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This is not what I expected to wake up to today. When I opened my Twitter account, I saw that Bungie, developer of legendary series like Halo and Destiny, is trending. There are only two reasons why a video game developer starts to be trending. The first is that excitement is building for an upcoming release. The second is that they have said or done something that has disrupted the Internet. Since you’ve read the headline, you know which one we’re dealing with.
Bungie Plants a Cultural Landmine and Then Proceeds to Step on It
Yesterday he official Twitter account made a post at 12:46 pm ET that says “Being Latino/a/e/o/x is more than just a location on a map, just as being Hispanic is more than the language we might speak.”
The community was quick to criticize the developer, but also politely added context that Latinos don’t use the terms “Latinx” or “Latine.” From there, the situation quickly escalated when the @Bungie account began hiding responses calling it out or explaining that the terms are often considered an insult. This appears to have just been a kick in the hornet’s nest, as the post now has almost 12 million views.
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The terms have appeared in the English (mostly American) lexicon over the last few months, if not longer. In a gesture that was at best well-intentioned and at worst malicious, people (mostly white Americans) began using the term to generate a gender-neutral way to describe Hispanics. The problem is that Spanish, like many other romance languages, has a gender. It’s not about implying that things or places are for male or female people, it’s simply how languages evolved.
Even if the intentions were pure, the Hispanic community has disliked the terms for another reason: They didn’t come up with them. It is a term coined by people outside the community that whitewashes entire cultures and a language. It’s nothing short of mind-blowing in terms of crossing boundaries and taking offense to other people.
As the @Bungie account attempts to control the narrative on Twitter/X, Reddit communities have begun making your own posts filled with equal parts confusion, anger and vicious mockery. Overall, not a good image for a company that really tries to be inclusive and supportive several communities. It will be interesting to see how the developer handles the situation.
For more information on Bungie other than the company shooting itself in the foot, see How does Gunsmith Focusing work in Destiny 2? In professional game guides!