Saying you’re a gamer in the wrong setting or with the wrong group of people will sometimes get the exact same result as admitting that you’re a child sex offended. People assume you’re playing with something meant for far younger hands. However gaming is a pursuit I enjoy and feel the need to defend, prompting this post, as I feel it needs to be made clear that sexism can go fuck itself.
Gamers, or gaming in general is heavily male orientated, sure recent stats say 40% of gamers are in fact female, but those figures are skewed by the inclusion of casual or “wuss” games. The true essence of gaming is kicking virtual ass and honing your skills against other people, an activity very few females partake in, for one reason. Gamers are dicks.
A few days ago this story broke, to summarise for those of you too lazy to click a link but intrigued enough to read on. A new game “Street Fighter x Tekken” had a promotional stunt in which the best Tekken and best Street Fighter would compete, in the process creating hype and some no doubt sweet combos. However there were problems almost immediately after starting the stunt as Jared Reah one of the event organisers, casually asked, why some people present were acting like misogynistic ring pieces.
For his trouble Jared was essentially told that sexism is entrenched in gaming culture by one Aris Bakhtanians, whom I assume only has a name that hard to type because women typing it out is the closest he’ll ever come to a handjob. Aris went on to ensure that absolutely every woman in an 8 mile radius simultaneously had their period start, just so they’d all have an excuse not to speak to him when he said in verbatim, that trying to revoke his right to mock women was “ethically unjust”. Oh and just to make it that little bit worse, Aris was the coach of the Tekken team which had a female player, Miranda “Super_Yan” Pakozdi. Who was literally stood right next to him while he defended his right to treat her like shit.
“After this I’m going to slap her mothers shit right up” Aris, probably.
Now just to be clear Miranda is one of the finest players of the game, full stop. If you got the people even able to compete with her into a room, chances are it would make an intervention at Charlie Sheens house look crowded. By all rights, she’s one of the gaming communities top dogs, a title shes earned through pure skill, from literally being really, really good at kicking the shit out of people, virtually, but still that’s pretty badass.
As I mentioned, sexism can go fuck itself with wasabi coated wire wool. But when it comes to respecting females, some gamers would make a Saudi Arabian pause for thought. I know of only a few female gamers, of these, even fewer who would ever reveal themselves to be the owner of pair of sweater kittens online. Simply because speaking the words “I’m a girl” acts like some kind of retard flypaper and will result in a cacophony of sexual slurs and insults. Just imagine for a second if this was reversed, actually no don’t do that, just watch this video. The saddest part being, that it is exactly like that for women, if anything they toned it down.
Ironic then, that the logo looks like 2 crossed vaginas.
Knowing this first hand, I tip my hat to any female gamer who can put up with this, I’d like to believe that at its heart gaming is inclusive for everyone, only there’s a layer of shit you need to get through first to get to the gooey center if you’re endowed with toddler ticklers. A sentiment I was glad to see Super_Yan almost agree with, minus the swearing and boob joke.
However, this incident brought the issue of sexism into the spot light and in preparation for this piece I read around a couple of gaming forums, although some had a couple of reasonable people in them, the rest were more depressing reading than a cancer patients birthday cards. I’d quote some of them here, but my spell checker deserves a break since I publish enough poorly written crap from people I don’t like already. The worst part is, this is the way the majority of the world will see gaming culture. We’ve lived with the “sexless, basement dwelling, anti-social” label for years and with the advent of online gaming it’s turned into the “racial slur screaming pre teen with a voice only comparable to the exact opposite of Barry Whites” label.
His voice alone wooed more vaginas than most will ever see.
With the wider public sphere looking at gaming culture this way it isn’t hard to believe why it’s seen as a hobby some feel ashamed to admit to. Because despite being the at the forefront of technological advancement, video game culture seems to have archaic view when it comes to women, and it needs to stop. Gamers are getting older and older, in 10 years time the teenagers sat down playing Halo will hopefully be fully functioning members of society. The last thing society needs is an injection of people with the mindset that it’s perfectly ok to abuse the shit out of people due to race or sex, provided it’s online.
Which is usually the major defence against these kind of actions, “it’s only online“, “it’s just a game” or “stop talking to me or I’ll shank you right in the face.” You can defend sexism if it’s only during one very specific part of your life, it’s like those people who say “I’m not a racist, but” as an excuse to say something racist. It hints that on a deeper level, you have a problem, and having a problem with women is terrible. If only for the fact that with the majority of women you’re more likely to get a shot at touching their chesticals by being nice than you are by telling them to “make you a sandwich“, regardless of how funny it used to be, which was never.
Another popular argument is that gaming is a very competitive hobby, and by their nature women aren’t competitive, this argument is both stupid and assumes that the person saying it has never seen the olympics or a 75% off sale. Despite gaming being seen to be male, it’s a cathartic relaxing hobby that rewards skill,muscle memory and dexterity, none of those traits are inherently seen to favour one gender over another.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, gaming is awesome but there are a small minority that ruin it for women by not treating them with respect, turning what should be a rewarding hobby into a clusterfuck that by all rights no one should put up with. Then again, women not gaming means the number of people I have to beat is cut in half, shit! I take it all back.