a reply to: Pinke
This is probably going to end up being fairly long. My apologies in advance but there is a whole lot that I'd like to cover.
Well, let me start off by saying this--I do have an agenda. My agenda since 2002 has been to do what I can to break down the stereotypes in the
gaming community so that someday, when my daughter is old enough to game, I don't have to worry about her having some random guy threaten her with
rape. Pretty straightforward agenda there. I doubt that I could ever be co-opted, however, because of both my own personal straightforward agenda
and, well, I'm autistic. Autistics tend to be super objective lil brats that people want to strangle as we tend to say it like it is. Just ask my
I'd argue that most gamers are not misogynists at all if we're using the definition that misogyny is strictly the "hatred of women". Being a long
time "open" female gamer, I'd say that there are several types of responses that may sometimes be pretty irksome but would not be described as
1. Neutral--they don't have a problem with a female gamer and they don't care. I'd estimate that 75% of the male gamers I encounter may say "eh, a
girl?" ok, cool" and nothing more. Definitely not misogynists and more just surprised guys.
2. Positive--They'll go on and on about how cool it is that you play video games and they'll probably ask you how you started playing because they
wished their own female SO played.
3. Positive but with issues--these guys will think you're a cool person (measuring on personality) but still may blow up now and then because you
kicked their butt as a woman one too many times. Still not a misogynist.
4. Fan boys--I personally find these just as terrifying as the total misogynists in the game. They will stalk you to the ends of the earth and should
never be trusted. Thankfully, these mini-nutjobs are as rare as the actual misogynists and are not misogynists themselves either.
Those 4 groups basically comprise what I'd say would be roughly 85-90% of the community and really this could be applied easily to a bell curve if
taking the numbered examples as a signifier of frequency. I'd say that the 10% that is left have some level of misogyny running in their veins. I
don't care much about what the quietly stewing type does as they're unlikely to be plotting my real-life demise--it's just that small 1-3% of gamers
that are toxic misogynists. The majority of gamers, though, are pretty cool and most just see me as a human being after the gender point of
difference is detected.
How these numbers play out on a 24 player server is this--the majority of players, typically about 18 of them, are going to say nothing on the
revelation that a woman is in their midst. One of these is going to try to add you on Steam and will be silently stalking you from game to game if
you accept. A couple will make a comment about how they wished their gf played the game and one will usually mention that they get in arguments with
the aforementioned gf on the subject of gaming. "She just doesn't get it." 3 may make some negative comment that isn't that big of a deal. One of
those might call the female in their midst an "attention ***** ". That generally sets off that 1 guy, who will go on and on in a tirade of varying
severity and negativity about that female player. It could be just of a "you're a freak" stripe, to blasting for only playing to seek attention, to
extreme violent sexual statements, and calling any that actually speak up against their tirade a "white knight" who just wants to get laid. Yup, that
pretty much sums up the typical experience of playing a fps game.
I've actually been studying these kind of behaviors since 1998. I was pretty naive and had no clue that my playing a fps game would be a problem for
anyone. I would say that the fps gaming community has improved dramatically in comparison to 1998. In 1998, when I saw a player using a nick with
"daddy" in it, I said "you're a dad? cool, I'm a mommy". It set the server on its head. My team suddenly had 5 players with 19 opponents of which
about 4-6 of them were threatening me with graphic detail of rape if my team lost. I didn't leave. I kicked their butts. I stayed within the
community for the purpose of both being a normalizing effect within it and to study it. It wasn't until my daughter was born that I actually had any
sort of agenda.
Yep, I've played Counterstrike, off and on, since about 1998. The sexual harassment of each other in this predominately male community has been going
on since the 90's, lol. Interestingly enough, though, there isn't actually a higher number of misogynists within Counterstrike that I've found in
comparison to any other fps game. A lot of the sexual talk towards each other is really just a longstanding meme for the community. It's not any
different really from the usage of "pwn" instead of "own", which cropped up in the early 2000's. Does it pose a problem for women and/or feminists?
Sort of in that I've actually seen that behavior be used to excuse the same being targeted at a female coupled with the response "hey YOU said that
you just wanted to be one of the guys and this is how we treat each other". They kind of have a point; however, their activities not only cloak
actual misogynists but also risk cloaking another rarity--pedophiles.
I've actually had to "rescue" a 12 year old girl who thought she was being recruited for a top tfc/cs clan and instead, found herself on roger wilco
with a pedophile for a clan recruiter. She was terrified to speak anything against this guy for fear of online retribution so she asked me to scare
him and I most certainly did. I spent the next two years of my gaming existence being targeted for online harassment as a result but you know what?
It was worth it. Behaviors within the clans and on the servers are all fun and games when it's adults interacting with adults. The game changes when
it's children under the age of consent. I don't think the behaviors in Counterstrike pose as much of a problem for "feminism". I think it poses a
significant problem for something far more serious and that's the truth.
It's not to single out Counterstrike as being a home for pedophiles. I've heard adult players say insanely inappropriate things to young boys who are
clearly pre-pubescent in TF2 over voice chat. I'd also say that it's not a problem that is endemic to video games or even fps games. It's a total
internet problem obviously; however, it's a whole heck of a lot harder to sift through the serious and the "just trying to scare the kid" mentalities
in the fps community. Most adults in video games seem to feel that the 12 and under crew have no place in a fps game and I agree there. What I don't
agree with, though, is sexual talk towards those aforementioned children for, hopefully, obvious reasons. Is the guy a pedophile or does he know how
to strike fear in a kid to get them out of the game?
It's also why I do not allow my daughter to play online games period. After being an online gamer of many types of games since the mid 90's, I think
parents are insane to allow their kids to play online multiplayers.
PS. One more thing that I'd like to add--the one thing that the worst of the worst never ask me is how old I am.
edit on 22/10/14 by WhiteAlice because: added ps