I never thought I’d have to dedicate an entire article on PRC.net to defending sim racing YouTube personality Empty Box, but this appears to be one of those years where a surprise is hidden around every corner. Like clockwork, a portion of the sim racing community have allowed their emotional hemophilia to surface, and demonstrated their absolute inability to handle even the most basic of banter on social media – lashing out at anyone who dares to deviate from the private golf club atmosphere of modern sim racing communities. Yet instead of directing their nonsensical tirades at a controversial figure such as myself – who routinely ask for this type of reception, sometimes welcoming it with open arms – they’re now chasing after all-around good guy Matt Orr for no justifiable reason, and it’s sort of giving my long-ass rants about how toxic the sim racing community can be some much-needed credibility. Y’all shouldn’t be doing that.
The backstory of why we’re discussing this isn’t all that difficult to explain, so I’ll give you guys a brief rundown of what led to this mess in the first place. Matt Orr recorded himself participating in a random GT3 event at Brands Hatch in iRacing a few days ago, injecting the footage with live commentary as he’s done for the better part of three or four years. The race ended up being an absolute clusterfuck of a mock Blancpain Sprint Series race, with Orr being forced to dodge wreck after wreck before a driver several laps down – whom Matt had no prior history with – intentionally crashed into him and ended his race. It’s not the greatest video to watch if you’re looking for intense side-by-side action, but Matt willingly uploading these races to YouTube demonstrates that there are indeed events on iRacing that do not live up to the quality of racing advertised by the service, and I respect him for shining an occasional light on just how nutty these races can be – playfully dubbing the end-of-video crash montage as the carnage report.
Throughout the video, Matt slowly becomes aware that the majority of on-track incidents he’s been forced to navigate through are the result of several Brazilian sim racers making extremely poor decisions behind the wheel, as iRacing lists the nationality of each driver within the in-game standings display. He eventually goes on to discuss the stereotype of Brazilian sim racers regularly racing far too aggressive for what the situation calls for, and once they begin arguing themselves in Portuguese within iRacing’s built-in chat feature, Matt openly states he mutes all non-English speaking drivers because he deems their chatter to be a distraction. I watched the whole thing just to see what the firestorm in the comments section was about, and there is absolutely nothing that warranted such an adverse reaction.
I have to stress that Matt doesn’t go on an angry tirade or bust out his bag of racist one-liners, he simply puts two and two together, figuring out for himself that a bunch of Brazilians wrecked the field over the course of forty minutes, and ruined an otherwise decent race, with one of the drivers who was several laps down eventually taking aim at Matt for no legitimate reason and launching his Mercedes sky-high with only a few laps remaining. The forty minutes or so Matt spends subjecting himself to this perpetual carnage obviously frustrated him, and he touches a bit on how it seems sim racers from Brazil can occasionally be a nuisance; no different than saying the gentlemen from Club Finland are a bunch of emotionless sim racing aliens. The kind of comments Matt made during his video would go in one ear, and out the other for any normal person viewing the footage. A literal non-issue.
And I can at least stand by Matt in his assessment of South American sim racers on iRacing. Thanks to a combination of sub-par internet connections, a local culture which encourages tomfoolery in online gaming, and a national auto racing hero known for his aggressive driving tactics during the golden age of Formula One, it’s really not a stretch to say running with the Brazilians on iRacing is an exercise in patience. Keep in mind, we’re not calling them rapists, criminals, thugs, or slumlords, Matt’s just bringing up the very real fact that it can be a genuine shit-show if a bunch of them are placed on an iRacing grid together.
The sim racing community didn’t care, branding sim racing’s most popular YouTube personality an xenophobic racist for merely commenting on what he’s seen out his virtual windshield, time and time again.
The situation gets so out of hand, other Brazilians actually come to the comments section of Matt’s video and apologize for the behavior for their fellow countrymen, in the process admitting Brazilians have indeed established a nasty reputation when it comes to online gaming behavior, and that it shouldn’t be tolerated.
But this doesn’t change the fact that grown adults were emotionally triggered by a sim racing YouTube personality merely stating the obvious in regards to what was occurring out his front windshield. I can at least understand that when we here at PRC.net really rip on a game, there will for sure be an army of fanboys in our comments section lashing out at us, because they’re really invested into their favorite game and want others to share in the joy of their favorite hobby, not watch as some Canadian asshole convinces their buddies not to buy a half-finished mess with an article that takes them ten minutes to read. Yet I find the individuals losing their minds at Matt and calling him all sorts of names for his commentary in his Brand Hatch GT3 video to be absolutely absurd.
The guy didn’t bust out a collection of racist one-liners, didn’t attack anyone over voice chat, and didn’t even join in on the carnage himself – opting to steer clear and refuse to retaliate even when someone intentionally took him out – so there is no justifiable reason for this to have been an issue in the first place. None of this matters to the sim racing man children more focused on micromanaging the behavior of others; a portion of the sim racing community have now branded Matt Orr an xenophobic racist who hates Brazilians.
All of this, from a generation whom grew up on Call of Duty. These people attacking Matt Orr for relatively tame and inoffensive comments must have developed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the number of teenagers who claimed to have slept with their respective mothers over Xbox Live. If you’re one of the people calling Matt Orr an xenophobic racist, I’ve got a message for you – you’re a complete and utter loser whom should seek professional help if someone saying “I got wrecked buy a bunch of Brazilians in an iRacing online race” offends you. If you cannot handle comments that barely register as trash talking to any normal individual, I suggest unsubscribing from iRacing later this evening, and instead picking up an adult coloring book. You are the kinds of people turning others away from this hobby, because some of us are literally forced to walk on egg-shells just to avoid a witch hunt from occurring.