I’m Offended Over the New War Thunder Bomb Name

As an individual on the autism spectrum, I have always found solace and freedom in the world of gaming. It’s a place where my neurodivergence doesn’t set me apart; a place where I can be myself without judgment. However, I’ve recently come across a recent feature in War Thunder that has left me deeply disheartened and offended – the inclusion of a weapon named the “Retarded Bomb.”

Now, I understand that in the context of weaponry, “retarded” is a technical term referring to a mechanism that slows something down. Yet, I cannot ignore the fact that the term carries a derogatory connotation for a group of people, including myself. It’s an old, painful slur, casually incorporated into a game, and it feels like an affront to people on the spectrum and other neurodivergent individuals.

In today’s increasingly inclusive world, it is disheartening to see such language used, even inadvertently. The term has been weaponized in the real world against people who are different, and now, quite literally, it has been weaponized within a game I enjoy. It subtly perpetuates a negative perception of individuals on the spectrum. Language matters. It shapes our perception, molds our understanding, and influences our empathy. Thus, it’s essential that we hold our digital worlds to the same standard as our physical ones.

I would like to call on the developers of War Thunder to reconsider the nomenclature of their weaponry. In doing so, they could demonstrate an understanding of and empathy towards the diverse player base that their game serves. This move wouldn’t erase the past, but it would be a positive step towards creating a more inclusive environment for all players. Gaming, at its best, is a celebration of our shared humanity, regardless of our individual differences. It is my hope that War Thunder will act in a manner befitting of this ideal.

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