Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

Kannon wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

This thread does show there is a lot of ignorance on gamer blogs and boards, so I'm not denying it exists in gamer culture. I'm just honestly curious to know how often it's happening in game.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you haven't played League of Legends.

No I haven't but I guess I figured that game was similar to other RTSes where if youre wasting time being an artard in chat then youre already losing. Are there no report or ignore buttons?

Actually, let me take a step back and share a list of things I've personally witnessed, relatively recently:
DayZ: People getting stuck in the wait queue and spamming incredibly racist insults. Also many slurs against Russians. Lots of racist/sexual/rape trolling followed by "U Mad?" Post bandit-skin-removal things got worse. The forum is worse; the thread about adding female characters devolved quickly into a cesspit where one of the main arguments against it is that women would be incapable of surviving in the post-apocalyptic world.

TF2 on random public server: Player names intentionally invoking rape, racist slurs, sexual slurs, or combinations of the above. Sprays invoking the above. Voice chat consisting of various derogatory slang for female genitalia, heaven help you if you're an actual woman. Five snipers on the same team.

Aye. LoL is bad as well, (Though, in Riot's defense, the Report button actually _does_ something.). Tribes:Ascend is horrible, as well and the report button does sh*t. (So does the mute button, incidentally.) And I find it hard to believe you think that poor behavior leads to a ban in MMOs. It doesn't in WoW for instance.

Re: Fetishization, I agree with DS, but it seems like the sort of problem that needs to be fixed roughly in order. I.E, fix the rampant sexism first, _then_ worry about the fetishization angle. My hunch is that fixing the first will greatly minimize the second. (Generally speaking, if the gaming community would effectively grow up a bit, it wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem. It's very much a stereotypically adolescent thing to do.

I recognize that there's plenty of anti social behavior in Wow, but at least Blizzard has a strong anti harrassment policy. As far as Arma Z goes, I thought the whole point of that game was to troll other players in a Wild West style environment. That's likely a conscious business decision by the devs, and the only solution I can see for games that promote bad behavior is to not p,at them.

Let me ask a follow up question: do you guys feel empowered to tell sexist players to grow up and not be dickwolves? I'll speak out if a guy is being a douche and more often than not a number of other players will also admonish the guy in chat. It doesn't always work but that's why there is an ignore button.

Yes. I do this frequently. Well, at least I did until I gave up on the XBox Live headset a couple of years ago.

jdzappa wrote:

Let me ask a follow up question: do you guys feel empowered to tell sexist players to grow up and not be dickwolves? I'll speak out if a guy is being a douche and more often than not a number of other players will also admonish the guy in chat. It doesn't always work but that's why there is an ignore button.

Often in spectacular fashion. It normally works in TF2. (If there's an admin on, 90% of the time, the person will get kickbanned. The other 10% of the time, I do, and hey, a new server I know to avoid. It's how I've accumulated my sizable blacklist of servers, sadly.)

In T:A, it doesn't at all (And, as I mentioned, there's not much in the way of report/ignore. You've got to go well out of your way.) I've also yet to see a kick-vote work, even if there is a majority for the kick, and there's no admins. It's why I don't play it much, despite loving the game. (Similar, it's why I've not picked up ARMA 2 for DayZ)

LoL, report/ignore works, but you generally have to deal with the asshole, unless you want a black mark for "leaving" (I'd imagine SC2 is similar, in this respect.).

Well, at the time, the ignore/mute in Day Z didn't work. (It's been a couple of weeks since I've had time to go back, so I don't know what the current situation is.) The announced dev plan was that global chat was going to be eliminated and all talk was local, keeping the interaction in the same virtual locale. We'll see how the community settles down once the people you're trolling can shoot back in retaliation.

As for telling people on random servers? No, I can't say that I personally feel that empowered to say something. It's probably something I should be doing more. But I'm also being more conscious about avoiding those places in the first place.

On the other hand, if it's a GWJ server I feel totally OK with calling someone out, and I know from experience that the admins will back me up on it if someone is egregiously crossing the line.

jdzappa wrote:

This thread does show there is a lot of ignorance on gamer blogs and boards, so I'm not denying it exists in gamer culture. I'm just honestly curious to know how often it's happening in game.

Fat, Ugly or Slutty

clover wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

This thread does show there is a lot of ignorance on gamer blogs and boards, so I'm not denying it exists in gamer culture. I'm just honestly curious to know how often it's happening in game.

Fat, Ugly or Slutty

Heh, beat me to it.

It happens pretty much all the time. Many women avoid online games with strangers because it can be distracting, off-putting, traumatizing, total buzzkill, etc. I have friends that, no matter how much I try and convince them that there are cool people out there (like GWJ!) to play with, the idea that a stranger might still be able to come in and go all dickwad has pretty much kept them offline and off the mic as a permanent solution.

Some of us get intentionally androgynous usernames and don't plug in a headset just to play a damn game in peace. I used to have something that sounded kind of female and the abuse was immediate. I used to talk on the headsets and dish it back, but it got to be too much to deal with on the daily. As in, it got in the way of the game. That sucks.

It's like being a female that openly plays games is an invitation in itself to be challenged, degraded, humiliated, excluded, bullied, ganged up on, teamkilled, stalked, spammed, reported, harassed, you name it. It pretty much happens all the time.

Amoebic wrote:

I have friends that, no matter how much I try and convince them that there are cool people out there (like GWJ!) to play with, the idea that a stranger might still be able to come in and go all dickwad has pretty much kept them offline and off the mic as a permanent solution.

...

It's like being a female that openly plays games is an invitation in itself to be challenged, degraded, humiliated, excluded, bullied, ganged up on, teamkilled, stalked, spammed, reported, harassed, you name it. It pretty much happens all the time.

*raises hand* I don't play online games... I haven't ever found a game I enjoy enough to put up with the inevitable garbage. My opinion of humanity is low enough already.

Curious.

My, er, regular handle for online games sounds (I've been told) like a woman's name. I, too, have given up public online gaming because I thought that the garbage was insufferable on English channels, and the lag was pretty horrible, too, if you've come from a LAN gaming culture. It just occurred to me that the amount of garbage I regularly get and my handle may be related.

EDIT: the amount of online garbage I get in general is why I've never recommended online public gaming to anyone.

I know, at this point, if I play a game online, there's a 95% chance it'll be with GWJ people. Occasionally i'll screw around with the pubbies, but that's become increasingly rare. I too have grown tired of the cesspool people have come to accept and even defend as some sort of ideal utopia of free speech.

Sidenote: Do you have any idea how many idiots i've seen on other sites trot out "Free speech" RE: Anita Sarkeesian/Felicia Day/Online Culture? I can only imagine people doing it for two reasons. One: genuine, blithering ignorance. Two: A petulant 12-year-old's belief in "universal free speech", which basically means "I should be able to say whatever I want where ever I want and not face any repercussions for doing so."

Also, does anyone else start laughing the minute someone talking about these issues busts out "Misandry" with a straight face?

Laugh? No. Shake my head sadly and sigh? Yep.

I laugh the bitter laugh of someone faced with a singularity of idiocy.

It's important to keep in mind that some of the worst stuff a woman will get online is not swear words, sexist slurs, etc. but the incredibly creepy stalking and attention. If the person in question is clever enough, it's really easy to do this in terms that don't technically violate any of a game's community standards.

For example, playing an online game and getting messaged with a list of my other online handles / hangouts. I wasn't even trying to hide those things, certainly nothing in the message was technically offensive, but the implications behind the message... creep factor 10.

Getting told how beautiful you are when the person in question has only heard your voice and could not possibly have seen a picture of you. A hell of a lot of people will think you're overreacting because "it's a compliment!" But, ew.

Demyx wrote:

It's important to keep in mind that some of the worst stuff a woman will get online is not swear words, sexist slurs, etc. but the incredibly creepy stalking and attention. If the person in question is clever enough, it's really easy to do this in terms that don't technically violate any of a game's community standards.
...

True, and this is mostly invisible if you're not the direct target of it. Having a stalker isn't much fun for either sex, but I imagine it's much worse when it's completely out of the blue.

Though this is one of those interesting cases where modern technology sometimes lets us see the other side: play as a female-presenting character in an MMO and you can experience it for yourself. (Or, for the racist angle, a black character)

Though this is one of those interesting cases where modern technology sometimes lets us see the other side: play as a female-presenting character in an MMO and you can experience it for yourself. (Or, for the racist angle, a black character)

I haven't experienced the former as the only female toon I played was in Guild Wars, and plenty of guys roll females in that game because for some classes like necromancer your choice is hot girl or goth emo guy. I will say I got some weird borderline racist treatment when I created a Mace Windu-inspired Black human for SWTOR.

Prederick wrote:

Also, does anyone else start laughing the minute someone talking about these issues busts out "Misandry" with a straight face?

Misandry, like "heteronormative", is a word that has its use, but sadly has become the hallmark of an idiot on a crusade rather than someone trying to bring a constructive viewpoint.

Also, Shortpacked is usually awful, but this was pretty good -

IMAGE(http://www.shortpacked.com/comics/2012-06-20-equaltime.png)

I'm just going to put this here:

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/in...

This is what online harassment looks like

Obscene images, hate sites and a game where people are invited to beat you up have been inflicted on Anita Sarkeesian.

IMAGE(http://www.newstatesman.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/fullnode_image/articles_2012/screen_shot_2012-07-06_at_08.51.33.png)

Surely if the nerds keep this up they will prove once and for all that they are not misogynists like everyone says.

Yesterday, I got to give a mod nudge to someone on a board I run about the use of the word "rape" in the context of winning a game. It was a pretty easy nudge, even though I know no one likes being moderated pretty much ever. I didn't hand out any warnings or bans, just a reminder that the board had a mixed, multi-age user pool and rape wasn't a neutral word for everyone, so we should avoid using it needlessly. The response was predictable. Someone went so far as to say that because certain women are so sensitive and easily scarred by the use of a simple word, their meek and helpless behavior invites rapists to target them. And of course, let's not forget, rape culture is an invented problem. The juxtaposition of those two arguments together literally made me laugh. It was just too absurd.

Later the same day, a friend of mine posted Gamasutra's article on the Male Gaze to her Facebox. I'll be upfront here - terms like "rape culture" and "male gaze" trigger an eyeroll reflex in me. Not because I don't think they're real things, they just have the sound of terms people use when they're being self-righteous crusaders (see above with "misandry"). So when other people want to be completely dismissive of the ideas wholesale, I sympathize a bit and try to explain the whole concept in words that don't necessarily evoke imaginary ideas of jackbooted feminists in overdefensive folks.

Yesterday, that went terribly wrong. A friend of the original poster began with the usual "well men are objectified too!" schtick, which is something else I think holds a little merit. But, unfortunately, people tend to use this argument as a way to prove objectification of women either isn't that bad, or isn't a problem. I argue with this fine gentleman that while objectification of men certainly does happen, it's not nearly on the scope or as damaging as what happens to women so pervasively. This is when the real stunner came - he started making arguments that he didn't see how people could connect the portrayal of women in the media (I kept trying to keep the argument to the context of gaming, since that's what the article was about, but he was pretty firm in ignoring that) to anything sexist or misogynist. He then started demanding I prove that such a phenomenon happens. He was, in essence, trying to make me prove sexism at all was a real thing with real contributing factors.

I knew exactly where this was going, but tried anyway. Naturally, everything I mentioned or pointed to was dismissed as opinion or speculation. I mean, of course we can't view with 100% accuracy into the minds of people and determine their motivations for sure, but I think after enough patterns of behavior, we can be confident. What the man effectively was asking me was on par with saying "Well you can't prove racism is real behavior." I mean, I was just not prepared to have to prove the sun rises and sets, either. Every study was "opinion" and every instance of a person being blatantly sexist was anecdotal or anomalous.

He went on to say that little boys and basement dwelling nerds engage in such behavior, but that just magically evaporates when said men and boys are exposed to the real world. This was, of course, after some lengthy assertions that he knew exactly what women wanted, what turns them on, and what appeals to them (after furiously attacking me for assumptions of motivation). It struck me from how this guy talked that he himself was probably never really rude or condescending towards women. I bet that his friends really aren't, even. But since he doesn't surround himself with horrible people, the idea that women are treated in this way is so outside his monkeysphere that it simply rings false or at least wildly exaggerated to him.

So, I guess that's just something I wanted to share for everyone's data point about this sort of behavior. We have people so fundamentally self-deluded through multiple angles that they can go so far as to state sexism isn't a thing. It's mind blowing, really, and I think until yesterday I really couldn't fathom how it might happen.

Bloo Driver wrote:

Yesterday, I got to give a mod nudge to someone on a board I run about the use of the word "rape" in the context of winning a game.

While this might have not needed even a nudge, depending on the context; rape is still a real word that can be used correctly to not need any moderation. That said...

Bloo Driver wrote:

Someone went so far as to say that because certain women are so sensitive and easily scarred by the use of a simple word, their meek and helpless behavior invites rapists to target them.

And this is where I would ban them, and any defenders of them, and probably just shut down the whole board. I really can't understand this level of ... insensitivity? ignorance? stupidity? To think that people can react like this and not see that there is a huge problem with sexism in our (mostly meaning gaming, but easily expanded to geek, pop and American) culture just blows my mind.

Atras wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

Yesterday, I got to give a mod nudge to someone on a board I run about the use of the word "rape" in the context of winning a game.

While this might have not needed even a nudge, depending on the context; rape is still a real word that can be used correctly to not need any moderation. That said...

I was willing to let it go, and honestly if someone had come to me all huffy with "HOW DARE THEY USE THIS WORD. YOU ARE COMPLICIT IN THE PHALLOCRACY!" as a complaint, I would have probably giggled and deleted the complaint. But a few folks nicely asked me if we could nip this one in the bud, as it were, and I saw no harm. I don't have any problem with the word "rape" when used as it should be. And, truth be told, people saying "rape" in that way ("I totally raped that guy on the last map") doesn't really register to me, anymore. But, I recognize other people have a problem with it and community building and holding hands, etc etc etc. I mean that in a non-sarcastic way. I think people who really don't care about the word's use need to at least be willing to back off when presented with a reasonable concern.

Bloo Driver wrote:

Someone went so far as to say that because certain women are so sensitive and easily scarred by the use of a simple word, their meek and helpless behavior invites rapists to target them.

And this is where I would ban them, and any defenders of them, and probably just shut down the whole board. I really can't understand this level of ... insensitivity? ignorance? stupidity? To think that people can react like this and not see that there is a huge problem with sexism in our (mostly meaning gaming, but easily expanded to geek, pop and American) culture just blows my mind.

I didn't end up banning them, as the complaint went off board and came from people not even directly involved. The response from the people directly involved was some grousing, but again - I don't think anyone has ever been like "okay! Super!" when moderated in the history of the Internet.

I don't follow all the threads and might have missed the guidance, but is use of the word "rape" now banned on this board outside a criminal context?

Funkenpants wrote:

I don't follow all the threads and might have missed the guidance, but is use of the word "rape" now banned on this board outside a criminal context?

If you're getting that sense from my post, I may not have been clear - I was talking about moderating on a whole other forum.

Bloo Driver wrote:

If you're getting that sense from my post, I may not have been clear - I was talking about moderating on a whole other forum.

Oh, I understand that. I want to know what the policy is here.

If you can type it out, and it's not *'ed out or "Certis is awesome"ed, then it's allowed. As I see it, words are a tool, but a tool that can be misused by someone, and on this board "rape" isn't misused that much to cause it to be a problem. But I'm not a mod so what do I know. It seems like more 'a person problem' if it gets used poorly, and Certis seems to have no problem firing such people.

I just know I can't use a traditional english word for dumplings in stew because someone couldn't be trusted to use that word properly and ruins it for everyone.

I do occasionally see a few questionable phrases used around the place, but then it's probably worth remembering that GWJ isn't some magical utopia.

Funkenpants wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

If you're getting that sense from my post, I may not have been clear - I was talking about moderating on a whole other forum.

Oh, I understand that. I want to know what the policy is here.

I don't want to speak for Certis and the rest of the Executive Branch, but my understanding of the policy is that context is everything. There are no "banned" words (although some get auto-replaced, as noted above) that you'll get in trouble for using, but you can and will be reprimanded for being a douchenugget, regardless of which words you use to do so.

Okay, within the context of the phrases, "I was playing BF3 last night, and we were getting base raped over and over again..." or "That chopper douche keeps raping me in the ass..", is use of the word rape now considered offensive?

This has been quite normal gamerspeak over the years I've been playing online. I'm just trying to find out if GWJ no longer finds this sort of usage acceptable.

I've never found that use particularly acceptable.

Funkenpants wrote:

Okay, within the context of the phrases, "I was playing BF3 last night, and we were getting base raped over and over again..." or "That chopper douche keeps raping me in the ass..", is use of the word rape now considered offensive?

This has been quite normal gamerspeak over the years I've been playing online. I'm just trying to find out if GWJ no longer finds this sort of usage acceptable.

I'm not a big fan of it. Whenever I hear the word I immediately think of the actual meaning. It's impossible for me to do otherwise.

Funkenpants:

I'm an old dude. I've always considered that offensive because it's a gross exaggeration of what's going on, and it's an intentional misuse of the word, since "rape" doesn't mean "defeat." Moreover, it smacks of a truly demeaning lack of vocabulary.

Funkenpants wrote:

Okay, within the context of the phrases, "I was playing BF3 last night, and we were getting base raped over and over again..." or "That chopper douche keeps raping me in the ass..", is use of the word rape now considered offensive?

This has been quite normal gamerspeak over the years I've been playing online. I'm just trying to find out if GWJ no longer finds this sort of usage acceptable.

One of the reasons why it's not so great to use the word rape casually is because it can be a trauma trigger.

Accurate rape statistics are hard to get because so many rapes go unreported, but some studies have put it as high as one in four women. Even if that number is too high, it's food for thought when using the word casually.

I think rape gets used outside of the context of sexual assault, although alternatives like "rape of the natural environment" never have a positive meaning attached to them.

I guess the wider issue is that it's a word attached to sensitive issues that has slipped into general gaming usage. There's others as well, such as "ownage" which I first associated with mobsters - "he owns you", even though it's just a dressed up way of saying he beat you.

I can't help thinking though that language morphs and changes all the time, "gay" used to be used more as "happy", one of the banned words is a synonym for cigarette.

In terms of culture and attitude, my feelings are that it might be wise to pick your fights. There will always be people with poor attitudes to pretty much everything.