure, maybe? It's been in my vernacular since the early 2000s when 1) my friends started coming out so I actually knew gays, 2) I was playing a lot of PC games, and 3) someone was clever enough to put 'gay' and 'gamer' together. I still don't know when or from whom I first saw the term.
  • I can see why they'd want their own sandbox. I was thinking about joining a BF3 clan for the first time, started the app process and payments, then promptly withdrew after listening to the supposedly "mature gamers only" spewing epithets. Reading it on a chat window is one thing, listening to it when you're trying to aim is something completely different.

  • I try to be a straight shooter...

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun