Saturday, September 17, 2011

Women in Gaming - Verbal Assaults APlenty

First, I don't know why people make such a big deal out of nothing. However in the mess that ensued, it brought up some interesting concerns regarding sexism and how women are treated. If you want the full story start by reading this: Gizmodo starting point. And then this: Letter to unborn daughter. Followed by this: Kotaku response. And finally this: PAX Panel -

I know that's a LOT of reading. But you can do it. If you are willing to sit through hours of dialogue and reading for a video game, this is nothing. And the last one is a video!

Why am I bringing this up? Well we were having a thoughtful discussion about this on (which rarely happens without turning into a flame war). And with TGS this week, the cosplayers are out in full force. Sure people are oogling the women (and some of the men too!), but in Japan they practice this thing called being polite. It's a foreign concept to some so let me explain. Photographers, even the non-professional ones, must ask before taking a picture. They need to gain the cosplayers permission to post the photo online. They need to get the cosplayer's contact information to provide them with a copy of the picture. And they need to show respect to the cosplayer, i.e. no insults, no profanity, no verbal abuse, no physical assaults, etc. They have rules to ensure everyone is safe and has a good time. Nothing wrong with it. So why the heck can't we do the same thing with gaming?

Well anyway, I'm always curious to find out people's opinions (even the 4 of you that are watching). Has anyone (men and women) experienced verbal assault through gaming? Has it forced you to change your gaming habits to remove yourself from those situations? How do you handle those situations? Is it right to call someone a 'bitch' without knowing a thing about them? Are the insults in gaming as common as we think or are they obscure?

One thing I hope we can all agree on is that verbally assaulting someone, both over mic and through a messaging system, for their race, gender, religion, sexual preference, etc. is not ok. It's a video game that you're playing with someone living somewhere else and the chances of meeting are next to none. How does it help you if you insult them? You're just perpetuating the stereotype that all gamers are 13 year old immature boys, when stats show that is totally not the case. Games are played by everyone!

While I think the initial article on Gizmodo was not really necessary, nor the right outlet, the woman didn't need to be called a bitch 43,000+ times. It's just further enforcing the gamer stereotypes and causing a halt in the gaming evolution to be taken as art.

I'm keeping this short and to the point, though I may draft up a giant posting in the near future. So discuss!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

We ask that you please do not include any offensive, sexist, or derogatory language - otherwise your comment will be removed.