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Essay

Academic Study Examines The Link Between Gender Cues and In-Game Harassment


Verbal abuse is a pandemic in the online gaming community. And while it affects all sorts of gamers, there’s a select brand of vitriol reserved for women who venture into voice chat. This is an oft-discussed issue, and we still don’t have a good understanding of the root causes, or of what we can do to alleviate it. But some recent academic research provides a interesting (and sobering) look at how persistent the problem is.

Last week, Gamasutra featured a blog post by graduate student Wai Yen Tang, who discussed a study entitled “Communication in multiplayer gaming: Examining player responses to gender cues.” The study was published online in September of last year by Jeffrey H. Kuznekoff and Lindsey M. Rose, two PhDs from Ohio University’s School of Communication Studies. The study addressed two main questions: does player gender affect the types of comments received in-game, and is player skill a factor? 245 multiplayer matches and 1660 individual players later, they had some answers.

If you have the time and patience for academic writing, I highly recommend giving the full study a read. The findings are interesting enough, but I found their research methods to be quite clever. Halo 3 was used as the staging ground, chosen for its popularity and its random matchmaking system. In order to standardize the experimental conditions, verbal messages were pre-recorded in both a male and female voice. These were made up of unassuming things such as “hi everybody,” “nice job so far,” and “thanks for the game, bye.” The researchers then played public matches, transmitting the messages via voice chat. Matches played without engaging in voice chat were used as a control.

Before I get into the results, I have to say that the choice to study gamers in their natural environment deserves some kudos. One of my frequent quibbles with formal research of in-game behavior is that it happens within a laboratory environment. You can’t expect someone playing twenty assigned minutes of Call of Duty in a research lab to behave the same way as s/he would after hours of voluntary gameplay at home (presumably including snacks and a comfy couch). By observing gamers in the field, without informing them of the study, Kuznekoff and Rose acquired some rare real-world data. The downside is that said data is pretty depressing.

Findings indicate that, on average, the female voice received three times as many negative comments as the male voice or no voice. In addition, the female voice received more queries and more messages from other gamers than the male voice or no voice.

No real surprise there. But what’s noteworthy is there was no correlation between negative feedback and skill level. As Kuznekoff was an experienced Halo 3 player and Rose was not, they had the opportunity not only to interact with players of both high and low skill levels (Halo 3 uses performance-based matchmaking), but also to see if there was a relationship between the player’s skill level and the types of comments received. The study showed that regardless of skill, the rate of negative comments directed toward all voices stayed the same. And while the male voice did receive negative comments as well, there was a difference in language usage. The authors noted a “a clear pattern of negative comments associated with the female condition.”

On several occasions the female condition was exposed to derogatory gendered language. For example, in one particular game nearly every utterance made by the female condition was met with a negative response by a particular gamer. When the female condition said ‘hi everybody’, the other gamer responded with ‘shut up you whore’ followed a few seconds later with ‘she is a nigger lover’. When the female condition said, ‘alright team let’s do this’, the other gamer replied, ‘fuck you, you stupid slut.’

Neither this sort of language nor the frequency of this behavior will be news anyone who’s spent time in voice chat, but it is the first time I’ve seen it described in formal research (if there are other examples out there, do pass them along). So often, conversations about in-game harassment are anecdotal, and while personal experiences should absolutely be talked about, it’s helpful to see some objective data that illustrates what a problem this is. One of the common counter-responses in discussions about harassment is that it isn’t that big of a deal, or that men suffer plenty of trash-talking as well. That latter point is true, and there are guys out there who avoid voice chat or multiplayer because they, too, are sick of the toxic social environment. But the use of gendered insults and the tripled rate of negative comments, regardless of skill level or win percentage, indicates that something more than just a proclivity for trash-talk is at the core of this particular problem.

Now, it’s important to remember that this study is reflective of one isolated gaming environment, not of video games as a whole. As the authors note, “Caution should be shown when generalizing the findings of this study to other games or genres.” It’s because of that specificity that this study leaves me with many more questions. What would the data gathered from other games look like? Would there be a difference between genre or platform? Does the average age of a player base change anything? Does the style of gameplay or intensity of competition affect the rate of harassment? Does the game content — such as stereotypical portrayals of female characters, or the inclusion of military combat or other traditionally male environments — have an effect? What might we learn about other forms of verbal abuse, such as racist comments directed toward someone with a different accent or dialect, or homophobic language used as a general purpose insult? And though all of these factors are more reflective of larger societal problems than of the gaming community alone, is there any way this information can be used to help make multiplayer gaming a more inclusive place?

That last question is what’s important to me. Online multiplayer is a spectacular idea, in concept. Playing games with people all over the planet, working together with strangers to tackle a shared challenge, making friends with folks you never would have met in the pre-internet world — that’s awesome. And in many ways, multiplayer gaming has been good to me. I have great fun taking part in it, and I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way. But I’ve also heard from people of all genders who have chosen to skip out on multiplayer entirely because of the bad behavior of others. That’s sad, but understandable. I myself always feel anxious about outing myself as a woman when playing with strangers, and I’ll often listen to in-game banter for a little while before I decide if the social atmosphere is one I feel comfortable joining. I’m not proud to admit that, but I think that’s an experience shared by many women gamers — the choice between speaking with my own voice and having fun in the games I love.

So, I welcome this kind of research, and I hope to see more like it in the future. A learned approach here is exactly what we need. There won’t be any magic bullet for this, no matter what we dig up, but by understanding the problem, perhaps we can eventually make it better.

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. Like most internet people, she has a website. She can also always be found on Twitter.

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  • Betty Windsor

    I don’t normally recieve the immediate negative feedback associated with a female voice, but I do almost immediately get something along the lines of “Age and location, baby? What do you look like? Are you fat? How big is—” You get the point. Often it is much better to not speak.
    Sometimes being treated differently for as female gamer isn’t too bad, because it also sparks genuine intrigue from guys or (boys really) that have never met a lady that is capable of having a positive kill death ratio. So in some circumstances it works for educating. But in almost all of the times I’ve felt with dealing with small minded people it helps if you just ignore the fact that you have a gender and just focus on the game. It can work out very well.
    It should be said that in a lot of cases, where I’ve played Halo 4 and received negative comments it is from someone in the game that everyone else is actively ignoring.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    In a few hours, this is what the menz will be saying on this blog:
    Shut the fuck up and/or stop whining
    This study is bullshit, everyone knows men have it as bad
    Men are harassed, too, so why do women think they’re special?
    Don’t worry your pretty little heads about it
    If you don’t like abuse, don’t game

  • Amanda W

    Great research. Just have to say I don’t play Halo but I’ve experienced negative behavior from guys in other online games like MMORPGs and LoL, but LoL’s positive feedback achievement system has noticeably improved player manners and sportsmanship, and in MMORPGs I found that the guild system helped shield from that kind of experience by establishing a solid community framework, weeding out the jerks (provided you found a good guild in the first place). Honestly, the worst trash-talking I can recall in recent experience was in a game when I was playing Jax really well in LoL and the guy I kept killing over and over again just kept getting more and more verbally abusive. Of course since he was feeding my Jax so badly it just kept getting easier to smack down his gimpy character (and more satisfying).

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that teenage boys are… well… jerks.

    I was a teenage boy once, and I’m sure I did and said things that I’m not proud of now, and have since learned better. Online gaming of any kind didn’t exist at that time though (it was the mid 80′s), so I have no idea what my behavior would have been like then.

    I guess I can only hope that people grow out of this kind of behavior, but I fear that I might be overly optimistic.

    In any event, awareness is a great tool for combating bad behavior. Thanks for writing!

  • Betty Windsor

    I agree about the teenage boys. The only people I know who still play Halo 3 ARE teenage boys who can buy it for cheap at Gamestop or online.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    Saying it’s teenage boys ignores the fact that is is a major, intrinsic problem common to gaming regardless of age. We don’t get to pretend older men are more decent ‘cuz, guess what, they’re NOT.

  • Anonymous

    At some point, online gaming communities will have to do like the rest of the internet and use moderators to filter the jerks. Asking gamers to report the bad behaviours themselves isn’t sufficient for a problem this big. Knowing that there potentially is a person of authority watching could make some people think twice about insulting people.

  • flora

    Why does that make it okay, though? That’s exactly the same thing as telling a little girl that “boys will be boys” when someone pulls on her pigtails in kindergarten.

  • Anonymous

    I dont talk when I game. Only people ive gotten to know over months do I tell I’m a girl. Its easier that way.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I guess I am being overly optimistic in hoping that it’s confined to a narrow subset of the population. :(

  • flora

    Being a teenager doesn’t excuse bad behavior. And I’m glad that you’ve become a more respectful person, but this obviously isn’t the case for everyone, or women wouldn’t have to deal with grown men harassing them as they walk down the street. And let’s be honest, this is just the digital equivalent.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    It doesn’t make it OK at all, but if awareness campaigns can be targeted then they might be more effective. However, as seen by comments above, maybe a broader approach is required.

  • Jason Hunt

    You’re playing a game based around mass killings up against people who are most likely anti-social and bereft of any social skills in the first place. In my experience if you want to interact with normal well adjusted people the online gaming arena isn’t the place to be. This is the nature of this beast.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Closely followed by “Why does nobody like me?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Nuckolls/623068949 Sarah Nuckolls

    I think there’s a problem with assuming this problem is connected to TEENAGE boys specifically while I have definitely had run ins with teenage boys the majority of harassment has come from obviously adult sources and this is also true for the majority of women that discuss harassment they have received while gaming. Yes I know it’s just anecdotal here but 10+ years of gaming online and I can think of only twice out of hundreds of vile incidents where the offender was a teenage boy… heck I’ve had more hate and sexism spewed at me from other women in that time than from guys under the age of 20.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1064437317 Thalia Sutton

    Great article, glad to see it. It provokes thought:

    1. It sucks that people can’t just believe women have a widespread problem; it has to be studied and proven first (though yay, science bringing to light inescapable truths in unquestionable ways); and

    2. How hard would it be for Microsoft to hire a couple of mods to play the games, undercover cops if you will, who would document these incidents and dole out warnings and bans? I’m sure there are at least a couple trustworthy people out there that could handle the responsibility fairly, and knowing that there was someone out there watching would probably remove a lot of the unwanted element, like a teacher or CO does around their rabble.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    You are correct, it does not excuse bad behavior. I was merely pondering and mean no offense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    So we should just put up with abuse or not game? Wow, who didn’t see that coming?

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I think that’s it unfair to categorize gamers as “anti-social and bereft of any social skills” and that people who don’t play games are “normal well adjusted people.”

  • flora

    Why are you defending and excusing the behavior of these people? A person should be allowed to enjoy a hobby without being harassed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/octochan Karen Chan

    I’m curious, what was that learning process you went through to stop being a jerk? Was it a gradual change or a sudden epiphany?

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I think you’ve had your point proven from your original reply to my post. I’m very sorry, and saddened by that. :(

  • Jason Hunt

    I’m not defending them. I’m just not simple minded enough to expect when I enter such gaming arenas i’m going to be dealing with 100% well adjusted people.

  • Jason Hunt

    You misread. I didn’t say all gamers were as such. I said you’re up against people who are anti-social. Those will be the type of people who give responses such as the ones in the study. Once again, it’s the nature of the beast.

  • Jason Hunt

    We’ve all been abused online by some idiot. The difference is some people take it serious and empower these morons by their reactions. Which is why they keep doing it.The simplest thing is to laugh at them and move on.

  • Jason Hunt

    I rarely talk because I suck at most games and have to concentrate to much to stay alive lol

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    So no effort at all should be made to change that? Just give up? I’m sorry, but that doesn’t sound particularly constructive or helpful.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    To tell the truth, I’m pretty sure there are a lot of men who remain teenagers emotionally until their mid to late 20′s, possibly longer ;-)

    That’s still no excuse for that kind of behavior though. I was simply wondering in my original post, and now I have more information than when I started. Thank you.

  • Jason Hunt

    The only way to realistically be able to change it is in game mechanisms. A mute/block button.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I disagree. Being aware that behavior is unacceptable is a step to changing it. Dismissing or ignoring it is a head in the sand approach that accomplishes nothing except giving tacit approval to bigotry.

    Bigotry is not a commendable trait at all, under any circumstance. It is to be despised and fought at every opportunity. It’s immoral, objectively, and I do not think that simply muting someone would be effective at all.

  • Betty Windsor

    It’s not “okay” I’m just agreeing that Cap Z has a good point about kids and teenage boys in general being cruel.

  • http://zadl.org/ Captain ZADL

    I think this is going to be a difficult question to answer, without providing more information. The short answer is time and experience.

    The older I’ve gotten and the more experience I’ve gotten and the more aware I’ve become of how other people feel, the more I’ve consciously payed attention to what I say and how. That’s why I think awareness campaigns are very helpful.

    It’s also why I come to sites like this – to engage and learn.

  • http://monkeylologist.blogspot.com/ Jenny Cabotage

    I feel moved to say, you’re making an assumption that all or the majority of online multiplayer gamers are antisocial. That might not actually be true, depending on how you define antisocial. That’s something that, ideally, you’d actually want to approach scientifically with another study.

  • Hopback

    This type of study always seems unfair to guy gamers to me because I play in a pretty big clan in multiplayer games and while we’re mostly guys, none of us are ever abusive or negative to female players. It doesn’t make sense to me. Sorry for the bad eggs in our basket, but there are a lot more of us mature and nonjudgemental players.

  • Jason Hunt

    So Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World begins, Release the Soma!

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelica.brenner Angelica Brenner

    This study isn’t saying “all guy gamers say awful things”. It’s saying “the gamers who /do/ say awful things tend to say /more/ awful things to people they identify as women.”

    I’m sure you and your clan are all fine folks. But something needs to be done so those “bad eggs” start acting mature and nonjudgemental as well.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yeah, doesn’t the fact that you want to game with other people qualify as “social”. I consider myself anti-social, but that is because I decline to participate in things with other people.

    Words, they mean things.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    It’s not “unfair.” It’s science.

  • Jason Hunt

    I never said the majority are. I simply put forth those who abuse others are anti-social in nature. You are correct that a different study is required. One that provides more statistical data to understand as a % the amount of abusive gamers and their demographics.

  • Hopback

    “Something needs to be done” isn’t a realistic outlook. You can’t force immature people to act nice. It will just take time for society to adjust and for people to understand that women gamers are just gamers. All we can do is promote proper behavior until that time rolls around.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Saying online harassment is a result of “immaturity” downplays a rather serious problem. You say that “people to understand that women gamers are just gamers” and that we should ” promote proper behavior.” I agree. Thus the whole “something needs to be done” thing. How else will the problem be fixed?

  • Hopback

    Actually, it’s a very narrowly focused bit of “science”, which the author points out as well. So it is unfair to make it sound like male gamers are normally inclined to act overly aggressive towards female gamers. The article above doesn’t give a percentage of abusive players per game
    either… that would be a very interesting number to know, especially when my experience has been that most male gamers accept and warmly welcome (and try to outcharm each other towards) female participants. But I also don’t play Call of Duty or Halo, so many my experience is biased.

    Look, I’m not saying that the study is wrong or it shouldn’t be published. I’m saying that it doesn’t highlight the fact that it’s normally a few people in a game who act in an abusive manner towards female players and the rest of us get a bad rap for it.

  • Brian

    Ah. the internet standard male response. “This article about bad things some men do didn’t take time out to massage my feelings! Not all men are like that! I’m going to ignore the point and complain about how marginalized it makes me feel! You can’t POSSIBLY imagine what that’s like!

  • Jason Hunt

    I consider people who go to pubs, get drunk and look to start a fight are anti-social. Despite being in an environment that’s supposed to encourage social interaction. What happens online just mirrors other situations in society.

  • Hopback

    Well, I was thinking you were referring to adding filters, having moderators in games, etc etc in terms of “something needs to be done.” But in my opinion, the most realistic way to solve this problem is to give it time. I think we’re both on the same side of the argument, just not on the same level about it.

  • Hopback

    Ah, a sexist gender stereotyping response to a comment that is only pointing out an oversight or left out portion of a complete study. Thanks for your reply. ;)

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Nobody, including the authors of this study, are saying or implying that most male gamers are abusive or that “male gamers are normally inclined to act overly aggressive.” All they’re saying is that most people who are abusive are men. And that’s true. The stats are there.

    I’m sorry if you feel that’s giving non-abusive players a “bad rap,” but that doesn’t mean anything in regards to the study itself.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    So the way to solve the problem is to ignore it?

  • Travis Fischer

    That’s depressing, but not really surprising.

  • Hopback

    No no, I never said ignore it. Giving something time isn’t the same as putting it off to the side. I meant actively nurture a healthier gaming community and within time, it will be heavily frowned upon, even in games like Halo, to abuse other gamers (female or male.) Agreed?

  • Jason Hunt

    How do we fix it though? Beyond becoming a Nanny state that forces social engineering on the populace.

  • Travis Fischer

    Hey, let’s generalize an entire gender. That’s exactly the kind of attitude this site is meant to promote!

  • http://forums.rpgww.org/ Idran

    If it’s as simple as “that’s the way it is”, then how do you explain the described discrepancy in number of negative comments received between male and female gender cues? If it was nothing more than just “the nature of the beast”, then you would expect people to get about the same level of negative responses regardless of any factors inherent to the person.

  • Brian

    You ever read an article about, say, an act of vandalism at an abortion clinic, and in the comments, a Christian shows up to complain that the article did not specifically point out that not all Christians are like that, while ignoring the real violence and its real victims? That’s you right now.

    The article is about which gender gets more abusive treatment from those inclined to be abusive whilst gaming. It is not about, nor does it claim to be about, the demographics and number of harassing gamers. But it is more important to you to complain about how hurt you feel that the article didn’t go out of its way to assuage you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neall.dewsbury Neall Marmaduke Dewsbury

    In my opinion there’re two problems:
    1. The internet is pretty much global, and there are so many moronic people out there that behave like this you’re pretty much always going to be shunted into a lobby that contains at least one of these people.
    2. Lord of the Flies springs to mind. These people use the internet as a mask and throw away all social and moral obligations (like being civil), because they feel empowered by the fact that these actions have zero consequences.

    Now I’m not defending their behaviour, nor condoning it, but these people aren’t going to go away. They have to be subjected to consequences (game bans, kicks, even restrictions on gameplay features could work).

    And please don’t accuse me of thinking that “The little ladies need a man to help them”, the online gaming universe just needs a kick up the backside to be reminded that social constraints apply there too.

  • Brian

    Yes, actively nurture a healthy environment by rarely addressing the problem, and when the problem is addressed, make sure to tell everyone that it’s a tiny little problem, so Hopback doesn’t get his dander up.

  • Jason Hunt

    That’s the answer to combat it then. Motivate the non-abusive male players to tackle the abusive users. if 1 abusive male player attacks a female player with inappropriate language, Encourage 20 other male players to challenge and rebut his attitude. Personally I do and have done that.

  • Hopback

    It actually does mean something to the study. It leaves a glaring hole in the argument when it only focuses a very narrow aspect of a certainly big issue. Perhaps it was just left out in the article. I’ll have to seek out the paper and read it for myself.

    And really, did we need a formal study saying that immature people in games like Halo and Call of Duty are singling out female players? It’s not a new phenomenon. It’s known all over the internet. A better purpose for a paper like this would have been how they were able to solve the issue through different types of verbal responses.

  • Jason Hunt

    Did you not read the part where female players get more positive comments for playing well than males do? You can be cynical and say they are being condescending. Or you can say it’s the non-aggressive male players saying hey, well done on a good job, you’re a good player.

  • Jason Hunt

    Good point on the global part. My parents are libertarians, they’ve marched for the rights of black people, women, gay people, pot smokers. You name it they support them. So I’m of a similar mind. As you say though, it’s a global game and we have to consider the myriad of cultures that all converge in these gaming arenas. How to educate someone from vastly different cultures is not an easy task to solve.

  • Hopback

    Uh oh, someone’s e-peen is up and ready for a fight. ;) I kid, I kid.

    I’m not saying that it’s a little problem. I’m saying that it is a problem, but there is a larger portion of the community who is against it. The way to nurture a healthy community isn’t to concentrate on the negatives, it’s to promote the positives. Quelling a rampant troll in-game is a way to do this. Adding fuel to his fire by screaming obscenities at him is not. See my point?

  • Hopback

    Okay, I understand that point a lot better than your first, and while I agree with you, I also think that you’re missing the point. I’m not saying that I’m hurt or that people need to pay me or the rest of the “genteel” male population special attention. I’m saying that the study misses out on some other crucial points that I think would make this research a lot more complete. But we’re continuing a similar debate in another comment thread above, so lets move up there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    Poor guy gamers! You have to put up with being stereotyped while the women ONLY get harassed! Let me go play the world’s smallest violin for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    How many men have you talked to that have been stalked OFFLINE by someone that found them ONLINE and almost had to file a police report? How many men have had someone tell them to go back to the kitchen before someone breaks their legs and makes sure they stay there? How many men have been told they’re only playing games because there’s no man keeping them in bed where they belong? I’ve experienced all of that. IT’S NOT THE LITTLE SHIT YOU SAY IT IS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    You know, this is one case where I really just don’t care how they men feel about it. They had years to band together and say hey abuse isn’t ok. They didn’t. Look where we are.

  • Hopback

    Haha, I’d love to see that. Which song would you play for me?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    Also, a person that was actually mature and nonjudgemental would understand they’re on a website that probably has a lot of female readers who have been harassed terribly in online games and belittling their experiences because yours are so much more important is not the way to go.

  • Brian

    Huh. My ‘e-peen is up’. What a curious way of saying I’m angry. I suppose if I were a woman, I wouldn’t get so irrational about it? Or would you just claim I was on the rag?

    My e-peen is fine, thanks, and I’m not looking for a fight. So when did the article mention that screaming obscenities was the right idea? Did I miss that? And it’s possible to promote the positive and address the negative, but it’s harder when someone keeps coming into discussions of the negative and saying we shouldn’t be talking about it.

  • Anonymous

    In a study that surprised no one… we discover that internet anonymity creates douche lizards talkin’ smack to the fairer sex.

  • Brian

    Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure you’re at least that simple minded.

  • Anonymous

    Yup, you should’ve seen the Kotaku comment responses when GaymerCon was announced… holy shit, were there some mouth-foaming neckbeards with no filter!

  • Rebecca Pahle

    It’s a SCIENTIFIC STUDY, not an “argument” about the causes of this issue and how it can be fixed. All the things you’re saying it implies are things you bring with you.

    And it’s not a study that says “immature people in games like Halo and Call of Duty are singling out female players.” It says that the majority of abusive players are men. And yes, that is well-known on the Internet, but I’m glad this study was conducted, because apparently there are people who have a hard time accepting it.

  • Jason Hunt

    Surely you’re not suggesting stalking is a “male” thing? Men just like women have to take out restraining orders all the time agaisnt online nutcases. Welcome to the real world where it happens to all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. It’s a human condition, not a gender one.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    It’s just one study. About one aspect of this issue. So no, it’s not complete. It’s not supposed to be.

  • Jason Hunt

    Well I try to be to fit in with peeps like you :) xo

  • Anonymous

    …and those men are known as “comic-book readers.” (just kidding, just kidding!)

  • http://twitter.com/K1LLT3K K1LLT3K

    Most games have a mute/ block option if a player is being a dick/ creeper, real problem is anonymity. Take away the anonymous side and people shape up, how that would be done I’m not entirely sure. Just a thought, while most instances of online jackassary where done by the male gender, that might not even be 40% of the total population of the male gaming society. One thing I have noticed though from being an avid online gamer 10+ years. Big difference in community between online console and online PC gaming also the genre of the game. PC gaming in my experience has had less assholes than console when it comes to general “negative” trash talk in the same genres.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.dolan.3 Ian Dolan

    If I may offer a few thoughts; I think that the very nature of gaming is the main cause for all the trash-talking. Gamers almost always start out playing with friends they know. They they judge their level of skill based on the comparative skill levels of those around them. Once they enter the online scene, however, all of those expectations get blown out of the water and every player everywhere is reminded almost every game that there are always going to be those better than you.

    That, combined with the fact that men (gamers in particular) are very competitive, makes it especially dangerous to be a female gamer. Men have always traditionally had an over-arching sense of superiority to women; traditional “feminine” roles mostly include doting over the man of their life. So when a girl challenges and extremely competitive gamer, they are more likely to receive the brunt of the gamer’s frustration, because in their mind, they are SUPPOSED to be better than girls at video games, and even being challenged by one is an insult, as it means your skill is in question.

    “You play like a GIRL!”

    Of course, this is all just speculation. The cure, I think, would be for women to take their rightful place in society as the equals and contemporaries of men. Hopefully that happens within our lifetimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.dolan.3 Ian Dolan

    How can you possibly be angry about gender generalization when you are the perfect example of it? Plenty of men have banded together and decided abuse wasn’t OK. Such as the men involved in this study. But it’s not like we have some secret patriarch that controls the status quo for all men everywhere.

    Also, notice how completely wrong you are. I’ve only seen one post like you described, and the majority of the (obviously male) posts are ones describing their depression over how bad things have gotten, and how ugly their image has become.

  • Jason Hunt

    How does a guy in Melbourne,Australia stop a guy from Moscow, Russia from being sexist and harassing to a woman from Ohio? That’s the problem with online gaming. As an individual i’d defend you til my last breath. However I cannot “band together” with anyone because it’s not that simple in that environment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    I’m the perfect example of it? Did I threaten your life? Did I threaten to break your legs and keep you in the kitchen? Did I find your real-life information and send you threatening letters and phone calls? When you experience what I have, you can talk to me about gender generalization.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    The problem is that most men would rather be cowards than stand up. When my husband says “hey, don’t call my wife a raging d#@% and threaten to rape her”, does any man say a word? Oh, they say plenty. Mostly it’s threatening my HUSBAND and attacking me MORE. None join him. When men stop being cowards and start speaking up, that’s what I mean by banding together.

  • Jason Hunt

    It’s harsh to just label them cowards without knowing them. Maybe they are just quiet, mild mannered guys who don’t have the aggression in them to shoot back at a cyber bully. I’ve got 3 sisters, so I’ve got no qualms about wading into back up a lady in any situation. But that’s me. We’re all different.

  • Anonymous

    i believe its terrible the negative feed back female gamers receive as i have a few female gamer friends of my own. that being said in my personal experience the game itself has a large impact on the community and the responses/attitudes of the players
    games with heavy focus on team work and in game chat such as left 4 dead and team fortress 2 to name some generally have less gender slandering and there players more accepting of others in general.

  • Anonymous

    People of any gender can say that. I would clarify that it’s a male problem that phrases like that are used. Point is, I agree with you, just stated differently.

  • Anonymous

    True story. But just like the idea of “the jerks aren’t going to go away”, well neither are we. So we’re back to square one; what do we do?

  • Anonymous

    Five hours later, and I think most of the menz who have commented have been pretty sympathetic bar a few exceptions. Most of the menz who would say the things you say wouldn’t bother even visiting a site like The Mary Sue in the first place, unless some Men’s Rights nut decides to order a crusade.

  • Anonymous

    Online anonymity is but one factor; it does not create jerks. These people choose to behave this way, and it is reinforced by our culture (what they hear at home, media, friends, family, etc)

  • Anonymous

    Indeed. Do we have a Bingo yet?

  • Anonymous

    Hia troll :)

  • Anonymous

    WOW. Wrong. Rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, assault, the overwhelming evidence points to men as the main perpatradors of these things (even against other men!) While not every man is a predator, it is definitely a male problem.

  • Anonymous

    You are suggesting the problem is not with you, but everyone else? Interesting.

  • Anonymous

    People who suggest that being an asshole is “natural”, I would ask: citation needed.

  • Anonymous

    Anti-social has such a negative stigma attached to it though. What about introvert? I’m definitely one myself.

  • Anonymous

    They are not anti-social by “nature”. They choose to behave that way. Stating hateful, bigotry online is a choice. Just like abuse is a choice. To state differently borders on victim blaming.

  • Anonymous

    Citation, please.

  • Anonymous

    Your comments suggest that you don’t see this as a big of a deal. Might I suggest that you have the privilege to not know what it’s like to be harassed online and offline?

  • Anonymous

    Snizzap!

  • Anonymous

    This is a common misconception in the gaming community. As I stated above, anonymity is but ONE factor that allows a person to feel more confident to be abusive. World of Warcraft tried with RealID, but that doesn’t stop others from using such vile language.

  • http://twitter.com/Arthemise1 Michelle Benoit

    It all depends on the game you play. When I started reading the article, I thought, yeah, if you’re playing Halo. And ta-da, it’s Halo. If you play an RPGMMO where you can choose who you play with, you have much less negativity. I’ve not gotten negative comments.

  • http://forums.rpgww.org/ Idran

    I didn’t read that part because it wasn’t there.

    “For directed positive, there were no significant differences between the male and female voice.”

  • Vian Lawson

    Surely those off-colour gender specific questions qualify as negative feedback; they are letting you know that you’re not being treated as a gamer, but as a potential bonk? Especially given that it’s designed in some cases to put you off your game (not that it does, I’m sure), or imply that you shouldn’t be there at all (the sandwich “joke” for example).

  • Jason Hunt

    Citation: World History. Go read up on it. Hundreds of millions killed over a myriad of reasons for thousands of years. Are you a denier of humanity, warts and all?

  • Jason Hunt

    Sorry, where in that article did it mention rape, domestic violence, sexual assault? Way to go from A to Z in one foul swoop.

  • Jason Hunt

    Hia child :)

  • Vian Lawson

    How simple is it to say “That was not cool, don’t be a scumbag”? Or local equivalent. No one’s asking you to apologise for your entire gender, or solve the whole problem (or if they are, they are being a little unfair) but when you stand silently by, the douche on the other end of the line thinks you’re with him. Yes, you might cop a bit of abuse if you speak up, because a douchebag is a douchebag, but if more men said they were not OK with this sort of thing, it wouldn’t feel as isolating as it does. And maybe if they won’t listen to women, they will listen to men; it shouldn’t have to be that way, of course. Bit it is.

  • Jason Hunt

    Bullies pick on the softest target. Who do you think that might be through their perception in a gaming environment?

  • Serafina Kernberger

    At first, I thought the study was a comparison of player-to-player treatment towards female gamers depending on how the game treats female characters – are gamers less hostile to women when the game is less hostile? And now I’m really curious about the results to that one.

  • http://entertheqann.wordpress.com/ Quaisha A.T.

    I agree with you about that. I also get what you are trying to say about trying to handle “anti-social” people online. The fact of the matter is, there’s assholes everywhere so its not only in our best interest to learn how to deal with them, but its important to put up essential mechanisms to punish those who go over-board. There’s hardly any punishment laws for these kinds of things in the gaming community and it should be.

  • http://forums.rpgww.org/ Idran

    In a gaming environment? I’d say the person contributing the least or doing the worst would certainly be seen as a softer target, in which case if the explanation was, as you claim, that it’s just a group of antisocial bullies picking on the weakest member, someone with a lower skill level should be receiving a greater amount of negative response. But the study showed no correlation at all between negative comments and skill level amongst any of the three groups.

    All the evidence points towards a specific pattern of internalized misogyny amongst the population of Halo 3, not a general pattern of antisocial behavior or bullying against all comers.

  • Anonymous

    Would like to say it totally surprises me, however it does not- and a I am sure be loads of Male Gamer Apologists and people that try and claim more feminist conspiracies and the males being victimized. Sigh, embarrassing as a male gamer. Seriously wish male populaces would learn how to actually interact with opposite sex and not be socially and sexually awkward fools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.dolan.3 Ian Dolan

    Lol.

  • Crystal Olsen

    I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading this essay and how true it rings. I have been masking myself since the age of 14, I am now on the brink of 21, as a male counterpart. Simply because being male is more accepted in the realm of the internet. I have honed and practiced my skills in the Halo game series and often times when I played online without a mic, as I always play with a male avatar and under a unisex gamertag, I was actually congratulated on my skills. Though the times I played with a mic and actually voiced with my companions, I often got negative comments or threats, though I did not take them personally. I have simply surmised that the men playing video games live who threaten or negatively speak of female players without first recognizing their skill are ignorant and stuck in a time where women were lesser than men. There have been very few men whom I’ve played with that have actually recognized my skill in the game or have warded off the positively atrocious behavior of other male gamers. To them, I am thankful. Not all male gamers are insufferably ignorant, so I find it unjust to group them with those that are troubled. However, I would like it to be known that female gamers can be just as rude and critical when playing, though I think that is partially from being critiqued on their gender alone.

  • flora

    Do you believe that misandry and men’s rights is a thing just wondering.

  • flora

    You sound like you suffer from Nice Guy Syndrome.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/K34DNMMHVLLYGTXFQDR2YTNSZM Lily Stormcrow

    You victim-blaming putz. Did you SERIOUSLY just say that?

    Look, you know what? Put on a high voice and a female avatar next time you play your favorite games and SEE how different it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.truxillo Laura Truxillo

    What I keep hearing is, “BUT I’M NOT LIKE THAT!”

    Well, then, honey, we aren’t talking about you.

    But please do understand that just because you and your crew are the epitome of gentleman adventures, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t something that lady gamers have to deal with. A lot. And occasionally in dangerous, RL ways.

    If it’s not actually about you, then don’t make it about you. Acknowledge that this is a thing that happens, and stop trying to make sure that the world at large knows that it’s not ALWAYS true–we do. Honest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    thank you travis for saying exactly what i was thinking reading her comment. sexist generalizations are bad much like racist generalizations are. it is no more appropriate for a man to tell me to make him a sandwich as it is for me to tell a man to fix my car. both are sexist. expecting people to act a certain way based on their sex is sexist. generalizing all men as sexist is sexist. saying all men band together to say abuse is ok is just as sexist as saying that women who want equal rights hate men.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    having a bad experience with people of a certain group does not give you a right to hate all of them. funny how sexism and racism have so much in common like that

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    the biggest problem with this argument is that the average age for US gamers is 30

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    i do think its fair to assume it is small subset of the community. its always safe to say about 20% of people are just assholes

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    Let me comment here simply about the whole anti-social issue discussion. when we say anti-social are we talking about introverts (people who dont like doing things outside and with groups of other people) or are we talking about anti-social behavior? these are completely different things. more introverts play hardcore games, more people with anti-social behavior are well paid corporate CEOs. not to suggest these dont overlap. i just think its important in this conversation to define exactly what we are talking about and the term anti-social is ofter misinterpreted as people who dont like social situations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys
  • Guest

    no proof was given that anonymity creates trash talk and assholes. further studies with games that dont have anonymity might prove or disprove that but this study was not done to test anonymity factor

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    no proof was given that anonymity creates trash talk and assholes.
    further studies with games that dont have anonymity might prove or
    disprove that but this study was not done to test the anonymity factor

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    i agree. the game and genre have a huge impact on the community. whether it is anonymity, average age, or in game factors such as team building or a good moderation system, is yet to be discovered. i am really curious to what they find though.

  • http://www.damanique.net Damanique

    I’ve played Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on PC with voice chat for about half a year, and have *never* received comments like that. Players were always friendly and forthcoming, some adding me to their friends list on Origin after a good game. I should note that I added a lot of people from a ‘LGBT friendly player’ thread on BSN so I could be reasonably certain I wasn’t dealing with total jerks. The people I played with in random games were usually more quiet, but still didn’t fling gendered insults at me. And I wonder why – perhaps the nature of Mass Effect games is more women-friendly? Perhaps because half of the ME3 multiplayer characters you can choose are women? Perhaps because it’s co-op survival against enemy mobs, rather than playing against another team?

    All I know is I am never ever playing Halo 3 on Xbox Live. I don’t have the patience to deal with sexist manchildren hurling verbal misogynist shit at me.

  • John Smith

    Teen male gamer here. Just like to add that most males are smart enough to know what parts of traditional values are harmful/turn you into a jerk, and the ones who don’t know it yet, should. I think communication is the cure, but that’s just my opinion.

  • Betty Windsor

    You’re right. I didn’t word that sentence very well. What I meant, was direct comments that were quoted above were ones I hardly ever hear. I hear more of just young creepy boys, having no filter through the internet. Which I’m not saying is excusable, but an observation would be that they can be just as cruel to other boys.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    She didn’t say all men, but people who pull this kind of shit happen to be men.

  • imelda

    Wow, way to miss the point. Yes they *can* be just as cruel to other boys. But they’re not. Because you’re a woman, you statistically receive 3 times as many negative comments (such as those you mentioned above) as any man playing.

  • Travis Fischer

    She did say, “all men,” or, more specifically, “the menz.” She didn’t qualify it as “some men,” or “a few men.” She generalized the entire gender.

  • Anonymous

    In all honesty, there is no way to prove this, since it’s clearly the point of view of who you ask. So in your opinion, this is how you view humankind. My opinion of your opinion is that I find that to be apathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Where did I mention the article stated this?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Kids are awesome :)

  • Travis Fischer

    I think the comments section of this site proves misandry is a thing. As for men’s rights, I don’t particularly care about making a distinction between “men’s rights” and “women’s rights.” I’d prefer if we just called them “people’s rights.”

  • Anonymous

    Than “enables” would have been the proper term. While the geek culture does provoke sexism (along with homophobia and racism), I do feel that the Anonymity gives a ‘shield’ of sorts to those individuals that might not act out that way in public or face-to-face situations. But then again, Comic-Con could easily disprove that statement as well :l

  • Anonymous

    EVE Online and LoL say “hello.”

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Dude, she never used the word “all”. “Menz” in particular refers to straw men who think they are the most oppressed demographic in the world. =P

  • Travis Fischer

    She didn’t qualify it as “some men” or “a few men.” She generalized the entire gender.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Yep. It’s all just one big conspiracy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    An entire gender is calling the shots in this industry. It’d be harder to generalize if we had more diversity reflected behind the scenes and in the product, y’know.

    So, more of your ‘I am rubber you are glue’ bullshit, please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Way to completely smudge together people’s unique life experiences in favor of a monotone solidarity that doesn’t exist due to a plethora of social, historical and economic factors.

    Your privilege looks kind of lonely. I’d go check on it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    BUT WHO WILL THINK OF THE MEN

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    You can concentrate on the negatives and promote the positives at the same time. It’s not an impossible feat. In fact, it’s the only way that those in marginalized groups tend to stay sane in the face of socially acceptable adversity and mistreatment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    Discussions of privilege are always a fucking pain in the neck, aren’t they? People who haven’t checked their status in society are so used to everything revolving around them, that the one time it doesn’t, or, worse, the time someone criticizes that undeserved status…

    “What about me?”

    “I’m not like that!”

    “Stop generalizing!”

    “My feelings!”

    “Me!”

    “ME!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashe.samuels Ashe P. Samuels

    You made a good point-Mass Effect is more inclusive than the average game in its genre(s). That would affect the people drawn to it, with the community following suit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/troyldailey Troy Dailey

    You are wrong….as an older male who still games, I do receive comments from idiots. I do NOT receive the same level of vitriol that you would have to put up with. Way to generalize.

  • http://www.facebook.com/troyldailey Troy Dailey

    Because most of us avoid the online game community. If I wanted to go back to jr. high…I’d f%^ing do it. You’re only as good as your own prejudices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    I’m glad, like many men, you find a woman’s suffering amusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    Yeah, that one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    And supporting the gender that generates this abuse is a big reason of why they get away with it, so good job with that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10611971 Bekah Hernandez Gerber

    You really haven’t been reading these comments then.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    Misandry is a thing.

    It’s just mostly an irrelevant thing. Men are currently the dominant force in society and therefor they have, inherently, more rights and privileges than women or transgendered peoples.

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    League of Legends’ positive feedback system has proven useful. Perhaps something like that?

  • Anonymous

    True story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074630034 Emily Krebs

    It’s not aggression. It’s integrity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074630034 Emily Krebs

    The intent to defend all rights with the same level of passion and concern is laudable, and something we should strive for. However, ignoring the differences in the intensity and shape of a given problem for a given group does naught but contribute to it. Though racism and sexism against any group may share a common root of ignorance and hatred, you will never solve the individual problems associated thereof if you don’t seek to understand the very different experiences that victims of those groups are subjugated to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1074630034 Emily Krebs

    Interestingly enough, we were chatting about this very subject recently on an anime forum. Based on the responses there, it seems that if you’re female and play MMORPGs, you do get unwanted solicitation, but also usually a bunch of free stuff. So it’s actually seen largely as a “positive” thing (some guys on the forum admitted that they pretended to be females just to get other male players to give them free things). However, if you’re female and you play shooters, that’s when you get the crap the study above covered. I actually out and out refuse to play Gears of War with my mic on and without the rest of the players muted because of stupid crap. Shame as it’s one of my favorite games.

    To add another intriguing point to the discussion, whenever I’ve told my male friends that I stopped using my mic, they always roll their eyes and say, “Ah, more ten-year-olds being idiots.” And then I always have to correct them. It’s NOT little boys dishing out this crap. It’s college-aged guys who as adults, should know better. In fact, I’ve only ever played one Gears multi-player match with a young boy, and he was fantastic! Great player, great teammate, very nice. It’s the college age and older man-childs who have harassed me. And I think more people recognizing it as a problem not restricted to young boys would go a long way towards helping foster an attitude to correct it.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    Not directly related, but tangentially – in the last couple years, many local newspapers around the country changed their commenting features to use Facebook log-ins in hopes it would clean up the toxic nature of comments on their articles. Surprisingly, people didn’t feel any qualms about logging in under their own name and making the same appalling comments they made anonymously.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    You’re absolutely right, having a (likely imagined) bad experience with one woman does not give the dudebros you’re so desperately trying to impress the right to hate all of us.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    I don’t know, maybe by saying “hey bro could you not do that?” HOLY SHIT NOT BEING SEXIST IS SO HARD

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    No, it’s really not harsh to call a coward a coward. Thanks for playing.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    You’d be happier with calling them “men’s rights to treat women like garbage.” Get back under your rock and take your fedora with you.

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    And the 2013 poster child for internalized misogyny is…

  • http://twitter.com/sarasakana Sara Sakana

    Nope, sorry, “boys will be boys” doesn’t fly and teenagers are no less responsible for what comes out of their mouths than grown men.

  • Betty Windsor

    No. Not really, because it’s just an observation.

  • Travis Fischer

    Exactly. Misandry is a thing. Misogyny is a bigger thing. I don’t think anybody would dispute this.

    The point though is that the former can’t be used to eliminate the latter.

  • Travis Fischer

    Come on, Joanna. Look at the rest of Bekah’s comments on this page and tell me she isn’t generalizing men.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Yup. All men everywhere. Especially the ones who don’t play video games.

    Come on, we all know “not all men are like that”, that goes without saying. Her anger at how she’s being treated online is understandable, but in no way did I pick up that she’s angry at all men everywhere. That’s just silly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1123680216 Martha Watts

    We just have to be careful not to fall into the “boys will be boys” mindset, as if their hormones and sex excuses their behavior. I know that isn’t what you are saying, but there are plenty that act as if young boys/young men are animals that can’t really be held accountable for their behavior, and that is just insulting to the male gender.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Where in her comment did she state she hated all men? She stated that “the menz” would come in here saying bullshit, but that is not generalizing men. The phrase “the menz”(note the INTENTIONAL MISSPELLING of the plural) is commonly used jargon to denote a group of men who will come into any discussion of women focused issues, and derail those discussions with claims of misandry, of ignoring men’s concerns, and in general whine about the fact that men’s concerns are not given prime consideration.

    This is poor behavior, and the people who engage in are rightfully called out in derogatory terms.

    And yes, plenty of men came into this thread and did that very thing, claiming that “not all men are like that” or that “It’s just immature boys, whadyagonnado?”. That shit is derailing, and is just piling onto more shit for feminists/womanists to dig through in an attempt to get our points heard.

    Of course, plenty of women don’t care about that, and instead will take the easy route of siding with sexist men against feminists, so you don’t have to fight those fights and get the brownie points for validating sexist men’s worldviews.

  • amarkham

    Stand up for yourself, you coward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shadowminx Christina McDonald

    Awesome article. There is another ugly side to multiplayer gaming, if you are a female and a GOOD player, they accuse you of cheating. As if as a woman you could never be good at gaming without using some sort of cheat or hacking program. It is insulting the number of things and people women have to put up with to play a game. Fortunately I prefer playing in AVP2 and I’m part of a really good open minded clan. We have control of our servers and boot offensive people no matter WHO they are offending.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shadowminx Christina McDonald

    Also seems to get their goats when I say I’m a female gamer with teenage kids. OMG you are SOO awesome I wish I had a mom as fun as you LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shadowminx Christina McDonald

    Sadly this sort of attitude is also present in Gaming such as Magic the Gathering and other CCGs. Dnd also has it’s share of men who don’t seem to think a woman has the smarts to be the head of the group or DM at the table lol.

  • Truit Beasley

    You gals have very pretty handwriting! (^-^)

  • Jennifer C.

    This makes me suddenly very grateful for my World of Warcraft guild. But I would argue that World of Warcraft is another beast altogether than Halo, given the number of other women I know that play it.

  • http://twitter.com/Kthulhu42 Katherine Dent

    I understand that women are more likely to get abused and treated with prejudice and discrimination. However:

    Why is it whenever a woman on this thread has a different opinion to some of you, you insult and demean her? Because you’re belittling women just as much as the men. Every woman has a right to her own opinion, saying someone is stupid or “Banding with men for brownie points” is insensitive and rude. Shaming women for speaking having an opinion tells me a hell of a lot about your internalized patriarchy.

    Two: For those of you calling all men who don’t speak out against cyber-bullying “Cowards” well then, what is the woman who won’t speak at all? What is the woman who won’t come back with a retort? Is she a coward for not standing up for herself? Why is it okay to tell a man he is a coward for not wanting to get the same backlash that we want women to stop receiving? Or do you think that men exist to protect women online? Of course they don’t. We should all band together, yes, but singling a guy out because he is uncomfortable drawing attention to himself and belittling him – again, this isn’t what feminism is for. And saying “Boo hoo, poor menz your fee-fees get hurt by other gamers” – well, isn’t the woman saying the exact same thing? And she gets your support because she’s a female? I sense a lot of gender-policing.Women can ask for help, but men can’t be shy or afraid or unable to speak up or they get called a coward? Glad to see you’re here, reinforcing gender rules that cause problems for both sexes.

    As a student of psychology and gender-based sexism in the media, I’d like to point out that insulting women, generalizing both women and men and gender policing is only likely to put more women in the space of “Not wanting to be seen as feminist” when is reality, we should all be proud to call ourselves feminist. But I can understand why I have so many women come through a clinic, stoutly denying they are “A crazy feminist” – because they don’t want to be associated with the types of people who insult and belittle people who believe that ALL sexism is bad.

  • Grrr…Arrgh

    What the hell is this ‘female condition’? Condition??? If anything it’s being male that’s a condition as all foetuses are female until external forces instigate a change from the default state.

    So the misogyny extends to the language in this thesis too then?

    Grrr

  • http://twitter.com/MelissiaKuromoi Melissia

    “Misandry is a thing. Misogyny is a bigger thing. I don’t think anybody would dispute this.”

    Actually, many, many, MANY people do. It’s pretty much the biggest thing that people scream in my face any time a feminist subject comes up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    I was a logic tutor at the university I attended. So let me apologize to everyone who assumed I was encouraging or comfortable with sexism. I am not. I am not comfortable with any sexism or any prejudice. Now when I come into an argument I come to it by a stance of LOGIC. When someone states that this study is proof of all men putting down all women. (using menz instead on mens is not a good enough difference to suggest she was talking about a segment of that population) The logic here is flawed. At no point in the study (the ACTUAL study not the article) did they even talk about the sex of the persons who made comments to the female voice. That is an assumption many of you made. You can assume and draw from your experience in gaming or say that probability says that statistically the majority of comments where made by men because the majority of Halo 3 players are men. But again this is guessing and not scientifically accurate. As a women I find it discouraging when other women refuse to look at something logically or just want to blame all the men folk for your fucking problems. Yes some men are sexist as fuck and you should not let them get away with it. But a man disagreeing with you in a logical manner does not mean he is demeaning you or this study. Not to say all men commenting have been saying logical shit or that there havent been women making logical arguments as well. I just want people to view things from a Aristotle logical view and to stop being assholes. If all you do after you read this is look up aristotle’s logic and read through some fallacies and learn something it would mean a great deal to me. Plus fallacies are a great way for you to know exactly what kind of bullshit most politicians (every politician i have heard speak) are spewing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankhmycelium Crystal Keys

    agreed that a tribunal system like lol would help halo a lot. but monitoring voice is a lot harder and not something even lol has incorporated into their tribunal system yet. and according to the study the voice seems to be where much of the problem is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702611790 Clintchurion Hammerstein

    For
    the purposes of this study, the first person shooter (FPS) game Halo 3,
    for the Xbox 360 video game console, was selected to serve as the
    online gaming environment from which we would gather data. FPS games
    allow gamers to interact with the virtual environment by taking control
    of a character from the first-person point of view. From this viewpoint,
    gamers move around in and interact with the gaming environment, and
    this includes interacting with other players.

    Using 1 game in 1
    genre as the entire environment for the study right away limits the
    external validity of the study to almost 0. (External validity is the
    measure by which a study can be applied to other situations or people.)

    There is also a self-selection bias insofar as it measures players who
    want to play against other players in a competitive capacity when they
    are in the mood to play such a competitive game. Various factors such
    as personality and mood of player are completely uncontrolled variables.

    The rationale of choosing this game seems to be justified by sales
    figures; however it might be a further confounding factor in this case
    because size of sample is actually working against randomness of sample
    because skill level is taken into effect in game assignment. The
    researcher’s skill level is therefore another of many uncontrolled
    variables in this experiment. The experiment is supposed to measure
    multiplayer gaming, but external validity has been reduced from
    multiplayer games, to just HALO 3 to just HALO 3 at the skill level of
    two researchers at one game type (team Slayer). Listing the number of
    players gives a false impression of a robust sample size that isn’t in
    fact, available to the researchers.

    Before we even evaluate the
    internal validity, the external validity has been so limited as to be
    completely useless as a correlative predictor for anything besides maybe
    behavior for the launch of HALO4 at a certain skill level.

    Unfortunately the internal validity is so shaky application to HALO4 can’t even be done.

    Threats to internal validity abound in this study. The researchers
    present the dependent variable being percentage of harassment of women
    over men using a non-speaking player as the control.

    Selection bias is a large of a threat threat to internal validity as it
    is to external validity and has been adequately covered.

    Instrument change is completely uncontrolled in this experiment. A
    combination subjective measures being used in the game along with very
    subjective and shifting nature of the independent variable under the
    intuition of the researcher as to what “the most likely” response on the
    sound board would be, leaves for a complete lack of control over the
    variables being tested leaving no internal validity. Furthermore two
    voices were used for the sound board and no tests were done to verify
    that the voices weren’t in fact the independent variables in and of
    themselves. This is another threat to validity across the board.
    Essentially the independent variable being tested IS those two voices
    and the experimenters are only assigning male and female to those
    voices. Perhaps the female voice gets more attention because the pitch
    is a significant deviation from the norm in the game and the gamers are
    reacting in a more hostile manner because the non specific and
    repetitive game speech stands out more and is therefore more annoying as
    it offers little value and is more obtrusive. Perhaps a child’s voice
    would draw even more ire. Perhaps a male voice that was distinctive
    would draw even more. There is no way to support the conclusion drawn,
    and even if there were there would be no way possible to apply it to
    anything outside of team deathmatch games at a presumably low skill
    rating in a game which is constantly characterized as having an immature
    fanbase.

    last but not least, perhaps even most, we have a
    ripe opportunity for experimenter’s bias. Not only are the
    experimenters who are also the instruments in charge of the independent
    variables, they essentially are the variables. There are no objective
    standards to how often the voices talk, what they say, etc other than a
    hope that the experimenters will be consistent across all games despite
    changes in mood, level of arousal, motivation to have conclusive results
    and more.

    This is why humanities majors should ask
    someone with a B.S. to help them set up their experiments rather than
    just flailing wildly at “science” like a retarded child with a chemistry
    set mixing all chemicals together hoping to by chance develop an
    invisibility potion