I have no idea what MLG is. Nor SC2, nor CS:GO or LOL.
But as I do occasionally play TF2 on a Pony-oriented server (since you MT crew all abandoned me for MvM), there we have our little segue.
(Too many TLAs?)
This turns out to be a fascinating subject. I will admit that I haven't done any serious research on it before today, and while I haven't found much in the academic press which is specific to Brony culture, I HAVE
found quite a bit written on the subject of the furry fandom in general, with which I assume at least a significant crossover.
Most particularly, it seems that the common perjorative that "all furries / bronies are ****"
, while not literally true, is in fact supported by data to a much larger extent than would be expected from a random statistical distribution.
For instance, from the study Furries From A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism)
(Kathleen C. Gerbasi, et al), a table showing the distribution of responses to the question of sexual orientation among Furry Participants (FP), Non-Furry Participants (NFP) and Control Participants (CP):
We see here that 72%
of males who self-identify as "Furry" also report a sexual orientation of homosexual or bisexual, as compared with only 23.5% of the "non-Furry" population surveyed at a 2006 convention, and a mere 8% of the "control population" (consisting of a group of undergraduate students in Niagara county, NY).
I'm going to repeat that: 72% of male furries admit to being butt-pirates.
(read the whole study- it's not all that long, and really quite fascinating.)
But that's not all. The same basic trends are also noted in this study, conducted in 2008-2010: http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2009.php
Of particular note are the data concerning "gender identity," wherein 79.5% of respondents were "biologically male" (eg: having a dick), but only 61.1% reported their "gender identity" as "male." And likewise, while 20% of respondents were "biologically female," only slightly more than half of those reported their "gender identity" as unambiguously female. ****'s fucked up all 'round, son.
... with a paltry 23.8% reporting their sexual orientation as "exclusively heterosexual."
For those members of the MT community who are queer, I'm not judging you, merely pointing out that this data is extremely curious in terms of its skew as compared to a mean average of the population as a whole.
The data continues much along this line, with studies such as "The Sociology of Furry Fandom"
(Rust, David J, 2002) disclosing much the same trends. The Rust study is interesting not merely because it reinforced the aforementioned stereotypes of sexual orientation (only 25% of male respondents identifying as heterosexual), but also the basement-dwelling aspects, with 35% of respondents reporting annual income below $10,000 and a staggering 78% below $40,000.
In short, I feel somewhat icky. And I've come to realize that many of the memes which we toss around so flippantly are rooted in real-world cultural movements populated by people who genuinely scare me. Such as Mark Merlino
(aka Sylys Sable), self-proclaimed "founding member of furry fandom"
, former Tiger's Den
BBS Sysop and long-time "mate" of Rod O'Riley (aka Vinson Mink), editor in chief of In-Fur-Nation
magazine and founding member of the The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association.
To summarize; this **** creeps me the hell out.
I close with the following, which is not entirely relevant but which I found during the course of my research into this post: