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  1. #1
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    BBC article discusses sexual harassment against women in the video gaming community

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18280000

    At least its somewhat more impartial than many of the videogaming-related articles on the BBC website that I've read in recent months (most notably the whole Mass Effect 3 furor), although I noticed they've disabled comments. Thankfully - although Joe Public would be unlikely to noticed the distinction - most of the criticism is toward Xbox Live. Jennifer Hepler (of the "skip combat sections" comment uproar) gets a mention though, as does James Portnow from Extra Credits.

    Still, I cant help but think that the opening paragraphs and out-of-article quotes/captions that people inevitably scan give a bit of a one-sided view on us evil, patriarchal, sexist men.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node Velko's Avatar
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    Didn't read the article but... well, this is a patriarchal, sexist community. It's transforming into something else though, but it takes some time.

    http://xkcd.com/322/

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    A large portion of the internet folk consist of kids in their early teens or men who never grew past it and think abusive language is fun. It really is a problem.
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  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    I am a completely evil, patriarchal and sexist man, and you can ask my Witcher-like collection of gamer girls for the truth of that.

    And yet I would never insult or harass strangers like that, regardless of their sexual preferences, biological or self-identified gender. And indeed it's not an issue only related to girls - male gamers who manage to stand out in some way get the same amount of abuse. A stutter? Good luck. A high-pitched voice? You'll have a lot of fun in random live chats. Accidentally screw up a mission with strangers on the microphone? Good luck to you. Play in a random room where everyone else knows each other? Oh, you'll be "raped, owned and made a bitch" regardless of your gender as well.

    Mind you, that doesn't mean I approve of this. Quite the contrary - everyone engaging in any of such talk to strangers outside highly-specialized fetish clubs should be permanently banned from the internet.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    It doesn't help, in my opinion, that developers are rather sexist too.

    Marketing, visual design, gameplay elements - a lot are very 'male' oriented; A lot of games advertise with a male figure even if female is available (e.g. Dragon Age, Mass Effect), many more have little to no female presence at all, let alone female player characters (the majority of shooters) and there are those with piss-poor implementation of female characters (e.g. Patrician IV, some moments of Saints Row the Third).

    So, to me, until developers improve we haven't got an ice cream's chance in hell of the community doing so.


  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node NecroKnight's Avatar
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    Remember when Blizzard wanted to introduce Real ID? Many female gamers where upset because they are generally horribly treated at their forums. If they write something interesting on the forums people call them attention whores and in WoW guys constantly ask them if they are hot & if they can get their pictures, etc. You can read more about this here: http://www.metafilter.com/93492/But-...ackaxe#3171416
    Last edited by NecroKnight; 04-06-2012 at 12:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenz0rz View Post
    Still, I cant help but think that the opening paragraphs and out-of-article quotes/captions that people inevitably scan give a bit of a one-sided view on us evil, patriarchal, sexist men.Thoughts?
    I don't get that impression from the article. The issues it describes are real, but there's no implication that all or even most male gamers verbally abuse women online. They even have Aris Bakhtanians demonstrate some decency by apologising for his actions. There's a lot more that could be said about the issue, but within the limitations of its format the article strikes me as entirely unobjectionable.

  8. #8
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I don't get that impression from the article. The issues it describes are real, but there's no implication that all or even most male gamers verbally abuse women online.
    Theres no direct implication, no, but I could see readers who arent that well versed in videogaming quickly scanning the article, deriving it as "What I read in the Daily Mail is pretty much true, then", and moving on. That might sound a bit presumptuous, but I think care needs to be taken with this sort of thing to stop people getting the wrong idea. Which is probably why they disabled comments.
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  9. #9
    Network Hub JayTee's Avatar
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    I believe John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory is appropriate to mention.

    As soon as I read that article today the first thing that popped into my head was 'Oh, XBox Live Chat. Figures' followed by the aforementioned Penny Arcade comic. It's somewhat depressing that those were my thoughts rather that 'Man the internet is full of douchebags'.

    Like VV said however, this isn't entirely limited to women. I can't count the number of times random people have raged at me or just someone on a server because they did something 'wrong' or just killed him. Heck, we used to have an entire forum on my Dark Age of Camelot server boards dedicated to people bitching and raging about this, that and everything.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I don't get that impression from the article. The issues it describes are real, but there's no implication that all or even most male gamers verbally abuse women online. They even have Aris Bakhtanians demonstrate some decency by apologising for his actions. There's a lot more that could be said about the issue, but within the limitations of its format the article strikes me as entirely unobjectionable.
    Except it doesn't take back the absolutely vile things he said nor the levels of sheer ignorance that he showed himself to have. And even if he was truly apologetic, then he's just one sorry person out of hundreds (if not thousands) who act like this constantly and without remorse.


  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NecroKnight View Post
    Remember when Blizzard wanted to introduce Real ID? Many female gamers where upset because they are generally horribly treated at their forums. If they write something interesting on the forums people call them attention whores and in WoW guys constantly ask them if they are hot & if they can get their pictures, etc. You can read more about this here: http://www.metafilter.com/93492/But-...ackaxe#3171416
    I don't think the link is very valuable. I mean, it's a Blizzard community. I've read bnet forums a bit and decided I would never want to go there, and I'm a guy. On battlenet forums, everyone is treated like shit and insulted all the time. Your race, your religion (or lack of), age, nationality, everything seems to be used against you.

    If anyone can point me to a gamming community which is worse than Blizzard forums, I'd be interested to know. RPGcodes is pretty awful as well(but not nearly as much), but it stems from different things like being extremely conservative.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 04-06-2012 at 12:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Network Hub frenz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    If anyone can point me to a gamming community which is worse than Blizzard forums, I'd be interested to know. RPGcodes is prety awful as well, but it stems from different things like being extremely conservative.
    The Heroes of Newerth community was pretty toxic last time I was there. In fact, thats more or less why I stopped playing.
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    From my experience on the Internet, conflict of genders is a very common place for obvious reason. People don't really know who's who, so they don't really worry about consequences of their own speeches. So women accuse men, men return fire and bang. Sexual harassment. It's always men's fault because it is politically correct to accuse men and vice versa.

    If you have the case, bring it to court. Otherwise just shut the hell up.

    Com'n, "Fat", "Ugly", "Slutty"...... we all know how empty those words are. When I say "Fxxk you" to a man, I don't really mean I am gay, okay?
    Last edited by squirrel; 04-06-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenz0rz View Post
    Theres no direct implication, no, but I could see readers who arent that well versed in videogaming quickly scanning the article, deriving it as "What I read in the Daily Mail is pretty much true, then", and moving on. That might sound a bit presumptuous, but I think care needs to be taken with this sort of thing to stop people getting the wrong idea. Which is probably why they disabled comments.
    I have always been of the view that when you find yourself opposing public knowledge of the truth, that's a pretty good indication that you're on the wrong side. That some people -- not having all relevant knowledge -- may run off in silly directions with the parts that they do have is unfortunate, but no more than that. One does not oppose misuse of knowledge by twisting or suppressing it, but rather through the searing light of more knowledge. I'm not necessarily an absolutist on this principle (although I did choose the Darrow ending in Deus Ex: Human Revolution) but no gamer is going to be stoned to death on account of this article...
    Last edited by Rii; 04-06-2012 at 12:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    I have always been of the view that when you find yourself opposing public knowledge of the truth, that's a pretty good indication that you're on the wrong side. That some people -- not having all relevant knowledge -- may run off in silly directions with the parts that they do have is unfortunate, but no more than that. One does not oppose misuse of knowledge by twisting or suppressing it, but rather through the searing light of more knowledge. I'm not necessarily an absolutist on this principle (although I did choose the Darrow ending in Deus Ex: Human Revolution) but no gamer is going to be stoned to death on account of this article...
    Wow... come again?

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    I rarely have any clue about what Rii is going for.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    Except it doesn't take back the absolutely vile things he said nor the levels of sheer ignorance that he showed himself to have. And even if he was truly apologetic, then he's just one sorry person out of hundreds (if not thousands) who act like this constantly and without remorse.
    Just as I wouldn't dismiss a woman's experience of online harassment on the grounds that she's just "one of thousands", nor would I dismiss an apology offered by a single (former?) harasser of women. Harassers of women are people capable of redemption too; refusing to see them as such or indeed as individuals at all, is to perpetuate the attitudes that underlie every abuse of one human being by another. Of course I've no idea if he was actually sincere in his apology.
    Last edited by Rii; 04-06-2012 at 01:01 PM.

  18. #18
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    Pretty fair article about something that is quite a big problem and one a lot of people want to bury with "I wasn't really being insulting, it was just smack talk". I guess I see the attraction of some place where you can let off steam and say whatever you like, but public games and public settings are not the right place for this. Also a lot of it is obviously not just smack talk but genuinely nasty.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  19. #19
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    Have a listen to the radio program linked in the same article:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00s9jly

    Very interesting comment from one defender of the 'right to say whatever they want' on there saying they shouldn't have to change what they say to each other just because a woman is present. Erm, what? I don't make sexist remarks whether or not women are there! It's called NOT BEING SEXIST.

    I really liked the solution proposed in the recent Extra Credits on harassment. Even if these trolls (in the traditional sense of the word) aren't actually sexist/racist/homophobic (though I am sure some of ARE these things), they are doing it for attention. The best way to tackle them is to deprive them of any way to get that attention. You can give people black marks if they say something horrible over mic or in game chat, and enough black marks against you means you begin the game auto-muted. Sure, people can un-mute you, but it's a sign to the community that you won't necessarily contribute.
    Last edited by unitled; 04-06-2012 at 01:24 PM. Reason: missed word

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by unitled View Post
    Very interesting comment from one defender of the 'right to say whatever they want' on there saying they shouldn't have to change what they say to each other just because a woman is present. Erm, what? I don't make sexist remarks whether or not women are there! It's called NOT BEING SEXIST.
    Well, occasionally a sexist remark in private can be fun. I used to share an office with a girl who loved a good sexist insult. In private there are often good opportunities to say all sorts of things you don't mean and wouldn't say publicly. A problem that emerges online is the question of whether it's a public or private location. Obviously in most cases is should be considered public, but a lot of wrong people disagree. Another problem is whether some people present are unable to distinguish a little bit of fun between friends from something serious, and people who think that whatever they think is funny is acceptable in all situations because they think it's funny.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

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