I decided to make my solo blog, Get Trolled, about Asian Americans in the world of League of Legends and in the context of other popular, online games, as the MOBA community is one I love and know well. Gamer or not, you might have been aware of recent happenings in the past few weeks – like eSports becoming federally recognized as real, professional athletics or of all the hate given to an all-female League of Legends team that was one contributor to its eventual disbanding. As an Asian dominated, Internet phenomenon – with its own troublesome misrepresentations – it’s important to consider the social implications and influences of the eSports community upon our new generation of gamers. With 32 million active League of Legends players, 60% of whom are in college, online gaming is definitely a relevant topic of youth culture!
So enjoy! Hopefully if you don’t already, it might entice you to give these games a try. And if you do play – League or SMITE, in particular – hit me up with your IGN c:
David Eng describes the limiting attributes of the term Asian American by conveying the struggle between their identity with Asian and White culture. He describes how Asian Americans have been denied certain political and societal rights because of this ambiguity of identity. Within this community, the Asian American males have been subjugated to the polarized feminine and hyper-masculine martial artist stereotypes. This hyper-masculinization was accompanied by an effort to propagate the stereotypical notions of heterosexuality. “… reinscribes a dominant system of compulsory heterosexuality with all its attendant misogyny and homophobia.” Eng then goes on to say that in by creating this stereotypical heterosexual Asian American male, they actually created the same type of racist and “heterosexist” illusion that undermined the masculinity of Asian American males to begin.
As the word domestic carries two meanings, one of the public spaces, which is typically masculine, and the other as the private space, which is typically feminine, the convention of modern masculinity can be brought into question. The idea of masculinity is that the male must show in the masculine domestic space that he is in control of his private space. Although this idea of a patriarchal household is sexist, it can confirm the sexuality and thusly the degree of masculinity of the male in the public space. As this antiquated ideal of heterosexuality is becoming less prevalent in America, it is still prevalent and widely enough held to contribute to the public identity of the male. The character Lloyd from the TV show Entourage is a gay Asian American male who at times is heavily stereotyped, but as the seasons progress he becomes more assertive and like his mentor Ari Gold. I believe this TV show depicted these stereotypes only to show afterwards that these “actions” do not diminish the masculine traits of Lloyd, which are very similar to the heterosexual Ari Gold.