Sexism in Gaming

slaychandim

Evil Made Flesh
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Phew! Puckett, I need to reel you in a little bit here. Let's be honest, most of your examples are outliers. They aren't the norm. Serious female gamers? Not a norm. Female BJJ practitioners? Not a norm. Girls are just into different things. Your little girl isn't equal to boys in many ways, but it works the opposite way around too. In fact, based on the conversations we have had, you have a hell of an awesome daughter and she is probably better at A LOT of things than boys her age and older.

Here is the thing, everyone doesn't need to be equal in order for society to move forward. Adversity and inequality in various forms are what makes people and nations strong. It is what the United States of America was founded on. It is what made us, each of us, who we are. I'm not saying I am for oppression, racism or anything like that, but if things were easy and fair people would have no aspirations. No reason to be better than who they are. Mediocrity would abound and we would just sit in a complacent rut.

It is normal for men to "be men" and women to "be women". People come to accept and reject certain societal norms as time goes by. Right now women gamers are a not a norm.

Things are getting better in some respects and worse in others. I think that most of America's youth today are spoiled, entitled brats because everything has to be fair and everyone has to be a winner. F that. That mentality is going to be our downfall. Kids need to lose and win. It makes them normal, productive adults.

Agree 110% that and pc bullflop will be the death of us. people should have equal oppurtunites and all be treated fairly. but we all not all equal in anything and if we were life would suck pretty bad in my opinion. And thats not saying color or gender make us not equal what makes us that way is that we are all diferent
 

XGC Forsakend

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uhm... what?!
I am siding with pucket on this one. Both omo's and slay's posts both mind boggled me completely and makes me want to say.... what?!

Serious female gamers:
A norm? No, you don't see them or hear many groups with all girls or a few girls in them that perform in a professional level competition. The only one that comes to mind is the Frag Dolls by Ubisoft. They became so popular, that they became a symbol which other girl gamer's seem to be aiming for. There is even a group/school dedicated to the Frag Dolls that promote more women/girls to enter the gaming industry through the development process (programming, art, design) or the competition level.

Are they a normality? Nope. Want to know why? Because of sexism in both the industry AND game level (at home playing online). My lil girl is into games as well (not the hardcore COD kind, but she does love Left4Dead series) and if she enjoys it, I want to expose her to the good side of games.

I can only imagine 8 years from now, her playing online chatting with friends and some random dou**e bags saying s***t to her that will either demoralize, break her confidence, or insult/bully her simply because of her gender. Thinking about that makes me mad.

Yea, kinda ****ed now. I'll come back to this thread later. Just gonna end it with:

There is a difference between being unique and being fair.
Examples of being fair: Same rules apply to everyone. Everyone treats everyone as they would like to be treated. Straight and non-straight people can do the same things

Examples of being unique:
INFINITE
There is not one person whom is not unique. This is what makes something strong. This is what diversity should be, not based on salary, age, skin color, straight or not... Simply being YOU.
Yes, there are different classes in our society: Poor, middle-class, rich(or whatever). But the rules that apply to one class should reflect all of them. I am not saying to take everyone and put them in one class. That's not how it works because there will always be differences between people. But to "Move Forward"... we need to look past stuff like that and just focus on the more important things.

Omo, I am sorry but that post did come out as racist... at least to me.
 

Omoplata

Golden Master
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uhm... what?!
I am siding with pucket on this one. Both omo's and slay's posts both mind boggled me completely and makes me want to say.... what?!

Serious female gamers:
A norm? No, you don't see them or hear many groups with all girls or a few girls in them that perform in a professional level competition. The only one that comes to mind is the Frag Dolls by Ubisoft. They became so popular, that they became a symbol which other girl gamer's seem to be aiming for. There is even a group/school dedicated to the Frag Dolls that promote more women/girls to enter the gaming industry through the development process (programming, art, design) or the competition level.

Are they a normality? Nope. Want to know why? Because of sexism in both the industry AND game level (at home playing online). My lil girl is into games as well (not the hardcore COD kind, but she does love Left4Dead series) and if she enjoys it, I want to expose her to the good side of games.

I can only imagine 8 years from now, her playing online chatting with friends and some random dou**e bags saying s***t to her that will either demoralize, break her confidence, or insult/bully her simply because of her gender. Thinking about that makes me mad.

Yea, kinda ****ed now. I'll come back to this thread later. Just gonna end it with:

There is a difference between being unique and being fair.
Examples of being fair: Same rules apply to everyone. Everyone treats everyone as they would like to be treated. Straight and non-straight people can do the same things

Examples of being unique:
INFINITE
There is not one person whom is not unique. This is what makes something strong. This is what diversity should be, not based on salary, age, skin color, straight or not... Simply being YOU.
Yes, there are different classes in our society: Poor, middle-class, rich(or whatever). But the rules that apply to one class should reflect all of them. I am not saying to take everyone and put them in one class. That's not how it works because there will always be between people. But to "Move Forward"... we need to look past stuff like that and just focus on the more important things.

Omo, I am sorry but that post did come out as racist... at least to me.

This is spiraling out of control. I was merely trying to make a counter-point to Puckett. I don't necessarily completely disagree with him. How many boys are into Barbie? How many women become mechanics? Would that be normal? No. Is there something wrong with it ? No. It is just like different customs people keep. Nothing wrong with them but they are just not normal to most people.

Listen, I am simply trying to say that I believe games aren't necessarily intrinsically sexist. It is because of social norms that male characters have certain traits and behaviors and females have others. JUST LIKE REAL LIFE! Are men and women objectified often in games? Absolutely. Most of the time to ridiculous, exaggerated levels. Guess where else that happens? Art of all kinds. Comics, movies, paintings etc, etc, etc. That was all I was trying to say. I apologize if I wasn't being clear enough.

Oh and XGC, there was absolutely NOTHING racist about my last post. I am offended that you would even elude to that. Maybe you meant something else, but racism was in no part of that post, nor was it intended to be. I have looked at it over and over again trying to see where you are coming from and I just don't get it. Maybe this will clear that up.

KCCO
 

XGC Forsakend

Student & Lover of Games
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@Omo
I will agree with a few things you have pointed out as well. As for the racist thing... I don't even know anymore. I was reading Puckets, yours and slay's post multiple times and I guess once I got to the part where I began talking about my girl playing online... I saw red or something.

I know what it is like for girls online, I have 5 girls on my FL whom I played with often depending on the game and witnessed lots of the comments and insults that where automatically spewed her way simply because she was a girl. Then I did the mistake of imagining my lil one (age 8) in 8 more years playing something she likes and getting harassed (yea, big mistake on my part).

Anywho, apologies for getting mad.
 
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Omoplata

Golden Master
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@Omo
I will agree with a few things you have pointed out as well. As for the racist thing... I don't even know anymore. I was reading Puckets, yours and slay's post multiple times and I guess once I got to the part where I began talking about my girl playing online... I saw red or something.

I know what it is like for girls online, I have 5 girls on my FL whom I played with often depending on the game and witnessed lots of the comments and insults that where automatically spewed her way simply because she was a girl. Then I did the mistake of imagining my lil one (age 8) in 8 more years playing something she likes and getting harassed (yea, big mistake on my part).

Anywho, apologies for getting mad.

It's cool man. I probably just wasn't clear. I have a 2 year old (well will be in a month) daughter and I can definitely understand where you are coming from. In a lot of CoD lobbies if a girl even says one word all of the scumbags come out of the woodwork saying the most disgustingly offensive things. If I ever hear anyone talking to my daughter that way, I am going to jail.

I'm just glad you don't think I am any more of a bigot than you did before:)

Puckett is going to have a field day with this. Just be prepared to take the afternoon off to read his response lol.
 

Puckett

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I'm gonna reserve a spot here for a post later (dinner's almost ready), but the problem in this particular example isn't big 80085 or unrealistic body shapes in games.

The problem in this example is - to be blunt - harassment in the workplace. Online harassment. In this case, the way women are presented in games is a symptom of a bigger problem, not the problem itself.

Omo, to put in perspective, it would be like having a boss who is also female, and thinks it's appropriate workplace or conference behavior to smack your butt, or comment on your physique, or dismiss your contributions in the workplace in some other way which reduces you to nothing more than a walking set of reproductive organs. Or, if this hammers the point home more, a male boss who is gay and treats you like you have nothing to offer besides eye candy.

THAT is the problem. Representation of women in games? That's a symptom. I'm not saying it doesn't need to be addressed, but the root cause stems from harassment and sexism in the workplace, which systemically and systematically denies equal opportunity to women by devaluing their contributions and reducing them to T&A.

No, not everyone is equal. Life isn't fair, and I'll never be able to draw a stick figure that doesn't look like it was in a horrifying car accident. I'm not looking for some kind of Harrison Bergeron thing here - what I want is a level playing field for everyone, and women in tech and gaming seem to start off with tremendous disadvantages which exist throughout the industry.

Hell, even Cliffy B has had enough of it.

Dinner's ready, more later.
 

Puckett

Daemon Poster
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1,374
Let's dig in here.

@Omo: For what it's worth, I didn't think your post was racist or sexist (or any other ist). I suspect we're probably agreeing with each other and just missing something in the syntax. So here's the thing - roughly 50% of gamers are women. (And somewhere in the neighborhood of half the kids in the BJJ class were also girls, including one who was VERY good and competed in tournaments. I watched a boy show up and watched his parents try to strongarm the teacher because he was "advanced," and then watched him try to push this girl around - dude hit the mat HARD. Straightened him RIGHT out, although I REALLY had to struggle not to laugh. The girl in question proceeded like it was business as usual. Which, y'know, it probably was.)

Girls are just into different things? SOME girls are into different things. Some like Barbie and dresses and pink. My little girl was listening to Napalm Death at four years old, and not because I made her listen to it. It was on during a car ride, and she fell in love with it. Four years old, listening to grindcore and enjoying it. I should have seen the writing on the wall then ;)

So while your point that everyone is good at different things is obviously valid, this isn't about that - it's about the way people are treated while doing those things.

And actually, the cost to society of systemic inequality is incalculable, because we don't know what we lose when kids are steered away from scientific or other pursuits (and this happens, especially frequently in inner city schools where resources are scarce). We don't know which kid might cure cancer if encouraged, or who might find a brand new antibiotic or develop a new chip architecture.

Adversity and inequality don't make us strong, they make us weak because instead of progressing, we fight each other and spend time with segregating schools (as one example) to enforce that inequality or support it instead of making sure every kid has a chance to get a decent education. Systemic inequality wastes resources that could be put to vastly better use, and it wastes human potential. And the argument that if people are driven enough that they'll overcome this if they REALLY want it?

Why should they have to? Why shouldn't everyone have the same chance and the same level playing field? Why should some people - because of their gender or skin color or who they love - have to spend as much time overcoming some form of bias as they do actually working? As a practical example, when Don't Ask, Don't Tell was still in effect, the military forced talented linguists out of the service simply because they were gay, meaning that our ability to gain intel was compromised. How does that benefit us in any way? Did that adversity benefit the linguists in question? Did it benefit our military? Did it make us safer?

How, in that example, did that policy and systemic inequality make America stronger?

I'm not saying people shouldn't have to work at things. I'm simply saying that they shouldn't face harassment or discrimination, and that we shouldn't excuse these things as a way to separate the proverbial men from boys. It's harmful. It wastes our potential. It holds us back as a people, as a nation, as a species. It doesn't encourage overcoming things. It doesn't show us who really wants it. It shows us who is willing to tolerate abuse.

And since you have a daughter and you recognize the harassment women face in COD lobbies (and seem to react to it in much the same way as I do), it seems that you both understand and agree with the point that this harassment and abuse is wrong and unacceptable. And that's really the issue here - we are not, for example, talking about the other Jeffrey Lebowski or people who micturate on rugs. ;)

@slay: I completely agree that people should be treated fairly and have equal opportunity. That is, in fact, the entire point. That is not happening in the gaming industry as a whole, although different developers obviously have different work environments, some of which may be less hostile to women.

@XGC: Concur. I simply want my little girl to have an environment which is less hostile and more welcoming. Every parent should want to put their kid in a better situation than they had. Gaming is something that's important to my little girl, and I want her to have a better, less toxic and less hostile gaming community. A while back, I was running a game night for disabled folk and it drew a few women, most of whom had not done online multiplayer because of these issues - I told them explicitly that it was a safe space, that they would not be harassed and that if anyone tried it would be sorted IMMEDIATELY. There's nothing PC about that, it's a matter of respect and ensuring that everyone gets a chance to play without harassment or hostility. Like you, I'm looking at the gaming world my little girl will inherit, and I don't like it, so I'm doing what is within my power and ability to change it.
 

borstarhymes

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slaychandim

Evil Made Flesh
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roughly 50% of gamers are women


Puket where you see this stat I know a lot of girls and not 1 of them are gamers nor do I run into very many online
 

xIx EDGE xIx

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My girlfriend plays Xbox and the only time she'll use a headset is if we're in a party chat for that same reason mentioned earlier about the creepers coming out of the woodwork. It's a shame that this is the kind of world we live in, and honestly I don't see it changing (or at least not soon).


You also have to put into perspective what online gaming is - let's face it, while there's good people out there, it's a breeding ground of screaming idiots, immaturity, and raging hormones in people where the closest thing they're going to get to an actual date is a lonely night with DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball.


There's a lot of punks out there that don't care because they can simply hide behind their computer or TV screen, so between that and some of the things I mentioned above, there's no stopping it; the only thing you can do right now is just try and avoid it.


Also, like Omo already said, you do have to factor in social norms. Most girls grow up playing with dolls and most boys grow up playing cowboys and indians. I'm not saying it's wrong if a certain boy or girl wants to do their own thing, it's just that the majority of people do fall into those norms because boys are boys and girls are girls. I'm not saying that they aren't equal, they are; no gender is "better than the other" - however, while equal, they are still different from one another, genetically, physically, etc. Guys and girls aren't wired the same.
 
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