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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The sexism is probably there.
by osvil on Wed 4th Dec 2013 10:34 UTC
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I have played online games quite a lot. Mostly MMORPGs. From Everquest to World of Warcraft. I am a guy, but quite often I've played female characters just because I liked their models more than the male ones.

I remember in Everquest some random guy making me presents and talking quite a lot, then I realized it was because he was trying to 'hit' me. At that point I made clear there was a guy behind that female avatar. This happens, and happens a lot.

Playing I've heard plenty of related stories, not all that simple. What I've found is that this happens a lot. Some may even abuse/try to intimidate. What I fear is that this isn't probably something that happens in online play, but that also happens "in real life". However, in the games I was able to peek at this reality because I happened to play a female avatar (a random choice, as I didn't think it would make a difference). What makes me think that this is not only about online games is a set of stories that I've been told by female friends.

It is creepy. Really creepy.

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