Tag Archive | gaming

Videogames, Sexism, and the Trans Expierence

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, when pictures like this litter the internet worse then rabbits during mating season, it doesn’t help out image!

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.



Trans-Individuals in the Public Eye

It seems that news headlines are filling with a lot of scandals, controversy and celebrity gossip.  Some of frequent gossip involves celebs who come out of the closet and admit they are homosexual.  A new trend has started though, one that involves the coming out of people who are transsexual.  It seems to become more and more known that transsexuals are indeed already around us and are more abundant then previously thought.

Despite the spot light being on individuals like Chaz Bono, other people are making it known we’re not alone.  The most recent trans out of the closet individual is Tom Gabel.  Gabel, for those that don’t know who this person is, is the lead singer of Punk Rock group Against Me.  Gabel told Rolling Stone Magazine that medical procedures are starting (most likely HRT) and will be change her name to Laura Jane Grace.

Well, Ms Grace, welcome to transhood!  This lead singer is not the only person that has come out as a transsexual, EA Sports producer John Worrall became Kelly Worrall and recently was published in the Vancouver Courier and later made it to Kotaku.

“That time leading up to the actual transition was very important to me,” Worrall told The Vancouver Courier. “It was a time where I felt reassured because I could see the steps that [the human resources department] was taking to build the environment where I would be protected, and that was my big concern.

“Am I going to be laughed out of every meeting?” Worrall wondered. “Is everyone going to be staring at me the whole time? The answer to that] is yes, by the way. There’s nothing you can do about that.”

Despite the reputation that EA has as a publisher, the way that the company handled a personal issue with an employee was exemplary.  Other companies can fall inline with those coming outs and how its handled and though a lot of public figures are free-lanced to some degree, the fact those people still are still seen in the work force, a kudos must be given to those organizations to forgo the taboo and allow those people to work.

Since we are speaking of the public eye, let’s throw my name in the hat as well.  Now anyone that made their way to this blog by normal means will say, Michele, we already know your trans.  I would agree that its common knowledge at that point.  But what a lot of you don’t know is I commonly use my male name, Mike, as pen name for a lot of work since its associated to previous editor positions and awards.  I currently work for a UK based site under my male name, I am also the editor of www.newbcastgaming.com which a state-side based video game website/podcast.

That’s right, in the public eye I just made it known that the personality known as Grethade, the deeply sounding voice on that podcast is the same person as the lady like sound of Michele that appeared on the Game on Girl podcast and my own video blog.  I can tell you that my teams at both websites are supportive and have been great going through the steps of my transition with me.

Now, because of that reveal that doesn’t mean I am going to be all en femme, all the time in publications.  I like to think that persona, if you would, is a way to hold onto a part of who I was and actually enjoyed about myself.  So I am going to keep acting out that persona, despite who I truly am and becoming.