What happens when a guy logs in under his wife’s gamertag? A whole new understanding of gamer girl problems. A huge thank you to my buddy Slaus for writing this post!

I consider myself a normal guy really. Nothing special, run of the mill, pays his taxes and tries not to scratch himself in public kinda dude.  Puts pants on two legs at a time and just tries to enjoy life every now and then with a little bit of escapism via video games when time permits.

But I want to tell you about a time where I logged in to game, and ended up beginning down a road of pro-feminism, or being a little BLEEP as many my male friends have decided to call it. But I digress… let’s get to the story.

For quite awhile I was in absolute love with Mass Effect 3 multi-player. Not just because it took place in the world of Commander Shepherd and I got to play as some of my favourite species and classes, but more so because it was cooperative.

…and I was good at it.

Really good at it.

Guaranteed first or second ranking per match good. Another reason I was in love with the game was because I got to play it alongside my wife, my long-time childhood friend; Mark as well as other really cool friends and strangers who happened to fill out the remaining spots. But one day I decided to login to try and unlock a few perks and packs for my wife since she was having a terrible time getting valuable items which you could randomly get in the perk packs. Therefore I decided to log in as her one time, play as a character which was one of my favourites, and rack up enough points to afford her a few packs in hopes at least of them would be an unlock for something worthwhile. Little did I know I’d be unlocking much more.

As soon as I logged onto the “lobby” which is an area where the 4 players wait before going into the match, the first thing I hear over the headphones was: “Oh great.. a girl player? F*ck. Are you serious? Let’s kick her and hope we get someone else.” Of course for those of you unfamiliar with how this works, they knew the character was a female due to my wife’s moniker or gamer tag as it’s called. Then another player chimed in : “We can’t do a gold match with a girl player. There are even girls who play this game? Shouldn’t she be playing my little pony or something.”

Pinkie Pie


Hey.. F those guys alright?? My little Pony is the illest and I’ll hear no one besmirching my pony friends, son! But anyway…. Two of the players were just being pure ridiculous about the fact that a “girl” just HAD to be a liability and that there was no way some “girl” would be able to provide anything of value on such a difficult level as “gold”.

I stayed quiet as to not even bother giving these guys any relief that I was in fact male and instead decided I was going to play this match better than I had ever played before JUST to let these guys think that a lowly chick bested them and dominated. So I used the tactics that my WIFE in fact taught ME in playing that character and I completely ran up the score.  Pulling out into a clear lead from the get, yet at the same time playing decent support to the team.

By the end of the 1st round, my score was quite a bit ahead of everyone else’s to which one of the guys remarked: “ wait a minute, the chick is in the lead? Oh hell no guys, we can’t have this.”  Guy two then joins in to quip: “No way can we let some bytch clear us like this.”

Oh it was on from that point on. Only person I assisted the rest of the game was the third person who remained silent for most of the match. I let the other guys fend for themselves even when on a few occasions they begged for help and revives. I denied them and by the end of the game, their scores weren’t even close to mine.

That’s when the third person spoke up…. A female player.

“ Damn, she and I had the top two ranks and you guys spent most of the match dead on your backs… You let two girls dominate you. Daaaang.” She said.

Guy one: “F*ck you, b*tch. Suck on a d*ck and get back in the kitchen.”

Guy two: “Stupid whores, f*ck you. Get raped.”


That’s when I logged off.

I wasn’t going to say anything to them about what they said because then they would have felt “better” at the fact a female gamer DIDN’T beat their scores. I thought it best to let it burn that they were several thousand points behind my scores. Scores of a character with a female gamer tag.

What’s the point of this story?

The point is that there shouldn’t BE a time when a female gamer has to be subjected to that kind of vitrol and smack talking for no other reason than she logged on…and she has a vagina. It should never be that the answer to getting bested by a female gamer is to tell her to get back into the kitchen or worst yet: get raped.  Female gamers just like any other gamer should be able to enjoy the experience of gaming without feeling uncomfortable. Without being subjected to misogynistic  taunts for no other reason than she logs on! Now I know what many of you apologists are going to say to that:” man that’s just how gaming is, we trash talk, it’s not personal.”

Yes… yes it is. Yes this was. “I” was attacked PURELY for the fact I was on my wife’s gamertag and the gamer tag showed that it obviously belonged to a female.  MY skills came into question for NO other reason than it being perceived that female gamers can’t be any good. That they can’t be REAL gamers. And the rebuttal to the other female’s smack talking that was in answer to THEIR smack talking, was the tried and true good ol: get back into the kitchen… mixed with some complete depravity of “get raped.”

That’s wrong.


There is no excuse.


That is why whenever male gamers act as if they are so offended by the points which female and feminist gamers bring up (valid points), and their answer to such is to use pure ignorance and misogyny…… I shake my head.

Because fools like that are exactly why feminist gamers need to exist.

Game on ladies. Game on.

Keep up the good fight. You’ve got a few of us fellas behind you.

Slaus Caldwell

Gamertag: Sinchyld.


Comments for this post

  • slasher443 June 28, 2013 9:30 am edit

    Your wife probably would have got a higher score than you. Shame on you for dragging her down. :)

    • slaus June 28, 2013 12:34 pm edit

      truuuuuuuuuue. because I tend to get distracted by asari booty

      • Holly July 2, 2013 10:59 pm edit

        Aaand way to participate in the exact marginalizing behavior that contributes to the general disrespect towards women.

        • Slaus July 3, 2013 12:09 am edit

          yes. because far be it for us to find aspects of one another attractive.


          sorry, we all find certain things about others attractive. I’ll not apologies for that. :shrugs:

          Asari have great butts.

          and James Vega working out made me feel bad about myself….. I finished that burger anyway though.

          what? dude’s deltoids were sick! I was envious as hell.

          anyway.. sorry… I find your argument a bit lacking. I don’t think you are right or wrong.. I simply respectfully disagree.

          • Jon July 3, 2013 11:00 am edit

            I agree with Slaus here. While I see what Holly was trying to say, making the point “Like women? Then you are a misogynist!” just turns people away. I’m like “Whoa, is THAT what you want? Fuhgettaboutit!”

            If I have to choose between women’s rights and my right to be a guy, I’ll choose my rights. But I can say that easily because, fortunately, I don’t. I can respect a gamer’s skill without worrying whether she is a guy or girl at the same time I lust after … uh.. whatever.

            Ok, so I don’t get the appeal of Asari, but the point holds.

            The culture of dudes who feel the need to be superior to women, to make them objects to have and be threatened by any display of equality is naturally highly sexualized when it comes to women. I get that can make one oversensitive and pick up bad associations. And I also see how they might see any sexual thoughts as reinforcing their culture.

            But to hell with them. That’s not my problem. I doubt they’ll be reformed if a bunch of neutered guys going around how great it’s been since they gave up their sexuality. But they might if they see real people showing you can be a man without being a royal ass.

            The point to convey is women are people. A person can have a variety of skills and worth regardless of whether they lack -or have- sex appeal.

          • James July 3, 2013 11:46 am edit

            No one is saying that you can’t find aspects of one another attractive. They’re saying don’t act like a pig.

            Seriously, people smarter than me can explain better why saying something like what you just said is EXACTLY part of the problem.

          • slaus July 3, 2013 12:37 pm edit

            james – seems to me that is exactly what you are saying. because let me tell you, if me finding a woman attractive or feeling lusty azz lusty means that I am a part of the problem, then guess what.

            call me the problem child.

            If staring at Kerri Washington and Christina hendricks whilst drooling and speaking in gibberish makes me part of the problem, well then i guess you’ve got a problem. :shrugs:

            attraction in itself can’t be misogyny. that is absolutely preposterous. Now if I was to say: that woman isn’t valuable to me as a person and is nothing more than a culmination of body parts that i wish to use for sexual purposes and I don’t consider her to be worth anything other than a receptacle or canvas, THAT would be a problem.

            I’m not seeing the logic in yours or Holly’s statements at all.

            but i’ll give you or anyone else a listen.

            show me how lust and attraction is misogynistic. Go on… I’m all ears honestly.

            but it’s just like my fellow Black people when I tell them everything a white person says doesn’t equate to being racist JUST because you don’t like it. it might be ignorant… but that doesn’t mean it’s racist.

            but hey.. if you can show me with facts and examples that i’m wrong.. I’ll reconsider.

          • Orv July 3, 2013 12:53 pm edit

            I think you’ve pretty well nailed it. It’s all right to find women attractive. What’s not all right is to reduce them to only their attractiveness.

            This is why I get so pissed off when guys complain about being “friend zoned.” The only way I can see that making a female friend could be a bad thing is if they see women as just sex dispensers that are supposed to pay out when supplied with affection.

          • Digital Distraction July 3, 2013 1:02 pm edit

            I find it interesting that this devolved into this sort of, “How dare you say you like the way the character you played looks!” sort of thing. He’s talking about an Asari. The Asari, you know, the genderless race in a sci fi game? The Asari who can swap DNA with any creature of any species and gender to create another Asari. They are neither male nor female, but liking the way they look is wrong? Wrong to which gender?

          • James July 3, 2013 12:56 pm edit

            Dude, I’m not saying lust and attraction = misogyny.

            I’m saying that making snide, one-off, dismissive comments about “ass” (or whatever) can be. ESPECIALLY when you just wrote an entire blog post about sexism and misogyny.

            You want to appreciate a nice fine ass, go nuts. You want to talk to your friends about that nice fine ass, also go nuts.

            But in a public forum, not so much.

          • Orv July 3, 2013 1:11 pm edit

            Hah, good point. I lacked context for what the Asari were, to be honest.

          • Slaus July 3, 2013 1:40 pm edit

            James- don’t get me wrong. I SEE your point. I do. I simply don’t agree with it.

            and you have yet to explain to me how exactly.. I’m wrong. you allude to it, but you haven’t hit all cylinders for me.

            thanks for your feedback and opinion though. please don’t find this as me being dismissive. It’s not.

            It’s just me respectfully disagreeing.

            but I WILL apologize for my humour coming off as or containing any snide tone.

          • slaus July 3, 2013 4:50 pm edit

            So james I went back and laid out the parrallels of what you and Holly are saying because 1). as part of my growth, I like to pull back from a situation and break it down to the facts and examples.. no emotions.

            and now I want to put into perspective exactly what you are saying.

            Let’s say I’m giving a speech on race and the importance of identifying racism and associated issues with it. If I give a 2 hour speech on the entire subject, it would be in extremely bad taste for me then to speak into the mic at my jewish friends and quip: “don’t worry Mort.. we got a good price on this hall..I know your people find that important. ehk ehk ehk(wry laugh)” I can’t look to my latino friends and say: ” Hey gonzalez, tell your relatives out in the kitchen that the chicken was dry” and to then look at black person and say: ” ..that chicken was good wasn’t it Tyrone.. did ya try thw watermelon? ehk ehk ehk.( actually I could get away with that last one)” still… it would be in bad taste. Racist? realllly straddling that line.

            but bottom line is that whether my statements were racist or not, they are without question offensive and in bad taste for the venue.

            and THAT is why my comment about Asari’s butts is offensive.

            my apology from the previous comment stands.

            ………..probably a bad time to bring up Jack’s toplessness in me2 also….right?..yeah… i’ll hush..juust keep it to myself…. mmmmhm……I got ya now, James and Holly….won’t here a peep out of me on the subject. I get it now. ..and i don’t want to be part of the problem…nope.

            …….. jack ..she was hot. daaaaaang she was.

            don’t worry. I’ll show myself out.

          • Lupine July 22, 2013 8:56 pm edit

            Although I do see why someone could be upset by Slaus’ comment, I’d like to raise a point as a female that although it is terrible to be objectified, most women wouldn’t like it if every man suddenly became completely numb to their appearance entirely. It nice to be admired every once in a while. It just isn’t ok to be reduced to your body alone.

          • Chelsey July 24, 2013 5:35 am edit

            It’s kind of a complex issue, but I’d say the reason why a lot of us women have a negative reaction to that kind of statement is because we are used to being judged so much (and degraded for) how sexually attractive we are (or are not) to men, and usually it’s based on some individual factor of our body that is mostly unchangeable/unattainable/unrealistic. In daily life we (or at least I, because I guess I can’t speak for every woman, but it is a sentiment I’ve heard from many other women many, many times) feel ranked and judged by our appearance far above everything else (due to many factors that are not always directly tied to individual men but mostly on how society treats women as a whole), so there’s a twinge of pain attached to being reminded that that’s what men are paying attention to when sexiness is not the purpose of whatever we’re doing (like when we’re not stripping or whatever). It’s a reminder that our sexiness to others is our primary worth because it is brought up when other, more prevalent factors (strength, intelligence, humor, etc) are present but aren’t recognized to nearly the same degree, if at all. Having such a small window of worthiness (and one that requires constant maintenance, may be unchangeable, and will undeniably leave us as we age) is painful.

            Anyways, I know that sounds all rather involved, but I just wanted to put that point of view out there and explain the misunderstanding. It’s basically a gigantic insecurity issue that seems crazy to those outside of it but makes perfect sense when you see how women have been raised and are treated since the age of puberty (or younger if you want to start talking about dolls with perfect bodies and makeup targeted to preschoolers). I have male friends who make comments about women’s bodies and I get frustrated, but at the same time I know that they are just expressing what they are attracted to in a way that they’ve been raised to see as appropriate, but don’t understand the implications that are attached for a woman hearing it (because, as per my explanation, it’s pretty subversive and unfortunately less understanding men will brush it off because they don’t get it and haven’t experienced it from that perspective). In a perfect world we could all comment on what we find physically attractive on other people with no problem, but unfortunately it is an imperfect world where the quality of a woman’s butt is taken to mean more than, well, just being a nice butt.

            But yeah, that was rather longwinded, especially for a one sentence remark about a fictional character, but there you go.

            Btw, this article was great and I love your responses to the trolls. Thanks for taking the time to see the gaming experience from a female perspective and having some empathy.

          • Bluekachu July 28, 2013 6:09 am edit

            First fun fact, I’m a girl; second fun fact, I’m a gamer. Third fun fact, I see nothing wrong with what Slaus said. Everyone has their drothers when it comes to their reasons for gaming or their general likes. Personally, I adore stair at a well rendered face in my games. If there is a shirtless well rendered man in the game I’m playing; you bet your butt I’m going to take a few minutes to appreciate the craftsmanship of that pixilated chest. Does that make me a propogator of the problem? No, it’s me appreciating an aspect of the game. If we weren’t supposed to enjoy the quality of the graphics we’d be still playing Commodore 64 style games.

            The thing is that Slaus isn’t disrespecting anyone. He’s not treating one gender or another with insults and disrespect. In fact, he’s DEFENDING those that are getting treated like puss. That’s something that I appreciate. As a girl gamer I honestly play solo more then anything else and ignore the chatter that goes on because when you give a bunch of people anonymity and a way to feel superior you get bad results. Because it’s the gaming world it’s predominantly men doing it. It’s wrong, it needs to stop,but it’s there. We need to stop looking at someone’s gender as a reason to attack them. If a girl were saying the same thing as him no one would be attacking her. Well guess what guys,I know several girls who would totally agree with him on his rear assessment. That ISN’T what matters. What matters is that women are verbally abused when they’re gaming and it needs to stop.

          • Kim July 29, 2013 2:18 pm edit

            Jon, being a guy isn’t synonymous with being straight. Some guys are gay. It’s also pretty offensive that you insinuate that you have to be straight to “be a man”

        • Maverynthia July 30, 2013 1:51 am edit

          Yeeep and look how he’s all “But I LOVE women, I find them attractive so I reduce them to their body parts. I publicaly admit that women only hold value as their attractiveness to me! Let’s all men go around passing judgement on women’s bodies!” Sigh… I had hopes for the OP but after starting to also call them “females, a female” I knew it was low bars.

  • Janey June 28, 2013 10:15 am edit

    Great to know there’s support for gaming ladies out there. Please hold my purse now, Thanks. ;)

  • cass June 28, 2013 1:03 pm edit

    My boyfriend didn’t believe that I went through this kind of verbal abuse when I game online. He knows I have scores that match his own and that I hold my own but asked why I tend to mute other players.

    I put him through a similar experiment that you did. And he was disgusted. If a man talked to me like that in public, he’d get violent towards that man. On an online game, there isn’t much you can do.

    Thank you for this well written piece and thank you for pointing out that this is a problem.

    • Kuri June 28, 2013 11:12 pm edit

      Og there’s plenty you can do, problem is, people are convinced that nothing will be done, so they never bother with reporting the offenders.

      • Devin June 30, 2013 3:11 am edit

        Bear in mind, some games don’t have effective administration, and with even DOZENS (Even in a few cases, HUNDREDS!) of players reporting one or two players, nothing gets done. Nada, zip, zilch… It’s like the Admins & moderators aren’t even there to begin with… And the few times they are seen in-game they get pelted with more reports of rule-breakers than should be possible.

        So the belief that it will do nothing is, unfortunately not always false. There are games where no rules are enforced, and it takes an exceptionally unreasonable amount of abusing the game to have any action taken.

        • jsb16 July 1, 2013 12:55 pm edit

          Vote with your feet (and your $$)…

          • Xeno July 4, 2013 1:09 pm edit

            Or vote by griefing the hell out of any player who does this crap.

            I don’t care which plumbing kit you have when you’re on the other end of a multiplayer game. Are you good? Fine. Are you bad? Offer tips. Are you a douche? Spawncamp.

          • AcidQueen July 14, 2013 4:46 pm edit

            That’s one possible solution–but then it also brings up the fact that you’re allowing dudebros to run you out of a game that you may otherwise enjoy, which indirectly reinforces the behaviours because said dudebros will get the idea that they’re doing A Good Thing since their victim(s) are leaving…which is what the dudebros want in the first place.

            I choose to fight.

    • 7800 July 2, 2013 11:37 am edit

      I stopped using obviously female nicks a long time ago for this very reason. I found it impossible to be crappy OR awesome at any game – it resulted in the same abuse. Either I would be a pussy and a “complete stupid ass woman who should get back in the kitchen” for being crap, or I “was a stupid woman who didn’t get enough c*ck and should go suck some d*ck” because I scored better.

      Either that or someone repetetively tries to chat me up, cyber, get my number, try to send me pictures of their penises (and then calling me a whore for not liking it), being asked very strange questions about sex and about my tits, weight etc etc.

      … I’m just trying to play a game here.

      At least nowadays, with a genderless nick, I don’t get badmouthed before I even start playing. It’s sad though.

    • 7800 July 2, 2013 11:53 am edit

      just want to add this: of course that wasn’t ALL the time. The vast majority are perfectly civil in the way you’d want – there to play the game. Not giving a crap who the others were.

      It just happens often enough. Too often.

    • sirspate July 3, 2013 8:25 am edit

      I’m a little surprised that the reactionary press hasn’t done a piece or two experimenting with a feminine gamertag to shame Microsoft into doing something about this problem.

      • paul July 3, 2013 4:51 pm edit

        I’ve never actually had a need to do so, but isn’t there a method to flag a gamertag or give a review for these kinds of things? Or is the issue that it’s just a rating with no repurcussions other than people possibly avoiding games with that account?

      • Ford MF July 7, 2013 12:54 pm edit

        You’re really surprised that pervasive harassment of women is marginalized and ignored by mainstream media?

    • Charles August 31, 2013 9:29 pm edit

      A very important number of issues brought up in this post, and I applaud both the OP and her friend for conducting this experiment. I do have a couple of counterpoints I’d like to bring up, and as they all seem to revolve around the last paragraph, I’ll just lead off with that:

      *** “That is why whenever male gamers act as if they are so offended by the points which female and feminist gamers bring up (valid points), and their answer to such is to use pure ignorance and misogyny…… I shake my head.”

      This argument revolves around a very critical (and incorrect) assumption that all points brought up by feminists and female gamers are valid. Some feminists and female gamers operate under the assumption that, since some of their observations are valid and proof of misogyny, therefore all their observations are valid and proof of misogyny.

      As an example: There exist feminist gamers who complained about the physical rigours that Lara Croft went through in the Tomb Raider reboot (getting beaten up, being in pain after falling from great heights, being impaled on sharp objects, etc.) and cited this as an example of misogyny in the gaming industry.

      However, a number of egalitarian-minded gamers (women too, not just men as the OP suggests) correctly pointed out that games of this genre with a male protagonist feature him going through the exact same rigours. Nothing Lara Croft went through wasn’t anything that Nathan Drake (Uncharted) or Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain) or countless others haven’t gone through. So, it is asserted, how can this be proof of misogyny in the gaming industry if the gaming industry portrays men going through the exact same rigours under the exact same context?

      Yet, when one points out this refutation by counterpoint, one gets either told their argument is invalid SOLELY because they are “blinded by male privilege” (if male) or “blinded by internalized misogyny” (if female) and absolutely no debate, discourse or understanding occurs; both sides just go back to their corners angrier than when they left, which is great for prize fights but not so great for social discourse.

      I have no doubt that female gamers are bullied online, in greater proportion and in different ways than their male counterparts. However, that does not mean that only female gamers are victims of a largely sociopathic online community, nor that it is inherently “morally worse” when it happens to women, and I encourage the OP (and those of a like mind) to see criticism of an observation along those lines. I fully suspect that most criticism could (and should) be discarded on spec; the fact that the OP suggests that criticism of feminist gamer thought comes solely from men suggests to me that less than 100% of it could.

      • L September 19, 2013 10:38 pm edit

        Nathan Drake and Ethan Mars were both raped? Because that’s what I see most feminists upset about when it comes to Lara Croft.

        The reason no one wants to discuss it is because we all already have. A billion times. Why is it in video games women only need armor to protect their breasts? Why is a tragic backstory for a woman always rape when it almost never is for men in games? Why exactly are women gamers targeted for abuse moreso than men?

        The answer is cultural. We like to think everything changes quickly, but women haven’t even had the right to vote for a century yet. Many of these attitudes still linger, only without the in-your-face misogyny, people dismiss it. After you’ve had the same conversation a hundred times, it’s not worth it anymore. Sometimes someone actually wants to discuss these issues, but I’ve found it’s rare. Mostly I seem to find people who want their views validated, not challenged. I’ve already had my views challenged. I wasn’t always a feminist. I didn’t even listen for a long time, but one day I did. Then I got to discover just how frustrating it is to be on this side.

        So, basically, the point I’m trying to make with my rambling is that I’m sorry you’ve been accused of being blinded by male privilege. But are you sure you aren’t? I honestly don’t mean that in an insulting way. As a woman, I used to scoff at the idea of internalized misogyny – but I was wrong. I think most of us are culturally blinded. The only thing we can do is question why we hold the beliefs we hold, instead of why others hold theirs.

  • Cece Nichole June 28, 2013 1:04 pm edit

    You just describe my COD experiences to a T. I’ve been a gamer all of my life and yet when I play online I still get bs about being a “girl”. You would think in this day and age ish like thia wouldn’t happen but…

    • John July 5, 2013 4:09 pm edit

      It’s unfortunate, and I watch it on COD:BlackOpsII regularly. All I can say is please know that there are many of us out there who don’t give a shit what your gender is, who wouldn’t dare utter things like “get back in the kitchen” or “get raped” (what a horrific thing to say to someone, anyone), and would be proud to be on a team with a buncha ladies.

      Hell, whenever I get my ass handed to me by someone with [Girl] or [Lady] in their tag, I think “Nice. Well done.”

      More power to you.

  • mmkay June 28, 2013 2:17 pm edit

    Look man no offense but did you seriously in your entire life never have it click that trash talking goes on when people play games? I have been told to get raped and eat a dick as well pal and i’m a guy. It doesn’t matter if you are man or woman there are asshols out there that will always attack the weakest points they can understand. Stop being such a pussy. Play with people that aren’t dicks and ignore the ones that are.

    • Slaus Caldwell June 28, 2013 3:44 pm edit

      Thanks for the response homey, but in your quick-to-defend the status quo, you missed the entire point.

      Trash talking DURING a game… always happens. it’s par for course.

      THIS abuse happened as soon as a female gamertag entered the cue and it was for NO other reason than a female gamer logged in. Period. My skills were questioned PURELY on the fact it was thought I was a female. It was deemed that I wouldn’t be able to be of any use on gold difficulty for no other reason than the fact it said Female gamer. It didn’t matter that if they clicked onto my wife’s character that they would have saw her gear was just as good if not better than theirs and that her n7 rank was as high or higher than their also.

      All things being equal, the ONLY reason they tried to kick me from the game and doubted me was based PURELY on the fact…. a “girl” was trying to play with them.

      How convenient and typical that you completely looked over these glaring facts.

      cool story bro.

      • Kate July 1, 2013 11:01 am edit

        *love* Thank you, your wife is a lucky lady!

      • Atheistman September 20, 2013 12:11 pm edit

        Try it with atheism. I am quite proud of my beliefs, and so have always chosen to let them represent me online, and I get just as much shit as you’re saying you got having a feminine label. The difference is, I’m mature enough to realize that the large number of twelve year olds that haven’t yet learned enough about life to reserve judgement on people until after they’ve had interaction with them for an extended period does not denote a lack of compassion or understanding in society in general.

        Does it suck and hurt sometimes that people kick me/ trash talk to me before they even know anything about me other than that I believe something they don’t like? Of course it does. That doesn’t mean that it’s an actual issue, because it’s the internet. When I meet people like this in real life, I’m the best of friends with them, because I’m compassionate, reasonable, and non-confrontational about any beliefs, particularly my own.

        As far as convenient and typical ignorance goes, amazing how you failed to notice that the person you’re responding to did not specify what point in time he was trash talked, nor the reason for it. You ignored the fact that he said that people will focus on the weakest point they can find, which includes proclaiming difference from them.

        Trying to censor people for having a different opinion from you is pretty typical radical feminism at work. Rather than trying to help people or understand them, you just want them silenced so you don’t have to think about them.

        Cool story, bro.

        • Ford MF September 20, 2013 4:27 pm edit

          Your definition of maturity is different from mine.

        • Ford MF September 20, 2013 4:31 pm edit

          Also, expecting people to not be misogynists isn’t a “difference of opinion”. People have different opinions about two morally different opinions, and that’s reasonable and cool. Choosing misogyny is not a thing you get a pass on because it’s your opinion. Being a racist or a misogynist isn’t like, really enjoying flan while other people think it’s gross.

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 11:49 am edit

      When your argument is “this isn’t misogynist, dude,” it’s really best to not call a guy a pussy in the process. Just sayin’.

  • Nomnomvore June 28, 2013 3:34 pm edit

    I think you should put those two gamer’s gamertags on here, oust them to the internet, so much fun can be had at their expense.

  • Drake Martinet June 28, 2013 4:38 pm edit

    Hey S,

    I was really affected by this story. I work for a news company in NYC (nowthisnews.com) and I was wondering if we could hit you up about a short interview. Would love it if you dropped me an email – drake at nowthismedia dot com

    Drake Martinet

    • Ms.Knowitall July 2, 2013 4:13 am edit

      Just as a question… why would you interview him?

      Why not interview one of the countless women that this happens to on a daily basis? Or does it only count if it happens to a man?

  • Daenarys June 28, 2013 5:37 pm edit

    I’ve been through the same thing as a female gamer. You only got one side of the coin. The other side consists of everyone over embellishing your skills because having a vagina automatically means you aren’t going to play well. This tends to coincide with various levels of sexual harassment (IE: “Oh baby you healed me, damn that makes me hard” or “Your voice is really sexy where do you live?)

    My husband never realized the full debth of the situation until he played a game of DOTA 2 with me. We never let on that we were married and the other three male players spent the entire time harassing me. Even if he said things like “Chill out guys it’s just a lady, no big deal”

    But like other feminist gamers I refuse to mute my mic. In the end, it’s easier to let them make fools of themselves.

    • Digital Distraction June 29, 2013 3:19 pm edit

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Daenarys. :)

    • sulamita July 20, 2013 2:00 am edit

      You are brave, when I play COD and turn them off, not exactly because they swear, but because they just talk to much, and enjoyed more the game that way. I also know now that when a girl jump in the game it seems that they are going to try to shoot you all the time, I notice that, but for some reason it did not stop me, I was you can’t kill me all you want dude, but I will get you once. Anyway it is good to read this article, I was a little bit disappointing that on the Reddit gamers forum all I read is just about sexism, I like to read on regular games forums cause they talk about games only. It is not that I don’t notice it, it is just that I already spend the whole day working with 20 other guys and a very old school boss, that my dosis of frustration get full filled and all I want to do is to find a game forum in where girls just care to talk about games. But it is obvious that sexism is a real issue… and I should be more supportive and understanding (I know I have gotten those penises pictures myself out of the blue as well, thank fully I think my husband catches them first and block the usurper. The worst part, is that whoever send it out, should hiding it.. it is just hideous)

  • CCDreamz June 28, 2013 6:11 pm edit

    Great experiment. Thanks for sharing.

  • TheDrizzle June 28, 2013 7:52 pm edit

    This sickens me. If there’s a female in a multiplayer game I’m playing, it rarely phases me. It’s just another player. I came across this one site via Reddit, Not In the Kitchen Anymore. http://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com/ (This isn’t spam.)
    This is a really good look as to what female gamers deal with when playing online. She even records the voice chat so you can listen to it while reading, or just listen.
    The only thing I can think of doing is shutting down the trash talkers, focus their awful trolling onto me just to leave them alone. If there was anything else I could do to prevent this garbage from happening, I would try my best to do it.

    • Digital Distraction June 29, 2013 12:17 am edit

      I’ll have to check this out. Thanks for the link!

      • The Drizzle June 30, 2013 3:41 pm edit

        If I could, I would love to have like a support group for the victims of this. We could all play together, never worrying about this kind of garbage happening, and if someone starts acting like that, we could just all shut them down.

  • KOZ June 29, 2013 3:05 am edit

    You really are a little faggot; pro-fem, my little ponies…

    Anyways it is unfortunate for the subjection but stereotypes are there for a reason and I have yet to meet a girl gamer that’s even decent at any game and their persecution is all caused by the general moronic community.

    • slaus June 29, 2013 1:39 pm edit

      Cool story bro.


      out of respect for the folks at flygirlgamers, I’m gonna just bow out and smirk.

      I’d invite you over to MY side of the net, buuuut that wouldn’t be taking the high road.

      stay classy.

      • KOZ June 29, 2013 5:47 pm edit

        Your comment was useless. You had nothing to say but still commented because you think your hot shit ? and “cool story bro”? How old are you?

        “My side of the net” – This sold me the idea that your a loser in real life as well

        • slaus June 29, 2013 9:24 pm edit

          omg… i want you so bad right now, dude. don’t tell my wife but… let’s make love to the Halo theme song… the Dragon Age Soundtrack? Skyrim?? I wanna fusdorah you all night long, dude…. take your hit points down to zero… mmmm bathe you in my hot Mana…. yeahhhhhhh…. let’s level up boy… :: breathy whisper:: bring your curaga baby… you’ll need it. ooOoooo

        • Slaus June 29, 2013 9:51 pm edit


          • KOZ June 30, 2013 12:25 am edit

            I don’t hate you. I pity you that you think your getting to me in a fashion that 12 year olds with mics on xbox live try to.

            Might want to get more up-to-date memes. Makes you seem lame

          • Jason July 1, 2013 8:58 am edit


          • KOZ July 1, 2013 12:46 pm edit

            I have made a shit load of grammar mistakes due to my quick replying in all my comments. If you’re going to be that faggot that cares about grammar on the internet don’t be lazy and correct everything bitch

        • Slaus June 30, 2013 2:06 am edit

          … but i bought a new suit for it and everything!!!!
          Man i thought you loved me.

          lol honestly guy.. I can’t take you seriously. your comment was a sexism, homophobic, misogyny trifecta.

          You imply that my position and those who would agree with me as being ridiculous, but then everything about your post is exactly why feminist gamers and their supporters need to exist and fight back.

          but hey, that’s cool.

          You keep being you. I’ll keep being me and I’ll ride into the fight… on a Pony..with armour..and sparkles…and lasers.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 2:20 am edit

            So I called the guy a little faggot, big woop, wow such a low blow against female gamers (calling the guy a faggot). The only thing that I mentioned that pertained to female gamers is that I never met a decent and its true. Whats wrong with sharing an experience. I also am not one that badgers them online since I don’t give a shit, I simply stated that the general moronic community does.

            “sexism, homophobic, misogyny trifecta” Just called the guy little faggot which doesn’t really mean I’m homophobic (unless you think that whick is stupid)
            and stereotypes have some truth behind it and it backs up for me since I have yet to meet good female gamers

            “You keep being you. I’ll keep being me and I’ll ride into the fight… on a Pony..with armour..and sparkles…and lasers.”
            I get it your wierd, any other ideals about you that your up for sharing?

          • Aggelitus June 30, 2013 2:42 am edit

            By using homosexuality as an insult, you’re implying being gay is bad, something to be ashamed of. That’s why you are homophobic.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 2:35 pm edit
          • MrsNumbles June 30, 2013 11:55 am edit

            And how is it that every female gamer I know–EVERY ONE–can run rings around the majority of gamers without breaking a sweat.

            The fear and misogyny is strong with this one. Dah, well.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 3:47 pm edit

            “The fear and misogyny is strong with this one.”
            I don’t understand how you can be such an idiot.
            Where is this notion of fear that you describe coming from. What am I supposed to be afraid of because I don’t feel it or see it. And misogyny? Where have I bashed any female in any of my comments? All I said is that I haven’t met any good ones. Just because I have yet to meet a decent meets I’m sexist?
            That’s pretty fucked up logic there my friend.

          • stiricide July 1, 2013 5:54 pm edit

            I’ve yet to meet Gordon Ramsey, does that mean every chef I know can’t cook?

          • Jason July 1, 2013 8:59 am edit


          • KOZ June 30, 2013 3:54 pm edit

            So vocal now but when it comes to backing your wife up in game, or calling people out on bs in game chat(real life) your just a wimp. Keep replying like your something because your article says you act otherwise.

          • slaus June 30, 2013 6:42 pm edit

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 7:37 pm edit

            Just go watch MLP you little baby.

          • lurga June 30, 2013 8:51 pm edit

            Somebody can’t detect obvious sarcasm (or is being an indirect crybaby over it themselves).

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 10:37 pm edit

            No shit hes being sarcastic. My reply was towards the fact that he is just posting useless memes now and should go do something else. The crybaby bit is just a nice addition

          • Jason July 1, 2013 9:02 am edit


            KOZ, I have never seen anyone mess up “you’re” and “your” as much as you. Have you ever attended school?

            Your ignorance is astounding (not talking about spelling now).


          • KOZ July 1, 2013 12:52 pm edit

            My ignorance? What am I ignorant about? Please define to me exactly because everybody here has been failing too.

            They call me a sexist when there is nothing in my comments that would suggest it and they call me a homophobe when all I use is the word faggot. Please in your plethora of wisdom. Define to me ignorance and how everyone here is above me in social doctrine or ethics because right now you look like another dumbass who chose to reply like an idiot again without a coherent argument to back anything up. In reply to the nonsense your you’re corrections, I already replied to that and this is just proof to me that you can’t think of anything to say so you stick with the grammar game. No better than slaus with his memes

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:04 pm edit

            ROFL You just called someone out for continuing to do something that you already responded to… hours before you responded to it.

            Do you know how time works?

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 3:25 pm edit

            Do you need this explained to you?

            I saw the other one first which was just a”your’re*” statement and replied to it. Scrolled down and saw a much more elaborate comment and replied as well.

            Apparently you don’t know how time work since the two responses are minutes apart?

            How dumb can you be?

          • stiricide July 1, 2013 6:01 pm edit

            They think i’m racist when I all I use is the word “nigger” and I don’t understand why!

          • Meredith July 2, 2013 9:00 pm edit

            I wish I had the mad skills to whip up a GIF for Armored Sparkle Pony Lasers. Alas. Please take this opportunity to imagine one for yourself.

          • Digital Distraction July 2, 2013 9:34 pm edit

            This is the closest I could find.

          • Meredith July 2, 2013 11:06 pm edit

            CLOSE ENOUGH

            *bows down*

          • Digital Distraction July 3, 2013 12:30 am edit


          • slaus July 3, 2013 12:43 am edit

            I need that twilight sparkle auto cannon in my life……

        • Jason July 1, 2013 8:58 am edit


        • Tom July 4, 2013 7:30 am edit

          Please stop using the word faggot as an insult.

          You may claim it’s not homophobic but to deny that it means ‘gay’ is ridiculous.

          Maybe you would feel differently if you’d grown up in a world where you are made to feel ashamed of yourself during your formative years – 6 years in the closet from 11 to 17 here – and unable to speak to anyone about it – only to have people shout ‘faggot’ at you while kicking your face in.

          I’m asking you (not demanding) as a fellow human being who cares about the feelings of others not to use the word ‘faggot’… because it really hurts me every time you do – and probably all the gay people who hear you use it (probably even some of your friends and family, it’s roughly 1 in 16 people who are gay after all, and they are probably less likely to tell those around them who regularly use homophobic language)

          Yours, a faggot

          • Atheistman September 20, 2013 12:27 pm edit

            I would like to point out that at no point did he say that faggot did not mean gay. He admitted that he was using it as an insult, and might I say that it’s a damn fine choice if it gets slaus so butthurt (considering that such is the point of an insult).

            As far as being ashamed of yourself for enjoying another man’s dick (or woman’s vagina), I can’t see that as anything but your own fault, unless you happen to have grown up in a very cloistered town, since I came out when I was still in elementary school, and never felt bad once about the fact that I was different, or even that other people would try to pick on me for it. I straight up gave no fucks, because it’s a part of who I am, and the people who didn’t like that just didn’t get to hang out with me.

            So no, to those of us who are strong in who we are, calling other people, or even us, faggots does not hurt our feelings in the slightest.

    • Opt1kal June 30, 2013 12:16 am edit

      You say you’ve never met a girl gamer that’s even decent at any game?

      Exhibit A: http://www.pmsclan.com/
      Professional Female Only Gaming Clan…and yes, they do compete in MLG and some of the more major tournaments.

      • KOX June 30, 2013 2:22 am edit

        Im sure there are but all I said is I have yet to meet someone in all the ours I have across many online games and platforms that a decent female gamer girl. Hence a stereotype is formed and therefore exaggerated by free mouthing assholes.

        • kateri June 30, 2013 12:40 pm edit

          Dude, that’s because we’re all avoiding YOU.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 3:48 pm edit

            Why? I’m a nice guy and never bad mouthed a female gamer and am friends with a couple myself.

          • Dee June 30, 2013 4:02 pm edit

            Oh we got a “nice guy” over here. Everyone you have said in this thread is nothing nice. You are an asshole and your first comment bath mouthed female gamers.

            You are the problem, don’t pretend you aren’t.

            You have issues, dude.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 10:41 pm edit

            Exactly where have I bad mouthed female gamers? Please show me because all I said was that I haven’t met any good ones and hence I can see how a stereotype lingers. The worst think I did (only thing I did was call the author a faggot) that’s it.

            Clueless fucks like you are the problem. lol
            Read a post before you comment because it makes you look like a dumbass

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 11:58 am edit

            Really? You use the anecdotal evidence that you have never met a girl player who was good to imply that girl gamers aren’t good, when in reality, you don’t always know the sex of the people playing with you and female gamers routinely hide their sex to avoid people like you.

            And pointing that proves the stupidity of the person pointing it out.

            By the way, I’m fairly sure that faggots don’t go online talking about how people attack their wives online for being female. And the MLP thing? Completely sexist.

            You don’t need any help looking like a dumbass. You’re the kind of guy that I troll in games, since they also tend to be the guys who suck.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 2:14 pm edit

            Well another one fails. I never suggested that girl gamers are bad period because I haven’t met any good ones. All I said is that since I haven’t met any that I can understand how a stereotype can linger. So it seems you are another person that replies without reading comments.

            “And the MLP thing? Completely sexist.” How is it sexist if what I affiliate a little cartoon show to kids? Where have I specified that its a female show?

            “You’re the kind of guy that I troll in games, since they also tend to be the guys who suck.”
            Troll? What are you five. LOL I TROLLED HIM SO BADLY LOL.

            “By the way, I’m fairly sure that faggots don’t go online talking about how people attack their wives online for being female.”
            No but a faggot would stay completely silent and not say a word to stop people from talking trash beacuse hes a wimp.

            “And pointing that proves the stupidity of the person pointing it out.”
            Is this supposed to mean something or did your brain fail while thinking you wrote a brilliant statement because this is pure shit literature

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:08 pm edit

            It’s not literature. Words have definitions.

            You know damn well that you stated that you have never met a good female gamer in order to try to discredit any female gamers for being female. While you’re looking up words in the dictionary, try looking up incredulity.

            Then look up parallelism as a grammatical construct, since in context, your MLP references are sexist/homophobic, not ageist. Then google “where on the keyboard is the period?”

            Periods– not just for ladies anymore.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 3:38 pm edit

            Apperantly can’t reply to this It’s not literature. Words have definitions.

            You know damn well that you stated that you have never met a good female gamer in order to try to discredit any female gamers for being female. While you’re looking up words in the dictionary, try looking up incredulity.

            Then look up parallelism as a grammatical construct, since in context, your MLP references are sexist/homophobic, not ageist. Then google “where on the keyboard is the period?”

            Periods– not just for ladies anymore.” response so ill leave it here

            Oh good for you, words have definitions? Words can also be be brought together and when they are they form statements and literature but that doesn’t mean you can jumble any of them you choose and expect something that makes sense.

            “You know damn well that you stated that you have never met a good female gamer” oh goody, putting words into my mouth again lets see how this pans out:
            “never met a good female gamer in order to try to discredit any female gamers for being female” are you slow? I just said I haven’t met any good ones so I see how a stereotype can be formed. There is no hostility there or any attempt to discredit any gamer at all. I just shared what I have noticed. Fuck me right?

            “since in context, your MLP references are sexist” You just said the same thing and ask again. Where have I let on at any point in my statements that its sexist? Please quote me because at this point, you have no context because your making it up as you go along.

            ““where on the keyboard is the period?”

            Periods– not just for ladies anymore.”
            Oh boo hoo. I dont use proper grammar when replying to comments. That must mean all my logic is flawed and I’m wrong. It must be so shitty to have a brain that doesn’t know if a sentence/statement doesn’t end with a period yourself

          • bibulb July 3, 2013 1:31 am edit

            High-five, ma’am.

          • Wyn July 3, 2013 3:59 am edit

            “I’m a nice guy” !!!

            Thanks! That was the last stamp I needed for my Misogynist Gamer Dude bingo card! BINGO!

        • Nosferatu June 30, 2013 1:09 pm edit

          That’s probably because most of us don’t use mics or female gamertags because we’re trying to avoid the type of reaction written about in the article.

          Just sayin’.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 3:50 pm edit

            Thank you for actually responding with a reasonable comment to my inquiry. Unfortunately I haven’t put too much thought into this scenario but than again I always think the best of us are always more reserved than talkative so it makes sense.

            Again, thank you for a non-retarded reply.

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 11:59 am edit

            And by non-retarded, you mean “not stated while obviously female.” This is exactly what someone said above with a username denoting a female, and you called her stupid for that.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 2:49 pm edit

            Wrong again. I didn’t denote the user for being stupid for that exact point. In fact let me quote myself: “good point” but by that time I have heard the statement already and had more of a response. If memory serves me right I called her/him out for saying I’m sexist and hate women when I clearly haven’t said anything at all to justify such a claim in any of my comments.

            And I don’t look at usernames at all, I don’t know if I’m replying to male or female. I mean Swirly? WTF am I supposed to get out of that?

            “And by non-retarded, you mean “not stated while obviously female.” ” yeah keep on putting words into my mouth, that will get you far… NOT

            You have no argument against me. Your just pulling shit out of your ass at this point.

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:16 pm edit

            You don’t get to decide that you’re not sexist and assert it while behaving in a sexist manner and saying sexist things, then expect us to believe you.

            I can understand that you don’t grasp that you’re being sexist, but when you have both men and women claiming that you are and literally NO ONE claiming that you aren’t, maybe it’s time to be looking at your own behavior.

            And now I’m required to have a username that denotes whether I’m male or female? Why, did you want to throw some more gendered insults at me and wanted to know in advance the specific way that you thought you could hurt me?

            PS Get some reading comprehension skills. You said good point to the person whose gender you couldn’t determine and attacked the person who made the same point under an account with an obvious female name. TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I know. Reading is hard for you.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 3:55 pm edit

            “You don’t get to decide that you’re not sexist and assert it while behaving in a sexist manner and saying sexist things, then expect us to believe you.”

            The only evidence that you have that I’m sexist is by putting my statements into your bullshit context. I can do that too with anything

            “I can understand that you don’t grasp that you’re being sexist, but when you have both men and women claiming that you are and literally NO ONE claiming that you aren’t, maybe it’s time to be looking at your own behavior.”
            Nobody has proven to me that I have been when I reply them to do so. Except for you but you use the old what I think you mean versus whats actually there so you come off as an idiot. The only thing I have seen here from behavior is how touchy this subject is and how quick people are to strike at you with meaningless arguments calling me out when they have no concrete proof at all. You are just taking this a step above the bs line and just making up shit.

            “And now I’m required to have a username that denotes whether I’m male or female?”
            You are an idiot. Where have I said this? Pulling shit out of your ass again. All i said was I don’t look at usernames and don’t know if its male or female.
            “Why, did you want to throw some more gendered insults at me and wanted to know in advance the specific way that you thought you could hurt me?” aww you want the easy way out since then you would have to call me out on some actual sexist things instead of making them up.
            “you couldn’t determine and attacked the person who made the same point under an account with an obvious female name. TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I know. Reading is hard for you.”
            Again pulling shit out of your. I didn’t even notice their usernames when replying. I look at the actual words when replying not at usernames so I have a more organized response.

            “I know. Reading is hard for you.” Is this the best you got? You are lame. Might as well just call me an idiot and save your time because you suck at this

        • Jenny July 1, 2013 4:02 pm edit


        • Atheistman September 20, 2013 12:32 pm edit

          Honestly no idea how you manage to stay so calm in this. Just wanted to say I appreciate you working so tirelessly to try and inject some common sense into the comment section here. Hope your day goes well, you definitely deserve it.

    • Butmadigan June 30, 2013 5:07 am edit

      I’m confused as to why you’re calling Slaus a small bundle of twigs. But my, my, such vitriol against his perceived “gayness”. You know what research has uncovered about homophobes, right? So how many gay pornos do you have stashed away in your closet? C’mon, you can say. We won’t tell.

      Personally, as a woman, I think it’s hot when a man is secure enough in his masculinity that he doesn’t give a shit who knows he likes My Little Pony or the color pink or “chick flicks” or whatever you think of as emasculating in your tiny little brain (and I don’t mean the one atop your neck).

      Given that many women play as male characters to protect themselves from the misogyny rampant in online gaming, how sure are you REALLY that you’ve never met any good female gamers?

      • MrsNumbles June 30, 2013 11:56 am edit

        “Given that many women play as male characters to protect themselves from the misogyny rampant in online gaming, how sure are you REALLY that you’ve never met any good female gamers?”

        Whoo, this all DAY!

      • KOZ June 30, 2013 2:33 pm edit

        Really, you saying that all people that use slurs like faggot all fall under homophobic doctrine and that all of those people have some gay tenencies under some bullshit “research” claims. This just makes you look like a hypocrite. And I know a bunch of chicks that would instantly be disgusted at such a guy who likes MLP and throw him off as a loser. Argument goes both ways. There are more than one type of person out there.

        “Given that many women play as male characters to protect themselves from the misogyny rampant in online gaming, how sure are you REALLY that you’ve never met any good female gamers?”

        That’s a good point but they could just as easily be males as well. The few I know can handle themselves online and laugh at other women who can’t handle an online community. Still they suck at the respective games. Cool gals but they suck

        • Jürgen A. Erhard June 30, 2013 3:50 pm edit

          People who use slurs don’t all fall under the “homophobic doctrine”, though using homophobic slurs does tend to suggest homophobia.

          But they do fall into the a-hole category. For me at least, not sure about the regulars here, but I suspect I’m not alone in this.

          • KOZ June 30, 2013 7:36 pm edit

            “homophobic slurs does tend to suggest homophobia. But they do fall into the a-hole category” Nice claim here too. Let me guess, will you throw in that “research” shows this as well like BUtmadigan?

            I’m not a bad person but I do like to swear so I guess then I’m an asshole. Great logic.

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 1:19 pm edit

            You are a bad person who additionally likes to curse. I like to curse but I know the difference between cursing and using slurs. People who use slurs are bad people.

            And yes, research does back that claim.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 2:07 pm edit

            If you curse then you are my equal. Slurs are curse words and are if anything equal in terms of social blasphemy. Anyone who would say fuck or nigger or faggot on tv would get ousted immediately.

            Please provide evidence of these research claims because once again, bringing up retarded statements like these doesn’t help your case.

            “People who use slurs are bad people”
            This is a stupid assumption. I know plenty of honest to god great people who use slurs. More pointless arguments inbound without any backing?

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:19 pm edit


            Slurs are not equivalent to curse words. A person who says fuck on TV won’t get blacklisted but a person who uses slurs will. And yes, people who use slurs are bad people. You might think they’re good because they are like you, but USING SLURS IS BAD BEHAVIOR.

            You’re not even close to equal to me, boy.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 4:01 pm edit

            Holy fuck! you got me now! what will I ever do against a random article posted on the internet?


            Nice study there too. Under sampled group of males got a hard on to porn. Great stuff there you got.

            Slurs might black list you for a bit but they always rebound within a certain amount of time once people stop caring again. Same thing will happen to Paula deen.

            “You’re not even close to equal to me, boy.” I know I’m clearly way above you

          • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 4:05 pm edit

            Are… are you mentally retarded? If so, I’m really sorry for laughing at you and I apologize.

            Seriously, it’s hilarious that you think a Huffington Post article can compare to an article in a respected psychology journal.

            You truly are the sexist idiot that all these people are saying you are.

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 4:16 pm edit

            @Atomicpanda since this sight is bugging and can’t reply directly.

            It was a joke you moron. I posted a random article to show you can find anything on the internet to pander to your argument.

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/time-out/201307/zombies-hungry-ghosts-and-the-end-the-world-we-know Wow very respected, i didn’t know that zombies and other horror creatures are the result of our fascination with death and fear in literature. Really deep shit there.

            “You truly are the sexist idiot that all these people are saying you are.” another one calling me out with no backing but at least your not adding in you interpretations of what I wrote to customly suite your argument like Swirly. not yet at least…

            But since your new I”l say what I said before. I haven’t met any decent girl gamers yet in all of my gaming and I can see how there can initially be a stereotype in all of this. The people that call out these women online are just idiot.

            tell me where I’m sexist cause all i hear is blah blah blha your a sexist blah because you are

          • KOZ July 1, 2013 4:16 pm edit

            @Atomicpanda since this sight is bugging and can’t reply directly.

            It was a joke you moron. I posted a random article to show you can find anything on the internet to pander to your argument.

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/time-out/201307/zombies-hungry-ghosts-and-the-end-the-world-we-know Wow very respected, i didn’t know that zombies and other horror creatures are the result of our fascination with death and fear in literature. Really deep shit there.

            “You truly are the sexist idiot that all these people are saying you are.” another one calling me out with no backing but at least your not adding in you interpretations of what I wrote to customly suite your argument like Swirly. not yet at least…

            But since your new I”l say what I said before. I haven’t met any decent girl gamers yet in all of my gaming and I can see how there can initially be a stereotype in all of this. The people that call out these women online are just idiot.

            tell me where I’m sexist cause all i hear is blah blah blah your a sexist blah because you are

        • Sabby July 2, 2013 2:53 am edit

          ”Really, you saying that all people that use slurs like faggot all fall under homophobic doctrine” Yes that’s what we mean, it’s called pejoratif denotation.

        • Charlie July 3, 2013 11:56 am edit

          KOZ, you sure are sensitive for a breeder.

      • Velocigoose July 3, 2013 9:22 am edit

        Honestly, though… Have you -seen- real life pics of bronies?? There is nothing sexy there, not even a little bit.

    • Oz July 6, 2013 4:54 pm edit

      Hey, I dunno if you still follow this, but it seems you want someone to explain eery way in whiwh you sounded sexist. I’m annoyes that no one did that yet.

      “You really are a little faggot; pro-fem, my little ponies…”

      So, “little faggot” is a very sexist way to offend someone, because calling a man gay is only offensive as it suggests he is less of a man for being gay. Also, offending a man for being “pro-fem” is extremely offensive for every feminist — unless you mean he should be outright feminist, but I don’t think that’s it. Now that you offended faggots and fems, you also offend anyone who likes mlp. Now, all of that was uncalled for, so you just sound like a bad person.
      But let’s look deeper into the insult: you say the guy is gay because he is pro-fem and likes mpl. So, to anyone who hears, what you’re saying is that fem and mpl are gay stuffs, or things that make the man less masculine. Every step of that thinking is sexist. Would you call a girl a faggot for those same reasons? If not, it’s sexist. Also ofending someone because they like a kids show is just stupid.

      “Anyways it is unfortunate for the subjection but stereotypes are there for a reason and I have yet to meet a girl gamer that’s even decent at any game and their persecution is all caused by the general moronic community.”

      “Stereotypes exist for a reason” is a very stupid idea. It’s a way to justify prejudice, and as such it reinforces prejudice. Of course there are bad girl gamers, so what? You see, even noticing this pattern is sexist (though not necessarily misogin) because you are looking for a diference caused by gender. But then you also assume that most other guys will have seen the same pattern, to justify the stereotype. Well, which guys will actually see the pattern? You have not enough evidence to say that most girls suck, so I suppose the guys who see the pattern are the ones looking for it. Also because when you can’t tell if a player is male or female, you guess male. Everyone does. That’s because of an unfouded prejudice that “most players are male”. In the end, if you see a boy sucking, you say “he sucks”, and if you see a girl sucking, you say “girls suck”.

      Also, when you pubicly state that all girls you know suck, you are making every dude who thinks that the girls he knows suck more confortable, so he is more likely to decide that girls suck, even if he sees girls not sucking. He will judge girl’s skills more harshly because he already believes that they suck. You think it’s inocent, but you’re reinforcing misoginy even if you don’t mean to.

    • RV July 28, 2013 3:30 pm edit

      If you don’t want to appear misogynistic, try not using “pro-fem” as an insult next time. Because that comes across that you don’t give a damn about women.

  • Aaron Hudson June 29, 2013 3:21 am edit

    I do not understand how people are like that. I must be different, in that no matter who it is, based on any factors, race, color, creed, gender (or lack of), sexual orientation…etc. I only see them as people, one group. It never even crosses my mind to treat others different based on differences to myself. Maybe my mother just raised me right, but I don’t get how people are like this at all.

    • Digital Distraction June 29, 2013 3:18 pm edit

      I hear you. People like that aren’t in the majority, thankfully. They just make the most noise.

    • Armand Zimmerman June 30, 2013 12:59 am edit

      Always makes me smile to see like-minded, rationally thinking people in the comments. I was about to post more or less the same exact thing!

    • Evilsnoman June 30, 2013 3:53 pm edit

      you sir are why I’ve stopped playing anything that has to do with COD. That game and similar games are rampant with thiny minded egotistical teeny bopers that feel like they have the world by the balls. To show their 1337 skilz and stats they have to talk down the “inferior” sex… God help you if you ever try to find a partner. I am quite sure they will not tollerate such effluent spewing from your esophageal orifice. keep hiding behind your insecurity bro.

      Snoman out.

    • Wyn July 3, 2013 4:06 am edit

      “I don’t see colour!” Yeah, ’cause THAT’S not problematic at all.

      The feeling behind your sentiment is admirable, but actually, you’re not the special little I-love-everyone snowflake you think you are, if you genuinely don’t “see” gender, colour etc. Read this: http://abagond.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/i-dont-see-colour-i-just-see-a-human-being/

      • SA July 4, 2013 1:59 am edit

        Shouldn’t the end goal be that we as a society don’t primarily see the color of someone’s skin or whether they have bumps on their chest when we look at them? That we should instead see them as individuals rather than making assumptions about their character, background, and interests based on some visual cues they have no control over? It’s not saying “I don’t see color because the color that person is is not white” but rather the person has golden skin that person has peachy skin that person has chocolate skin that person has a bad sunburn. It’s not seeing white or black or anything else as the primary thing.

        Honestly, the blog post you linked to did more to support what it was arguing against rather than what it was arguing for. Wait, do notice color! Wait, don’t! Wait, do! I see this in discussions of any “ism” on the internet, and I know it comes from having lots of different people with lots of different opinions about what should be done and what the goals are but its frankly exhausting.

        “Even if racism disappeared there would still be African Americans and Asian Americans and so on, just like there are still Irish Americans and Italian Americans. It is just that not being white would no longer be a big deal – just like not being a Wasp is no longer a big deal, even though it was a hundred years ago. There would still be differences and people would notice them but they would not be seen in a bad light, they would not be used to dehumanize.”

        Seeing someone as an individual means not breaking them down to superficial characteristics they have no control over. It means seeing them as a person. Do you have a better term for it than color blind? How should people describe it if they try to treat everyone they meet/interact with the same, rather than relying on assumptions? Usually someone brings it up because there’s a discussion of race or isms or blah blah going on. You know, relevant. Trying to make the world a better place. Blah blah.

        And yes, there are problems, and yes just because someone tries to focus on individuals rather than skin color or chest bumps or hair color or whatthehellever, doesn’t mean they have any sort of excuse for not being aware of the problems out there. But if they are genuinely approaching people as people rather than “white people” or “black people” or “girl people” or “Hindu people”, then they are doing a lot to make the world a better place, and eat away at the insidious effects of racism and other “isms” on society. They’re the people saying “what?” when a person says something derogatory based on race or gender or religion or whathaveyou, and they are the people saying “so?” when that person tries to justify it based on race or gender or whathaveyou.

        And being condescended to always changes someone’s opinions. Always.

        “special little I-love-everyone snowflake”: Yes, tell them they aren’t a good person. That will make sure they don’t act like a dick.

      • Red Queen July 4, 2013 1:21 pm edit

        ““I don’t see colour, I just see a human being” is something racist White Americans say.” (quoted from that article you linked to)

        Wow, that’s… I don’t even know what to call that. I never got this whole thing about “if you say you don’t make differences based on things like race and gender and sexual orientation, then you are just as bad as those who do”. So, whatever I do, seems that because I’m white and “privileged”, I’m never right and racist by definition. Isn’t that a bit like saying something along the lines of “you’re a woman so you can’t possibly be good at video games, no matter what you say or do to prove otherwise”?

        Now, let me say this one more time (seriously, I have no idea how often I got to hear a statement like the one above): Acknowledging differences but not treating people in a special way because of those differences in an environment where those differences don’t matter is NOT the same thing as being “colourblind” (I hate that term). Either it’s about everyone being _equal_, or it’s about a group of people getting special treatment because they are different from the (perceived) majority – which is more than a little bit unfair, imo.
        That doesn’t mean I don’t hold the door for a guy in a wheelchair or the one-armed woman carrying a stack of papers. But there’s a difference between helping someone out and giving them special treatment for no apparent reason other that their race or gender. That said, I hold the door open for a dude, too, when I happen to be there before him – I don’t expect him to run just so _he_ can hold it open for _me_.

        I clearly prefer equality, in my day-to-day life and in gaming. I do swear at fellow gamers, but I don’t insult them in the way other gamers do, be it for being homosexual, female, twelve years old or having a lisp. And I don’t treat anyone differently from everyone else, either. If I yell at you, it’s because I yell at everyone who snipes me, not because you’re black or gay or have three eyes :P

  • AnthonyHJ June 29, 2013 7:28 am edit

    As a developer, I am often sickened by the crap that gamers say and do. Bioware especially have had to speak out against this kind of thing, with Jennifer Hepler (one of their writers) getting pretty badly attacked by the fans for daring to be a woman in the industry.

    Statistics tell us that 45% of all gamers are women. Hardcore gamers might like to tell you that they are all playing FarmVille and My Little Pony, but I know they are kidding themselves.

    It was a woman who got me playing Mass Effect, a woman who showed me just how badly I sucked at Call of Duty, it was even a woman (I married this one, by the way) who first introduced me to Bioware’s games. Most of the best game-writers I know are women.

    We all know which games have the biggest problems (though it always seems to be Xbox Live in these articles, you don’t hear about PC games so often) and yet, having played my share of female characters in MMORPGs, which apparently have some of the closest gender-ratios, it’s obviously a cultural problem.

    Sadly, I think it is up to developers to take the first steps. We need to stop pandering to the wrong kinds of players, we need to take firm action against misogyny and harassment. Of course, as the publishers are keen to remind us, we need to work out how to do this without alienating the core market. (I’m inclined to say ‘screw it’ if the core market are a bunch of self-important entitled misogynists, but what do I know?)

    • Digital Distraction June 29, 2013 3:11 pm edit

      I remember the backlash surrounding Ms. Helper.

      I aspire to write for a gaming developer one day, and that business prepped me for what I may have to deal with. As a gamer, I want to have fun, escape, and play a good title. Thanks for stopping by!

    • AtomicPanda June 30, 2013 5:41 pm edit

      Thank you for this. Coming from a developer, it really means a lot that at least some people are recognizing that game companies have a hand in it too, and it’s NOT just a problem that women should have to deal with. I would love to see more women in the tech industry as well; I think that could go pretty far in helping facilitate a change.

      As a side note, as a female gamer on XBox Live and games like LoL and WoW, I could not even count the times I’ve been threatened with rape/told to get raped, told that I’m fat and ugly and a bitch or cunt, told to get back in the kitchen, told that I couldn’t possibly be any good at the game (my usual game is CoD for online games) simply because I’m a girl, told to shut the fuck up, mocked openly when I was only talking to my friends on mic if we weren’t in party chat, got requests for nude pictures and called a bitch/cunt/whore (haha, the irony of this) when I said no… the list goes on and on and on. I let my boyfriend play on my gamertag when he’s over here, and it really opened his eyes to how much of an actual problem it is for females ONLY because they are female.

      A big problem is that the assholes in the vocal minority are encouraging the other assholes’ behavior, and they think they’re now “cool” or whatever because someone approves of their actions. Telling them why they’re wrong, in a completely cool and logical tone, (almost) NEVER WORKS. I hate to say it, but it really doesn’t. You’re almost always just met with more vitriol and hate than you got in the first place, and called even more names. I don’t get upset by what guys say to me online when they know nothing about me, mostly because that’s EXACTLY what they want me to do, but I do find it disgusting. I just wish I knew how to start fixing the problem when explaining why it’s wrong doesn’t work. I think that the people who change their minds and stop using misogynistic language and such were never really… committed to those sentiments? in the first place, and only did so because that’s what other people were doing. Or they were just never taught any better and saw it as acceptable, up until a female explained exactly why it’s so hurtful to society in general (not just in the scope of video games). I’m not saying all males are like these assholes, or even anywhere close to most males. But the ones who are, are the very, very loud minority, and it should not happen ever, period.

      Sexism in the actual video games themselves is a whole ‘nother story, and one that I believe is equally important to deal with, but I don’t wanna make this into a book, so.. I won’t talk about it here :P It does however relate to the point you made about game companies definitely having a hand in fixing the problem, though.

      Also, just to add in one more thing: I did a survey on Reddit for a paper I wrote in my college English class about sexism in gaming. 80.81% of the females surveyed said they faced sexism in gaming, whether from the games themselves or other players.

  • Shannon June 29, 2013 11:39 am edit

    And here I thought that it was just me in WOW that got trashed. I had some players repeatedly heckle me when I was standing in town minding my own business trying to fish. Probably some 12 year old. I always play a girl character and one of the comments was I couldn’t possibly be some girl or if I were I must be ugly. So I must be some guy that gets his kicks dressing up as a girl.
    So if you are a girl you have to be fat and ugly to game. Uhm no.
    I haven’t had this level of disrespect, but I have had many a person comment that I couldn’t be a good player of any kind of *guy* game (Ps3, xbox, D&D etc) AND be a girl.

    • AnthonyHJ June 29, 2013 2:00 pm edit

      Girls are no good at D&D? My first D&D group was about equally-split by gender and it was my wife who taught me how to play.

      I think the trouble is that some insecure men feel threatened. What they do is inexcusable, but I think it’s out of fear that girls will ‘ruin’ their games by forcing them to play the ‘wrong’ way and forgetting that most girls playing the game (especially in an FPS) want practically the same things from the game that they do. Worse, girls might be better at the game than they are, a threat to their manliness.

      As to being that “guy that gets his kicks dressing up as a girl”; I originally started playing girls in MMOs because the night-elf male models in World of Warcraft were ugly (the humans were almost as bad) and the women at least looked like something I could handle playing. I think those who object to men playing women have a few issues anyway, to do with their own sexuality and gender-identity…

      • Sketaful June 30, 2013 11:47 am edit

        I think that gameing for some is something that takes them back to the early stages of life when they thought girls was scary…

      • CountArioch July 2, 2013 10:19 pm edit

        I find that it’s not girls who are bad at gaming and D&D, it’s usually “girlfriends” who are bad at gaming in general. I use the term in quotes because they can also be men too. Basically, they tag along to D&D games/ MMORPGS/whatever because they either don’t trust their spouse not to cheat if they let them out of their sight, or the person spends too much time on a game and the SO only plays to spend time with them. If they’re tagging along with a SO they are USUALLY bad at video games (not always of course).

      • SyntheticPhylum July 6, 2013 3:37 am edit

        Who says girls can’t be into gaming? My MOTHER is the person who introduced me to D&D and Champions!

    • Digital Distraction June 29, 2013 3:12 pm edit

      Ah, good old, WoW. There stories I could tell you about that game…

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Butmadigan June 30, 2013 5:26 am edit

      I’ve somehow been lucky on WoW. I always play female characters because 1) I am and 2) as noted, the males aren’t that well designed. (The name I’m using here is my currently highest level character, a lvl82-and-climbing hunter.)

      While questing, I’m either alone or co-oping with my nephew or brother-in-law, so maybe I avoid hassling because I don’t interact with strangers much (I stay off the chat channels because they’re too much irrelevant noise). The one time I got (mildly) insulted in a dungeon group, it was my first dungeon, I was healer, and we wiped in the first battle. But I wasn’t insulted because I was female – I was insulted because I was a shit healer; once we’d entered the dungeon, I was overwhelmed by the excessive visual stimuli and screwed up my role, so the complaints were justified. Fortunately, the tank whispered some encouragement and pointers to me and we made it through with no more issues; or my first dungeon might have been my last. Now I’m running Cataclysm dungeons on my hunter and doing well, so everyone should keep in mind that encouragement helps a LOT more than vitriol. You’re supposed to be a team.

      But in general, the random groups I get are either silent “get through as fast as possible” groups or a pleasant chatty bunch. I’ve been lucky.

      • Basil July 4, 2013 6:23 pm edit

        With WOW, it also depends what server you’re on; they each have their own culture. The server I’m on now has two large guilds associated with progressive websites and both routinely report the bigots if they’re being extreme. Between the player base and the no tolerance, there’s very little BS in trade chat or PUGs.

        One f the other servers I’ve played was just the opposite, would regularly see nasty ad hominems in trade chat most days, racist, misogynistic, or political. Before the last election, I probably saw the word “libtard” every day for a week. I’ve dropped playing that server, though I stayed for the schadenfreude after Election Day. (I love those salty tears).

      • MonsterGirl July 8, 2013 6:56 pm edit

        Its not just Wow. Its EQ2 also.

        For a while there, I was one of the game’s best tanks in the world and I played with the WW#1 guild. I had no mic, but no on seemed to mind. I never said anything, just typed in game and had macros to shout out when AEs were incoming and whatnot. I played a male toon with a name from the random generator.

        And then one day, I got a headset with a mic. And I spoke for the first time in chat.

        I was replaced 2 nights later because “girls can’t tank.” We had several girls- they all played healers or utility- but, apparently, what I had been doing for more than a year and being the best at it during that time meant absolutely nothing as soon as they found out I had a vagina. Magically, because I’m female, I couldn’t do what I’d been doing for over a year.

        I’d like to say that I brushed them off, found a new guild, and continued to dominate. I didn’t. I cried myself to sleep that night, deleted my tank, and rolled a healer the next morning; a pathetic surrender.

  • Box June 29, 2013 12:03 pm edit

    Console peasant problems.

  • Finbo June 29, 2013 2:14 pm edit

    i bet that none of this happened

  • Circuit Ben June 29, 2013 2:55 pm edit

    My Girlfriend is a far better gamer than I, and she writes games too. In her industry, there’s one rule – Let the guys who moan about women being successful, get stuck in low -level de-bugging, and get on with truly creative work that makes you stand out.
    In the entertainment side of it, these idiots are on a more level playing field, but still, any man who is taking a woman being better at a computer GAME as an afront to his masculinity, is probably a date-rapist, and best avoided.

  • Rowan June 29, 2013 5:21 pm edit

    As a female gamer who has put in over 500 hours on ME3 multiplayer on Xbox (and who usually plays with a mic), I have yet to receive any verbal abuse (either due to my gender or playing skill) and the only written message I have received from anyone was to compliment my sniping skills. After hearing all these horror stories about how badly women are mistreated online, I’m beginning to think that there must be something wrong with me (Is my gamertag too gender neutral? Does my voice really just sound like a 12 year old boy?) in that I am missing out on what I always assumed was rampant sexism in online gaming communities.

    • Propaganda July 1, 2013 6:15 am edit

      Maybe you were just lucky.

    • Christina July 3, 2013 12:25 pm edit

      That’s shocking, because most people receive some kind of smack-talk, not just women. Nothing is ‘wrong with you’, I would say you’re very lucky too – your experience is very unusual. If your gamertag is “Rowan” or something using that, I would bet that people don’t recognize it as female and they assume you are a young boy (not your fault that women’s voices are often confused for boys over crappy XBox mics). Still have no explanation for why you wouldn’t receive any bad attitude at all.

  • Mondlicht June 29, 2013 8:26 pm edit

    This happened to my boyfriend as well! His XBox Live Gold ran out, and I let him play on my (girly) gamertag in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He immediately got multiple hate messages using words like cunt, slut, bitch, etc. Some guys are so quick to defend their precious boys club, while being full grown men who should know better. While I’m sure it was frustrating for you to hear/see, I’m glad that it provided you with an important perspective! Thanks for writing this. :)

  • Steve June 29, 2013 9:14 pm edit


    Yhis makes me wonder where these (presumably young) guys pick up this kind of attitude. I mean, I could imagine a bit of gentle ribbing and mutual rivalry between the genders, that would be pretty normal, but this sort of stuff is over the top. There is obviously a disconnect between their general mindset and their relationships with those females in their lives that they actually respect.

    It’s a wonder girl gamers persevere. Plaudits to them for doing so. And please do go on kicking these young punks’ asses.

    • CB July 3, 2013 8:57 am edit

      Everywhere, I assume. When I was in middle school and high school is was considered perfectly normal for young men to sexually harass women, including groping. Any teacher I reported it to (male or female) said to grow a thicker skin or that I should be flattered. One teacher kept kissing my arms as a “joke” and everyone thought it was hilarious. This stuff is completely normal to a lot of people. I didn’t even realize how screwed up it was until I was much older.

      To add to the ridiculousness of all of this, I have an obviously female username and was sexually harassed playing Uno on Xbox Live. Uno!!!

      • Lizkimo July 5, 2013 11:42 pm edit

        Must be Uno – I think that’s probably where I have received the most harassment! Generally in the form of voice/text messages asking for pictures or saying fairly disgusting things. My xbox avatar wears N7 armor now so hopefully that is enough of a deterrent from the immediate “BOOBIES?!” instinct that apparently sets in when they see a female avatar.

  • Simon June 29, 2013 9:23 pm edit

    There’s a fantastically offensive thread on RPGcodex.net with disgustingly homophobic vitriol against those who complained about carmageddon devs incessant use of the word gay to describe things they hate or dislike. Josh sawyer and Leigh Alexander (kotaku etc) and other developers were even attacked for not being hateful bigots. The way any non white straight males are treated online and in gamingis shameful

  • FPS Gamer June 29, 2013 9:58 pm edit

    Really interesting discussion and sadly something I’ve seen before. I’m a white, game playing male and actually consider myself a feminist. However online I run one of the more successful MMOFPS gaming clans in the US and actually impose a “no girls rule”. The reason, however, is not the one you might expect. Female players, like male players, can be excellent (though, again like guys, most aren’t). The issue is that female presence around groups of guys, particularly those who’re not comfortable with girls, can very quickly destabilise a clan.

    I’ve seen usually solid, apparently normal guys begin acting like creepy stalkers as soon as they hear a female voice in Mumble. For that reason, I took the executive decision not to admit female gamers to our clan and while I realise it will cost us a good member every now & then, until we can precipitate a change of attitude among male gamers I consider it the price for a drama free atmosphere.

    Finally, I totally support female only clans and actually consider that one of the most positive ways of changing attitudes towards female gamers. Those girls kick ass and deliberately extricate themselves from all the misogynistic, to BS which many socially retarded male gamers would subject them.

    • Lime73 June 30, 2013 1:40 am edit

      Lord are your words sadly true. It’s pretty easy to understand though. Most, and I stretch the word most, male gamers are odd. What I mean by odd is that they’re horrible at in person interaction. That’s why they talk trash online, it’s safe. Just like they act super weird when a female voice comes over the mic, it changes the virtual environment that they’ve become comfortable with and use too. I think having females in the gaming world will help these people, (yes, even the assholes) but in till it becomes normal, women will have to be strong. Just remember ladies, they might be weird and often times shitty but in the real world karma is paying them back. Who you are carries over from the real world to the virtual one, people notice and in the real world, they can react.

    • Star Machinery June 30, 2013 11:52 am edit

      It’s good that you consider yourself a feminist and want to see women treated better, but I have to say, you’ve approached the ‘destabilising’ problem completely backwards. You should be kicking the guys who start acting creepy, not the women. Think about who is actually causing this problem – it’s the creepy guys, not the women! Punish the ones who deserve it, not their victims.

      If you do as I suggest, you will actually end up with a better result. Not only will you remove those causing the drama, but if there are any shy guys (non-dickheads) in your clan trying to figure out how to talk to women, they will have a chance to practice and will have decent role-models from the other guys in your clan. As it is, you are exposing them to a bad example of the creepy guys you should be kicking, and lending them tacit approval.

      Also, you would get to play with women, hurrah! Most people like to socialise with people of both genders and some will appreciate the opportunity to meet potential partners who share their interests (so long as you kick the entitled creeps).

      Finally, you would be supporting and empowering women more directly than your current nebulous “support” of female clans. I find it pretty sad that some women feel they have to ghetto-ize themselves in that way – not blaming them, but the environment they are in.

      • FPS Gamer June 30, 2013 1:39 pm edit

        If we were a self help group or even a ‘casual’ gaming clan, I’d agree with you, but we aren’t. We’re a 35 man, competitive gaming community which plays games to win as much as we do to simply ‘play’. If i started kicking members or inviting members based on their social interactions with the opposite sex, rather than their in-game ability, then we’d be a pretty poor clan.

        I do acknowledge that ideologically I’m not reflecting the way i live my real life, in my gaming persona. I’d even accept the charge of sexism based purely on my rejection of all female applicants but having given it a great deal of thought i see no alternative until prevailing attitudes to female gamers change – which, as i say, I champion on an individual level whenever possible.

        In my experience, most of the drama within clans which has led to a player exodus has been precipitated by the inclusion of female members (even if the girls themselves have acted with all propriety). It’s a shame but I’d rather lose a few potential female gamers who could improve our clan than cause a rift among the male playerbase who, sadly, may not be able to handle the inclusion of a kick-ass female gamer.

        I hope that explains my position somewhat and also conveys my conflicted feelings on this particular subject.

        • FPS Gamer June 30, 2013 4:32 pm edit

          Also, since i want to be VERY clear on this, I couldn’t disagree with your comment about “meeting potential partners” any more strongly!I run a gaming clan, if you want to meet a potential partner online, go to a dating website. Don’t bring your emotional baggage to gaming and some of the issues we’re discussing will disappear.

          • Star Machinery July 1, 2013 5:48 am edit

            Well fair enough, but if you have clear policies and expectations that players behave in a “professional” way when engaging in serious competition, it shouldn’t be too hard to prevent the drama you’re worried about.

          • Relicc July 1, 2013 4:10 pm edit

            Oh great, and once again Jane decides to throw a grenade onto the objective, team killing me for the 4th time in a row. Much like our Thanksgiving dinner last week where she informed my parents we were living together in her apartment.

        • Star Machinery July 1, 2013 5:35 am edit

          You already DO kick/invite members based on their (potential) social interactions, rather than their in-game ability! Perhaps you feel that the number of skilled male players who couldn’t cope with women outnumbers the skilled female players you could potentially gain?

          I do understand your situation, and I really do sympathise with your problem. But I wanted to make sure that you understood that there is a much better solution to your problem, from a social justice perspective. I think you do understand, actually, since you acknowledged that this is a sexist policy. It’s a choice you are making for understandable, but selfish reasons.

          It’s your choice, but it’s unfair and I think it sucks. I hope you will change your mind some day. It’s probably a lot harder to make this change within an existing community, but maybe if you start another one in the future you will take this issue more seriously. I have seen it done. It can be done.

          • Christina July 3, 2013 12:50 pm edit

            Agreed with Star Machinery. You have already made that kind of decision. There are plenty of successful clans out there that boot people with shitty attitudes and their clan members respect them for it.

            My suspicion is that you may already have some misogynists in your group and you recognize that they are dicks who would react poorly to women in the group, and you don’t want to lose them by bringing in lady gamers.

            Feminism is all about equal opportunity and speaking out against misogyny and sexism and sexual harassment. By allowing toxic people to continue to be part of your clan, and by forbidding potentially amazing and skilled players from joining your clan, you are rewarding misogynistic behavior and being party to it.

            I recognize that you feel that you’re championing it in your personal life, but I disagree with that as well. How many hours of your week, your life, do you put into this game? Actions speak far, far louder than words. It may sound like an exaggeration, but you are a man in a position of power. Other gamers will look to you to set an example of how they should treat women in games. You are actively contributing to the “prevailing attitudes to female gamers” and they will not change while you and other men continue to do so.

            You say that you’re fine with female-only clans. What you are endorsing is called segregation. It didn’t work for blacks and whites, it won’t work for women and men. It would, in fact, be a step backwards. We don’t need segregation to move forward, we need equality and acceptance.
            Women are creating women-only clans, but the thing is, a majority of those women are joining those clans because other clans won’t take them in. Yes, there is some empowerment to be had in an all-female clan that kicks ass, but that brings us to maybe the 70′s in chronological terms of feminism; the end goal of feminism is to not need feminism because everybody’s on an equal playing field. The end goal of feminism is to have the developers of your game of choice explicitly forbid clans that discriminate based on sex, color, orientation, etc. The end goal is for people to be as horrified by a ‘male only’ clan as people are by a ‘whites only’ clan. Does that make sense?

            I want to mention something. I don’t bother engaging with people who are all vitriol and clearly can’t be swayed, like KOZ in this thread. That’s a waste of time and I know it. I’m talking to you because you seem like a reasonable guy, and I hope you’ll reconsider your position and your policy. It’s worthwhile, and after a little bit of turbulence, you’ll have a stronger, more formidable clan that happens to also be full of respectable people. Maybe it would end up still being all-male, purely by accident, but at least you would know that you were actively supporting feminism in your daily life rather than enforcing the status quo in your game of choice.

          • FPS Gamer July 4, 2013 10:38 am edit

            — Sorry, this was meant to be a reply to “Christina”, but for some reason I’m unable to reply directly to that post —

            I’m afraid many of the responses here aren’t actually addressing the root of the issue I’m describing. Neither myself, or ANYONE, in my clan would behave in an offensive or misogynistic way towards female gamers. Perhaps I didn’t explain this clearly enough in my initial post however the “drama”to which I’m referring has nothing to do with sexism. The issueis actually something which was listed as a BENEFIT by one of the posters who replied above and that is of male gamers behaving differently when female players are among the group. Specifically attempting to form “special”relationships with those players with the intention, I suppose, of ultimately having sex. Regardless of whether the protagonists in this new age Romeo & Juliet ultimately achieve their goal, these motives ALWAYS create ill-feeling within the group (and not simply between those directly involved) which then precipitates the drama to which I was referring earlier.

            I’ve been a community leader in MMO gaming since the inception of the genre and have been online gaming for almost 2 decades, so please believe me when I say I’ve seen this situation tear apart more small clans than I can count.

            My attitude is that I play games; I’m happily married and, alas, now middle-aged, however if it were my intention to go looking for love I’d do that on the appropriate websites. I try to encourage a respectful, professional approach within the communities I manage and that’s difficult to do when you have horny 17 year old boys more concerned with flirting with horny 17 year old girls.

            As I say, this had nothing to do with misogyny or wanting gaming to be for guys only and the second that boys off a certain age evolve past the desire to flirt with any and every girl they can, I’ll change the policy but until that time, I’m not willing to infuse my stable, successful gaming community with teenage hormones.

            If it helps clarify my position, my clan also rejects any applicant below the age of 17. Does that mean I think 16 year old boys are hellspawn? Of course not. However the policy is ageist. We also reject players who aren’t good enough to beat 90% of the players in whichever game we’re playing. That’s discrimination too, right? I think some posters here need to remember the context within this discussion before throwing insults around.

          • Cubedweller July 4, 2013 3:43 pm edit

            – Specifically attempting to form “special”relationships with those players with the intention, I suppose, of ultimately having sex. Regardless of whether the protagonists in this new age Romeo & Juliet ultimately achieve their goal, these motives ALWAYS create ill-feeling within the group (and not simply between those directly involved) which then precipitates the drama to which I was referring earlier.–

            Interesting rationale for maintaining a policy of excluding women. Tell me, since you run an all-male clan, do you also auto-reject gay men? After all, wouldn’t they run afoul of your policy if they found themselves interested in another clanner? If you don’t, then how do you reconcile keeping them but rejecting all women?

            From my perspective, your ‘solution’ isn’t just sexist – as you’ve admitted – but also logically flawed.

          • FPS Gamer July 4, 2013 8:02 pm edit

            Your question unfortunately underlines your ignorance on the subject. It has nothing to do with the sexuality of the applicant (which is absolutely none of my business) but the reaction of the young men who make up the majority of our group (and most gaming groups).

            To that end, unless a member was behaving in an unusual manner towards other members, I couldn’t care less WHO they sleep with. Fact of the matter is, during the decade I’ve been running my current clan we’ve had 2 ‘fractures’ which have caused us to lose members and brought the group utterly unnecessary drama. Both times it was because members had “fallen in love”. After the second time – and the carnage that ensued – I implemented the single-sex policy and since the only female member (who was obviously at the centre of that particular love triangle) had opted to leave with her new boyfriend, we considered it a fresh start.

            I am a little amused at the insinuations here that I seem to be ‘manufacturing’ reasons to exclude female gamers. If I were SUCH a bigot, why would I be entering into this discussion, sharing ideas, holding my actions up to (inevitable) criticism & sympathizing with the level of misogyny within gaming? I should surely have such contempt for the subject that I wouldn’t waste my time on it, right?

            As I’ve said, several times now, I realise this solution isn’t ideal. I’d love to game with all manner of people and if I ran a casual clan or a ‘zergfit’ I’d invite everyone and deal with the drama as it unfolds. But I don’t. At the top end of gaming EVERYTHING is scrutinized.

            I also note, with some interest, that you didn’t mention the fact that I exclude guys under 17? Could this possibly be that as a woman, that discrimination doesn’t rankle so much? But surely that’s just as heinous.

          • Orv July 4, 2013 8:13 pm edit

            So your argument is you have to exclude women because men are incapable of being around them without thinking of them as sex objects. That’s…both discriminatory toward women, AND insulting toward men, frankly.

          • FPS Gamer July 5, 2013 1:57 am edit

            Yeah, you’ve basically nailed it (in a reductionist logical fallacy sense of “nailed it”).

            Although I should say that if you haven’t noticed that people who meet gaming seem to fall for each other with a disproportionate speed and abandon then, well, you’ve simply not been part of many communities.

            Of course you too have overlooked the fact that I discriminate against teenage males too, due to the increased likelihood their presence will precipitate unnecessary drama. I also excluded less talented gamers. Again, no one is taking me to task over that.

          • Orv July 5, 2013 2:50 am edit

            Why would anyone take you to task for excluding teenage males, here? It’d be off-topic for the thread. Same for unskilled gamers; part of the point of the thread is that some women are every bit as skilled as top-level men.

            Ultimately I don’t really care what you do with your clan. I just think it’s interesting that you picked this particular fight by first claiming to be a “feminist,” then saying that you exclude female members. I’m going to guess that the resulting replies were exactly what you were trolling for, because that’s a pretty blatant contradiction.

          • FPS Gamer July 5, 2013 7:33 am edit

            Alas, as is often the case with the internet; I posted one thing and you arrived with your own personal politics and read another.

            I was primarily supporting the original article and explaining how the issues between male & female gamers had led me to a solution which, though I was morally unhappy with, was the only one scotch safeguarded the future of my clan. These attitudes will change, but that change will be slower if gamers such as yourself keep calling guys who’re on your side names.

          • Jon July 5, 2013 9:09 am edit

            Can’t support that comment. While I agree that being hostile and antagonistic isn’t a good way to convert anyone, you don’t get to decide unilaterally if you’re “on the same side”.

            I kind of understood where you were coming from in your original post. There is an under recognized truth that women have an effect on men, some more than others. It doesn’t seem impossible some guys might dislike that effect. “It’s not you it’s me”.

            But, it is incongruent for you to claim to be a feminist offline but discriminate online.

            You may have reasons, and have every right to follow them, but making a clan excluding women is simply not being a champion of respect for female gamers. It’s rather a point for the other side. However you justify it, you’re discriminatory.

        • Meh July 20, 2013 10:25 am edit

          “It’s a shame but I’d rather lose a few potential female gamers who could improve our clan than cause a rift among the male playerbase who, sadly, may not be able to handle the inclusion of a kick-ass female gamer.”

          …You’d rather lose female members than male members. Gotcha.

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 1:55 pm edit

      This is really the worst possible solution. It perpetuates the problem by giving people preferential treatment on the basis of them being sexist males. It is based on the idea that female gamers are inherently worse than male ones. And on top of that, it treats males as if they are incapable of controlling themselves around females.

      And really, separate female-only clans is what you consider the best solution? Do you also believe that separate bathrooms and water fountains are what’s best for racial minorities?

      I’m a female gamer and you are part of the problem.

      • FPS Gamer July 2, 2013 6:22 am edit

        Unfortunately you’ve misunderstood my posts. Excluding female players is sadly the best solution for MY CLAN. As I’ve explained; I’m not looking to change the world while I’m gaming; just run a competitive, semi-pro FPS clan. If i were, in fact, interested in using my Social Anthology degree to improve standards for female players in the gaming community I’d be inviting all the girls i could find. I came here to demonstrate my problem and i think the poster before you accurately grasped it.

        And finally, for whatever it’s worth, in my professional life I’m an outspoken leader on social issues and am currently leading a project to promote equality within my sphere of influence. So I don’t “consider”myself a feminist, I am a feminist and lead by example (both online & off it).

        • Jolly July 2, 2013 10:11 pm edit

          “I don’t “consider”myself a feminist, I am a feminist and lead by example (both online & off it).”

          …except for when you feel the need to enact sexist policies, because doing so benefits you personally?

          • FPS Gamer July 4, 2013 9:34 am edit

            I’m afraid many of the responses here aren’t actually addressing the root of the issue I’m describing. Neither myself, or ANYONE, in my clan would behave in an offensive or misogynistic way towards female gamers. Perhaps I didn’t explain this clearly enough in my initial post however the “drama”to which I’m referring has nothing to do with sexism. The issueis actually something which was listed as a BENEFIT by one of the posters who replied above and that is of male gamers behaving differently when female players are among the group. Specifically attempting to form “special”relationships with those players with the intention, I suppose, of ultimately having sex. Regardless of whether the protagonists in this new age Romeo & Juliet ultimately achieve their goal, these motives ALWAYS create ill-feeling within the group (and not simply between those directly involved) which then precipitates the drama to which I was referring earlier.

            I’ve been a community leader in MMO gaming since the inception of the genre and have been online gaming for almost 2 decades, so please believe me when I say I’ve seen this situation tear apart more small clans than I can count.

            My attitude is that I play games; I’m happily married and, alas, now middle-aged, however if it were my intention to go looking for love I’d do that on the appropriate websites. I try to encourage a respectful, professional approach within the communities I manage and that’s difficult to do when you have horny 17 year old boys more concerned with flirting with horny 17 year old girls.

            As I say, this had nothing to do with misogyny or wanting gaming to be for guys only and the second that boys off a certain age evolve past the desire to flirt with any and every girl they can, I’ll change the policy but until that time, I’m not willing to infuse my stable, successful gaming community with teenage hormones.

            If it helps clarify my position, my clan also rejects any applicant below the age of 17. Does that mean I think 16 year old boys are hellspawn? Of course not. However the policy is ageist. We also reject players who aren’t good enough to beat 90% of the players in whichever game we’re playing. That’s discrimination too, right? I think some posters here need to remember the context within this discussion before throwing insults around.

          • Jolly July 5, 2013 11:31 pm edit

            So they’re not sexist, it is just that their inability to see the females of the clan as anything but sex objects (which is a benefit to them !!) and the fact that some girls are just as terrible as they are, leads to the obvious conclusion of “women aren’t welcome here.”

            I’m sorry, but if this is really what you think promoting feminism looks like, you pretty obviously don’t understand what feminism is. I mean, I don’t care what your clan rules are, you can do what you like. Hey, you can even claim to be a feminist in other aspects of your life, and I’d side-eye it but ultiately not care at all. But please do not pretend that banning girls from your gaming group is what advocating for feminism looks like.

  • jase June 29, 2013 10:55 pm edit

    Lots of talk about the problem but not enough about solutions:

    GAME companies should make it really easy to report players for abuse. Use a “black box” system to record their last few.mins of audio.
    Outsource listening to the audio to manila.
    Black marks for people guilty of hate talk.
    No appeals process. 3 black marks in six months and youre banned for a period of time.
    Wouldnt be long before people felt comfortable unmuting.

    • FPS Gamer June 30, 2013 6:07 am edit

      No appeals process? You’re joking right…. This is online gaming we’re talking about. You’re a good player? Fine, I’ll just report you for saying something mean to me, whether you did or didn’t, until I get you banned. In game mods are usually one step above the janitor and are more prone than him to mistakes so there ALWAYS has to be an appeals process!

      I’m really not sure this is something you can police in game. I’m a “euro”and i can’t count how many times I’ve used a word like ‘rubbish’in chat and been told i have bad teeth, poor aim, a shit queen or something generally asinine by total strangers. It’s annoying, sure, but my solution has been like slaus’ – to dominate the match/instance/server and laugh at their ignorance.

      As i said, I’m very much a feminist and i loathe such forms of discrimination but banking people won’t stop them being sexist, they’ll simply become victims in their own mind and more entrenched in their views. I think this is something the gamers (those with at least half a brain cell and a little decency) have to lead rather than expecting Moderators to police us. So next time you’re in comms or a public channel and you hear someone being sexist, racist or otherwise idiotic, take 3 seconds out of your day and inform them they don’t belong in OUR communities.

      • Digital Distraction June 30, 2013 9:53 am edit

        It would be amazing if gamers themselves took ownership. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often. There are lots of players who don’t like this kind of behavior, but they say nothing, or excuse it away as being part of the game. Until the vast majority decide enough is enough, we’ll always have issues.

        I can already hear the complaints of, “I just log in to play. I don’t care about drama.” Or whatever else. This isn’t about being less than for taking a stand. Logging in and getting threats like, “I’m going to come to your house and f**k you back into the kitchen, b**ch.” or others that I won’t even type, should not be a part of the game. When you have thousands of gamers telling you that this is how it is, and if we don’t like it, we shouldn’t play is BS.

        “But guys say that to me all th per time, and I’m a guy.” So, this makes it right?

      • Swirly July 1, 2013 1:57 pm edit

        “Fine, I’ll just report you for saying something mean to me, whether you did or didn’t, until I get you banned.” Hence recording the last part of what they said and attaching it to the ticket.

        Please spare us your proclamations of feminism. You can’t even read a post for comprehension if it doesn’t agree with your separate but equal BS.

        • FPS Gamer July 2, 2013 6:35 am edit

          Again, you’ve failed to understand my post. MMO developers spend millions of dollars a year on catching and banning hackers. Most claim they use sophisticated technology which will prevent innocent people being banned. That is not true. They incorrectly ban people every day. Why? Because of “reporting” features. A player i play with was recently banned from a popular FPS title due to “statistical anomalies” (his k/D went too high) and due to “customer feedback”; too many noobs crying hax.

          It was only after a lengthy appeal that we discovered these developers neither had, nor apparently wanted, any corroborating evidence. Everyone was merely supposed to take their word for it. Ultimately we used his logs to prove his innocence and he was reinstated much to the chagrin of the baddies who tried to have him banned. Asp don’t think for a second I’m against appealing & reporting functions. I’ve used them in the past to highlight sexist, racist & homophobic communications I’ve seen in games.I’m against the notion of there being no appeal. And, from the point of actual change, I highly doubt whether policing communities is actually the best solution.

          I hope you understood that clearly, if you didn’t please feel free to continue accusing me of being a pro-apartheid, segregationist who’s setting up Boer War style concentration camps on the gaming world.

  • mk June 29, 2013 11:41 pm edit

    So all you do is shake your head? Thaaaaaanks for coming out.

    The only way this goes away is if you call the assholes out. Indicate its uncoolness and stick up for the women getting harassed. You experienced this for a couple of hours, but for many women it’s their daily lived experience. The least you could do is speak up.

    And don’t even get me started on the irony of people only acknowledging sexism in gaming when a *man* tells us it exists. You clearly didn’t believe your own wife’s account, otherwise you wouldn’t have been so shocked when it happened to you. I think you have two things you need to do: apologise to your wife, and put your money where your mouth is by calling out misogynist gamers.

    • slaus June 30, 2013 2:23 am edit

      “And don’t even get me started on the irony of people only acknowledging sexism in gaming when a *man* tells us it exists.”

      couldn’t agree with you more…

      just like I have to wait for a white person usually to point out racism so that other people will actually listen.

      You’re preaching to the choir. I couldn’t agree more.

      on the other stuff? Meh…we can agree to disagree. In this instance I did what I thought was right. You don’t have to agree. :shrugs:


    • Christina July 3, 2013 12:58 pm edit

      I agree with his decision to not speak up inside the game, at least. He is absolutely correct that the boys playing the game would have immediately discounted any possibility of women being proficient gamers had they realized that he was a dude playing on his wife’s account.

      I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that now that he’s had this experience, he will be a lot more likely to call other men out when he sees or hears them engaging in misogyny. As he said himself, it really sucks, but it’s true: the people with the privilege are also the ones who need to speak up in defense of the oppressed group. Whites needed to stand up for blacks. Straights need to stand up for gays. And men need to stand up for women. I am white, straight, and female. I haven’t always been good about speaking up against people who use the N-word because I was so shocked that I didn’t have a response, but every time it happens I get better at calling them out. I have become very good at being a straight ally. I’m using my inherent privilege, and I appreciate it when men use their inherent privilege to defend and advance feminism.

  • Opt1kal June 30, 2013 12:13 am edit

    I’ll tell ya, I read the article, and as much as I want to this doesn’t happen, I know it does. Though, I’ve never heard it said, nor experienced it in any games I play where a girl gamer is involved, this is the internet and the things that you don’t expect to happen DO happen. So in that regard, I’m sorry to hear that anyone gets subjugated to this kind of treatment. I know, I’ve played some games with some DAMN good female players in my time. One of which I was on a L4D team with and she rocked the rest of us out the water a couple times…one of the best training partners I’ve had. Thank you for the write up, and he is right, you female gamers out there do have guys who will back you up. Keep your game on and don’t get discouraged.

  • Hima June 30, 2013 12:34 am edit

    Slaus, I’m glad to hear that the experience has opened your eyes to this issue. Sometime walking in a woman’s shoes is what it takes.

    While I really what you’er sharing, I’d like to point out some part in your writing that is problematic and can be hurtful. Mainly, this part:
    “[...]she logged on…and she has a vagina.”

    In here, you are implying ‘woman = a person with a vagina’. This is not true and ignoring transwomen. A transman would also disagree, since they aren’t a woman. Gender is in our minds, not our bodies.

    It’s my understanding that it was not your intention to hurt transwomen by your words. However, many people have used what you said to reject transwomen’s identity, and erasing their existence, not accepting them as women.

    I hope you understand that I’m not trying to say that you are a bad person or anything. Just that what you wrote is problematic and insensitive. If it’s possible, I hope you’ll go over this blogpost again, and edit those parts that could hurt transwomen out.

    Take care

    • slaus July 1, 2013 2:50 am edit

      hello Hima,

      You know what… you are absolutely correct and I sincerely and truly apologize to you and anyone who was offended at my ignorance.

      it was not at all an intentional slight whatsoever.

      I’ll admit I don’t have the slightest interaction wit the transgender persons and I admit to being very ignorant on the many facets of it. been a long time supporter of my LGB brothers and sisters but I openly admit to not fully understanding the T.

      I promise to make every effort TO understand it so that I don’t make the same slighting again.


    • ThunderZtorm July 24, 2013 5:55 pm edit

      Call me all sorts of bad names, but I don’t follow/accept this whole trans/gender-is-a-state-of-mind thing. Doesn’t work for me at all.

      A woman is born with a vagina and capability of getting pregnant. A man is born with a penis and capability of producing sperm. It’s really as simple as that, it’s pure biology.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind transgender people as such, everybody’s free do to whatever they want in that regard. But this (very new) movement of entitlement and shaming everybody else for not adding special comments just applicaple to the extreme minority that is transgender people is, to me, political correctness taken to such an extreme that the point is lost.

      Sorry, men have a penis, women have a vagina. Not going to add all sorts of mental/physiological oddities and specialties, because then we’d never actually get anything DONE as we’d be too busy mentioning all the unique little snowflakes running around.

  • morvelaira June 30, 2013 1:01 am edit

    There are a few games I play regularly – none of the CoD or ME type games really. But MMOs like WoW and odder titles like Minecraft are my thing. In fact, I’m becoming rather well known as a live broadcaster of Minecraft. And I’m a woman. I work hard to make sure the focus of the broadcast is on my work in the game, not on me but I still get the comment at least once a broadcast, “Man, your voice is HOT!”

    I just say thank you and move on when this happens, but there are times it degenerates much further. I’ve had to shut down the broadcast before to duck guys who show up and insist on telling me exactly what my IP address is, and how they’re going to “show up and make me take it like a cunt whore.” I still don’t know why.

    More than anything, I wish I knew why.

    • Relicc June 30, 2013 5:16 pm edit

      Trolls always go for shock value, targeting a woman guarantees certain things will almost always get a laugh out of the young and immature crowd. For some, their lack of control over their own lives causes them to lash out.

      The “Man, your voice is HOT!” guys are compelled to say it. Don’t ask my why, as a man I’ve wanted to say things like this myself, though I’m not sure what I would expect as a reply. I can’t help that a lot of the time this really is my first thought when hearing a woman speak online. I may even dwell on it for half a minute or so.

      Anyway, right or wrong that’s my take on it.

      • jsb16 July 1, 2013 1:12 pm edit

        The difference between a child and an adult is at least partly in the ability to have a thought without vocalizing it…

    • Khaliiah July 9, 2013 7:56 pm edit

      I’d make sure they knew I’d enjoy putting a steel pipe up their ass if they showed up.
      I actually keep a 2 foot long chunk of steel pipe handy near one of our doors for protection if I need it.

  • Mike Selinker June 30, 2013 1:33 am edit

    I suggest you post their gamertags, and I guarantee they’ll get a similar sort of treatment.

  • GJ June 30, 2013 3:11 am edit

    As a man I think it’s quite sad this is still reality.

    I play multiplayer games with unknown people quite rarely (and not MMO’s at all), mostly playing just on my own server with a few friends I know. But when I do play on public servers, I am quite delighted if I find out that some of the players are female. That is because there are certain assumptions, or even stereotypes, I have on players of the two genders. Unlike the examples given in this article, my assumptions are that women or even girls are nicer to play with, they do less trash talking. And most importantly, it feels it’s something different to have a girl player on the team, since most players are guys, or the girls don’t want to point out (and they don’t need to!) that they are of the opposite gender. Of course, many times even these positive assumptions are wrong and there are women who are worse than the average player in their online behavior.

    So really, there isn’t much difference between men and women on behavior or skill or *anything*. Just our personal experiences may have caused some assumptions telling different story. Too bad for some people these assumptions surface out so concretely as talking bad of some players just because they assume they are bad based on something that has nothing to do with their skill.

  • jadedcat June 30, 2013 11:15 am edit

    I have had this happen frequently. I livestream various games mainly minecraft.Even without using a webcam its obvious I am female by my voice. This is just one section of one of my stream chats http://t.co/iNDvt3PV8H . The sad part is that many people just consider that the price you have to pay if you want to livestream or play games as a female. As long as the community keeps considering it “the price you pay” it won’t change.

    Its not even about whether the female is good at the game. Its that the community has allowed people to get away with attacking others based on perceived differences. If the female is good they will still find a reason to attack them. You seldom see other players, or streamers standing up for the person being attacked. And as long as people feel they can get away with it, it will keep happening.

  • Winston June 30, 2013 12:45 pm edit

    Insightful article. Luckily I am too far removed from such popular gaming communities that I haven’t had the disservice of dealing with such misogyny. Anyways, great article. I would just like to point out that word ‘vitrol’ should be spelled as ‘vitriol’.

  • jay June 30, 2013 2:26 pm edit

    Women do exactly the same shit to men when men intrude into what women consider to be female dominated spaces.

    • YourHighness10 June 30, 2013 9:10 pm edit

      What exactly is an example of a “female dominated space”?

      And why are men more entitled than women to dominate such a gender-neutral activity as “gaming”?

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:01 pm edit

      Right and women have this whole history of oppressing men that really hurts them when men go shoe shopping or make a sandwich or whatever the hell you’re talking about.

    • Orv July 2, 2013 9:36 pm edit

      As someone who engages in a lot of gender-ambiguous behavior and traditionally “female” hobbies, I have to say I’ve had the opposite experience. Women are often very receptive toward men. I’ve occasionally had a woman talk down to me until she realized I actually knew my way around a sewing machine, say, but other than that? They’re mostly just happy I’m interested.

      I think the problem is, as a culture, we’ve got a really messed up idea of what masculinity is. We expect men to be “strong,” which easily tilts over into them being assholes. And we hint to them that doing anything feminine, or being beaten by the “weaker” sex at something, is shameful and calls their masculinity into question. We see masculinity as both vital and oddly fragile. In a lot of ways men have expectations that are completely unrealistic put on them; but instead of blaming society for those expectations, they blame (women|gay people|transsexuals|etc) for making it harder to meet them.

  • Charity June 30, 2013 3:04 pm edit

    As a girl gamer myself, thank you. I have actually stopped playing online games purely for the reasons you stated. Years of being told I’m never going to be good enough, that i “deserve” to have horrible things happen to me solely based on the fact I’m a woman wears on you. I love gaming, and still do, but I refuse to let sexist’s take my joy of the game from me, so I stopped playing online. I miss the camraderie I felt with the few people who didn’t care about my gender, they just cared that I kicked ass, but those numbers where to few. And now that I’m a mommy I can share the love of gaming with my kids, who are definitely following in my gaming footsteps. Lol. I get to play games with them, and even though the games are for young ones, the love is shared, so I’m ok with not playing online anymore. Thanks again slaus,and keep kicking ass!

    • slaus July 1, 2013 2:59 am edit

      first of all, your hair is wicked azz wicked.

      second, you shouldn’t HAVE to not play certain games due to harassment as a woman, just as I shouldn’t have to not want to play a game for all the racist foolishness.

      Hey, I’ll keep fighting and you will also :)

      we can’t pass down a world or virtual world to our kids still rife with all this foolishness.

    • Khaliiah July 9, 2013 8:05 pm edit

      My kids are following in my husbands, and my own nerdly footsteps. They are not old enough for gaming yet, but today they asked to watch ‘Makij school bus’ lol

      I’ve been playing Neverwinter lately, and have not run into any misogyny! It’s rather pleasant playing, though you get the occasional ‘troll’ who feels the need to just wahh and whine about everything (other than gender/sex etc)

  • Relicc June 30, 2013 4:59 pm edit

    Are you playing on a console when this occurs? I’m not positive, but doesn’t the console crowd tend to be a bit younger? When playing battlefield, left 4 dead, and other similar PC games I don’t hear this type of thing. On occasion I’ll hear some flirty behavior, and usually some guys will make an initial comment, but nothing like this. Actually, I’ve seen the guys are more likely to be helpful exclusively to the female player, or attempt to hang around them more. It may be annoying, but it’s not outright offensive.

    I’m curious if you’ve played on multiple platforms and experienced the same behavior or not. I’d also be interested to see if changing game genres changes the outcome.(FPS to MMO or RTS, etc)

    • AtomicPanda June 30, 2013 10:56 pm edit

      I personally am a female who plays both console and PC. On console, the multiplayer games I play are typically CoD and Halo. I do play some others, but those are the most frequently played. On PC, I play WoW, LoL, GW2, Neverwinter, L4D/L4D2, Counter-Strike, MW2, and a few others. I also had a PS3 previously, but the only multiplayer game I really played on that was CoD. I have never played an RTS (not really my thing), so I can’t comment on how the community is in those.

      I have had it happen countless times on both console and PC, in MMOs, FPS, survival horror, whatever. Hell, I even had it happen in arcades! The type of game and the platform didn’t matter, as far as harassment goes. Same exact type of bullshit, and it came from 12 year olds to 40 year olds (sad, I know, but it has happened). PC is not necessarily any better, and god help you if you’re a female who plays on an RPPVP realm in WoW (I’m strictly PvP realms nowadays, but I’ve tried it before).

      I have also seen both sides of the coin. I have been fawned over and freely given valuable items (or, at least they tried — I wouldn’t accept) and hit on and complimented on my playing ONLY because I’m a female. On the flip side, I have been met with so much hate and vitriol and negativity that it’s unbelievable and honestly makes me sick. Both situations are not good. I just want to be treated as an equal, not (a) “taken care of” and treated like I can’t/shouldn’t have to get things on my own or (b) treated like I’m absolutely worthless just because I have a vagina.

      I will tell you this though: it is NOT the majority of guys who are like this. The majority of guys are fine, stand-up guys who treat women with the same respect they’d give any man. Better yet, they treat people on merit and how the person treats others. THAT is the majority. Unfortunately, the minority that is the type to make sexist and misogynistic comments, and harass females simply for being female, is very, very, VERY vocal.. so that’s what is typically brought up when discussing being a female gamer. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, and all that.

      • Khaliia July 9, 2013 8:17 pm edit

        I’ve found most of the harassment comes from console/non pc games, I’ve bene playing neverwinter (beholder shard) since beta, and have not run into /any/ of that sexist bologna.
        Neverwinter has been a refreshing and welcome gaming experience compared to some console games I’ve dabbled in

    • slaus July 1, 2013 3:03 am edit

      I hate to feed into the PC gamers being the ‘master race’ but all of the issues i’ve faced due to race and the issues i’ve seen regarding gender and sexuality have all been from xbox live. I don’t play multiplayer on the PSN network and the only PC games are play are never multiplayer.

      Something about multiplayer and FPS though. I don’t want to stereotype it but sheesh. I saw it much less on me3 though and I can count on one hand how many times i’ve had to worry about it because I generally played with a team built from the same 8-10 people.

  • Timothy A. Zorn June 30, 2013 5:07 pm edit

    Would you mind closing the comments? There’s a lot of hate down there, and to make matters worse, most of the responses (including some of yours, sadly) contain just as much hate. I appreciate the article, but when I read some of the ways you respond to people who are hateful it made me think twice about the kind of person you may be.

    Don’t respond to hate with hate.

    Timothy A. Zorn

    • slaus June 30, 2013 6:57 pm edit

      Thanks Tim, You bring up great points on fighting hate with hate. and to ease your confusion, I’ll let these scene describe to you exactly the type of person I am..


      i’m not always the good guy.. i’m not the hero in this fairytale. the people reading this who know me will tell you that at one time I was just as bad as koz and the dbags I wrote about. I can be vile.. petty.. vindictive and the definition of evil towards other people. But I am at a point in my life where I am changing and actively trying to be a better person. and thanks to many of the women I know who have shown me what they go through and having my eyes opened to the misogyny perpetrated by others as well as understanding my OWN crimes and culpability in this arena…i’ve grown. Every day is a new opportunity to do better, learn and grow as a person. One day i hope to BE the good guy. but in the end.. i’m not professor X… i’m more old school Magneto.

      ” i’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying reaaal haaard to be the shepherd “

      • AtomicPanda June 30, 2013 11:05 pm edit

        I somehow knew that that video had to do with Pulp Fiction before even clicking on the link.

        You did not disappoint.

        • slaus July 1, 2013 1:43 am edit

          as a former not nice guy, an overly opinionated asshole who is trying to learn to consider the input of all, and other offences here and there and everywhere…. that scene visually portrays this point in my life.

          Now.. I just want to enjoy something with rum or tequila, my wife n kids, an episode of MLP and a damn good game with a story ( waiting for a sale on the Last Of Us)

          if I can learn the error of my ways when it comes to being a misogynist fool, there is hope for those ‘bros’ I’d like to think.

          • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 3:18 pm edit

            I’m really, really glad you’re changing. Honestly, even if you used to do those things, I hold absolutely nothing against you. Why? Because you realized you were wrong and you’re making a conscious effort to change for the better. I applaud you for that. Not too many do so.

            I also would like to think that there’s hope, but it discourages me when logically and free-of-emotions explaining why they were wrong does absolutely nothing. In fact, you’re usually met with more hate and vitriol than you got in the first place. It just astounds me that people who would never say this to either their girlfriend/wife/mother/sister or a random woman on the street would somehow think it’s okay to do it to random women they’ve never even talked to before because “it’s the internet”. I just really, really don’t get it. But, I hope it changes and gets better, both from other players and from the game companies.

            Also, hell yeah, The Last of Us looks AMAZING. I’m seriously wanting a PS3 just for that! Enjoy your stiff drink and some MLP and family time :)

  • PMS-LadyDeath June 30, 2013 5:14 pm edit

    I only like this because it does indeed show how the ‘average’ (?) gamer guy tends to react. (MOST of the time)

    back in the 90′s when I played Quake and Quake 2, I would sometimes actually top the server… and if I had an obvious female name (My name was often PMS-LadyDeath, YES I was a member of an actual real life all female clan) the vitriol was jaw dropping. Mostly I laughed at them and taunted them back…. Now get this though:

    SOMETIMES the other guys on the server would literally hound the offensive guys OFF THE SERVER!
    Yes, you heard me right.

    So don’t give up hope! While there ARE arseholes out there, there are an equal and growing number of guys who say “THIS IS NOT OK!”

    Hope this inspires and gives you hope!

  • Michelle June 30, 2013 7:49 pm edit

    I stopped buying any game with a required online component some time ago. I’d just rather not deal with it anymore. The guys that are lucky to get to play with me have to do it in person, and there are plenty of my guy friends who have earned that honor. I wonder if the game companies care that I won’t buy their shit anymore. Eh, probably not.

  • Matthew Gladman June 30, 2013 7:56 pm edit

    Horrible story, but I think it’s more of a fringe case when playing with immature prats that are below the age of maturity. Most of the gaming circles I’m in (and that is quite a few) treat females exactly the same way as males. Same level of team work or trash talk. A toxic player is toxic regardless of who you are, just report them. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure we only play with good players (and I’m NOT talking about skill). League of legends is particularly good arty handling this with their tribunal system.

    • AtomicPanda June 30, 2013 10:39 pm edit

      First of all, this definitely is not a fringe case. I’m a female and I CONSTANTLY get treated this same exact way (sometimes, it’s a lot worse). It’s not by the people I choose to play/party with. It’s by random people who just happen to be in my lobby and who I have done fucking nothing to in order to deserve to be told, “I hope you get raped and killed,” or to be called a bitch or slut or cunt when I refuse to send them pictures or any number of other horrible things. This is happening ALL THE TIME to females on all different platforms. It has happened to me in LoL, in WoW, on XBox Live, on PSN. Your experience does not equate to what’s actually going on. If you bothered to look into it, you’d see that there’s a bunch of sites dedicated to documenting the harassment that females face daily in gaming. Two sites I can think of off the top of my head: Fat Ugly or Slutty, and Not in the Kitchen Anymore. There’s also tons of blogs with one-offs about the harassment that women face, not to mention articles on NPR, Business Insider, Kotaku, Slate, and other major sites. Please take a look at those before you deem that this is a “fringe case” when it very clearly is not.

      To make myself clear, no, I have NEVER been treated like that by guys that I play with on a regular basis. Why? Because I don’t choose to surround myself with people that act like that and make sexist and misogynistic comments, or harass people solely because they’re female. If any single one of them started relentlessly harassing me for pictures, calling me names, talking shit to other girls solely because they’re female, I would stop talking to them immediately. The problem is not the people we surround ourselves with. The problem is that too many assholes think it’s okay to harass a female they’ve never even talked to before ONLY because they’re a fucking female.

      For the record, I have nothing against shit-talking. People do it, it’s because of the competitive nature of gaming, I get that. I start to have a problem when that shit-talking becomes based only on the fact that I have a vagina. If you’re telling me to get back in the kitchen and make you a sandwich, or telling me to leave if I don’t send you tit pics, or telling me that I’m fucking worthless because I’m “just another bitch”… THAT is when it becomes a problem. There’s a big difference between talking shit and being a misogynistic asshole. Fortunately, lots of men know the difference and don’t stoop that low. I’m not saying all men make sexist comments, or even that most of them do. The problem here is the vocal minority.

      Also, no, League of Legends is not particularly good at handling this with their Tribunal system. While I would argue that Tribunal is alright (not great, just alright), it doesn’t fix how fucking toxic that community is in general. Sure, there’s some great people. More often than not, they totally suck. League has, by far, the absolute worst community of any game I’ve ever played… and I’m a CoD player, so that’s saying quite a bit. I will say though that I have had less “get back in the kitchen” type BS in that game.. but that’s most likely because (a) my ign is not obviously female and (b) there’s no voice chat so it’s not obvious that I’m a female.

      • Matthew Gladman July 1, 2013 4:20 am edit

        Really? I play with “obviously girl gamers” (mostly the username) all the time, both my friends and “randoms”. And I next to never see gender specific abuse (which is ridiculously stupid). If they play badly they get the normal level of abuse, but nothing really gender specific….

        Yeah I’ve played with some pretty nasty players on LoL, but have managed to ban and report several bad players out of existence (Hint: Get your team and the oposing team to report as well, 5+ reports in a single game normally get’s them properly looked at and banned))
        Is a pretty good article on LoL in terms of psychology and what they are doing to curb toxic behavior. (No system is going to be perfect, and LoL is a particularly competitive game)

        But in reality, most mature minded persons wouldn’t do any of that dumb (sexist) stuff. Like, if anyone has ever played Xbox Live and Halo in particular, you will face the “screaming swearing 12 year olds”. They find any excuse to be jerks, if you’re a female maybe something sexist involving a kitchen, if you’re a male probably something to do with “yo momma” or masturbation.

        But playing with bigots is going to yield that behavior regardless of gender at any rate, for example, if it was easy to tell what race someone was via username/tag, then I’m sure people would get really racist as well….. It’s not specific to females (although this particular example was). All toxic behavior should be stomped out, not focusing on any one gender (which is sexism on its own) , race or any particular grouping of people….

        • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:27 pm edit

          OK, then let’s stomp out some toxic behavior, shall we? You, as a man, are less likely to notice sexism against women than the female targets of that sexism are. SO STOP DENYING THAT IT HAPPENS BASED ON YOUR AS A MALE ANECDOTAL OBSERVATION.

          That you can’t believe women when they say that they encounter this is sexist. You disbelieve women on the grounds that you know their experience better than they do. Just stop.

          • Christina July 3, 2013 1:12 pm edit

            This. Men often say “I play with girls and I never notice this behavior” but it’s incredibly insidious. They don’t notice it because a lot of times, it’s sent in personal messages directly to the women, for starters.

            I’ve brought up the black/white comparison in every comment I’ve left, but it’s relevant again here and I feel like it may be the only way men can understand what women are experiencing.

            Here’s the thing. Your statement basically amounts to “I have played baseball with a couple of black friends, I’ve never heard anyone call them ‘N_____’, so I think it’s a fringe problem.’ Okay, so your specific black friends have not been called the N-word in front of you, but have they been called it when they played baseball with a group of strangers? Have they been called it when they walked down the street? Have they been called it online, over and over again? Hell yes they have. And if they haven’t, it’s because they don’t go near places where they’ll experience that kind of hate and abuse, or because they have enough of their white friends around that other white people feel too embarrassed or afraid to be their normal, horrible selves. Same thing happens with women – a group of dudes might not call me a slut or cat-call me when I walk down the street with my male friends, but they sure as hell will if I come back down the same street by myself.

            I recommend you make an account with a female name and avatar and play yourself – as many games as you play now – and tell me what happens. Leave your mic off so they don’t know you’re a dude, of course. Report back in a month :)

          • Allan Savolainen July 25, 2013 5:19 am edit

            It would be great for all parties if there was actually some kind of study on the issue, to get real statistics on the abuse. Would make fixing the problem much easier if we knew which demographic was abusing who and how.

        • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 2:55 pm edit

          While I can agree that all such behavior (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) should NEVER be allowed, because it is very hurtful and damaging, I can’t agree with the rest of your post.

          Again, just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it’s not true and isn’t a massive problem. You can’t just discount the experiences of hundreds, if not thousands, of girl gamers who have had this happen to them because “you haven’t seen it”. Of course, that doesn’t mean that just because I’VE seen it that it’s a massive problem… but all the sites and blogs and articles dedicated to it do show that. Like I said, take a look at those sites, browse through /r/girlgamers on Reddit, read the news articles and blogs, listen to the Anita Sarkeesian talks, watch the TEDxWomen talk on women in gaming. They’ll sdemonstrate how real of a problem it is and just how often it happens.

          However, we can’t ignore the, what some people call, “positive sexism” in gaming, either. Women being fawned over and given valuable items and treated as if they have to be “taken care of” or shouldn’t need to get things on their own (or can’t). That’s also a problem. Just because it results in what may be seen as a positive by some people doesn’t mean it’s a non-issue. Personally, and judging from a lot of other female gamers that I know, we really just want to be treated as EQUALS. No special treatment, but no harassment either.

          Shit-talking is fine. I’m totally okay with that, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find too many who say it’s completely unacceptable even if they don’t participate. The problem is not shit-talking, and I don’t think that (most) females think that it is; it’s when it becomes fueled by sexism and misogyny and homophobia and general bigotry that it becomes a problem. Now, I’ve been in lobbies with some really cool people who just chill and talk to each other like normal, non-psychotic people as well, and I’ve met some really great people through gaming.

          Unfortunately, that has not been the majority of my experiences. Even if it doesn’t happen in the lobby, it happens through private messages (messages through the XBL/PSN services, whispers in WoW, and so on). Even when I do really well, I STILL get shit, whether it’s requests for (specifically naked) pictures, “Are you as beautiful as you are good at CoD?”/other ways of being hit on, told to get back in the kitchen because “girls shouldn’t play games”, or told that I MUST be ugly and fat because no “hot girl” could ever be that good at a game. And don’t let me forget the fact that, if I ever refuse a guy’s advances, I’m automatically a slut/cunt/bitch/whore.

          The gendered insults also extend to guys. Nope, I’m not talking about “dick” or “prick” or what have you. I’m talking about female-gendered insults being slung at men because, at the root of it, it’s insulting to be equated to a female. Insults such as “pussy” and “bitch” are used because they are inherently female-oriented. Maybe people don’t consciously do that, but it’s a problem that it’s so ingrained that there’s something wrong and substandard about being a woman or, as a male, being emasculated to the level of being “a little bitch”. It’s a hard concept for me to put into words, and for that I apologize, but it’s been better explained by people other than me.

          And yes, I have gone the reporting route. Many, many, many times. Know how many times I got a notification from Microsoft that they did something about the person I reported? ONCE. ONE SINGLE TIME. I’ve had an Xbox for 3 years, and I do report all the people who make racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. comments or harass me in PMs or whatever it may be. I do block those people and mark them as preferred players as well, so it’s not from a lack of trying on my part. However, it STILL HAPPENS. Constantly. The problem isn’t people not reporting; it’s people not being punished adequately or, even worse, not being punished at all.

          In WoW, I reported an ex-guild mate for following me around Org (and then following me to other places), using my real name in trade chat and harassing me with insults/name-calling/etc., threatening me, getting his friends to send me whispers, just… more or less cyber-stalking me in-game. Know what was done? NOTHING. I was told to block the player and move on. I did that; it didn’t help one bit. He’d even go through the trouble of creating new characters and finding me again. I’m not kidding when I say this guy was a fucking psycho.

          Sadly, it’s not the only time that’s happened to me. I’ve been followed into 10+ games in a row in CoD, no matter what mode I chose to play, and that person would repeatedly harass me via voice chat in lobbies. I have blocked people and had them make new gamertags JUST to harass me some more. From what I’m saying, it might sound like I’m a total dick who has done shit to people to get them to react this way. I promise you, I haven’t. I don’t even take my mic off mute unless I’m playing with my friends. Even then, I ONLY talk to them. If there’s any shit-talking to be done, they do it. I keep quiet other than call-outs and general conversation with them. In short, I’ve done nothing to deserve it, other than simply being a female and existing and having a gamertag. Apparently, that’s REALLY FUCKING OFFENSIVE to some men.

          So, please, don’t try to diminish other peoples’ experiences… especially women. Unless men assume a female name and never let anyone know they’re a male (like the OP did), whether this is through playing on someone else’s gamertag or making a female toon in WoW or whatever, they’re unlikely to really experience what too many women do. I would also invite you to actually ASK your female friends if they’ve ever experienced some type of harassment because they’re female (whether it’s sexual, hate-related, whatever). Chances are, a good amount of them will say yes, they have.

          If you want to take it even further, make a female name/toon in a game you play but don’t use a mic so no one knows you’re actually a male. See what happens. I can guarantee you won’t think the same way after that.

          Please, please do not act like this isn’t a problem until you look into it and realize what we’re actually dealing with.

          • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:27 pm edit

            I refuse to play WoW on RP servers after an incident in which a player decided that my Dwarf was sexy and clearly created by a female, so he kept trying to get me to cyber with him. I blocked him, so he created another toon. I blocked that so he created another toon. I blocked that so he created another toon. I reported all four toons to Blizzard, including that he just kept making new toons to get around the block and they told me to block him if he contacts me again– cause, you know, that totally worked the first four times.

            I changed servers instead.

          • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 3:59 pm edit

            Jesus. Some people are just… legitimately insane in gaming. It’s also really sad that they have the time to full-on stalk another player. It really sucks that you had to change servers though, just to get away from a creep.

            I honestly stopped playing WoW. Between the lack of them not caring what goes on in the game, whether it’s harassment, following a player around just to kill them/camping their body, etc. and their really, really poor customer service anymore, I decided I was just done with it. Not worth the $15/month it costs to play.

            The bigger problem is that reporting often does absolutely nothing, on both PC and console. You’re told to block them, but what good does that do when they’re crazy enough to keep making new gamertags/toons to contact you? It’s not like you can choose to block anyone with their IP from contacting you. Best you can do is blocking them via their RealID, which would require being friends with them.. and I’m not adding a creeper just to block them so they can see my full, real name. That’s the ass-backwards kind of system that needs to go, ASAP. It’s not doing any favors for anyone.

            I’ve been told so many times to “just get over it” or “get a thicker skin”. My concern, mostly, is not just for myself; it’s for the women who have actually quit playing games, or playing online, because of the amount of harassment they’ve dealt with. How the fuck that’s okay by anyone is a mystery to me, and it’s insulting and disgusting that women are not valued enough as people and customers to have anything (major) done about it by most companies.

            I have reported.. geeze, it must’ve been thousands.. of people for their Black Ops/Black Ops 2 emblems, their gamertags, their conduct while playing online/harassment through PMs. Have yet to see action taken on anyone other than one single person. In WoW, I have never seen anyone I reported get banned for harassment.

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:23 pm edit

      Oh, well, *clearly* if you personally haven’t seen bad treatment towards women, all the women who report it are liars, even though you mention trash talk and much of trash talk is gendered: rape, pussy, “like a girl,” “like a little bitch,” etc.

      Seriously, could you bother listening to people when they tell you the problems that they encounter before you dismiss them on stupid grounds?

  • Akella June 30, 2013 9:48 pm edit

    I played russian World of Warcraft servers for 2 years and never saw any abuse based on gender.
    Yes, there were sometimes a lot of trash talk, but it never was based on gender and this “kitchen” bullshit.
    In my guilds there was quite a few girls, and they were treated exactly same as guys.
    Is this problem more acute in western countries / US?

  • slaus July 1, 2013 2:14 am edit

    Another thing we have to remember is that there is a problem with misogyny in video games because there is a problem with misogyny in our every day life. We see it all the time. Sometimes we even perpetuate it.

    Let’s not start acting as if dudes in gaming are the big problem… the big problem is our attitudes period when it comes to women these days. The ROOT of the problem is the casual misogyny of our old boys club…. jerks in gaming are just one of the branches.

    Is this story about me doing the best that I could when it happened? No.. not at ALL. I dealt with the issue the best way I thought to at the time, but mayhaps I didn’t do enough. mayhaps the way I thought to deal with it best, letting the guys think they in face got beaten by a female gamer, wasn’t the best course of action. arguableI should have taken it bit further and verbally chastised the two. : shrugs: I don’t know WHICH is the best act and I suppose it depends on your own point of view.

    what I will clarify is this was one of my Ah-HA moments where it all began to click. Right arount the time I began to pay attention to all the hatred and foolishness that Anita Sarkeesian was going through. like finally getting the vertical piece in tetris, everything began falling into place and when i went to many female gamers that I knew and talk to them about these things, I was ready to put aside my own ignorance and learn from them

    This incident happened about 6-7 months ago and since then I have run into other incidents online and off where I have stopped those in question and spoke to them about the hypocrisy of their points about women. Some have bee converted, many clung even harder to their ignorance.

    am I much more vocal and vehement in my dealings these days? much more so. Could I be even more so? absolutely. But as I said.. I’m learning and growing.

    Am i all of a sudden this white knight for the cause? no. I’m not a nice guy.. in D&D terms I’m former Lawful Evil but trying to be Neutral Good…but i’llsettle for chaotic good :) … sometimes i’m the bad guy. but right now?

    I’m fighting for what is right and fair in my opinion.

    if it makes me a little b*tch to other guys? Check my tax forms and you’ll see I didn’t give any damns on my itemized return last year and I don’t forecast giving any in 2013 either.

    In the end, we all have to do our part and make the world itself a better place. Only then we will ever see a change happen in our virtual worlds.

    I hope it is your desire to work towards that goal.
    If not… it would be best for you to stay out of our way.


    • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:30 pm edit

      Sigh. I hope you start giving damns when people use gendered slurs against you with the implication that women are lesser than men.

      • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 3:03 pm edit

        This, PLEASE. Understand that the reason that gendered slurs are used is because it is seen as offensive to be equated to, or flat-out called, a woman. It’s implying that there is something inherently wrong and substandard about being a woman. If there wasn’t, it wouldn’t be offensive to be called one. Things like pussy/cunt and bitch are female-oriented slurs; there’s no way around that. Like I said above, maybe a lot of people don’t think this way when they’re using those words. Problem is, that demonstrates that simply being a woman is so problematic that it’s become ingrained in our society to the point of people not thinking about what they’re saying when they say it, because it’s used so commonly.

        • Swirly July 1, 2013 3:47 pm edit

          And it’s not just bitch, pussy, cunt, etc. It’s “crying,” “umad?” “whiner,” “panties in a wad,” “like a girl,” “on the rag,” etc. There are so many ways that people use “female” to attack someone, on the premise that female is lesser than male. Then there’s the “you just got raped,” “wow, you could have used lube,” “take it like a bitch” BS, which tends to be intertwined with “faggot.” If you’re not literally a female, you are still lesser because “you get fucked like a bitch.” I mean really, wth guys?

          This is the basis for a lot of in-game trash talk and that’s why I don’t believe the guys here saying that they don’t see it happening, so it must not be common. There’s a difference between seeing it and realizing that it’s happening. It’s so common to see things like this in trash talk that guys don’t necessarily notice the sexism; but the women do because “female” is being used as a slur even towards men.

          And how much do you want to bet that if these guys do have girlfriends, they complain that their girlfriends don’t play games with them and try to get them to log out? But if you say you’re a female gamer online or you go to a game con, then you’re a “fake geek girl” or you must be fat and ugly.

          Guys, if you want girlfriends who play games, stop being sexist towards women in games. Until this stops, you are keeping your potential girlfriends out of games. I don’t see what’s so compelling about identifying the things that you want in a woman and then using that as insults or denying that those women exist.

  • Tinkerstab July 1, 2013 6:06 am edit

    Games are made by men for men. And the gaming community is clinging on to their masculinity with poor excuses and bad language. But hey! You need to make room for us girls, because winter (change) is coming! Sure, 46% of all gamers are female, but there are hardly any female game developers.

    Girls, we need to take our male character masks off and ride proudly into the gaming sunset to spread awareness! Female gamers is mathematical and sexy, YEAH! More girls should enter the gaming industry, and work alongside the guys to make a better, more tolerant gaming community (and better games – some themes are seriously growing old IMO). We can’t expect big changes if we don’t contribute, dears. <3

    Kisses and snugs,
    A Female Game Designer

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:33 pm edit

      And that’s all nice and lovely, dear, but as a female programmer who has applied for jobs at multiple shops, I can’t help if the job goes to an incompetent buzzword jockey instead. Are you helping to get more females hired at your company? If not, don’t lecture me on how I need to apply.

      • Tinkerstab July 4, 2013 7:33 am edit

        After developing a game based on someone elses concept and risk alongside a bigger team, I broke off to create my own company so I could make my own games.

        Girls, don’t be afraid to start on your own. The gaming industry needs new genres to satisfy the female gaming population aswell. Since indie games started blossiming, more gender neutral games have become available – and I’m loving it. But hey, if there are so many games directed at the male gamer demographic, someone needs to step up and create games for the female one as well. And shit, we’ve seen some men try and fail horribly. We girls know what we want, and it’s not necessarily sunshine, rainbows and plushy bears. It may or may not include a lot of really neat weapon designs.

  • Mash July 1, 2013 8:31 am edit

    am i the only one who thought the silent girl’s reaction in the article is also perpetuating the sexism?
    I mean, the little dudes there are so easy to bash, and so easy to see how dangerous they are, i a cultural sense, but what she said:

    “Damn, she and I had the top two ranks and you guys spent most of the match dead on your backs… You let two girls dominate you. Daaaang”

    that’s a backhanded insult to herself, i feel.

    How about enough with the self hate, ladies? It’s saddest when this retarded shit comes from us… -_-

    how about “you let two obviously superior player dominate you because you’re all talk and no skill”?

    just a thought.

    • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:35 pm edit

      Thanks for the concern trolling, but no, these guys don’t actually learn that way. Stop policing what the women in the situation are doing while in possession of all the facts, based on a summary.

      • Mash July 2, 2013 3:23 am edit

        I don’t see what’s trolly about what i said, nor see how i am “policing” people. i made a rather innocuous comment with an honest observation…
        I am also female and also a gamer, and i also concern myself with these issues, and i try to see where they come from, culturally. and we are all guilty – both men and women – we all need to work to erradicate chauvinistic world views – within and without. i often find that girls, too, without noticing, play into these gender stereotypes and perpetuate them. because it’s just so ingrained in our culture – this “war of the sexes”, these “opposing camps”.
        i.e. girls who act like having tits while playing a game makes them somehow special, who feel some ridiculous pride that they are “gamer girls”… we’re gamer *people*, because games are fun. there’s nothing outstanding about women playing games. gender isn’t relevant in gaming, why involve it at all? and what the silent girl from this article did – she involved it yet again. she highlighted it. and she insinuated that somehow, because she is a girl, these douchebags should be insulted that she beat them. and that seems counterproductive to me.

        • Delta July 2, 2013 11:57 am edit

          Because that is too convenient for the feminist movement, or any social movement. It’s not enough to be equal to someone else, they have to be /above/ someone else, to be special, to be in control. Many will disagree with me, and that’s fine, but I’ve always felt that these social movements cannot simply stand for true equality because the minute they achieve that, which for many was decades ago, the fight is over. If everyone in the gaming community decided tomorrow “Hey, we don’t need to fight this anymore, we’re cool with female/LGBT/whomever gamers, rock on!” then that’s it. There is no one left to fight, no one left to picket, no one left to spam Tumblr blogs, no one left to comment on this very post here. Then what? What do you do with yourselves when the battle is won? Has any feminist or pro-rights movement thought about the end game?

          Instead, these campaigns will continue to be wagered in never-ending fashion because there are still people out there who think we’re still “fighting” for a cause, men and women alike. These wars are perpetuated by people on both sides, because they cannot let this war end, they cannot fade into the backdrop. They need to be relevant and important. I think it’s silly, there are plenty of female gamers out there who just like to play games, they probably don’t want this mess, just as there are guys out there who just want to play games and not deal with assholes. It’s like being caught in the crossfire, and it’s annoying.

          • Orv July 2, 2013 9:46 pm edit

            If the war was “over decades ago,” why is it that female traits are still seen as negative compared to male traits? Why do we mock sensitive guys? Why do women make less than men on average?

            We still have a VERY long way to go.

        • Orv July 2, 2013 9:47 pm edit

          The reason female gamers stand out is the same reason that, say, a female race driver stands out. It’s not that they somehow are “acting special” for being female. It’s that being female in a male-dominated arena makes them “special” whether they like it or not.

  • FieldMedic July 1, 2013 11:09 am edit

    I’ll preface this by stating I agree completely that girl gamers get mistreated and abused all the time online and it sickens me greatly.

    My question is, how would these people know someone’s real life gender playing Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer? The only information the lobby presents is a gamer tag, an N7 rating, your class, class load-out and class level. Granted I use the PC version so it might be different on consoles.

    • AtomicPanda July 1, 2013 3:10 pm edit

      Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but as for myself.. people know I’m a female because (a) my gamertag is obviously female (though some really.. uh.. not-so-smart ones don’t catch on), (b) if you open up my gamer card (profile on XBL), it has my name (obviously female) and a female avatar, and (c) if I’m using voice chat, I have a clearly female voice. It’s really not very hard to figure out that I’m a girl. In fact, you’d have to be pretty dumb to not be able to figure it out.

      Of course, I could use a non-female gamertag and not use voice chat/stay in party chat and use a male avatar and not include my name in my profile. However, I shouldn’t HAVE to do that. Ever. Men don’t have to do that, do they? Nope, because there’s nothing wrong if you’re a MALE and playing video games (at least in their tiny, pea-sized brains).

      The problem is not me being female gamer (which I don’t think you’re implying AT ALL, but a lot of douches seem to think it is), it’s that a vocal minority of men think it’s okay to harass me simply for being a female and existing, because I’m in the “boys’ club”, if you will.

      This has also happened to me on PC, for what it’s worth. Not in LoL, because I don’t use a female-specific ign, but in WoW and other games (CoD, Counter-Strike, etc.) it has.. even with no voice chat.

      • FieldMedic July 1, 2013 3:37 pm edit

        I do agree with everything you’ve said, and it must have been a particularly telling user name that set these sad individuals off.

        It’s just unusual in ME3′s multiplayer to know much if anything about your teammates. One of the game’s strengths is just how well teams seem to coordinate without any communication at all.

        Regardless, it’s sad that some would deliberately try to ruin the gaming experience for others.

  • Swirly July 1, 2013 2:39 pm edit

    I’ve been in raids in WoW where the raid lead asks at the beginning if there are any females in the raid and when no one answers, says awesome he doesn’t have to kick anyone in advance for being fail. So after teaching him the fights and out-dpsing him, I announced that I’m female.

    A couple of weeks ago in WoW, someone who didn’t know the fights, didn’t follow the instructions, and didn’t even do what he was told when called out by name in raid chat for doing the fight wrong claimed that anyone who pointed out that behavior was just PMSing. When I complained about that, some idiot “explained” to me that PMS is just another term for period and when I told him that it is a medical condition that affects less than half of women, he went AFK to look it up because clearly a woman couldn’t know what PMS is better than he does.

    I was in a new raid as the only person who watched the video in advance, explained the fight repeatedly, figured out the ways that the videos were wrong, and got kudos from everyone for being so patient, but when I said that I am female, immediately got blamed for previous wipes and called incompetent because female gamers suck. No one even responded.

    I get raid lead in LFG most of the time and about half of the time that I get it, I get passed it because I’m doing a better job at leading the raid than the raid lead. I get complimented on how well I explain things and help the group come together, which are things that I can do because I don’t care if people think I’m not “macho” enough. My ego isn’t involved; I want to get this done.

    I’ve made a macro to raid announce that the raid was successful in part because the raid lead was female, but I should feel the need to do that.

  • dammit July 1, 2013 3:01 pm edit

    So, you solved a problem that was inherently about aggression with aggressive behaviour? Yup, that definitely seemed to work.

    Maybe you need to look at the games you’re playing. Do they inspire team work and cooperation? Apparently not. They’re all about winning at the sake of someone else losing (or getting less points). I play loads of games online but they’re focused on the team winning and just having fun. I don’t think I’ve ever really experienced that kind of behaviour from random guys on the internet when I’ve played with mic on. They know I’m a girl, but no one cares. We’re all just there to hunt zombies or kill the red players. And it’s so not serious.

  • SomeLuigi July 1, 2013 5:47 pm edit

    I am absolutely sick of this kind of treatment myself.

    I try to stay away, but it happens in real life too.

    Being female is implied as an insult, so often myself (a male) am also called these things like pussy, bitch, etc.

    The thing I noticed though is, the people causing this are usually insecure, because if you yourself don’t call people pussy, bitch, etc, you are insulted with these female-shaming terms.

    I’ve tried to explain it back, but they don’t listen.

    I think it’d be a good start if these people get owned by female gamers and cry their butts off.

    As the post says, Game on.

  • Morrighan July 1, 2013 6:13 pm edit

    Good to see more posts like this. I’ve posted about the sexism in and around games before, and even now some one in particular of my blog posts receives a steady stream of comments that pretty much only go on to reinforce the points I made in the first place.

    This post is great in its own right, but some of the responses show how widespread the problem is. Its not just the individuals who you met in game, its the people who will defend them (salving their own consciences) or deny them and who will hound anyone who stands up for themselves to a fairly extreme extent, whilst saying ‘not that I care of course’.

    What I’ve realised is that most of these commenters don’t think they are sexist, or wrong. They cannot conceive of an alternative to their reality. They have no empathy. The good news is there are plenty of awesome people out there, so I’m going to keep seeking them out and applauding them and engaging with them. And I’m going to keep saying what I think and what needs to be said, just like this post does.

  • Kai July 1, 2013 7:10 pm edit

    Thanks for this article! Really and truly, thank you. As a female gamer I’ve gotten this crap a lot. Also its not just in the console market that this happens (as some comments seem to think), but in the pc market as well. Case in point: World of Warcraft, the most vile comments can be found in there. I’ve played for quite a few years now, became well known on my realm as a good heals, and a hard core raider, but have since become more casual. But to get to that position, I had to prove myself to those around me, that even though I’m female, having tits and a vagina isn’t the reason I’m getting gear. The tits or gtfo from vent when you’re raiding with someone new, or the constant dribble in trade chat (*shudders*) of sexism is kinda ridiculous.
    I’ve taken to keeping silent in vent/mumble, and just doing my job in the raid, and listening to what’s going on, rather than show I’m female. You kinda become scared of showing that you’re actually female, and its a wee bit retarded. I’ve had situations that went as far as someone threatening to come slit my throat and rape me on a realm..(Blizz just gave the guy a 3 day ban, and that was it…even though he harassed my guildies and me for about a month. So we all transferred.)
    Sexism exists on all platforms, not just consoles. And people and game companies/distributors need to be more proactive about it and address the issue head on.

  • Evilsnoman July 1, 2013 7:13 pm edit

    I have witnessed this despicable behavior firsthand as well. Perhaps I am old school but I still believe you should always treat women as ladies. Guys that goes for irl and ingame but thats just me.

    Probably one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing involved a member of my gaming group and a random public player who joined our vent server.

    Our group has a ZERO tolerance policy around hazing and cheating. Over the years I’ve tossed out many members who have crossed the lines. I feel no remorse. Ive heard every excuse and they all boil down to this, you say in jest what you mean at heart. If you can’t take the time to treat others with respect I don’t want you here.

    As a consequence of enforcing our rules we’ve had several girl gamers “reveal” themselves as such on our coms. First of all, they should never have to reveal themselves like its a big taboo, but thats for another rant. Anyhow, it usually takes a few months to gain trust but eventually they feel welcome. And hey, there is nothing more satisfying than getting to use the line “You just got whooped by a girl, now shut your mouth”

    Back to the pub incident. I made the fatal flaw of using a first name on the open channel. What happened next had my blood boiling so fast, Ive never hit the ban button quicker. This pathetic excuse of a human managed to spew every vitriolic slight at our member in an unrelenting verbal tirade. The kicker is she never queued up her mic.

    I apologized, but what she told me next had me seeing red. I was informed this is “normal” but she felt safe here.

    there shouldn’t be a need for safe havens. This level of hate should sicken anyone but most just turn a blind eye and keep playing. Since this incident I’ve basically stopped gaming. I feel like nobody wants to do anything about it, so rather than take part and support game houses, I’ve elected to not support them.

  • Dave July 1, 2013 8:31 pm edit

    Sorry, but I honestly don’t think that how you were treated has very much to do with sexism or feminism. There is probably some real female hatred going on, but please consider these facts:

    1. You were playing an online video game. A lot of online video games have a smack-talking “culture”. When you are playing these games, other gamers will find ANYTHING they can about you to say the most awful hurtful things they can think of. The fact that you were (acting like) a women is possibly simply what stood out about you.

    2. Consider how women get treated in other different kinds of games … particularly MMOs like WoW. They get free stuff and free help. A lot. I used to play WoW alongside my g/f and saw it all the time. If you are going to be pro-feminism, then please make it a point to be equally as against this sort of unfair treatment of women. Both types of unfair treatment happen in gaming and happen IRL. If you don’t make it a point to do so, then you are not actually a feminist … you are actually a female supremacist (although WAY too often these are the same thing).

    • Digital Distraction July 1, 2013 8:46 pm edit

      The initial sentiments were uttered while he was waiting in the lobby for the game to start. He never spoke, and there is no way to “act like a woman” in that area. All they can see is the avatar and gamertag.

      While playing ME3′s multiplayer, and racking up kills on Gold level, there isn’t time to “act” a certain way. How exactly would acting like a woman excuse that behavior?

      Since he was playing on a console game, the onus is not on him to police MMOs. Several women have mentioned the reverse treatment in games, and they don’t like it either. They’ve also mentioned the horrible behavior they’ve witnessed in MMOs like WoW too.

      This post isn’t about what happened in an MMO, it’s about his experience with this particular game. Blaming him for acting like a woman for simply sitting in the lobby doesn’t hold any weight here.

    • C July 2, 2013 12:07 am edit

      Yeah, getting free stuff is amazing! It’s super fun and totally awesome to be constantly harassed and given free things with the expectation that since you’re getting this stuff that you should tolerate it when men think it is free license to hit on you, expect you to find them attractive, and generally put up with their misogynistic ways.

      But then the end of your post all but confirms you believe in misandry and MRAs, so I can’t take you seriously.

      I do, though, like how you claim this had nothing to do with sexism then end point one by saying “acting like a women is possibly simply what stood out about you.”

      Do you understand what sexism and misogyny is?

  • CCC July 1, 2013 11:16 pm edit

    You know its an odd thing, these attitudes; I don’t quite get it.

    I’m an old school gamer, I was around for release of the original MMOs like Ascheron’s Call and Everquest. I used to live on those games, and loved every minute of it. Today, despite all the technology and graphics; I really don’t care anymore about most games. An attitude has so much to do with it.

    Back when Everquest was king, question #2 when joining any guild right after ‘How many active players do you have?’, was ‘How many of them are female?’. Now I admit part of that romance was being a horny teenager; but the other half was in all honesty a deeper respect for how valuable female players are as a whole to any group.

    I mean when you get right down to it, us guys make everything a constant pissing match for superiority. Who has the best gear? Who played the longest? Who has the deepest pockets to buy useless crap? Its only a matter of time before anything we build gets torn apart because no matter how “hard core” you are, trash talking gets boring and pisses people off eventually.

    The reality was woman kept it together. They solved problems between the guys who were ‘too macho’ to back down to each other. An when I played all the guys had the respect not to take shots at the women. It was about the only sure way to set the whole group against you. Women also had social skills that kept even the longest grinds entertaining. For once we had things to talk about that didn’t revolve around alcohol, food, and sex. Or if the conversation did revolve around those topics at least it was more fun and interesting. Women were gods in those games. You didn’t piss them off; they were a rare commodity, one to be prized and treasured. It was the highest aspiration of any MMO shut in, to succeed in the real life capture and conquest of someone who could share in his fantasy world.

    I’m not sure if that is respectful enough for the modern feminist movements, but I meant it respectfully.

    These problems that most of you folks have been agreeing to, are the tip of the iceberg that chased me out of gaming years ago. Nothing really seems cooperative anymore. Men treat women like shit, and then talk about how great they are after. Now the most important question I ask when joining any group is ‘How old is your player base?’, because I’ll be hard currency under 30 compromises 90% of the assholes everyone is complaining about here.

    You know I can remember fondly days groups of level 40-50 players spent running around helping a single woman make it from 10 to 20. An it was great, not because we really accomplished anything; but because we had a true social group that made it fun. It didn’t matter if she knew the game or not. In my mind it still doesn’t matter. An I’m not saying there weren’t any expert minded women around, but in all honesty I didn’t meet many. An to me it never mattered because most women who did play, were all about the group anyway; so helping them only helped yourself in the long run anyway.

    These days I don’t play many games anymore. Not from lack of interest, but from lack of finding groups I could enjoy belonging to. Women are a critical part of any group. An even though my chasing days are over, a game with just men playing does nothing for me. An games were women are openly disrespected does even less.

    There comes a point were the value of verbal jousting and superiority contests only emasculate the gender as a whole; and diminish the potential of what some games could be. An while maturity does indeed play a large role in the process; the inability to segregate the offenders from the larger group only succeeds in ruining the entire genre as a whole. Inevitably one gets stuck between constantly attempting to prove a point to someone too blind to recognize it or finding an alternative niche unmolested by the prepubescent masses.

    In the end you join steam, and play indie single player games for the remainder of your existence. Ce la vie.

    • Michael July 2, 2013 4:53 am edit

      > “I’m not sure if that is respectful enough for the modern feminist movements, but I meant it respectfully.”

      Generally speaking, referring to women as “commodities” (even valuable ones) is pretty insulting and goes against the spirit of feminism, which is generally just a desire to be treated the _same_ as men.

      A lot of women would find that being “prized and treasured” just for being a woman would be almost as big a put-off as being insulted and hated on just for being a woman.

      The whole point is that gender shouldn’t make any difference to how they’re treated, any more than someone’s nationality or hair colour or shoe size should.

      • CCC July 2, 2013 1:16 pm edit

        The problem is as long as you can affect another player’s game; we all then become commodities in the online community. So in that respect women are perfectly equal to men. I.E. Man or Woman, if your playing a healer that can keep me alive your a valuable commodity to have in my online game play.

        The prized and treasured aspect really only comes in consideration during that era’s rarity for female online players. I could also consider it a valuable asset to have a few Europeans in any large group. I value the difference in perspective they bring to an extended conversation. Should that be any more or less respectful to the European community?

        While not defending or condoning any of the actions witnessed by the OP; one has to wonder to what extent do we pursue equality? Especially since on a most strict biological level, we can never truly be equal. An while I’m not suggesting we condone or overlook actions of hatred, harassment, or discrimination; why is it people cannot celebrate the aspects that make us different in addition to those that make us similar? Must everything be so PC and cookie cutter?

        At some point in the pursuit to be so unilaterally equal, one looses sight of the great aspects that do make us different. An the fact that it is entirely possible to respectfully celebrate those differences without undue harm to either gender. An while not designed as an attack at an entirely separate community; there are reasons why the majority of men are attracted to women and vice versa. There is value in our differences, and while our treatment should be largely equal; its easily in my opinion our differences that attract and bind us together.

    • Delta July 2, 2013 11:37 am edit

      It goes even farther back than early MMOs, when I was a kid playing NES, SNES, and arcade games, there were no girls in that scene at all. In fact, girls in my class used to make fun of me and my friends for being video game nerds, or computer nerds, or any of that stuff. Any time the school had a skate party (that’s how old I am) many of us would be playing the arcade machines rather than skate.

      The times have changed, and they’ve changed a lot. Games are in the living room now, on the internet, free for anyone to play, and the last two decades of social change has brought more women under the video game umbrella, and I think that is a great thing. My wife wasn’t much of a gamer before we met, but she has her own DS, Steam account, plays Borderlands 2 with me on occasion. She might not be as skilled as hardcore players, but neither am I. We have fun playing games, which should be your rule number one in a relationship.

      But as the previous reply stated, modern feminism’s goals are complete equality, not white-knighting, something that frankly disgusted me within the early WoW community. I saw many guilds implode from girls wiggling their way in off the backs of white knights, or getting into relationships with the GMs and wrecking everything, or just being holier-than-thou above the others. That isn’t equality, and I feel when men try to bring that up, it’s swept under the rug by the pro-female gamer status quo and their male apologist-counterparts. Don’t misunderstand, I want an online ecosystem where male and female gamers co-exist and play games without the trash talk, the hate, and the exclusion, but it’s a two-way street, you can’t preach for inclusion when you’re trying to position yourself above everyone else under the guise of your own movement.

      This topic is such a slippery slope, but I agree with many when I feel that by not replying, not speaking up, or not acknowledging, we’re part of the problem. I would have defended my wife’s integrity as a person if someone said shit to me while I was using her account, because even though I am a compassionate person, I am not a beta male who will just roll over and let everyone walk all over him.

      • ckaj76 July 3, 2013 3:48 am edit

        Well said good gamer, and to you CCC, as well.

        Times have changed and so should the advertising, as my first post suggests. Once advertising of these games change, I believe so should the “social norms” tied to gaming (i.e. gender bashing, sexual preference bashing, etc.).

        Games are just that – games, fantasy – and should be that way. Fight for survival, superiority, the winner, the best. Just like the old school Street Fighter tourneys, the winner is the best player period.

  • graspee July 2, 2013 5:02 am edit

    Don’t use voice chat and have a name that is ambiguous with regard to gender and you will have no problems.

    Talking on the mic or having a name like Pinklady will lead to comments. (And honestly names like “Pinklady” are asking for trouble- I mean why would you wear your gender like a badge?)

    • slaus July 2, 2013 1:59 pm edit

      Yeah.. just like a woman should never wear a short skirt or a sweater that accentuates her curves and then she wont get raped right?



      Women shouldn’t do anything different …period. A woman should be able to logon to any game with any gamertag and not be harassed for it. c’mon, son!

      Why are we so quick to tell women all the ways to change so they wont be ‘victims’ instead of telling men: “hey.. get your shit together, son and stop acting like a c*ckmonkey.” it’s the same bullshit on how we tell women don’t wear this or that and you wont get raped, instead of looking at ourselves and our society and saying… men have a serious problem with forcing their shafts all up in folks who didn’t want it.

      No. enough of that ridiculousness.

      • AtomicPanda July 2, 2013 2:37 pm edit

        Thank you for this. Fucking EXACTLY. The problem isn’t with women, and it’s *certainly* not with all men. Or even the majority of men. The problem is with the vocal minority that act like fucking scumbags towards women, or even go so far as to commit sexual acts of violence against them.. because they think it’s okay, or that she was “asking for it”.

        “Why would you wear your gender like a badge?” The commenter you replied to doesn’t seem to realize that it’s perfectly fine to have man, boy, etc. in a gamertag… but NEVER EVER should a woman let anyone know her real gender. Because that’s BAD, and we deserve to be shamed for it. Give me a fucking break.

        Just because we choose to not be ashamed of our gender and use feminine-sounding gamertags doesn’t mean that any guy has the right to shame us for that. It doesn’t mean that we “shouldn’t” use voice chat or “shouldn’t” make our gamertags obviously female. It means that the assholes who make sexist and misogynistic statements need to change, because no one should be made to feel ashamed of who they are, whether it’s their sexuality, their gender, whatever.

        The original commenter sounds like a straight-up apologist. Telling women to change so they don’t become victims is BLAMING THE WOMEN FOR SHIT THAT ISN’T THEIR FAULT. We don’t fucking control how men act. THEY DO. If they’re such a jerk that they can’t refrain from making sexual comments every time you hear a girls’ voice online, that’s THEIR problem, NOT mine! I shouldn’t have to change the way I am because they think being a female is somehow less acceptable, less desirable, somehow offensive to their delicate sensibilities, that I’m worthless because I’m a woman. Or, in the realm of gaming, that I obviously suck at the game, or that I must be fat and ugly, or that I’m a whore, or any of the other various insults I’ve had slung at me for NO REASON AT ALL other than the simple fact that I fucking exist and I’m playing a game, which is somehow so goddamn offensive to some men that they have to ridicule and insult me for it. That’s a problem with the way they think, because the problem sure as hell is not me having a vagina and not being afraid to acknowledge that.

      • Tinkerstab July 5, 2013 1:16 pm edit

        This. Please.

    • AtomicPanda July 2, 2013 2:09 pm edit

      Are you a complete fucking moron? Stop making excuses for being sexist. We should be able to use ANY name we damn well want and use voice chat! Men sure can, can’t they? Oh, right, because we’re in the “boys’ club” and don’t belong there.

      Seriously, you’re making excuses for sexism and misogyny. You’re just as bad as they are. What a fucking moronic statement to make.

  • bob July 2, 2013 5:57 am edit

    If you doubt the veracity of this story, just read the comments for an enlightening journey into the world of people who really will just never get it arguing with people who aren’t able to explain it to them (because the former lacks the capacity). Remember, if you argue with a fool, outsiders will have trouble telling which one of you is the fool. Except in this case. If you want to play games with your friends, go for it. If you’re gonna get all pissy/scared/whatever that a girl joined your PUBLIC match then you are a freaking idiot and you need to stop making PUBLIC matches.

  • Tomas July 2, 2013 6:02 am edit

    The only right thing to do here should have been to abuse-report those players.

    • Mer July 3, 2013 2:50 am edit

      And have nothing whatsoever happen to the offenders as a result. Yes, you are correct, why don’t women think of that?

      The truth is that a lot of women file abuse reports by rote when this shit happens… but when it happens to most of us anytime we’re ‘outed’ as female, that means a lot of abuse reports that the mods just don’t seem to want to deal with. Just look at the above comments to see the repeated instances where this was true. Hundreds or even thousands of reports filed… maybe one player getting a slap on the wrist. Or getting around being blocked with a new gamertag.

      We can’t rely on the system to protect us because the system is broken. Do you have any better ideas?

  • George July 2, 2013 6:07 am edit

    I really cannot believe this kind of behavior..!!
    When i come across to female players, i seriously have nothing but respect for them. And to be honest as a gamer i find it sexy that i can coop or duel or whatever with female gamers..

    I apologize for the behavior of those probably young (14 to 16 years old) “Boys” or any other “boys” for that matter that actually do this. IT is a disgrace for my kind.

    Where i grew up we learned to respect women more than our self’s.

  • Whippar July 2, 2013 6:30 am edit

    What really shits me is that female gamers then stop gaming, or stop online gaming. They stop doing something they like, due to what can politely be described as dickheads. I’d use stronger terms normally. :-)
    But what they *should* do in a perfect world is exploit the anonymity of the internet (again, assuming they are suitably obfuscated online) to feed the idiots some shit back.
    I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to be confrontational, but my advice is “revel in it”. You are after all confronting for a good cause. If they call you a bitch, call them a retard. Etc. Sink to their level and bring out the claws. After all, their shit is hurtful because women everywhere live in a fog of fear over violence, that is NOT THEIR FAULT. While these dickheads are uneducated retards because their obnoxious shits who think they can get away with it online. And truth can hurt.
    My opinion anyway. :-)
    I’m male, happy to confront and have been using female type names for a while simply to get involved. Violence vs women is one of the remaining holdouts of barbarism that’s proving to be very resistant to change.
    I say “abuse them back”.
    That said, I find the general level of daftness in online community chats to often be too high to stand without getting to “rage-quit” level. :-/ Plus being Australian, LAAAGGGGGGGG……
    But I do what I can.
    As the blogger said… Game on!

  • TifaIA July 2, 2013 9:48 am edit

    I have to feature this on my blog today. While I understand that your initial intentions were to help your wife out (my boyfriend has done that for me once before on FFXI as a surprise gift), it’s good to see more men experiencing what many of us female gamers have been dealing with for years. I hope this opens up more minds to the problem at hand.

    Note to those who have suggested “reporting” these people: We do. The problem is 9/10 nothing happens. At most they get a slap on the hand, which is equivalent of “maybe” a 24 hour ban. Maybe. If we’re lucky. Really the only options open to us are to block and mute, which doesn’t resolve the issue. It just pushes the harasser onto the next person that will listen to their threats (when you start throwing down the R word and violence, that’s a threat as far as I’m concerned). There needs to be a better system in place of checks and balances not only amongst ourselves as gamers but with the moderators as well. More people need to report and more action needs to be taken against those who harass other gamers, male or female.

    Thank you for posting this. I hope more men will be as brave as you and see the harassment that we face.

    • Whippar July 5, 2013 10:19 am edit

      TifaIA, once the R word comes out, or any other threat, then (IMHO) it should be prosecutable as per any other physical threat. It’d be great to test this idea with a few games. Send not just a “report” to the game people but a request for them to provide the name and address for a police complaint. Once that’s happened a few times, people might start being less like complete wankers on the internet.

  • Big J July 2, 2013 10:16 am edit

    Slaus, thank you for the story & for your responses to some comments. I’d say you’re well on your way to Neutral Good.


  • BlackHat_Matt July 2, 2013 2:04 pm edit

    Good on you, Slaus. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Bobbie-Jo July 2, 2013 2:35 pm edit

    Thank you most men think us woman shouldn’t play but i do and i love playing games i just let people talk the smack they learn in the long run we are all the same and we all do well if working togather Thank you for sharing this and not one to not want woman to play

    • Jon July 4, 2013 10:51 am edit

      There are clearly men who don’t think women should play, and they’re very verbal and annoying and probably ought be shot. But is it accurate to say most men?

      That would disturb me, if true, and I don’t think it is. I think most men don’t care, and (not caring), you don’t hear much from them. I wonder if anyone has done a study? A quick search didn’t bring up anything useful.

  • Eric July 2, 2013 9:56 pm edit

    As a guy who has been blessed with having positive relationships with his mom, sister, female cousins, aunts, female teachers, girlfriends, female friends, and now a wife and a daughter, I really wonder why there are so many guys who have such disrespect for girls and women?

  • Torh-Chibiskittles July 2, 2013 10:50 pm edit

    Thank you for this. As a girl gamer it’s one of my biggest peeves to see my gender put down simply because I was born with XX chromosomes. Yes, I have a vagina. Yes I have boobs. I can still dance circles around you on my hunter in World of Warcraft (I don’t play my hunter for the ‘girly’ pets either), or my lock. I have been told by numerous people that I am an amazing player. My gender has nothing to do with this. It’s all in the knowledge of the game you play, in your awareness of said game, and willingness to work with people who you don’t know.

    When people tell me to get back in the kitchen and make them a sandwich, I’ve found a snappy “I’m there already, making myself a sammich” shuts them up. It shows I don’t care for their attitude. Kindness goes a long way. Be nice to me in game and you bet your last pennies I will defend you from anything :p be an ass and the viper comes out.

    Ok time to stop rambling :)

  • C*cksucker July 2, 2013 10:53 pm edit

    I think my favourite response for “Why don’t you go suck some cock”, is, “Why, because ingesting sperm would make me stupid enough for you to beat me?”.

    Great work Saul and all the men out there speaking out for women. We need you.

  • Drazi July 3, 2013 12:32 am edit

    Why is everyone feeding the troll in the comments? That’s the only thing I don’t get

  • Amaeliya July 3, 2013 1:04 am edit

    Holy crap, I catch this post from one of my feminist friends and get totally hit by history. Heya Slaus, good to see you still trollin’ the internet for justice. This is also an excellent reference to pass on to a friend of mine, who still doesn’t get that it is personal, that it’s not just that women whine more about bad stuff that happens to everybody. Rock on, good sir.

    • slaus July 3, 2013 2:32 am edit

      dang.. talk about a blast from the past. Everquest days! hope all is well.

      and no… it’s not women being whiners. far from it.

      • Amaeliya July 3, 2013 7:21 am edit

        Life is good. Pinging around on WoW and STO, married a guy who (until I started learning and caught up, independently of him) used to be a bigger feminist than I was, trying for younglings next year, working and considering more school.

        Hoping all’s well for you and yours!

  • an July 3, 2013 2:36 am edit

    You get better booty and game packs when playing with a male name. I learned that a while ago. Getting hit on or demeaned in a game is one thing but to figure out that by playing female characters with a male name gets me better bonuses time and time again really sucks!

  • ckaj76 July 3, 2013 3:32 am edit

    After reading through majority of these posts/relies I only have one thing come to mind. Gamers despite of age, gender, sexual preference, etc. who badmouth and belittle others have an issue, insecurities mostly, with stereotypical beliefs of “societal norms” driven by games and advertising. For instance, characters within games are of some sexuality and are depicted by articles, advertising, etc. of such degree. It is hard not to place a game within some context which becomes stereotypical once it comes to market. I believe that it starts with the initial target audience when back in the days of the Atari or classic NES, the target were majority male kids. As times change along with gaming consoles and games, target audiences also changed (to some extent) and therefore the market analysis should reflect such changes.

  • JF B. July 3, 2013 5:26 am edit

    “Go die in a fire.”
    “Go the f*** away.”
    “you f***ing suck, go kill yourself. They sell pills for that.”

    Some of many examples of what I’ve been told over a game. As someone who once attempted suicide, I found the third one especially hard to take (I don’t play that game anymore even to this day). But no one will ever defend me. As a man, I’m socially expected to “suck it up”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think what some women go through playing games is acceptable – it is not and never will be. But if we want to fight harassment in games (a noble goal), it must be ALL harassment, not gender-specific harassment.

    • Orv July 3, 2013 12:49 pm edit

      I actually see that as part of the same overall problem of misogyny. The reason guys are told to “suck it up” is because society sees having emotions as “feminine,” and there for inferior to more masculine traits. If women were truly seen as equals it would be okay for men to be sensitive. Both genders get hurt by this.

      That said, the people taunting you online don’t actually *know* you were ever suicidal. So it’s not personal in the same way that attacking someone for having a female voice or female handle is.

      • JF B. July 3, 2013 6:49 pm edit

        If both genders are hurt by something, I’d say it needs a better term than “misogyny”. Just like if your goal is full gender equality, you need another term than “FEMInism”.

        I wasn’t told to “suck it up”; no one would even acknowledge that my pain existed. Call me backwards-thinking, but at that time I wished I was a woman, just because they were ALLOWED to feel emotional pain. I’m not calling it “girl-privilege” or anything, but still.

        Actually, I’m pretty sure the “go kill yourself” had something to do with my sensitive, somewhat high-pitched, low self-esteem sounding voice of the time (it’s better now). Bullies & bad people in general will always pick on those who seem weaker than them, no matter the gender. And since they are bullies, they know what’s gonna be painful. They don’t tell a woman to “Go back to the kitchen” or even to “get raped” because they *actually* want her to get raped, but rather because they know how hurtful these sentences are. Just like they told me, the unsure-sounding guy, to go kill myself. Pretty sure they didn’t *really* want a suicide on their consciences. They just wanted to laugh at me.

        • Orv July 3, 2013 7:05 pm edit

          It’s called “misogyny” because it’s discrimination against women and against traits that are perceived as feminine. The fact that some men are also discriminated against for having those traits doesn’t really invalidate the label.

          I generally don’t see the point in arguing the semantics of what we call things, anyway, if we’re all pulling in the same direction. As you note, fighting bullying in games in general is an important goal. I don’t actually see that as incompatible with women trying to fight the particularly intense form of bullying they’re subjected to by male gamers, however. They’re attacking the slice of the problem that affects them most.

          Unfortunately, reading through this thread, I don’t see much evidence that men *want* to change the bullying culture of gaming; a fair number of people here seem to see it as part of the fun. I see this as part of a much larger cultural problem in the US, where “masculine” behavior has gotten extremely toxic and being a “strong man” has become synonymous with being a bully. I’m not quite sure how to deal with that. My solution has been to reject masculinity entirely as much as I can, but that’s not for everyone.

  • Sam July 3, 2013 6:01 am edit

    At least with the X1 i believe that Microsoft will implement a kind of filter system through the kinetic (considering its always on thing) by picking up on particular words/phrases and frequency cy cy of explicit language or targeted insults that could result in temporary or permanent bans for players who consistently offend.

    Although that doesn’t excuse this kind of thing considering this style of thing shouldn’t happen at all anyway, how does being male or female effect your ability to press buttons on a game pad :/

  • VoiceMail July 3, 2013 7:47 am edit

    Now just imagine being born with a vagina and transplant that experience onto every aspect of your life. :|

  • Klompet July 3, 2013 8:39 am edit

    It’s an interesting read, being a guy gamer without any girlgamer friends I’m shocked to read that it’s so intense. I think it’s really indicative of gamings roots in a predominantly male culture, and disturbingly the fact that its not adjusting very well as more and more women are starting to play. That being said online gaming has a way of bringing out the worst in some people so perhaps its not likely to change at all.

  • FoxKelfonne July 3, 2013 10:28 am edit

    This sort of thing is really the reason I avoid playing random multiplayer on ANYTHING on Xbox LIVE. I’m not even a woman, but when I want to play a game, I want to do it to relax and have fun, not to listen to some idiots spouting off nonsense and random insults to other players.

    As far as the girl gamer thing is concerned, at one point, about half of my guild’s raid team was female in WoW. Some of them even topped the DPS and healing meters. Wouldn’t go into battle without them. :)

  • Nix July 3, 2013 12:04 pm edit

    Honestly, what do you expect? These guys were probably adolescent twerps, and kids don’t make the best decisions or say the smartest things when they’re hanging together.

    If they were adults, then they were just sad, girlfriendless losers. Why let them bug you just because they’re so loathsome that they can’t get laid and thus take it out on women in video games?

    What I’m saying is that they weren’t being sexist, so much as they were being assholes. You can’t stop assholes from being assholes. If they suspected you were Black, they’d have called you the n-word. If they’d suspected you were Middle Eastern, they’d have called you a terrorist. If they’d suspected you were gay, they’d have called you f-g or queer. THESE KINDS OF PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS EXIST AND THEY ARE NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL MEN.

    As I said: Assholes will always be assholes, and nothing you do or say will change that. When you give assholes a twitch-game and anonymity, you enable them to be even bigger assholes.

    It’s not about gender or sexism. It’s about being a jerk.

    • Orv July 3, 2013 12:58 pm edit

      I agree that people will always be assholes on the Internet, but there’s a categorical difference between normal trash talk and what I see women get in the gaming community. Men reserve a special level of hatred for women that they feel are threatening their masculinity by besting them at a “manly” pursuit.

  • Matt July 3, 2013 12:15 pm edit

    Wait, someone was an asshole… on the internet!? Crazy stuff. Do you honestly believe it’s just women this happens to? Assholes insult everyone, I can join games and get ripped on for all manner of things, it’s not my fault, but it just so happens that a lot of people behave like retards on the internet.

    • sultros July 3, 2013 12:42 pm edit

      Exactly, yet women feel they should somehow be immune or deserve special protection from the same treatment men are subjected to. That is the antithesis of feminism. Women enjoy a certain amount of privelidge in the real world and that doesnt translate well to online gaming were everyone is anonymous. I dont want to play games in a world where everyone has to put their politically correct hat on for fear of offending someone. Dont call someone a fag, there’s a homosexual in the lobby that might get upset. Dont kill that female too many times, she might feel less of herself and that’s sexist.

      Sticks and stones people.

      • Orv July 3, 2013 12:56 pm edit

        If you can only have fun by being intentionally offensive to other people, your problem is not that people want you to be “politically correct.” Your problem is you’re just an asshole.

  • sultros July 3, 2013 12:35 pm edit

    My wife is a gamer. We game on PC. We play everything from Borderlands, to Planetside2, to MMO’s like Rift. We have encountered little if any sexism. You and your girl are more than welcome to come to the PC master race where the grown ups are.

    The problem here is not sexism but a total lack of maturity in the console community. Been to youtube lately? The same immature children filling the comments with hateful remarks are the same fools filling the roster of Xbox live and other console gaming services. They trash talk. It’s part of the console culture. I get bagged on for sounding southern. Should I take to the net to cry about it? If women want to take the feminist stance, then they should toughen up and deal with it like men do. Equality means no special treatment or privelidge. That we should somehow cater to one gamer demographic, while ignoring everything else, is both small minded and ridiculous. Should I start a blog crying about how I was called a dumb hick and start a campaign to stop the hate? No, I returned the favor with complete and total ownage and I enjoyed the hate because I was WINNING and their lamentations, no matter now bigoted and hateful, were proof of my success.

    “The point is that there shouldn’t BE a time when a female gamer has to be subjected to that kind of vitrol and smack talking for no other reason than she logged on”

    Everybody put your kid gloves on there’s a girl in the lobby and we dont want to upset her. What’s the goal of femism? Is it equality or privilege? You can’t have it both ways.

    • Lupine July 22, 2013 8:50 pm edit

      The problem isn’t that women have a problem with being subjected to the sort of talk that goes on in the gaming community necessarily, but telling a woman that she is there only to serve your sexual desires or that she ought to be doing house work is an archaic way of addressing them. Sure, we can spoon the shit right back, but then the whole situation devolves into nothing but playground back talk. There will always be people mistreating others, sure, but if you’re going to insult someone don’t lower them so low you don’t even consider them to be a person anymore.

  • Anska July 3, 2013 12:43 pm edit

    And some of my lovely male friends wondered why I used to RP as a hairy man playing a hairy Tauren in WOW. “Tell them you’re a woman – it won’t make any difference,” they said.
    It wouldn’t bother my male friends, but other people in the very big raid group I was running would surely have objected. Would they have followed my orders to the letter, my lead into the battle if they knew I was a woman old enough to be their mother behind that hairy, quiet but decisive Tauren? I suspect not, sadly. I hope things will change. Thanks Slaus.

  • macdaddy357 July 3, 2013 2:33 pm edit

    Online, women will run into dorks in their mother’s basement who have never been laid, and never will be. In the anonymous realm of the net, they will take out their frustrations on any woman they encounter as revenge on the ones that rejected them. They would never be bold enough to trash talk like that in anyone’s face. You may have noticed that they also use gay slurs against each other. Trolls in mom’s basement hate everyone.

    • Ms.Knowitall July 3, 2013 3:10 pm edit

      Macdaddy… you say that like women DON’T hear this shit fairly regularly to their faces in public. Be a woman alone walking past a construction site, or just down the street, and you’ll get more of an education than you wanted.

    • GW July 4, 2013 5:17 pm edit

      They would never be bold enough to trash talk like that in anyone’s face.

      As a matter of fact, yes, quite a few of them would. I used to get shit like this all the time when I was younger, particularly when I lived in DC. One thing I love about being middle aged is I think I’m starting to remind them of their moms.

  • Funk Thompson July 3, 2013 5:17 pm edit

    To be fair, and this does not excuse the behavior, but they probably call each other the same names and make rape jokes to their male friends as well.

    Again, does not make it any less offensive, just a sad and unfortunate aspect of that culture.

    I refuse to even sign onto a single XBox Live game, ever again, period due to what I have witnessed there. Same with any game with an “open” and integrated voice chat system – like Planetside 2. Some of the things I hear people say there makes me sad to know that I share a genetic link with these people.

  • Hannah July 4, 2013 12:47 am edit

    T_T Thank you for writing this. As a girl gamer (and a pretty damn good one at that, who has been playing video games since she was 3 years old on a Commodore 64) I shed a few grateful tears.

  • damanique July 4, 2013 1:27 am edit

    I’ve been playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on PC for over a year and I’ve never gotten shit like that. I wonder if the platform makes a difference, since almost all terrible stories about girls being treated like shit in online games come from Xbox360 gamers.

    That being said, it’s ignorant to deny that women get way more abuse from the gamer community than men, *and* a much more violent, terrible kind of abuse. Anita Sarkeesian was threatened with rape and murder simply for daring to suggest making a video series that explorer the roles of women characters in videogames. This isn’t just about ‘there are assholes online, deal with it’. This is about the gamer community allowing pure, toxic misogyny free reign amongst their ranks, and that when people point it out, they go ‘well, there will always be assholes’. No. Shut up. We have to actively put a stop to shit like that, not just accept it because it’s somehow a part of the world we’re in. We’re going to get our feminism all over your videogames community and we’re not going to stop until you stop calling women gamers whores and stop threatening to rape and kill us and stop telling us to go make you sandwiches and perform sexual favors. Women gamers have been there since the start, and we’re tired of putting up with your sexist manchild bullshit.

  • Secun July 4, 2013 4:58 am edit

    I think a large part of the problem is the culture we live in, but also I’m seeing a lot of people failing to acknowledge the fact that some people just aren’t mature enough to really need to be online unsupervised.

    I play TF2 a lot, and occasionally have had my name mistaken as being a girl name. After which I usually get trash talked for no good reason other than they think I’m a girl. Once I talk on mic, they continue the trash talking because I’ve got a “girly name”.

    Usually I’ll ignore this and go on my way but sometimes I have to stop playing because I just get so disgusted that people can be so inconsiderate just to get a rise out of people.

    Now I will say that ever since I found a server with a good community this has occurred much less often both towards me and towards everyone in general, which leads me to the belief that the problem with all this ignorant and shameful trash talking is rooted in two things; the “Individual” and the manner of response to the “Individual” by the “Whole”.
    The Individual may be the most misogynistic, ignorant piece of scum on the Internet, but a decent part of his behavior is also tempered by how the rest of the playerbase (the Whole) responds. If the Individual is being a general jackass, then there are usually three responses by the Whole, which may or may not happen simultaneously; 1) The Whole goes along with the Individual and mimics his behavior, 2) The Whole calls the Individual out on his behavior, or 3) The Whole ignores the Individual. Being as the Whole is just that, the whole of the playerbase, you can get parts of the Whole reacting in all three manners at once, or the Whole could act in any of the responses in a unified manner. It’s up to the Individuals making up the Whole.

    This leads me to my next line of thought; If the Whole tends to act in a manner which detracts from the experience of you, the Individual, then usually the response is to move on to find a new playerbase, a new Whole. This comes from wanting to just play the game with people who also want simply that, to just play the game. People play games for a multitude of reasons, which include escaping reality or interacting and forming relations with new people.

    If you meet someone in real life whose mannerisms and behavior are lacking in your views, you’re usually not going to stick around and are going to find someone whose actions are more palatable to you. In games, like in real life, this is often not a possibility due to either how the server is set up, being followed for continued harassment, or other various reasons beyond your control, I understand this.

    I have friends and clanmates both who are girls and play games and get this sort of shitty behavior aimed at them. I’ve had this sort of thing happen to me for having a “girly name” on games I play. However, in both cases I have also had members of the community who actually have a brain in their heads call these idiots out and usually have them removed from the server.

    So yes, there are going to be idiots who are genuinely bad people, people who do this for no other reason than because they like to do it. There are also going to be people who don’t put up with that sort of thing and react negatively to it, sometimes even react badly to it as well.

    I know this all probably looks really disjointed, and that I’m probably rambling on about the same thing worded differently over multiple long paragraphs (leave off, it’s late and I’m tired), but what I am trying to get at is that while there are terrible people out there, or people who act terrible because they’re sheep enough to stay with the flock instead of actually doing something about it, there are also people who won’t take that sort of thing and will get things done about it. Online games are based largely on community, and finding, or making, a decent community who could care less about the little things like gender or sexuality are a large first step towards dealing with people who act like complete asshats.

  • Ahvz July 4, 2013 5:36 pm edit

    I’m a female gamer, however, I don’t use a feminine handle (gamertag? I also don’t have an xbox/GFWL, I PC game) and I don’t use voice chat in games, so I’ve never really experienced this kind of misogyny. I have been asked on a few occasions if I was single from some of the few that know, but it was never a massive problem and block and report features exist for harassment like that. I have been called a “misogynistic slob” for rolling a female character once, though, by someone who assumed I was male. Idiots exist on both sides of the issue.

    Now I’m really, really tempted to change my Steam login and profile pic to something very feminine. All this hate and vitriol sounds hilarious, really. Especially if you’re a better gamer than the competition.

    Er… I’m not saying that y’all shouldn’t be offended– you should, it is a problem, but I feel like the only thing that’ll fix this is time. The people acting like this aren’t going to learn, especially not from some random stranger on the internet. Just keep doing what you’re doing, keep being exceptional gamers when you are, and let the insults roll off. Haters gonna hate. The worst thing you can do is start to get reactionary and prove them right (at least, in their minds).

  • Castflare July 4, 2013 11:13 pm edit

    Thank You so much for writing this. The amount of torture I have put myself through in games like mass effect and dota, just to play is insane. Just because I’m a girl i’m either hit on constantly or verbally abused the entire game. I’m so glad to hear people like you support us.

  • Red Queen July 5, 2013 5:42 am edit

    Now, having read a few articles on the subject and the comments following those articles, I can’t help but notice that they are almost exclusively written by people based in the US and/or playing on US based servers. I’ve been playing online for about seven years now and never got trash talk this extreme just for being a woman. Sure, there have been a few moronic comments in the early years, but for the past couple years, there wasn’t one incident as bad as the ones described in the articles I read and the comments. Every guild I’ve been in had male and female members getting along just fine, the ingame chats are pretty decent, and when someone makes a stupid comment, be it sexist, racist, or any other kind of -ist, s/he gets called out on it by the rest. Same thing in RL, I know one dude who is kind of a sexist jerk (about pretty much everything, not just gaming), but the rest of the guys I know are decent people, never once making fun of me because I’m a female gamer. Sure, there are the occasional jokes when one of us sucks at a particular game, but never on a level I’d consider downright hateful. I trust that anyone making such jokes in our group would be set straight immediately.

    I’m not saying we don’t have sexist (or generally -ist) morons here, too, but I somehow feel like they are much less of a dominant presence, simply because they are bound to get hell when they speak up the way they apparently do on a lot of international servers.

    • Whippar July 5, 2013 10:22 am edit

      It does seem more significant on US based servers than European or whatever. A lot of games have no other options though.

  • Dan July 5, 2013 4:54 pm edit

    Heh. I play Counter Strike as HugsieMuffinball and my steam avy is a pony (Princess Luna FTW!). Nobody ever gives me crap.

  • Lorraine July 5, 2013 10:36 pm edit

    Great article! I have to say, overall I have a good experience. I play a lot of COD II, Black ops.
    But I had a guy recently scream that same thing , “whore” and “go back to the kitchen”. Either he gets around the gamer world or it’s going around. However, overall, when I talk , it’s mostly fine. I do have to say guys want to hit on you when they find out you’re a woman. Im married and just play to connect. I could just leave the mic off and go generic, but I do like the community, it makes me laugh, mostly. But thank you so much for this insight, so important.

    • Jon July 6, 2013 12:24 pm edit

      There’s some genetics that you’ll never overcome completely there. Most the guys who felt it was improper to hit on women died without heirs long ago.

      But there must be things that are always ineffective that would be fruitful areas of education.

    • Dan July 8, 2013 10:25 am edit

      Going by the posts at fatuglyorslutty, alas, such behavior is not uncommon. At least for the xbox.

  • Shigawire July 6, 2013 2:59 pm edit

    Great article. Damn, I had no idea such people even existed. This piles up as one of the many reasons I don’t particularly play much multiplayer with people I don’t know.

    And what a great smackdown. FIRST they berate the “female” for being a potential liability. THEN, when the “female” (and the other real female) proves their assumptions wrong, they start berating their SKILL. WTF sore losers.

    Love the smackdown.

    Go feminist gamers!

  • Izumi July 8, 2013 7:00 pm edit

    Sadly, I can confirm this.
    I’m a guy, but sometimes I play a female character, using a female gamertag aswell. Most of the time there’s not much of a problem, except some minor sexist shit and guys trying to get my number and stuff.
    But sometimes (and still way too often), there are this kind of assholes which you described here. Usually I try ignoring it first, but this doesn’t work. It makes me feel so angry and helpless.

  • SaintSynthetic July 9, 2013 1:36 pm edit

    While I’ve never gotten such a violent response as “get raped”, I’ve definitely gotten the rest of what you experienced. “Get back to the kitchen where you belong” is definitely the favorite, along with “go take care of some babies”, “don’t you have a house to clean”, or (my personal favorite) “shouldn’t you be making me a sandwich?”. I just ignore them to the best of my ability, and then I report them as soon as possible. Female gamers shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing. Shoot, ANY gamer shouldn’t have to deal with it. I understand talking smack, but reserve that for when you’re in a match with your buddies and aren’t likely to upset other people.

  • twitchtik July 14, 2013 9:16 pm edit

    This is a side point but I always wondered if this kind of response is more prevalent on the xbox. I play on both pc and xbox and I have to admit I don’t get nearly as much sexist responses on the pc as I do on the xbox. (Hence why I don’t play multiplayer on the xbox anymore. because seriously it gets tiring to either fight it or put up with it)

  • Schattenfaehe July 17, 2013 5:14 am edit

    I got only one thing to say: gj! :3
    I never got harassed like this, but I think my gamertag is just girlish, if you can read german. ;)

    Girls should never stop gaming, cause many guys out there are searching for some gamer girls! ^-^

  • Otus July 25, 2013 6:27 am edit

    Thank you.
    I dont play multiplayers anymore, i got way too much (and sometimes way too personal) “trash talk” aka threats.

  • Jon July 25, 2013 6:36 am edit

    wawawawa tired of the girl gaming shit

  • Trike July 26, 2013 2:43 pm edit

    The character I first played with on ME3 multiplayer was the female Adept whose armor I colored a sort of coral/pink, because I thought it looked cool. (I have since used the same color combo on my male and alien characters.) I didn’t have a mic so I was mute for the first few months I played.

    I never once encountered anyone being disrespectful toward me, and I suspect many players assumed I was female. Nor have I heard anyone behave this way toward any of the female players on the ME3 MP. My gamertag is Trike, which might sound masculine, I don’t know.

    Did you play this on Xbox or on PC? I hear this sort of thing about Xbox Live all the time, but I’ve never seen it on PC games. People have been douchebags because they’re experiencing lag or I’m not very good, but I’ve not experienced this sort of childish sexist hostility. Maybe PC gamers are more mature?

  • MadHatter July 26, 2013 6:14 pm edit

    I’ve gamed (pc and platforms) since I was a kid and it didn’t take me long to quit identifying as female in the world of online gaming. So for anyone who thinks they’ve never met a female player…you have. You just didn’t know she was. I always had a convenient excuse for not using my microphone. Because getting sexual comments for playing a female game character was bad enough. The comments, inappropriate requests and vitriol I got if they knew the player was actually female too made the games not fun.

    It is possible to talk shit without the sexual or homophobic slurs.

  • DarkFireBlade25 July 29, 2013 1:55 am edit

    I’m pretty sure those were middle school students. Every one I know who does that are in middle school or early high school. I’m in college right now and none of my friends in my local nerd community does this kinda stuff.

  • Sylvirr July 30, 2013 1:06 am edit

    Alright. I literally read every single one of these comments.

    I am a girl. I am a gamer. I play ps3, xbox, I still play my gamecube, I play PC, I play many MMOs that I don’t care to name.

    There is no ‘master race’, first off. The pc slander I’ve gotten is some of the worst. It’s alot harder to let shit roll off your back when people threaten you with tracking down your ip, or hacking your system.

    Xbox and PS, as bad as they are, are just immature. A real woman can take a few insults and fling them back just as hard. I agree it’s unfair that the stigma associated with female gamers has gotten so bad, but you should also remember that it’s not just females that suffer this. Often times, males are forced into this by peer pressure or ‘trying to keep their masculinity’. It’s not a gamer problem–it’s a culture problem. Girls gotta be skinny, boys gotta be buff.

    It’s not an xbox issue.
    It’s not a PS issue.
    It’s not a PC issue.
    It’s not an atari, gamecube, dreamcast, playstation issue.

    Unfortunately, games and the internet is where people of the world come together–and that means bad right along with the good. It may seem more prevalent on systems, but that’s because there’s a somewhat smaller sphere of people in that situation. Ontop of that, people who declare themselves–or the PC– as a ‘master race’ is off-putting to people who just want to fucking game for the experience of gaming, regardless of the system.

    Just shut up and enjoy the game.

  • AnonGirl July 30, 2013 4:32 pm edit

    There’s been research done on this and it confirms your story and the stories of all female gamers:


  • Weltenweiser August 7, 2013 4:08 am edit

    I had a similar experiment, when I used the nick Arkham a pretty obvious hint for Cuthulhu fans. Some people thought it´s turkish and so I earned racist comments. with Weltenweiser, which is obviously German, I get the flood of Nazi comments. You get used to it, but I am always astonished how people verbaly act in shooters. Not even to mention the comments about gay people, which are ther enearly every game I play.

  • Makronette September 2, 2013 9:04 am edit

    I found this painful to read because it is all too common, I am glad both you and the female in your group kicked those guys butts but their behaviour is just disgusting, there is no excuse for being like that towards anyone on the internet ever.
    This is just one reason all my online gaming is done on my PC and I rarely touch XBL gaming.

  • Raindancer September 20, 2013 12:17 am edit

    I play SWTOR, which is an mmo. I am a guild master of about 40 people and quite successful as a healer in raiding. But as soon as I speak in voice chat, none of the accomplishments I’ve made matter. It’s like I’m not a person, not another gamer anymore. ‘Girl’ is my only defining trait. “Oh shit, it’s a girl!” I have heard probably 30 times. “Wait, are you a chick? Seriously? I thought you were just like twelve.” or “Girls play this game? No way.” also come up. That stuff is kind of funny, the disbelief that I could be in possession of a vagina and play this game. It sucks that I immediately lose all perception of skill and no one believes in me or respects me once they hear I’m a girl- some guildmates have been thrown out for their inability to respect me as much as they would a male guildmaster- but the pure shock is entertaining. What is not funny is the sexual harassment.
    SWTOR’s community is kick ass and some of the nicest people I have met online, but even there I get gross comments. I am trying to lead a raid and some wise guy tells me how my voice makes him hard or that I should suck his dick or send him naked pictures, etc. I have been stalked by one dude for the period of over two years with lewd comments. Most of the time, it doesn’t get to me too much cause that shit happens. I don’t like it, but I know it’s going to be said to me sometimes. I have amazing guildmates who will get angry on my behalf and chase the offender off if they are around but mostly I just politely leave the situation, or just ignore it if it’s in the middle of something important.
    But just as I was writing this, I realized. The fact that I have accepted that that shit happens and that it’s normal online is a serious problem. That it’s so common that sometimes I just let the person say it because if I want to get anything done, I’m going to run into creeps. Where is society that this is the case? That I fully expect sexual harassment for daring to play a video game that I love while simultaneously having boobs? What the hell, human race? Let’s learn some respect.

  • Roberto September 20, 2013 4:32 pm edit

    Hahahaha, this shit totally happened.

  • CJ September 22, 2013 9:24 am edit

    If you don’t want to deal with belligerently hateful gamers don’t play with those ignorant Obama supporting welfare exploiters.

    If you think about it other than immature 12yr old boys who else has that much time to sit around all day playing video games?

    unfortunately you just have to roll the dice when using random group generators. They all have their assholes who can choose from any number of topics to rant about you.

    You’re a Newb!
    You’re a powerleveled/twinked char!
    You must have bought your account!
    You Suck for (insert a mistake you made in the last map here)!
    You’re a (insert racist comment here)!
    You’re a hacker!
    You’re a (insert sexist comment here)!

    All of these rants alleviate their own insecurities and act as a defense mechanism for their feeble egos. Unfortunately most of these guys are intimidated by the mere presence of a girl and must overcompensate to show how masculine and cool they are to the other 12yr old boys they play with. Most of these guys if they went out in public would either be too scared to talk to a girl face to face or start mimicking some rap video slang grabbing their balls and dry humping the air like a confused chihuahua.


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