Is sexism in video games the real problem?

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Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Nano » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:01 pm

Yeah I couldn't think of something that didn't sound like a clickbaity title.

Recently I've been reading and watching some things online and I've started to wonder about sexism in gaming. Not things like "Is Princess Zelda sexist towards women?" or "Japanese school girls, are they sexist towards woman?" Rather, what I've been wondering about is in the online gaming community when it comes to toxicity.

I'm sure we've all encountered it before, we'll be playing online and suddenly McNinja44134 starts talking in voice chat saying things like "Kill yourself loser" or "Hey ****er, how bout you go suck my ****!" Stuff like that. It's common for anyone who plays online games with voice chat to hear at least some form of toxicity eventually in their life. It can be direct, like I just said, or perhaps something more passive aggressive like "Oh man you're sooooo good at healer". People are jerks online, especially when they're losing or have been losing for the past few hours and having anonymity online just makes it 10x worse.

Yet, when women play they get marked. Typically they don't get the usual "Kill yourself" banter, instead they get the "Get in the kitchen lmao" or "mmmm you want me to be your daddy ;)" or "**** you you stupid dumb **** get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich you god damn ****ing heal****." Just very targeted insults towards the fact that they're a woman. It's awful, and can make even the most seasoned veteran have a bit of churn in their stomach having to listen to this garbage. However, is this simply marked sexism towards women in gaming, or is it something far greater than that?

I want to suggest that sexism in gaming towards women happens. I don't know if it happens more or less, but it happens and people do exclusively target women. My counterpoint though is that the problem isn't necessarily a "this is a woman, so i'm going to target them for being a woman." Rather, it's a "I'm extremely angry right now, this person is a woman, I'm going to target them with insults toward women to get the quickest possible reaction out of them". It's essentially toxic people looking for the most notable thing about a person to target them with. For women, that's sounding like a woman. That's going to be what they strike for as that's the first easily recognizable thing you can hear when they talk. If it was a man, they'd likely make gay jokes at them or tell them they have a micro penis or something like that. Men typically don't get gendered insults in the way that women do, rather they get the "haha you're gay" treatment. 9 times out of 10, women won't be called gay as an insult because to most toxic people it's an insult reserved for men only. If they somehow could tell you were Black or Asian, you'd bet that the first thing they'd go for is the race card.

Essentially, what I'm aiming at is that women in gaming do get sexist insults tossed at them, yet they're getting sexist insults because of general toxicity in gaming itself, rather than women bashing males from r/incels. They're getting sexist insults from the same people who would call some dude a "flaming ***got" or a Black guy the N word or things like that. People who don't really care that you're a woman, they simply want to grief you and make your life horrible because they're toxic people with nothing better to do in their life. What better way to do that than to demean you as a woman? It wouldn't get the same effect as telling her to kill herself, or that she's a scrub who needs to wipe herself off the face of the planet. She's going to react to targeted comments towards her identity, much like we all would. It's far easier to brush off generalized comments that don't have a specifier attached, but the moment someone brings in a part of you (gay, woman, black, trans, etc) it gets personal, and thus their taunts become that much more effective.

That's just me though. What do you guys think about it?
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by chaoadventures » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:05 pm

moral of the story:

stop playing with voice chat on against randoms you morons
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:47 pm

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I sincerely hate these people too but the responsibility in solving the issue they bring lies in companies caring to moderate these people in the first place instead of releasing games into complete anarchy. Personally I've learned to roll with the punches and get gud.

I wonder if the kind of games that attract these flies weren't just garbage to begin with, so many multiplayer games are so unappealing these days that this kind of crowd might just die if Lawbreakers is any indication of the saturation of multiplayer focused games.

I mean yeah the sexism is there but worrying about that is like being in a car crash and only getting upset because your vehicle got destroyed.

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by EvilPinkamina » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:51 pm

Most sexism in gaming is just either toxic people being toxic or awkward dudes doing creepy things in an attempt to flirt.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Ivogoji » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:35 am

Eliminate competitive online gaming.

Problem solved, no downsides.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:19 am

I'd really like to go back to the old days of arena fps where you could shoot your friends and connect

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by EvilPinkamina » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:15 am

>arena fps
>friends

pick one
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:01 am

The term LAN party was popularized by the Arena FPS you know?

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by chaoadventures » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:11 am

Ivogoji wrote:Eliminate competitive online gaming.

Problem solved, no downsides.
Downside found:

Less weird ways for people to make money from doing things that don't quite qualify as normal work.

"eSports" are like chess and basketball for people who didn't start to learn to play these games when they were 6.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:29 am

i'm okay with that

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by EvilPinkamina » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:31 am

Triert wrote:The term LAN party was popularized by the Arena FPS you know?
And its conveniently called LAN Party, not LAN Parties. Because after you curbstomp your friends in Quake the first time, they're not coming back over.

also @chaoadventure's comment about "real work" or whatever, you dont underSTAND how much some top players put in for work. some of these dudes put more hours into their game/community than there are in a day.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:51 am

I don't think so.

On another note I sincerely don't believe gaming as it is can make itself a sport. People are trying VERY hard to not make it seem like some kind of embarassing medium, and because of that insecurity it's just making the market a big piece of crap. I get to see those games self implode on themselves when they don't become an esport staple.

I don't care if a south korean with a reputation like Zezima has to get a job that isn't playing a game. With the kind of balancing issues you can expect out of digital entertainment everyone needs to get a grip and accept that even if some people will never take you seriously for your hobby then maybe you should stop bothering.
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Getting back on topic, before social media took off this kind of trolling crap was common enough that the "don't feed the trolls' mantra was passed around. Isn't it about time we bring that back already?

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Pumpkinium » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:57 am

i might be missing the point, but the OP just reads "okay, there's sexism.. (describes sexism.) but is it sexism? "
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by chaoadventures » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:03 am

EvilPinkamina wrote:also @chaoadventure's comment about "real work" or whatever, you dont underSTAND how much some top players put in for work. some of these dudes put more hours into their game/community than there are in a day.
y'see the time spent by players is just grand

but it's still a different subset of work, that when evaluated at the core doesn't actually help anyone except by providing entertainment to specific people, much like normal sports and chess.

esports in comparison still require serious effort to succeed in, but not an early age of entry to bypass a large portion of a skill barrier.

none of this means I don't respect the players.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Nano » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:39 am

Pumpkinium wrote:i might be missing the point, but the OP just reads "okay, there's sexism.. (describes sexism.) but is it sexism? "
Definitely missing the point. The point isn't about sexism in video game being a thing, we all know it exists and nowhere did I say it isn't a thing. Racism, homophobia, sexism, etc are all in gaming. My point is more asking if these things are men being overly aggressive towards women because men just want to hurt women, or is it a bigger picture sort of deal where sexism is the cause of general toxicity in online gaming as a whole where people target whatever they know will infuriate you more, be it the fact you're a woman, black, gay, etc.

I guess a simple way to explain it would be is sexism towards women simply a men against women sort of thing, or is it a bigger problem of toxic people versus everyone.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:47 am

That kind of question has been answered a long time ago Nano.

Anonymity emboldens people to act in ways they never would in the real world. Thus they get a chance to be toxic they could never be anywhere else.

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Pumpkinium » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:00 am

oh, i understand now, but it's kind of.. obvious what the answers are supposed to be, like triert said.

sexism is simply a piece of the whole problem of being a douche in games, you can give or take some of the other things, but it's highly common to find sexism packaged with every other category of discrimination because that's how the typical unsupervised Male Gamer works.

i say unsupervised because i'm pretty sure young kids learn from what they hear and that breeds more discriminatory insults.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Triert » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:37 am

Between their own friends and the internet it's hard to say where they start to learn it

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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:05 pm

My experience with online multiplayer is limited to things like the GTS from Pokemon and online leader boards, but I agree that most of the problem is socially awkward assholes who have no clue where the line is when it comes to trash talking rather than bigots who genuinely mean the hurtful things they say. I'd also agree that parents treating video games/computers/smartphones as a substitute for actual parenting is probably what starts many youths down the path to becoming such a socially awkward asshole.

As for Gaming tournaments, they existed long before online multiplayer was a thing, and I have no doubts that they would survive a hypothetical Renaissance of local multiplayer.

And while I've never attended a LAN Party, I've never lost a friend over a complete miss match in local multiplayer, but then again, I've never had many friends and have never played a full 4-player round with friends.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Pufflehugs » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:35 am

kellythefox wrote:Okay okay i really need to get this off my chest... (shut up) for a long time now i have been getting a lot of hate for my love and devotion for males and it needs to STOP. like even ppl who draw males and have male character pictures on there profiles have bullyed me for it. like what??? I dont get how you can spend all your time adoring males BUT its so wrong to say it and wear your attachment to animals proudly? Sexism isnt the problem your the problem! Srsly this kind of wretched behaviour is what bullyed me off of deviantart and i have kept these emos bottled up for so long... i am a sexist and nothing you can say can change that. why do you all have to be so ashamed of yourselfs? LOVE YOURSELF AND BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE. That is all i have to say and if you disagree then dont bother posting here.
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Re: Is sexism in video games the real problem?

Post by Crazo3077 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:18 am

I think I've had more fun looking at the continuity of this question over time rather than actually asking the question. It kinda reflections the notion of Politically Correct culture having to change with time. The scope of not only what is considered publicly appropriate these days has evolved, and a lot of us are at ages where we can notice stark differences like the appropriate level of exposed skin on a woman.

The problem definitely is personal now. Whatever sense of media itself guiding sexism has linguistically changed to either be non-existent for some, or instead be a discussion on media influencing gendered behaviors or even heteronormativity. It's not like the 90s or even the early 2000s where it definitely could be argued that creative media was more eager to be cynical, especially at the expense of women.

I'm eager to compare anyone who still argues that sexism is as big of an issue, or alternatively that they can be as rude and sexist as they like, to how people still talk about the cockroaches living under our skin. Yes, they were a problem, especially when they would desperately try to escape, but we have since tamed them, and those having trouble with their new allies are either looking for trouble or are suffering from the teaching or an expired dogma.

This type of thing came to mind during recent training at work that focused on how to work with other employees based on their generation: Traditionalist, Baby Boom, Generation X, or Millennial. A strong opening statement was how the managing techniques of even ten years ago, which were much more harsh and arguably mean spirited, are no longer acceptable. This is a change within all of society, not just with the rise or fall of a particular generation.

The core of the issue might actually just be a weak distinction in western culture between an Enemy and a Rival. I probably only know it form anime, but an Enemy is someone you can never be on friendly terms with, and do not enjoy time with. A rival is much more friendly in that way: you don't hate them, you just want to out perform each other. It's a distinction like Hating the Player vs Hating the Game.

Specialized insults will always be popular. It's just a matter of making it clear when insults can be so specialized that they're too personal and do not make playing the game enjoyable anymore. But that comes with a concept of respect, and you'd need to be able to love yourself.
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