Swapping the Riot Shield

Swapping the Riot Shield

A while back, before “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3”, I joined an online game of Team Deathmatch in “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” over Xbox Live. I outfitted myself with a machine pistol and a riot shield, having decided to mainly protect my teammates as they gunned downed our opponents with their assault rifles. I sucked at getting kills (or “frags”), so I basically acted as a human shield.

The timer ticked down and the match started. As soon as the screen faded from gray to color, I heard a teammate say over my headset, “There’s a f@%%#t using a riot shield.”

My heart thumped, I shivered, and felt hurt because I had thought I was performing a noble duty acting as a human shield for my teammates. I expressed my discomfort tactfully, but the teammate who had made the remark apologized and reassured me he had referred to a player on the opposing team.

Although the discomfort subsided, ever since that match of “Call of Duty”, the current usage of the words “f@%%#t” or “f@g” fascinates me, similar to the use of the word “gay” to describe something disagreeable, such as “That’s gay,” meaning that whatever is being referred to is “stupid.”

Nowadays, one can be called a “f@%%#t” for almost anything. Using Xbox Live as an example again, I got called a “f@%%#t” during a match of the fighting game “Dead or Alive 4” because I used the left trigger playing as Jann Lee. What is the connection between homosexuality and the component of a video game controller?

Going back to “Call of Duty”, what is the link between being gay and using a riot shield? Is a riot shield our generation’s “closet” in the sense that hiding behind a riot shield equates to the same as hiding in the closet? If that is the case, is swapping a riot shield for a better gun from a fallen opponent the equivalent of “coming out of the closet?” In both cases, one is free from concealing himself. So is that what my teammate meant when he called an opponent a “f@%%#t” for using a riot shield?

Whatever happened to the time when saying something like “That’s gay” meant “That’s homosexual,” as opposed to “That’s stupid” or “That’s bad”? Or when “f@%%#t” was a derogatory term for a male homosexual? Either bigots do not know how to use pejoratives or they have really bad gay-dar.

My favorite character from “Super Street Fighter IV” is Ken, and I was excited when I downloaded the “Shoryuken” alternate costume pack from Xbox Live Marketplace, containing Ken’s rodeo outfit. Ken’s number 10 color for his rodeo outfit is pink, my favorite color. I fought against an Adon player over Xbox Live using Ken wearing his pink rodeo costume. Although I was not wearing my headset, I still heard my opponent’s mumbles of f@g and the like through my television’s speakers. I won.

Ironic, is it not? Someone who kept calling me a “f@g” got beaten by Ken wearing a pink cowboy outfit.