Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Dec 2013 19:04 UTC

Absolutely fantastic article by Tracey Lien.

If the selection at the average retailer is anything to go by, girls don't play video games. If cultural stereotypes are anything to go by, video games are for males. They're the makers, the buyers and the players.

There is often truth to stereotypes. But whatever truth there may be, the stereotype does not show the long and complicated path taken to formulate it, spread it and have it come back to shape societal views.

The attitude towards women in video games is even worse when you take online multiplayer into consideration. One of my team mates in League of Legends is a woman, and I've seen some absolutely terrible things being thrown her way in chat - during and even after the game is over. I've also pretended to be female in League of Legends just to see what would happen, and it was just as bad. However, I could just shrug it off - hearing the things guys say while you're pretending to be a woman as an experiment is a hell of a lot different than hearing these things when you're actually a woman.

I even caught myself thinking 'my female team mate should just pretend to be a guy' - but you know what? That's expletive ridiculous. As Lien details in her article, changing the way video games are being marketed would be a very good first step that could most certainly snowball into the future.

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RE: Appalling.
by Novan_Leon on Wed 4th Dec 2013 02:16 UTC in reply to "Appalling."
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Secondly, ignoring things only works to an extent. As I said, this vitriol and hatred for females in "boys' circles" comes in many forms and via many venues and just staying out of multiplayer isn't going to fix it. Even the attitude some of you here have, the "it's not such an issue, everyone gets shit," just compounds on the issue. I mean, it's not just about flinging the occasional insult; if you have no experience of what it is like you don't really have any right to start belittling the issue at hand, the sheer magnitude of all the pressure, hatred, condescending speech and belittling can't just be ignored, you'd have to shut out the whole fucking world for that.

I'm not going to presume to know what it's like to be a woman, nor should a woman presume to know what it's like to be a man, but I think either side can at least do their best to empathize with the other side through observation and communication with members of the opposite sex.

That said, you must travel in some pretty terrible social circles if the amount of pressure, hatred, condescending speech and belittling can't be ignored relatively easily. I find ignoring such things a simple matter of walking away, muting or refusing to engage in social activity with said offender, and I've yet to encounter a woman in my personal life who seemed helpless to avoid such vitriol herself.

Human beings are nasty things at their worst, and the occasional encounter with the darker side of humanity is unavoidable, but claiming to be helpless in the face of non-physical abuse from total strangers seems rather like taking a victim's attitude in life.

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