Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Sexism In Gaming: A Man's Perspective As A Woman

I have to feature this post on Fly Girl Gamers. Men, please take note.

If you’re too lazy to read, though I highly recommend that you do, here is the quick summary: Slaus Caldwell likes to game with his wife. They play Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer quite a bit. He decided to do something nice one day, log into his wife’s account, and help her get some credits to access the premium packs and save her some of the trouble. For those who don’t know, ME’s multiplayer system doesn’t give you much interaction at the Lobby. You can see the person’s gamertag and character details. You don’t see the physical avatar until you get into the match. From the moment he entered the room, his chat blew up because his wife’s gamertag was feminine in origin.

He heard all of the sexist jokes. He had the R-word dropped on him. He didn’t respond to indicate that he was male. Instead he gamed like he had never gamed before, ranked #1, and the two men harassing him just wouldn’t stop. They even turned on the 4th person in the room, who was also female but didn’t have a name that identified as otherwise, who stood up for her fellow “sister” and got slammed for it.

This is the world of gaming that we live in. I read the comments on the story and most of them are in praise for what Slaus did and how he’s approaching the subject. Some…well they could use a moment of clarity.

“This is how it is” or “trash talking is part of the game” is not acceptable when it comes to threats of violence just by entering a Lobby and being a different gender. I’m sure very few men that game EXPECT to be verbally assaulted because of their gender. I say very few because I know gay, transgender, and non-white men sometimes experience this too. (It’s not just limited to women.)  

Do I trash talk in games? Yes. But I also have the common sense of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” I’ll only trash talk to my good friends, and it’s usually no further then “You’re a grenade.” Don’t ask what that means. It’s something I, my brother, and his good friend came up with in a Halo match. You can’t take a threat back. A threat is a threat is a threat. When you say “Hey! You should be R…” that shoves you into a realm of hate that would make Lucifer cringe. And if you believe in Heaven and Hell, you probably don’t want to get on the devil’s bad side. And what warrants such a comment? Well apparently just being a woman and entering the Lobby is enough. Trash-talking typically commences during game-play and doesn’t revolve around one’s gender or sexual orientation. It’s based on your skills as a gamer. The last time I checked, being a woman or being gay or being black or being straight has NOTHING to do with how well you play a game.

That of course means I’m using logic. Oh crap! Run away!

But seriously, read the article. It’s worth the few minutes of your time, as well as reviewing the comments. We have a ways to go, but if more men could see what women have to deal with well before they even play the game, I think everyone would have a much better understanding on why the culture needs to change.


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