Stirring "Gamer Girl Manifesto"

This "Gamer Girl Manifesto" is more stirring than any two minutes' worth of video has any right to be. The Mary Sue nails it:

Whether you refer to yourself as a Gamer Girl, a Girl Gamer or simply a Gamer, it’s likely you’ve been singled out at one point or another for being a woman who plays video games. It might have been in a positive way but more often than not, it gets negative attention. A handful of ladies who play got together to make this video telling the world it’s not acceptable for you to sexualize them for their mere existence in the video game world. They are there to kick ass and take names, just like everyone else. But they don’t stop there, they also suggest fellow gamers don’t be racist or homophobic and ask, “What kind of player are you?”

Gamer Girl Manifesto (via The Mary Sue)


      1.  They’re railing against being singled out because of their sexiness, quote:

        it’s not acceptable for you to sexualize them for their mere existence in the video game world

        Yet their user name is SexyNerdGirlPresents, which plays to the stereotype they’re railing against.

        I don’t think it’s a problem, but it does seem a little odd, that’s all.

          1. Maybe not “odd”, more like “stupid”. If you’re trying to fight a stereotype, using “Sexy” in your name is just asinine.

  1. I think this was a really awful way to prove a point. I think the way that women get treated online is absolutely awful, but making a “manifesto” like this isn’t going to “rally the women to arms” or anything like that. Their name is “SexyNerdGirlPresents,” for crying out loud. They’re not trying to empower women, they’re trying to say that it’s cool to be nerdy, as long as you’re also hot. 

    Look at the women they used: they’re all pretty good looking. No where do you see anyone out of shape or ridden with acne. I’m not saying that gamer girls are fat slobs, but it makes me believe that the video was made with an ulterior motive to promote “sexy gamer grrls.” 

    “Nerdy” is popular now, and it looks like these guys are just trying to cash in on it.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with being sexy or being proud of being sexy. Being sexy is great.

      They’re not trying to ’empower’ women. The point is that women don’t need to be empowered.

      I don’t know how you think anybody is going to ‘cash in’ on this video. It’s just an attempt to raise the level of consciousness about how women are treated in online games. I think you might want to watch the video again, because you seem to have missed that point.

      1. BoingBoing ate my comment, so I’m going to be slightly terse in this rewrite:

        I would like to agree with you, but it simply wasn’t the message that I got. The name “SexyNerdGirlPresents” is actually so close to being a joke name, well out of context it could be considered one. As an example, often when people try to justify making fun of girl gamers, they usually focus on the “grrrl” gamer, and give them usernames like “sexygamergrrl” or something like that. The people that are making these jokes are exactly the people that need to be reached by a video like this, and from those I’ve talked to, it is impossible to not make the mental connection between “SexyNerdGirlPresents” and “sexygamergrrrl.” 

        Nothing in here says anything about being proud about being sexy, it’s just using the term as a buzzword to attract women, and placate men. I think there really is no way they could have “won” with this video, as the audience they’re trying to get to really don’t want to listen, but it is my belief that this video didn’t help.

        1. I totally see where you’re coming from on this, and I agree with parts. But if women gamers are trying to claim a space, they should be allowed to claim a space in which they self identify as being sexy if they want without some douche waffle saying “tits or GTFO.” A victory against online sexism that comes at the price of totally desexualizing one gender runs the risk of being no victory at all. Women should be allowed to play games and identify as women without having to be asexual.

        2. I don’t know if you’ve watched any more content from this user, but Sexy Nerd Girl is a web series that has been on for about a year now.

          Sexy Nerd Girl Presents is the second channel designed for longer content, and the other channel is just vlogs from the main character.Here’s how they define the word sexy: don’t see a problem with calling yourself “sexy” or feeling “sexy”. Why should that warrant sexual abuse? 

          Also, you seem to have a problem mostly with the title of the series, and not with the content. This seems odd to me, and sort of a semantic argument. The title of the show sums spirit of the main character, but it is just a slice of a much bigger picture that has been growing for a while. Maybe a trip to the website might help? There is a lot more information there if you wanted to do further reading.

    2. Hi. I’m the guy who came up with the title. I’m the horse’s mouth. We’re not trying to cash in on anything. The name is an expression of who I was as an artist at the time that I invented it.

      I wanted to challenge what sexy means to me and anyone else who came along for the ride.

      I wanted to embrace the nerd in me that I’d been suppressing for 25 years and perhaps set free anyone else’s suppressed identities.

      And I wanted to have a lead character who is an unapologetic strong female because that was unexplored territory for me. And as it happens, unapologetic strong females are unexplored territory for about 99%* of all the media you ingest.

      Hence, Sexy Nerd Girl.


  2. Lame. First of all, nobody has to come out claiming to be a girl while playing online. Male gamers don’t say: “hey! I’m a dude, deal with it and leave me alone!” They just play.
    It’s very hypocritical for some gamer girls to use obvious girly game (SexyGurl34) , put up “sexy” profile photos, constantly mention the fact that they are females, and THEN whine about all the attention from males. Again, Just play and shut up.

    1. BS.

      My wife had to change her gamertag because of abuse. All it did was contain part of her real name.

      I used to use this nym as a gamertag. Why isn’t that screaming “hey! I’m a dude”?

      1. Side effect of the average online gamer age being 14 or something like that. Not that i am sure we grow out of the behavior, only learn to hide it better from the “parents”.

        1. A large dose of truth here. As a hetero male there is a part of me that sexualizes almost any female from gamers to grannies. It may only last for a second, it may go subliminal like the halo effect that attractive people in general have, but it’s there.

          But being over the age of 14, I don’t feel the need to share my feelings with the “object” of them, and skipping that step avoids a whole class of abuse that gets returned when a female who is out to play a game tells said 14-year-old to piss off and stop bothering her. But just because I don’t give in to the impulse to tell every good looking female I encounter that she is hot, doesn’t mean I don’t think they’re hot.

          Once you get beyond the “sexualized teen gamer” meme, though, there are heaps of other forms of abuse heaped on females on the internet. A lot of generalized misogynism finds focus on any apparent female handle in just about any internet venue.  Basically, it’s a lack of self-control on a whole new level from just sexualizing women.

          Finally, there’s the unconscious sexism. It takes various forms — for example, a lot of gamers posting videos on YouTube call the enemies they kill “bitches” regardless of the imaginary gender of the enemy. This isn’t necessarily evil in itself, but I have to wonder what connotations the word “bitch” has in the minds of these people.

          1. heh, perhaps a sign of suppressed sexuality? Then again the modern male seems to walk a thightrope between the fear of gayness and the modern social dislike for overt alpha behavior.

    2. “As long as everyone assumes you’re a dude there won’t be any trouble. So, pretend you’re a dude.” That’s really a ridiculous point of view. 

      Male gamers do actually say they’re male. Quite often. They don’t make a big deal out of it. They don’t say, as you put it, “hey! I’m a dude, deal with it and leave me alone!” but they do mention things like girlfriends and other facts that reveal their sex without a second thought because they don’t have to worry about what others will do when they find out. What male gamer out there worries that people will find out he’s male? Not many. 

      Female gamers, on the other hand, do have to worry about how the gamer creeps out there will react if they let slip any information that might reveal their gender. And that’s just fact. Expecting women to keep their gender a secret in order to play videogames without being harassed is no solution. 

      The solution isn’t for some gamers to have to, I dunno, play in the closet, always worried they might let something slip about themselves that could reveal they’re female (or gay or what have you), dreading the need to use Vent. The solution is for the knuckle-draggers out there to stop thinking with various body part other than their brains and start treating fellow gamers, no matter how different they are from themselves, like fellow human beings.

      1. For a more mature outlook on the whole phenomenon, here is WelshPixie a female gamer and sysadmin.

        For every video she posts she constantly deals with idiot comments about breasts, whether she’s actually female and assorted crap: Sarcasm is a powerful weapon. But on occasion she still has to bring the boyfriend out — mostly for added effect:

        1. Seconded ! what WelshPixie DOESN’T know about gaming isn’t worth knowing. Her frequent videos covering everything from Minecraft, Skyrim, Space sims and the such show that she is a sensible, amusing, intelligent and yes.. sarcastic individual !

          She’s a dedicated gamer and doesn’t go out on the “GirlGamer” battlebus but just calls herself a gamer. It’s only when, as bwcbwc correctly states, when prepubescent nerds challenge her obvious gaming prowess on nothing more than her having a second X chromosome instead of a Y ! 

          it’s ridiculous!  As a gamer myself (Male, although belonging to the Noob variety.. despite being as old as Methuselah himself!) I can’t stand this sexist behaviour in gaming. 

          My only hope is it’s a matter of natural selection.. The gamer trolls slag off females and , as a result, deny their genes ever getting into the gene pool? I can only hope this to be the case !!

    3. This doesn’t work in real life. The names I use in online games are always neutral (carrot_beast was the last one) as I got sick of the comments a long time ago. Unfortunatly a lot of the games I play are co-operative games on the PS3, so to play properly I have to communicate with my team and as soon as I say anything, even if its something as simple as ‘watch out, sniper on the roof’, I’ve given the game away.

      Most of the time it’s not a problem, but there are always a few idiots who will not shut up and play once they know I’m female. Luckily most games have a mute function so it’s not hard to deal with.

      Are you saying I should get a voice changer to hide being female, or just shut up and let the men play with each other?

    4. Imagining a hypothetical “if it were reversed” situation is a weak Limbaugh type trick that is pretty much a total waste of time.

    5. Why can’t someone make their tag whatever they want? 

      Have you ever been discriminated against online? It’s not a fun feeling to log onto xbl and find: “Show us your tits” in your inbox for no reason other than you’re a women. It’s very demoralizing actually.

      There are a lot of examples at this website. Have you been here before:

  3. I think this Manifesto misses the point.  People who are lacking in social graces will always be a problem, and will always be obnoxious to their fellow gamers.  This really has nothing to do with the battle of the sexes.

    1. No, “People who are lacking in social graces” are not the problem here. People who are genuinely lacking in social graces are socially awkward to EVERYONE, EQUALLY. People who single out women for especial bad treatment on the other hand are misogynists, pure and simple.

  4. The invention of mic chat ruined gaming. Before, nobody cared if you were a woman, a kid or a cat as long as you were polite and could play properly.


    1. 100% agree on that.  The last major multiplayer thing I did was Half-Life.  Yes the first one.  At this point I don’t think I could handle a bunch of young teenagers bitching at me over the internet.  However it does make for some excellent youtube videos.

    2. The amazing thing is, the microphone is optional .. As is hearing what all the kids have to say. I have the voices muted and don’t use the mic at all. Cause yeah, there are a bunch of fuckwits on any game nowadays.

      1. Except that voice is a more effective way at communicating than text during a eventful session. There is a reason why we developed the ability to speak, after all.

    3. It’s not that they didn’t care if you were a woman, it’s that they assumed you were male.  Your solution is to just go back to that:  make women hide their identity, to avoid harassment, because being a woman invites harassment.

       Essentially, you’re blaming the women, and implying they are asking for it because they dared, DARED!, to reveal that they are women.

      That is misogyny. And you are defending it.

      1. Exactly.

        And to all the people saying “oh so it’s ok to be a girl gamer as long as you are hot” or “how ironic that the youtube user is called sexynerdgirl” or that women are asking for mistreatment because they “promote” their sexiness, you are doing the same thing.

        Women should not have to cover up that they are hot, if they are. It’s perfectly ok to show off and be sexy if you want to. It’s perfectly ok to use your sexuality to get ahead if you want to. You shouldn’t have to put on a burqa because guys are so immature that they cannot control themselves.

      2. Actually I took what Saber was saying beyond male vs. female.

        In the pre-team speak days the only way you really knew who you were playing against was either by being told, or guessing from text/speech clues in their taunts… (be it sex, or race, ethnicity, ect..)

        In those days you could be on a map playing with male/female/American/Asian/European/white/black/other it didn’t matter.  It only matter if you were getting your ass handed to you repeatedly by the same player – which just pisses most people off, no matter who is actually controlling that god like player.

        And you are right, in those days we did assume everyone was male.  Maybe that was wrong of us, but judging by past experience the vast majority of players we met were male.  So as a teenager myself and most of my friends simply went with what we felt was the status quo.  If I still played today I’d certainly be more open to not thinking everyone I met was male, that and I’m also much more mature now as well.  In reality I don’t care who I play with/against as long as I am not sucking.

      3.  I think you’re taking your argument too far here. By your logic I also defended misogyny with a reply I made further up the post but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

        The solution is not to make women hide their identity. It’s a stopgap measure, however, for women who are particularly uncomfortable with the harassment they get.

        You have to look at the reality. You are going to get harassed in most games if you’re a woman. Some can deal with it and, by being aggressive about it, can try to address the issue. Many can’t do that and would rather just not play games, or hide their identity.

        What exactly is your solution?

        1. My solution is that more people need to speak out against this kind of harassment.  And men need to speak out, too, and not put the onus on the women who are being harassed.  Do YOU speak out against it, or do you just ignore it because it doesn’t directly affect you?  if you don’t speak out against this kind of harassment  guess what:  You’re part of the problem.

      4. That sure is some pent up rage you have there.

        I honestly don’t give a damn if you’re female or not as it has NO RELEVANCE to gaming AT ALL so just STFU and play the game.

        Before voice chat existed, everyone was just a player identified by their name. It didn’t matter who they were — all that mattered was how they acted. There was a level of anonymity to it which disconnected it from real life factors such as age, gender and race.

        How do you ever expect to get any respect when all you do is attack people? I run a game server and multiple people in my community, including one of my admins, are female. I showed my admin your response and she responded calling you a “dumb hippie bitch [sic]”. When you are being attacked by the very people you claim to support, doesn’t that show you that you are in the wrong?

  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! So it’s so ok to be a female gamer… as long as you are hot, apparently. Yeah, thanks gals.

    And since when is playing games being a nerd? You want to be a nerd… sure, but walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk. And a girl playing a hunter belf… really gals, really??? Not exactly doing anything to break the stereotypes, are you???

    Pfft… wannabe posers. And… geek is where you want to be at.

    Sure, I do appreciate that they made an effort, but presenting women playing games as “nerd” and “sexy girl” is really… really badly missing the mark. Women play games… whoppee doo dee dah.

  6. Sexism, racism, homophobia, antisemitism, islamaphobia, country-bashing, etc., will always be a problem in online gaming as long as players have anonymity. Online anonoymity seems like the same truth serum that alcohol is. One solution is strict language rules, but those can feel draconian. We should have a right to scream “Fuuuuuuck!” once in a while because we went link dead or hit the wrong button. 

    1. Yes, I agree, we should indeed have a right to scream “Fuuuuuuck!” once in a while because we went link dead or hit the wrong button. But no-one ever said we shouldn’t. No-one ever said anything remotely about that. So what are you even talking about? Also, the women in the video didn’t suggest “strict language rules”, they suggested that gamers should voluntarily, of their own volition, CHOOSE to not say bigoted things, not because anyone forced them to not behave like bigots but simply out of a desire not to be an asshole.

  7. in a fps environ I frequent, which shall remain nameless; the drubbing of otherwise quite accomplished players by girls is always met with a conspicuous kind of half-respectful, half rage-filled, golden silence.
    Also, I guess choosing a girls name for your avatar may have a significant rage-based, performance drain on your opponents technical skill if they are a doofus.

  8. Reminds me of IRC 10 years ago. That is why my nickname is non gender specific. Because when I logged in to our channel on IRC to talk using my real name I would get inundated with HNG’s DCC-ing me a photo of their penis because…. well….  that is just soooo hawt ya know. Ooooooh baby, You sent me a pic of your junk when I didn’t ask and now I am sooo hot for you we must have sex right now!

    Nothing ever changes.

    1. And the only difference between this and a night out on town seems to be the intoxication needed before someone unzips. Or perhaps it is not the intoxication, but the excuse it provides “sorry officer, i had one too many to drink”.

  9. I remember playing over a decade ago and I learned really quickly that if I wanted to be asked to join any leagues (teams) and take part in missions I could not be identifiable as a girl… If I played today, I doubt I would reveal (how bizarre is that?!) just so I didn’t have to put up with any bullshit. For whatever reason though, the vid really didn’t resonate with me. Might be an age thing…

  10. In all my years of Being a Happy Mutant, I think this is the most hopeless I’ve felt after a post. Maybe it’s just because it’s relevant to why I’ve already spent my day sobbing.  I would give up my testicles for a decidedly homely, snorting, morbidly-obese, and ill-tempered bull-dyke to recognize that I’m playing a 3DS and covered in Mario apparel and suggest pwning me at Playstation games. As a guy, I’m apparently lumped into that same fucking stereotype that I can’t even successfully mimic to make a platonic female friend.  I’m so afraid of being perceived like that every moment of my life that I opt instead to avoid initiating contact. This is like watching my existential nightmare being turned into a joke. I think this post tore away the last remaining bit of optimism I had left in life. Girls are sadistic.

    1.  I agree (I think); I hide the fact that I play games from most girls that I interact with because of the gamer stereotype (which realistically only applies to 5% or less of gamers in my experience).

    2. This post is not about your problems, it’s about female gamers’ problems.  While I’m sure your issues are valid and need to be addressed, this is not the time to bring them up.  Because what it actually does is distract people from one of the few opportunities to discuss the experience of female gamers.

      And trust me, there will be space and interest elsewhere for your vaguely misogynistic complaints about “feminism gone too far”.  There always is.

    3. I know it’s tough. I’d like to help. But it’s not just guys who feel invisible and it’s not just guys who get hurt. I’m lesbian, but I have to deal with guys hitting on me, and because of that, I end up feeling suspicious towards guys who want to be friends with me. It’s not right. Gender shouldn’t be such a barrier to friendship. It’s just stuck that way.

      If you want to talk somewhere else, I guess you could comment on one of my blog posts or something – not entirely private, but there aren’t so many visitors there.

  11. I can’t help but feel that labeling themselves as “Gamer Girls” and not just “Gamers” goes against what they are trying to do. Unless they are trying to look sooooo cool by being NERDS. I honestly hope this crowd is the vocal minority, along with the males who harass women who play games.

  12. This.

    People get othered so they form insular, exclusive groups and stand outside the mainstream moaning that everyone else is doing it wrong.  This is just not the way to accomplish what they say they want.  They end up putting off those who would have supported them, but whom they’ve pushed out of their ever tightening cliques. 

    Girl gamers.  GLBT gamers.  Differently abled gamers.  Economically disadvantaged gamers.  Gamers with “name your condition.”

    Label yourself, set yourself apart, have a good cry about it, and see how included that gets you.  Or just be who you are, smack the assholes on the nose as needed, and keep your friends close for support – the way people do, you know?

    1. It seems simplistic to say “you don’t get it”, but that’s pretty much the long and short of it.  I’m assuming that you aren’t a girl/woman gamer, you aren’t LGBTQ, etc.  You don’t know the full scope of the treatment they deal with, and you also don’t know how it makes them feel, because you’ve been raised and lived completely differently.

      You can’t relate.  You don’t get it.  And therefore your advice to just do what all the other “normal” gamers do isn’t useful to them.  This is the whole reason that marginalized people form groups with each other – it’s an effort to find people who do get it.

      Maybe you can’t fully understand and support that, but at least respect it.

  13. I see where you’re coming from. Sure, you get in to the occasional fracas with some asshole online, but you can cope with that; why can’t all these whiners just get on with it like you?
    The thing is for them it happens almost every single time they go online. Can you not see how that’s a bit different? When you get into an online altercation it’s because you crossed paths with an asshole; it’s nothing personal to you.

    In contrast, they get constantly harrassed simply for being who they are. When they complain, there’s always someone who has no idea what it’s like who comes out of the woodwork and says “What’s the problem? Everything’s fine for me. Stop complaining!”

  14. I think the inter-textual debate is all very well until you read some of the YouTube responses, then they kind of make their point. Essentially it comes down to being treated with respect regardless of gender, but alas a section of emotionally immature males are always going to diss women/girls.

  15. It’s got nothing to do with being a women. If you play online with total strangers you will be treated poorly. People will swear at you, they will discriminate you for your race, gender, religon, country, sports team, everything. You will be subjected to the most vile things imaginable.
    It does not matter. Anonimity and a competitive atmosphere creates assholess. And everybody online has to deal with it. If you are a man your online experience will be just as shitty.
    And there is a verry simpel sollution: only play with friends.
    People you meet in the real world, or if you play long enough you will come across a few normal people in that sea of shit. Stick with that group or on that particular server you always play on and it’ll be fine.

    1. Why yes you are so right. Women should only step outside their homes in the company of men or with other women. Women who walk outside alone deserve whats coming to them. Women should *never* talk to strangers. That’s only inviting trouble.

      After all, the world outside your door is dangerous and filled with assholes who will swear at you and subject you to the most vile things imaginable. If you do choose to go outside alone and unaccompanied by a man or older male it’s *your* fault what happens. It’s not like we should expect men to treat women they don’t know with respect. She could be a whore, you never know.  It is men who have the privilege of not having to treat other people who are not men as if they are equals. Women and other lower classes simply do not have the right to expect that their dignity will be automatically respected. That’s just asking too much.

      Women who complain about the fact that they cannot go outside without getting harassed or assumed to be a prostitute are whiners who don’t realize that it’s a competitive atmosphere out there and that environment naturally creates assholes. It’s not like it’s *their* fault every woman is assumed to be sexually available. We can’t do anything about that and asking us to is asking too much.

      It would be a whole lot easier on all of us if women would just stick to their family and stay indoors. Maybe even cover themselves up a bit. You know, throw a scarf over your head so the assholes don’t mistake you for a whore. Women should never associate with anyone outside their family circle and maybe a few friends. If they’d just stay home and follow these rules everything will be fine.

      What could possibly be wrong with that?

      1. What’s funny (funny weird, not funny ha ha) is that if I step outside my home, the world isn’t full of assholes waiting to pounce and talk trash at me. People are generally nice and polite. Yet the moment I game in a virtual world, there they are, front and center. You can’t take a single step without stumbling over some foul-mouthed racist. Just like the comment feed on nearly every YouTube video.

        Really, humans, WTF? Isn’t that the root of the issue, and not necessarily that there are gamer girls that get verbally abused?

        Besides, the last time I played with chat on, “NiceGirl22” turned out to be a guy. (runs away crying)

      2. You are missing my point completly. It has got nothing to do with the fact that they are women. Everybody gets treated like shit online, men and women equally.
        Thinking you are somehow a special group who are the only ones who get treated badely is nonsense.
        If you genuinly want to solve this problem you should be including everybody in your video, not just women becuase it is not a problem that effects only women. The more you think you are a special niche group within gamers the more you keep the barriers up, the more you are dividing people rather then creating one community.

        It is not about gender. 

        And the best solution so far is also without gender bias. If you want to have a good time in online games you either mute everybody on the server, or you only play with people you know. This goes for men and women.
        It´s not what you want, you want everybody to be able to play online and have a good time. Unfortunatly that world doesn´t exist yet but a video that divides rather then brings gamers together is not going to help either.

        1. Ok, I understand. It’s really all in my imagination that if I go out for a walk alone… at night… around the bars… that I might get sexually propositioned or worse. That happens ALL THE TIME to men too. What was I thinking? Everyone gets treated equally poorly which is why women should just suck it up and stay at home. Got it.

          People should treat other people with respect regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation and we shouldn’t have to limit ourselves to certain gendered, racial or sexual preference “ghettos”. We have a right to expect the best behavior from others. When you say that I should stick with only the people I know what I hear you saying is that I do not have the right to expect better from strangers. The assumption that certain people do not have the same rights granted to others is called privilege. There was a time when gays and lesbians were expected to keep to themselves and not venture out of their own enclaves. Those who did dare to go to straight bars were treated “poorly”.

          That has now changed in most urban cities but it hasn’t been that long. How did it happen? Well, gay men and lesbians refused to stay in their ghettos and straights came to gay venues. There was conflict. People resolved those conflicts by adopting codes of behavior that are expected of everyone.

          These are called MANNERS. I suggest you get some.

          Silly me. I think I have the right to go anywhere online and it not to be assumed that I am sexually available to any male who happens to take a fancy to me. I understand that life isn’t perfect but I still insist that I have that right. I shouldn’t have to mute everyone and I shouldn’t have to only play with people I know.

          “It is not about gender.”

          That’s mighty white of you.

          1. Frederik — What if I don’t want to be treated as badly as 14 year old boys treat each other? The fact that everyone is rude and vile to each other does not invalidate my desire or the desires of others that they not be treated in a vile and rude manner.

            “But pretending somehow that women are the only ones who are suffering […] solves nothing.”

            The fact that women are not the only ones who are treated differently due to our gender does not justify sexism any more than the fact that blacks are not the only ones treated poorly justifies racist treatment. ALL social minorities have the right to expect better treatment and the mere fact that it’s crap for everyone doesn’t make that go away.

            “gamers should treat each other better.”

            Yes they should but just saying that doesn’t solve the problem. When blacks agitated for social equality it was a common complaint that they were “bringing in race where it didn’t exist” and that complaining about Jim Crow “just created barriers to people”. This is a common refrain that we hear from the privileged; that those advocating equality are demanding too much, creating problems where they don’t exist and asking for special treatment.

            “It is merely a praticality untill a real sollution is found”

            The solution is that sexist, racist and homophobic males STOP making sexist, racist and homophobic remarks and that the owner of the sever has a policy to kick and ban those who refuse to comply. I’ve been on servers where there is a policy of zero tolerance and it is nice there.

            Having rules people are expected to conform to and employing people to enforce those rules, called “police”, works just fine in real life. It works online also. That is why all forums and blogs have a TOS and mods to enforce them. Forums and blogs that do not quickly become cesspools.

            The only way that any social change has ever come about is through people demanding it.

          2. Interestingly, A Tale in the Desert is the only MMO I’ve played that isn’t full of trash. Everyone there is extremely nice. It’s also incredibly different from any other MMO.

        2. But the amount and type of abuse people get isn’t the same.

          When I comment in forums with a neutral name, it’s usually OK, and the abuse I do get is targetted at what I’ve said when people disagree with me. When I post with a more girly name, the abuse is much, much more frequently targetted at the fact that I’m female, than at what I’ve said, or just dismissed ‘because you’re a girl and obviously know nothing of this manly subject’.

          This is what is irritating, the personal insults for no reason other than a difference you have no control over, not the actual abuse, and why I usually remain anonymous online. This is the same reason I tend to keep quiet in real life about my sexual preferences until I know someone well. Being in the closet isn’t fun, for whatever reason, and I shouldn’t have to hide something as basic as being female from people.

  16. These comments are pretty golden.

    I for one  am more interested in seeing what percentage of internet traffic in the most common aforementioned situations qualify as underage/still children, but I digress.

  17. Dateline: October 22, 2017. “Swedish scientists discover that anonymous online asshattery causes teen males to secrete a pheromone  that makes them even less attractive.”

    It may not ever be that cut-and-dry (or cut-and-damp, as the case may be). But the ancient law of the Great God Wgaca (What Goes Around, Comes Around) is not bound by offline/online distinctions. You will reap what you sow, and being badly behaved online will translate into RL grief.

    There’s no excuse for treating someone poorly, period. If you’re doing it because of gender, you are not only a weed, but an uncreative one. Really? That’s the best you can do? Make someone feel bad because they’re a girl/woman? Nice. That’s some truly febrile comedic mayhem, dudes.

    My young, male gamer friends… regardless of your RL “luck” with the ladies and your own ego issues, trust me: go the opposite way. Be friendly without being “chivalrous.” Be polite without overweening. Just be a good person. This will do two things: 1) infuriate the puerile males in your circle more than any bad-mouthing ever could accomplish… which, really, is a benefit in and of itself. And; 2) provide you with practice for actually getting along with women in the real world. Most gaming skills don’t translate real well to meatspace… conversation and charm do.

    My young, female gamer friends… be advised that boys/men often treat each other as badly as they are treating you. They call each other out in truly harmful, psychologically torturous ways. They abuse any trust in order to count coup. They seek confirmation of their own worth through putting down everyone, in any way they can think of. Some do it to be funny for their friends (real or imaginary). Some think it’s cool because they’ve internalized certain aspects of the culture out of context. Some are, to be fair, just young, inexperienced louts who will learn, with time, that, really… they’re not doing themselves any favors. If you want to play with them, you will need emotional armor that isn’t provided to girls, as a rule, in RL. The behavior that you find so loutish is, in many cases, a kind of warped version of what we think is expected of us. As you get older, you will learn to differentiate ritual, group/tribal behaviors from true asshattery. With work (and luck) you can sometimes draw the best angels from men’s hearts. Sometimes. Other times, the mute button is your friend.

    I gave up on online multiplayer games years ago. Too much work, not enough play. The sad level of effort made at civilized discourse among 13-year-olds was partly the issue   ;-)

  18. I’m not saying it justifies sexism, I’m saying it clouds the issue and creates more diversion.
    Online you will be picked on with whatever happens to be the thing that stands out about you the most. That could be gender, but just as easely be race, country of origin, hobby, sexual preference, skill level at the game.
    What ever they notice about you in your nickname or what you say or how you say it. And if you want to fix that issue then you should be comming togehther as a group and not just single yourself out as the only one with a problem.

    Moderation is nice, but only works for small parts of the internet. Most of online gaming is totally unregulated so the mute button is still your best friend in most cases.

    1. Frederik, your entire argument seems to be a dubious assertion that men have it as bad as women in the gaming world, and that, rather than complaining about the sexism they encounter, women should go away.  Please give it a rest.

      1. yes, I am saying men have it just as bad, but I am not saying women should go away. That is you putting words in my mouth. I’m saying they should not single themselfs out as the only people with a problem when it is a problem of the entire gaming community. We should be comming togther as a group to fight this rather then creating more divissive groups.
        It’s so wide spread Penny Arcade even made a sarcastic t-shirt about it illustrating the problem. 

        1. Men don’t have it as bad. Do an experiment: roleplay as a woman (or even just use a female character) for awhile. I did this in WoW early on. I like to play very different characters than who I am in RL, and so playing females, some of the time, is one of the ways to do that. While playing male characters, I rarely got any grief, or, if I did, it was highly specific to an event/situation. That is: while I may not have deserved it, it was certainly par for the course; an average amount of dickery.

          Playing a female character meant that I was usually — at least once per session, and often a lot more than that — hit on, insulted or generally poked at for the female-ness of my character, and nothing more. It usually stopped when I let them know I’m male in RL, but that was often followed by a remark to the effect, “That’s so gay.”

          Because playing as a male, undead warlock fantasy cartoon is so much more gritty, masculine and macho than playing as a female, undead warlock fantasy cartoon.

          Same thing at ComicCons, etc. Yes, there is a general, ambient level of bad behavior and juvenile antics. Part of the fun of games/comics/fiction-in-general is that it’s *not* real. We should be able to blow off some steam, be loud, be brash and glory in our geekishness. But if doing so really makes someone feel bad about their gender/sexuality? That’s not fun anymore. That’s just being an ass.

  19. The problem of sexual harassment in gaming has a much bigger reach than just gaming.  I’m a college professor teaching electronic music. Women are underrepresented in my field, and for years I’ve been doing everything I can think of to recruit them into my classes.  But much of the research I’ve done has pointed out that it’s already too late by college.

    Young women – girls – bail out of computer geekery in droves around age 14 because they don’t want to put up with the harassment.  I saw it happen with my colleague’s daughter: she was really interested and able with computers until high school.  At which point, she opted out of that culture and eventually went to college for business. (Happy ending, she got sucked up into the robotics club in college and finished with a degree in CS).

    I wish there was a convenient web link to send to commenters who say “men have it just as bad.” I realize, though, that this behaviour might indicate a sort of situational blindness that the best article in the world can’t cure.  Hopefully such commenters will see this enough to work it out for themselves: 1) Yes there is a problem and 2) Those who deny it in this way are a *major* part of this problem, perhaps even more so than the initial harassers.

  20. While I’m not exactly proud of my continued addiction to World of Warcraft, I am proud of the guild I’ve helped build and maintain for the past six years or so. 

    We don’t put up with harassment. If a player isn’t mature enough to think with their brain and not their genitals or not mature enough to kill dragons with people of different ages, nationalities, races, political beliefs, sexual origination, religions, etc without causing drama then they have no place in our guild. 

    It’s actually pretty amazing how well such a diverse group of people can get a long when they’re all mature enough to respect each other as fellow human beings and basically live and let live, agree to disagree, when it comes time to have a good time saving the world from giant pixel monsters. 

  21. I got hit on once, not delusional hit-on but real, awkward, hit-on in-game.  I knew already that this woman was divorced and had 2 kids and lived in California – basically I knew way too much about someone I just wanted to shoot in the face (not…you know what I mean).

    In the end I figured out that she just wanted to cyber over Steam so I stayed silent and told her my mic broke.  I did this because something told me blocking her might turn a little ugly.  She found someone willing to play the meta game with her and life moved on.

    I suppose that if this kind of thing happened day in and day out it could get pretty tiring.  

  22. That’s exactly what I crave, IRL gaming friends of both genders because of all the assholes in a random situation. But I’m not exactly in gamer country. I truly want Video Games to be something shared when I seek a future partner, but as it stands, I’m too into games to notice a non-gaming female, and the last thing I want is to be told that it’s a taboo desire to list gamer among attractive traits, like we do smoker or drinker. The chill guys who game are shut down before entering the arena, it would seem. I’ll still skip the Multiplayer servers and hit the scoreboard ’til someone is into sharing Bit.Trip experiences with me. CommandVideoGirl exists in Asheville somewhere.

  23. How about realizing that plenty of men would far rather be approached, but have to try something in the end when the desire for female companionship grows beyond a subtle interaction. Yes, there’s lots of asshole men too, that’s why I don’t leave the house that much either. They like to mess with shy boys just as much, though not remotely the same way I grant you. Can we try to muzzle Alphas for one day a week and see what’s up with the rest of us?

  24. Feminism gone too far? I just want proof that there are girls in the real world who play games. I couldn’t be more blatant about alternately playing games alone and walking around town batting my eyelashes. What does that have to do with feminism? Shy guys are on the same level but a treated badly by both.

  25. What about shy guys and how everyone is mean to us online. we never have a chance to even say hi before a group of ten year olds has us in tears vowing to never play a game again. I feel marginalized by every comment like this. YOU don’t understand what it’s like for those of us confused it would seem. There’s just assholes and girls i guess. Respect shy dudes who get forgotten all day long and maybe you can keep us from getting bitter about women in the real world. How can you be so mean to the rest of us?

  26. I’m not denying the problem, I’m insulted by the response. I’d rather have been invited to meet these girls in a public forum and be around with many as allies when assholes start up. I just got told being male makes me gawk at women and make remarks. I could never do that. I’m a princess waiting to be saved but they just see me as one of the guys. I’m a person, too.

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