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[Column] General: Sexism in Gaming 2012: Anger & Intellect

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We introduce a brand new columnist to our readers in the form of Lisa Jonte. She's got some new and unique perspectives to share on games and the games industry so be sure to check out Sexism in Gaming 2012: Anger & Intellect and then add your thoughts to the comments.

This was not an easy article to write. I started, I stopped. I started again. I rearranged, rethought and re-premised. I bashed up my keyboard and raged at the screen. I wanted to create a retrospective of the incidents and impact of sexism in gaming during 2012. Simple task, no?

Not really.

The simple part is this: For all of us who feel we have a stake in how the whole sexism-in-gaming debate plays out, 2012 was a bumpy ride. Pretty much everything after that is a complicated mess.

Read more of Lisa Jonte's Sexism in Gaming 2012: Anger & Intellect.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • DerrosDerros Posts: 1,077Member Uncommon

    1) Men are pigs when in a large group of other men.  I as a man know this

     

    2) Annonimity of the internet allows for 1 to be exponentially increased in severity

     

    3) some men view videogames as the "last bastion of maleness" for what reason I have no real idea.

     

    I really feel bad when I hear stories like the one you mentioned.  If anything men should want MORE women to be part of "gaming" culture, why not?  more women who have more things in common with you, more friends, more potential girlfriends who share more interests. 

     

    They arent going to turn games into My Little Pony (and admit it MANY of you would actually play that)  My wife loves Halo and Metal Gear.

     

    THERE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF

     

    To be fair, men treat each other at crap on the internet as well, women just invoke the "Other" or "Not Like Us!" response that has plagued human history.

  • jimdandy26jimdandy26 salem, ORPosts: 527Member
    Wow, way to generalize an extremely complex topic! Kudos!

    I did battle with ignorance today, and ignorance won.

    To exercise power costs effort and demands courage. That is why so many fail to assert rights to which they are perfectly entitled - because a right is a kind of power but they are too lazy or too cowardly to exercise it. The virtues which cloak these faults are called patience and forbearance.

  • Cameron27Cameron27 Fort Collins, COPosts: 142Member
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    Wow, way to generalize an extremely complex topic! Kudos!

    I completely agree. The more I read the article, the consistent application of Men vs. Women just made this article into flamebait. The men who read this are going to have some sense of self-worth and be put off by the article to some degree just because it isn't specific enough. It's as if a news article generalized all of internet culture to be like 4chan.  Besides, let's be honest the majority of multiplayer games outside of MMO's pit people against one another. Those circumstances aren't known for bringing out the best in people in the first place.

    "I will not play it nor any other MMO until they make it possible to obtain the best gear without forcing people to group up to do so." SwampRob

  • ThebozzThebozz Canton, OHPosts: 116Member
    Men don't really have a problem with women gaming, creating games, or being geeks.  Men have a problem with women invading their men time.  Every now and then guys like to be crude and vulgar.  They like to belch and talk sports and fart.  Men don't like women invading man time.  Men like to have activities they can do that their women won't want to participate in.  Everytime one of those activities sees more and more women, men react because they fear their women will also join the activity.  They fear losing man time. 
  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member

    Not sure what to make of this.  It takes a very odd stance on the issue, and uses some very dodgy 'evidence'.  All I see are references to some idiots making some moronic remarks as happens on the internet every hour of every day on a whole range of subjects.  I could pick posts or comments to show a whole range of un-pc behaviour on behalf of a few individuals.    

    Is gaming sexist?  Probably to a degree because it is male dominated, but it doesn't feel endemic, just the acts of a few unenlightenend individuals.  

    And yes, most games have Barby and Ken avators.  So does most American TV.  

  • HodoHodo Raeford, NCPosts: 542Member
    Gaming isnt sexist.   The internet just gives more idiots a voice and a mask to hide behind giving them more bravery than they ever would have in real life.   Unfortunately this leads to a building of their confidence which in turn leads to more sexual assaults and sexually biased insults.    Women are not the only targets of this, race has also come up many times in gaming.   How many times have you heard someone called a n****r  in a game?  

    So much crap, so little quality.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,458Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cameron27
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    Wow, way to generalize an extremely complex topic! Kudos!

    I completely agree. The more I read the article, the consistent application of Men vs. Women just made this article into flamebait. The men who read this are going to have some sense of self-worth and be put off by the article to some degree just because it isn't specific enough. It's as if a news article generalized all of internet culture to be like 4chan.  Besides, let's be honest the majority of multiplayer games outside of MMO's pit people against one another. Those circumstances aren't known for bringing out the best in people in the first place.

    or you can just make the leap and take it to mean "the men who involve themselves in this type of behavior".

    We don't all have to take umbrage at every little thing, espeically if we know we aren't the people the article is talking about.

  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member

    I would say at least some of it comes from fear.  Geek culture is full of men who haven't had a lot of interactions(face to face) with others and less with women.

    It also the idea that internet "bullies" taget a person's sore/sensitive spot. 

    In the end I really don't understand why men wouldn't want more woman in the hobby. 

  • YhumarYhumar UhhhPosts: 7Member
    A fat nerd is a fat nerd gender has nothing to do with it.
  • SilentWolf17SilentWolf17 Fontana, CAPosts: 1Member

    Hello I am a woman who loves to play online games, consoles anything...I have played games for as long as I can remember and as I played mmo's and such I come to learn just how bad the online community is. I visit twitch.tv everyday and see this also in chat once a girl is mentioned at all. All I can say as my best advice for all woman everywhere who is a gamer like me is to be strong and ignore any man making some sort of comment to you if you are threatened of course report it, but comments such as the are you hot or girls are bad at games so on and so it's best to ignore.

    The online community reacts more if you respond to their insults, you are just doing exactly what they wanted you to do and it'll just make them keep going. I read and talked with my boyfriend about a girl who wanted to make youtube videos about women being oversexualized in games though I never see women as oversexualized except for foreign mmo's this girl was harassed and had fallen prey to the "trolls" instead of ignoring she showed them she was sad and crying which gave everyone more reason to harass more. Men do this not because your a girl (it's one but not the core) it's because it's easy to and they care more for drama entertainment. If you don't give them the entertainment they won't do anymore. Any woman out there who wonts to give out their opinions in anything be prepared to get "trolled" or insulted for it, they do it jus to do it basicly (it is the internet there's nothing to stop them from doing this besides the delete comment button or the report).

    But it also doesn't help when I visit Twitch.tv or youtube I see woman playing games with a camera...the first thing I noticed is either the camera more focused towards their chest or they are tryng to be cute the whole time. in youtube same thing also things get more focused towards their chest of course I am not saying every video or stream is like his but I see a majority of them are. But I know why they do it since later on I see or hear they get donated hundreds of dollars either for no reason or they heard them say aw I wish I can afford these headphones or whatever.

    I am sorry for the wall of text but I know I gotta say this because I know many woman need help about this and the best thing I learn since I been playing online since I was hell 10 is ignoring it is not the easiest or the most best but it works way better then expecting someone to make the change somehow. I see many crack under the many insults thrown at them, be strong read around visit any popular people you hear of and see how they do itn I promise you even popular youtubers and streamers get treatened, trolls, insulted all the time be positive don't show weakness and you will manage and hopefully in the coming years there will be more female gamers and men will slowly stop.

  • NorseGodNorseGod Behind Enemy Lines, FLPosts: 856Member

    First-world problems in video games.

    I play MMOs to take a break from social issues and other RL crap. Guess I can go back to doing what I did before I got interested in MMOs. :hiccup:

    Censorship is intended to create an illusion that one side of the debate is correct and unopposed. Silence is not consent.

  • LithuanianLithuanian vilniusPosts: 205Member Uncommon

    And I do think there is so much sexism and terrorism of poor defenseless Betelgeusians. Everyone calls them in the worst words, they are opressed, harrased and cannot defend themselves. No game moderator would ever listen to them and any game support would not accept their pleas for defense.

    No doubt, we have too little laws and/or law enforcement to protect that terrible harrasement. WoW did not allow ribons "Support Betelgeusians, Do Not Harrass Them".

    Well, the small problem is, Betelgeusians does not exist at all...but that's the smallest part. If I want to find a problem in gaming, I will. Poor player told he has a poodle and someone laughed: what a terrible harrasement! Someone told he liked birds, someone laughed at that: nightmare!

    I never saw any sexism in games. There are just two parts: good players and bad players.  There are newcomers and veterans. I never cared who the player was in real life: man or woman. It just doesn't bother me. I never saw any sexist action. Never heared about one, even in Lotro (which is not so tiny game).

    Yes, I witnessed lousy players that did not want to do anything: they just whined "Oh Mr. Big Hero, plz do this for me, plz plz plz". Once again, I did not care if they were men or women.

    I think the author takes some idiots - too seriously. If a person threatens to rape another person, it's offense and has nothing to do with the sex, views or favourite chocolate of the offender.

    Speaking on chocolate:would we receive a review that "Mars" eaters usually offend those who eat "Snickers"? McDonalds lovers offend BurgerKing ones?

  • youngloenoeyoungloenoe GoianiaPosts: 7Member
    Personally I've never even witnessed this so called sexist behavior you wrote about. The first guild I joined, was lead by a female. I watch IJustine play COD and Melonie Mac talk about games. Unless Im on mumble or TS with a woman playing a game I have no idea who is playing the other characters in my party. So in the end, these guys that are behaving like that, will  behave like douchebags even if they are playing with men. And you find them mostly on LoL and FPS games. I also think you should've mentioned the sexism that comes from females towards male gamers. As we know most women dont play video games and downright consider men that play, childish and not worthy. How many videos are there of girls breaking their boyfriend's console? If you intend to push a feminist campaing on this site I personally wont support it and will never come back here, and I feel I'm not alone in this sentiment. 
  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    Is it possible to compare the flak Jay Wilson got with Jennifer Helper? I am sure Jay WIlson recieved many death/rape threats but it is considered disgusting by few. Should women be held to higher standards? Of course this is only for that single example. 

    When I read about the afterparty incident it made me a little sick. No-one should be subject to that ever, men or women. 

    Ultimately I just think it's men don't quite know on a sub-conscious or conscious level what to do. Hell we still have no idea how to talk to women. Male players have been putting each other down, insulting and congratualting players on making life miserable for children with microphones but if it's done to a female it's sexist.

    Double standards + men are stupid = Won't happen anytime soon.

    If we could imagine men getting into something considered for women would you be able to tell me with a straight face that no woman would make a sexist remark?
     
     

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member
    Originally posted by NorseGod

    First-world problems in video games.

    I play MMOs to take a break from social issues and other RL crap. Guess I can go back to doing what I did before I got interested in MMOs. :hiccup:

    Exactly this.  

    Dam when I play a game there are a bunch of pixels running around looking like either male or female (or a bit of both if anime) and I have no idea who the player controlling them is or what they look like.  Neither do I care unless we get chatting and group up regularly.  Yes there are always trolls, and idiots, they go on the ignore list.      

    What games are people playing where all this sexism and bullying and general un-pc behaviour happens?

    As for sexism in the workplace, I hardly think this is the forum for a reasoned debate on the subject.  

  • Cameron27Cameron27 Fort Collins, COPosts: 142Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by Cameron27
    Originally posted by jimdandy26
    Wow, way to generalize an extremely complex topic! Kudos!

    I completely agree. The more I read the article, the consistent application of Men vs. Women just made this article into flamebait. The men who read this are going to have some sense of self-worth and be put off by the article to some degree just because it isn't specific enough. It's as if a news article generalized all of internet culture to be like 4chan.  Besides, let's be honest the majority of multiplayer games outside of MMO's pit people against one another. Those circumstances aren't known for bringing out the best in people in the first place.

    or you can just make the leap and take it to mean "the men who involve themselves in this type of behavior".

    We don't all have to take umbrage at every little thing, espeically if we know we aren't the people the article is talking about.

     Look man, I tie my shoes myself every morning. I can at least expect a professional author to be precise with her words without me having to read between the lines.

    "I will not play it nor any other MMO until they make it possible to obtain the best gear without forcing people to group up to do so." SwampRob

  • MagnetiaMagnetia SydneyPosts: 1,029Member Uncommon

    I am fairly certain that some female players know and take advantage of the fact that male players will be nicer to them / give them free stuff / be more willing to help.

    Just saying we aren't the only criminals. 

    Play for fun. Play to win. Play for perfection. Play with friends. Play in another world. Why do you play?

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,458Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ScaryMonk
    Originally posted by NorseGod

    First-world problems in video games.

    I play MMOs to take a break from social issues and other RL crap. Guess I can go back to doing what I did before I got interested in MMOs. :hiccup:

    Exactly this.  

    Dam when I play a game there are a bunch of pixels running around looking like either male or female (or a bit of both if anime) and I have no idea who the player controlling them is or what they look like.  Neither do I care unless we get chatting and group up regularly.  Yes there are always trolls, and idiots, they go on the ignore list.      

    What games are people playing where all this sexism and bullying and general un-pc behaviour happens?

    As for sexism in the workplace, I hardly think this is the forum for a reasoned debate on the subject.  

     

    Except that this highlights part of the problem. Instead of you and others saying "really? people are being abused because of x, that' terrible" you instead attack the whole thing. I find that very telling.

    Though the problem is a larger one and is more of a societal thing. As an example, the idea that "if a woman doesn't want to be harassed she shouldn't wear revealing clothing" seems silly as a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants. Having said that "the reality" is that if a woman wears revealing clothing then it's going to invite comment from those who just don't know how to behave.

    In a perfect world she shouldn't have to make the decision to wear a head to toe frock over something she finds attractive but since this isn't a perfect world that decision is always there.

    On the other hand, though there are women who get unwanted attention from dorks who never learned how to speak to people, there are women (and men) who look for drama and look for anything to give them legitimacy for being a victim. In other words, they like to use the victim card and perhaps put themselves in situations where they can eventually cry "I'm being oppressed".

    The important thing is to be attentive to the legitimate compalints and be aware that there are others who want to define themselves as "victim".

    Lastly, video games are played by people and nothing that people do ever resides in a vacuum. Behavior doesn't suddenly get better once someone logs in and says "I'm in a game and now all those pesky issues get left behind". People bring baggage with them wherever they go.

  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member

    I must admit, I must be out of touch since I do not know some of the referenced individuals or situations mentioned in the article.

    With that said, simply surround yourself with people you can relate to and have the same principles. Don't expect to change every socially awkward and anonymous male on the internet in one fell swoop.

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member
    Originally posted by Magnetia

    I am fairly certain that some female players know and take advantage of the fact that male players will be nicer to them / give them free stuff / be more willing to help.

    Just saying we aren't the only criminals. 

     Exactly this, the females are way worse then men. 80% of the women I have ever played with know this and use this cheap tactic on the weak, lonely gamer geeks.

    image

  • ScottgunScottgun Williamsville, NYPosts: 356Member

    It seems plenty of time and typing could have been saved if you posted a link to online disinhibition effect and been done with it. What's next? "I hate that cats scratch the furniture"?

     

     

    Now we're calling prostitutes "sex workers". What's next? Calling hit men "end-of-life technicians"?

  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by ScaryMonk
    Originally posted by NorseGod

    First-world problems in video games.

    I play MMOs to take a break from social issues and other RL crap. Guess I can go back to doing what I did before I got interested in MMOs. :hiccup:

    Exactly this.  

    Dam when I play a game there are a bunch of pixels running around looking like either male or female (or a bit of both if anime) and I have no idea who the player controlling them is or what they look like.  Neither do I care unless we get chatting and group up regularly.  Yes there are always trolls, and idiots, they go on the ignore list.      

    What games are people playing where all this sexism and bullying and general un-pc behaviour happens?

    As for sexism in the workplace, I hardly think this is the forum for a reasoned debate on the subject.  

     

    Except that this highlights part of the problem. Instead of you and others saying "really? people are being abused because of x, that' terrible" you instead attack the whole thing. I find that very telling.

    Though the problem is a larger one and is more of a societal thing. As an example, the idea that "if a woman doesn't want to be harassed she shouldn't wear revealing clothing" seems silly as a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants. Having said that "the reality" is that if a woman wears revealing clothing then it's going to invite comment from those who just don't know how to behave.

    In a perfect world she shouldn't have to make the decision to wear a head to toe frock over something she finds attractive but since this isn't a perfect world that decision is always there.

    On the other hand, though there are women who get unwanted attention from dorks who never learned how to speak to people, there are women (and men) who look for drama and look for anything to give them legitimacy for being a victim. In other words, they like to use the victim card and perhaps put themselves in situations where they can eventually cry "I'm being oppressed".

    The important thing is to be attentive to the legitimate compalints and be aware that there are others who want to define themselves as "victim".

    Lastly, video games are played by people and nothing that people do ever resides in a vacuum. Behavior doesn't suddenly get better once someone logs in and says "I'm in a game and now all those pesky issues get left behind". People bring baggage with them wherever they go.

    I take slight objection to the conclusions you seem to be drawing about my character in your response.  I am not going to defend myself because frankly the slightly accusatory tone you use is absurd given that you are forming it from a position of complete ignorance about me.    

    In response: I am playing a computer game, that is all.  I run around and shoot gremlins or some such nonsense.  What is it that you expect me to be doing other than this to combat an issue I have never even seen occur within my computer game? 

     

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    I have been in guilds that this was prevalent and I took it upon myself to destroy the guild from the inside out. I was successful many times. Right now I'm in a great guild though we have many many members a good mix of women and men and I have not seen one drop of sexism and I'm really suprised, considering some of the childish silly things we do in game. I'm not going to mention the guild name but kudos to them for keeping it clean. It's probably the first guild I have been in that men and women are looked at equally.
  • HarafnirHarafnir VikingvillePosts: 1,324Member Uncommon
    If you have a problem with ANY of her points... Then you are one of the guys she is talking about. Just letting you know.

    "This is not a game to be tossed aside lightly.
    It should be thrown with great force"

  • ScaryMonkScaryMonk LondonPosts: 97Member
    Originally posted by Harafnir
    If you have a problem with ANY of her points... Then you are one of the guys she is talking about. Just letting you know.

    Are you trying to be ironic?  MMORPG.com: Not the place to come for any remotely sensible or reasoned debate on any subject.  I am beginning to remember why I deleted my last account.  

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