5 Questions with Terrence Miller
Pro Gamer Terrence Miller talks making e-sports more inclusive
Terrence Miller is living the dream of gamers everywhere. He’s an e-sports athlete, i.e. he gets paid to play video games, specifically digital card games. He plays in tournaments almost every month and earns thousands of dollars when he wins.
Earlier this year, Miller came in second place at a major gaming tournament in Austin and took home $4000 in prize money. The competition was live streamed, and, as Miller got closer and closer to a win, the comments got nastier and nastier. They got racist. Things turned ugly so fast, in fact, that the tournament’s online moderators were unable to keep up.
The online trolls didn’t win, of course. Miller remains among the top digital card game players in e-sports. And, he’s encouraging other players of color to not let incidents like his keep them from the competing in the field.
Here’s what he shared with us.
How did the messages affect you?
After a big event, it's customary to stream right away to take advantage of the exposure, but I held off on streaming as soon as I got back from Austin to prepare myself for the potentially negative comments. On the other hand, a lot of other people of color have come up to me and shared their experiences. I’ve gotten many positive and inspirational emails and direct messages on social media.
How has the gaming community responded?
It’s been very polarizing. I’ve seen a couple of articles with people saying that the commenters were only kidding, not racist.
What tips would you give the gaming community about being more inclusive?
If you are a streamer, have more control over your stream. Don’t let people say whatever they want on your streams—moderate those comments.
Has going through this negativity changed your vision for your career in gaming?
Before it was just about playing the game, but now I want to talk about what happened as much as I can. I wouldn’t call myself an activist, but I think it’s important that I speak about the need for more diversity in gaming. There needs to be more people of color working to play at the professional level.
What would you tell other up-and-coming gamers of color?
Don't be hesitant to get involved with streaming. There aren't many people of color in the space, and we want there to be more. Not everyone is negative. Focus on surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people.
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