Before we dive into this topic, I want to apologize anyone who checks in on this blog regularly. I was putting work into our gaming site, and dedicating some time to a very lovely lady. But as it is, I haven’t done this in a while, so I am back.
With the work I’ve done with NewbCast Gaming, I did an observation piece about sexism in video games, and well gaming in general. I discussed how the evolution of sexism in gaming, and stories of people who have experienced that sexism. What I didn’t talk about during that, is my own experience involving sexism. As it is, my perspective is, well, unique. For longest time, my perspective as a gamer has been from that male gamer.
As I have transitioned, and presenting myself as female, the behavior of people I have interacted has changed considerably. First and foremost, the amount I am hit on is boggling, good lord! Here’s the thing, if you want to go meet someone in order to get laid, do it on a site meant for it. If I am playing any type of game, I am there to play games and socialize. I don’t need to get laid from someone that is playing a game with me. If I really need to get laid, I do have a girlfriend. Hypothetically speaking, if I wasn’t dating her, I could go to any number of bars I frequent, and find someone just as desperate undoubtedly.
The worst case of this was on pogo.com. I was on the site to play cribbage because it’s where my dad and brother use to meet up online to play the game. I was playing a bot and left the seat open so anyone could come into the game. I had a guy that came into my game room, and after only about three lines, he started making sexist comments about seeing my breasts and more.
After the game was done, I left the room, reported him to EA and was done with it. But I was baffled to see this behavior trickle down to a cribbage game. Here’s a clue, dude, if you have to go to a cribbage room on pogo.com and behave in a matter which resembles a pig, you’re not going to make it very far.
It only escalates from there, the experience I have playing a lot of the games I pour time into have changed. Along with getting hit on, there have been attempted to RP a date, attempts to obtain obscene photos, and cyber sex. I knew it came with the territory of transition and falling into roles of a gender I identify as. Regardless no one should have to tolerate this behavior from other gamers.
Sadly, sexual harassment like I mentioned is only one of the many issues that plague women gamers. In games such as Halo 3, Halo 4, Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and more, women gamers are constantly told they suck at the game, are told to go to the kitchen, or will have extreme explicit language flung upon them like mud. This harassment which occurs in the cyber world of gaming is appalling. Any person who self identifies as person, and belittle women in such ways ought to be ashamed of themselves.
This isn’t new to hear sadly. As I mentioned in my article, No, You Go to the Kitchen, this has been an issue that has plagued women since the dawn of gaming groups that met to play table top games. Women infiltrate this hobby which is deemed a “man’s club”, and will be mentally abused right back out of the hobby.
This is where I am attempting to make a difference, I report this behavior. Believe it or not, sexual harassment or verbal harassment of any kind is usually a violation of the EULA in most games or platforms.
The biggest example of this on Xbox Live and Halo 4. Shortly after the release of the highly anticipated game, there was a statement that users who violate the code of conduct could be faced with up to, a permanent ban of their Xbox live account.
Some people claim that this does little to nothing, and people continue to break the rules. Cisgender and transgender women alike continue to receive the wrath of behavior equivalent to a prepubescent boy.
Part of that issue comes from the lack of reporting. After a game, if a player as jerk and behaved poorly, report them. If the number from women players single out these bad players, and report them, it will make a difference.
Join me in making a difference. If you are on the receiving end of this ongoing sexual bigotry report it. If the numbers stand up and say enough is enough, we may very well yet see a change in how women are treated in the gaming arena.
And for anyone who is a fan of women gamers, let them thrive. The scene of ‘gamer girls’ is littered with talent, whom of which will challenge the best of players, regardless of what is between their legs.