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

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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Appalling.
by WereCatf on Wed 4th Dec 2013 01:28 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Many of the comments here are very much appalling. You're saying we should just stay out of multiplayer or these things are just "first world problems" or whatever. Sure, that's your opinion, but I don't agree with such views.

For one, if you're a female gamer or tech enthusiast you're quite likely to see a lot of terribly condescending behaviour towards you, like assumptions that you're really just fishing for attention by doing "boy things" or that you just can't know jack shit about the things and then you get relegated to telephone support, or playing a secretary, or in games you have to work extra hard to prove that you do actually know the game and what to do. The prevalence of this condescending attitude is really depressing.

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.

Meh. I'm really disappointed in you, folks, but then I didn't even expect anything better.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Appalling.
by Novan_Leon on Wed 4th Dec 2013 02:16 in reply to "Appalling."
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

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.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Appalling.
by kwan_e on Wed 4th Dec 2013 02:33 in reply to "RE: Appalling."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I've yet to encounter a woman in my personal life who seemed helpless to avoid such vitriol herself.


The problem is why should they need to avoid it in the first place?

We don't walk through the city during the day on the look out for knifers all the time. We expect a general level of safety and non-threatening social interaction.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Appalling.
by kwan_e on Wed 4th Dec 2013 02:28 in reply to "Appalling."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Meh. I'm really disappointed in you, folks, but then I didn't even expect anything better.


Every time Thom or someone posts something about social issues relating to tech, the majority of comments here that I see that get massively upvoted are those that try to be cynical:

1) Neil Armstrong - a person who shouldn't be lauded because it magically takes away from the efforts of others.

2) Alan Turing - a person who shouldn't get lauded or pardoned because it magically takes away from the efforts of others AND magically closes the door on LGBT rights. Somehow. Some inexplicable bullshit that gets repeated. The same stupid all-or-nothing crap that tends towards the latter, but makes people feel good for being oh so world weary and cynicaler-than-thou.

3) Gender issues in gaming - doesn't exist, or no-big-deal, or need to toughen up blah blah bullshit blah.

If I remember correctly, you specifically were arguing for point 2 when it came up a few times. If I'm wrong, my gravest apologies. But if I'm not, well, I don't think you can point the finger. If you argue for any of those points, you are feeding the culture of righteous cynicism that pretends to be deep and meaningful but is really just defeatism and ego-boosting.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Appalling.
by leos on Wed 4th Dec 2013 04:19 in reply to "Appalling."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

Even the attitude some of you here have, the "it's not such an issue, everyone gets shit," just compounds on the issue


The few times I played online FPS games it was a constant stream of insults and personal attacks and swearing and threats and comments about people's mothers. There were no women playing as far as I know but that was the environment regardless. Constant stream of abuse at anyone and everyone.
I learned pretty quickly that there are tons of idiots playing online and you're better off playing with friends or muting the chat. Maybe women get more of it, but certainly the norm in many games is pure shit.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE: Appalling.
by saso on Wed 4th Dec 2013 12:50 in reply to "Appalling."
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

For one, if you're a female gamer or tech enthusiast you're quite likely to see a lot of terribly condescending behaviour towards you, like assumptions that you're really just fishing for attention by doing "boy things" or that you just can't know jack shit about the things and then you get relegated to telephone support, or playing a secretary, or in games you have to work extra hard to prove that you do actually know the game and what to do. The prevalence of this condescending attitude is really depressing.

Talking specifically about tech professionals: Are you sure that the condescension and judging doesn't simply come by way of the majority-minority prejudices? (i.e. any differences are perceived as reasons for distrust.)
As for phone support and secretary work, I've yet to see a capable tech hire not being put to good use, regardless of their looks. I had one female classmate in college and she was quite skilled and persistent. Haven't been following her life very closely, but she didn't seem to have any trouble getting a decent job (unlike some of my male fellows), both while we were still studying and after we had graduated. I will readily admit that there are precious few women in the hard-core coding arena, but I'm not sure if that's due to prejudices, or simply lack of interest (have yet to see any female job applicants where I was involved in hiring).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Appalling.
by p13. on Thu 5th Dec 2013 08:11 in reply to "Appalling."
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

This case is a first world problem. Period.
You join some kind of FPS game filled with 99% guys, and then you complain about the fact that some of them are assholes. In other news, water is wet.

Maybe i should walk in to some hair salon and endure the endless tales and ranting about "MEN!". Women can be assholes, too. Thinking otherwise would be sexist.

As for your IT comments. I find it to be quite the opposite. The vast majority are still men, but the women i work with are just as qualified. None of them complain about being bothered by men.

Let's focus on the things that do need addressing, such as rape, genital mutilation, harems, violence towards women, etc.

You're just being offended because you feel that all of the sexist situations in the world somehow directly apply to you. Allow me to explain.

Guy sees woman beating a man on youtube. Everybody laughs. Not a single guy is offended.
People witness the guy hitting back. OUTRAGE

Please observe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbPmdePpfG0

Edited 2013-12-05 08:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2