“RU a real girl?”
“talk on the mic”
Ahem… hello, hello. Female here.
“ur a kid. little boy”
“RU really a girl?????”
YES. MOVING ON.
“hey. sorry i didnt believe u”
Whatever. Doesn’t matter.
“so… can i get a pic?”
Welcome to gaming as a girl. Certainly the above does not represent all conversations females have online with male players. There are plenty of perfectly normal, friendly, mature, intelligent gamer guys out there. But conversations like this are much more common than is comfortable, at least for me.
I’m a girl gamer. My preferences are RPGs, sims, tower defenses, and action adventures.
I’m also subject to a lot of nonsense like the above conversation when I go online. It’s annoying and off-putting and fairly sexist.
But these are just gamers. It’s how they are. What can we do other than simply ignore the rude people on the Internet?
First of all, I don’t agree that this is just “how they are.” I have more respect for the gaming community than to believe that they are dominated by a bunch of sexist pigs and nothing more.
So what accounts for this kind of thing?
- Gamers are by their nature anti-social, and they are mostly teenage boys who are afraid of and amazed by girls.
- This is the Internet. Welcome to it, ladies.
- Video gaming is a physically lazy sport, and people with low self-esteem and an interest in blowing digital things up spend no time working on their bodies or developing real relationships. Drop a girl into the mix, and sexist remarks are inevitable.
- Shooting cartoon characters all day is just pretend manliness, and the men who engage in that activity feel a need to overcompensate. When they run into a female online, that can turn into sexist comments.
- Women imagine this sexism; gaming culture is no more sexist than any other culture.
- It’s our world that is sexist. Girls are raised to braid hair and bake muffins, while boys are raised to compete and play with GI Joe. Video games are inherently designed for competitive people, and any girls who quit braiding hair long enough to join a game are entering at their own risk. (NO GIRLS ALLOWED.)
- Girls are usually pretty bad at video games, and so they have not yet earned any respect from the true gamers.
- The game creators have instilled sexism into the images and stories of the games, thus setting a standard.
- The game companies use “booth babes” and attractive female models with portable gaming systems attached to their waists to professionally announce innovations within their companies (ahem, Nintendo), thus setting and promoting a standard.
Am I missing anything?
This link made me think, once again, about the problem of sexism in gaming. It’s a matchup site where gamers can go to find game escorts. Most escorts are female. These women will play games with you… and possibly do more if you tip them well.
I don’t actually have a problem with such a business existing. If people want to engage in this type of activity online, then fine. It’s a little confusing to me, since most titles connect people for online gaming automatically, but, then, gaming doesn’t appear to be the only draw, here.
What bothers me is that I’m not surprised. Girls need to find a place in the video game world, and the other players, designers, and producers aren’t helping them do it, so one way they can have fun online and make some side cash is to sign up to be escorts. Hrm.
Help me understand this issue a little better. What accounts for sexism in gaming? Is the situation improving or getting worse? Or is this all simply a perceived sexism when there is actually no problem at all?