Game culture vs. women

Game developer Brianna Wu explains that women haven't yet made headway in the critical landscape of game culture, a fact exposed by 2013's Game of the Year lists.
Those life events inform my experiences and opinion. And, they inform my perspective on 2013 Tomb Raider. And, with respect, if you only have people voting on game of the year from a very singular opinion — generally white, straight and male — it’s missing so much information that it loses its validity. This doesn’t mean guys can’t have awareness of issues affecting women. And it doesn’t mean women have a singular, monolithic opinion on games or even sexism. Even among my female friends, we have vastly differing opinions about 2013 Tomb Raider. Some of us love Bioshock Infinite; some of us hate it. But more viewpoints need to be represented in discussing games. We need more female games journalists who have a more central part of the dialog.

2013 seems to have been a good year for games, but a bad one for gamers: a blur of angry adolescent guys reminding women just who is the boss in game culture. Wu recounts a number of the year's worst examples, and they're surprisingly grotesque.

That said, a bravo must go out to one of the more prominent contributors to the bullying tenor of game culture, Mike Krahulik, who today recognized his problem and promised to deal with it.

But publishers have a responsibility, too. Websites that let people comment on game reviews are a big part of the problem: much of this year's nastiness was facilitated by websites which chose to publish relentless, sexist attacks on their own authors.

Notable Replies

  1. Seriously, how many times does he have to (a) say "oh I've been a massive dick I won't do that again" and then (b) be a massive dick, before people actually wait to see whether (b) takes place again before giving out the bravos?

  2. Haha, you're funny! If a website doesn't want to publish bigotry, threats and harassment aimed at women, it's part of the patriarchal conspiracy to silence dissent. Gotcha! Look at us, quashing every boy's right to be published by polygon and kotaku as guaranteed by the mrphteenth amendment to the constitution.

  3. GlennF says:

    If your response to systematic, provable harassment, degradation, and the rest towards a specific group (in this case women) is to point out an aspect in which a minority expresses any behavior like that of the majority, you're not advancing the discussion, but, rather, being a troll.

    Girls can be bullies. However, girls or women who are bullies do not systematically modify the opportunities for an entire class of people based on a physical or neurological attribute for the whole.

  4. I'm guessing you read the article. Did you not catch the part about people who publish the female perspective in gaming being harassed?

    No, I don't mean your usual (also bigoted but not violent) "LOL faggot this game rulez and if you cant see it ur GAY" blowback...it's death threats, rape threats, and calls for firing (because...a game review had an opinion in it???).

    I think these responses are in the minority, but they're still tolerated. Meanwhile, how many death threats are an acceptable number to a gamer with an opinion, do you think? Maybe if the threats to commit violence on authors with the female perspective subsided, we would find it emerging.

    Me...I'd rather keep my mouth shut than get a death threat.

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