Like many folks, I first used Vent in conjunction with World of Warcraft (for those not in the know, Ventrilo is a VoIP client beloved by gamers). Before I even left Shadowglen, I ran across an article about one girl’s unfortunate experiences in Vent. I was simply going to reference it here, but my mad Google skills have turned up the actual article, which hearkens back from the year 2005:
I made the mistake of speaking one day, out of the blue…People got loud, people were talking on top of each other, the channel got laggy from all the chaos…I very suddenly got flooded with in game tells: “Was that you?” I didn’t reply to any, I just kept my mouth shut, very quickly realizing my mistake. A few people took it to the next level, making some extremely harsh comments about girls, and girls playing the game. I didn’t talk for the rest of the raid.
That was how I thought Vent was going to be: a never-ending misogynistic gauntlet of harassment and requests for pics. It sounded awful. See, at this point, I hadn’t made any gamer friends, and the only female gamers I knew of were strangers writing articles like the one above. I avoided Vent as long as I could, making up excuses about not having a mic. My interaction with other players was minimal. But by level twenty, my gear was pathetic, and it was clear that I was missing out on a lot of game content.