Today Kotaku posted an article by 17 year old Jessica Cernadas from NPR's Radio Rookies regarding the lack of respect female (video) gamers seem to receive. Kudos to you, Jessica, on actually putting yourself out there and getting a news radio article published!
Now, I do recognize that some of the issues brought up in this interview are real and DO happen, I have to disagree that they happen as often as this particular piece seemed to indicate.
Maybe I just blocked when it happened to me. Maybe I am lucky and just haven’t been exposed to it as much as other girls. Maybe I just don’t see gender when it comes to games. Or I don’t care because I realize that it’s all a part of the genre.
I think in articles like this, the lack of respect women are receiving is being sensationalized, and is probably not nearly as big an issue as it has been made to seem. Or at least not as big of an issue as it USED to be when there were even fewer female players.
It seems common knowledge that there is a higher percentage of male gamers then female and that the gap is closing quickly, but how many times have you been online and heard guys teasing, provoking, and calling each other derogatory things? In my experience I remember more occasions of that happening than being belittled, flirted with or prompted to show my tits. Even when it has happens it just fuels my desire to completely annihilate my adversary more and it’s just the same as teasing, provoking, and calling me derogatory things.
It doesn’t seem like it would be particularly effective to hear my feminine voice over online play telling a guy that his mom loves playing with my balls nor him telling me he’s going to punch me in the cock so hard my junk’s going to turn into a vagina. When you are trying to beat someone competitively, you use the ammo that you think will be most likely to throw them off their game.
This is the same shit that some girls do to each other in competitive settings just maybe not as publicly or loudly as in a gaming setting.
No one pretends that the gaming industry is a representation of gender, racial, sexual or religious equality. Or at least no one should. It’s a worthy goal. But even just general society hasn’t reached the point of pure equality in any of those areas, as great as some of the steps taken to achieve those goals have been made.
Just for another point of view, Extra Credits on the Escapist has an interesting video on this topic.
I know I can’t cover all the facets of this subject and there are definitely things I haven’t even thought of. What do you think? Is this a big deal? Are you guys just throwing tan bark at us in the playground for our attention? Are girls propagating a double standard? Or is it true aggressive disrespect?