Sexism in gaming

Not a new thing for women who game, but it's great to see the New York Times devote more than a thousand words to it. The hate-filled attacks that followed Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter campaign are part of the story, but so are a number of anecdotes from tournaments that expose "the severity of the harassment that many women experience in virtual gaming communities."


  1. The BoingBoing page I’m viewing this on has an ad for “Roadkill” t-shirts picturing a girl with gigantic boobs.  I mean, like, huge. 

    1.  I wanted to ‘like’ this comment, then realized the sentiment could be interpreted a couple different ways…

      1.  I’m also annoyed with those ads.
        Annoyed that my brain fleetingly linger over those huge boobs Every Time and then annoyed at whoever made those ads for settling on the absolutely least creative way to showcase their products.

      1. Ordinarily, I would poke you for directly talking about taking away ad revenue from BoingBoing in their own comments section, but I, too, would like to not support ads featuring a woman with incredibly large tits being used to sell cynical t-shirts on a site like this.

        Especially in the context of a post about the endemic sexism women face on the Internet and everything related to it.

        1. You can complain about problematic ads. We get weird shit in ad remainders sometimes. We always get a lot of complaints when the Scientology ads accidentally show up.

          1. Consider this a complaint against the “I used to care / but I take a pill for that now” ad from, then. Or should I email Pesco about it?

      2. I have an ad blocker, but I always assumed BB received some kind monetary compensation from the ads.  I like visiting BB and want them to see a little money, so I keep it turned off here.

        Now if BB doesn’t get a significant source of money from the ads I’ll turn it back on.  Perhaps the mods can shed some light on that?

        1. Yes, ad revenue is our income. Unless they’re selling drugs out the back door and they haven’t mentioned it to me.

      3. BoingBoing is my favourite website for ‘stuff’.  I’d like them to get as much ad revenue as possible, personally.

        I do however have flash set to ‘on click’, so I don’t see the Flash ads.  That makes me feel like a bad person as it is.

    2. The ads tend to be quite contextual.  I have a suspicion that Road Kill might want their ads to appear on posts containing the word ‘sexism’ (although admittedly more likely ‘women’).

      That would be quite funny, if not an unusual and wasteful marketing move.

    3. You’d think BoingBoing would be above the likes of a third-rate competitor to Snorg Tees, considering that having to look at Snorg ads is bad enough as it is.

      1. And, of course, I forget about the American Apparel ads on the front page.  They’re not well known for their respect for women.

    1. No, they shouldn’t.  In-game chat is a desirable feature.  Letting asshats dictate the feature set is a losing strategy (which leads to things like the TSA).   What are needed, as Portnow mentions on Extra Credit and in the article, are better tools and banning practices.  They won’t be foolproof, but they could be much more effective.  Right now, the tools for muting, reporting and banning are very basic…little changed from the service’s early days, in fact.  Xbox Live is nearly 10 years old, now.  Better tools to support it’s primary function as an online gaming service are long overdue.

  2. Online anonymity produces bigotry from bigots. News at 11. 

    The answer, like usual,  is not censorship. The lack of proper moderation in online games is simply exposing the fact that the US has a culture of hate.

  3. Hello Happy Mutants! Check out these screenshots from a game I’m developing in response to the face-punching game. It’s called Spen Burr.

    1. Sounds like she is suffering from (coining a term here, so bear with me) cultural Stockholm Syndrome.

      1. And why is that? Because she likes having a diverse cast of female characters throughout the best video games in the industry, and that she likes the fact that the mere existence of many of those characters (like Chell, or Rochelle) have done a LOT to feminist ideals?

  4. Yes, how odd that members of the gaming community, who are usually so polite and supportive of one another, turn mean when females appear.

  5. Thanks Xeni for posting this. Whenever I see an obvious sexism post its always from you. Come on male boingboingers.. make up the difference.

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