Girls Just Want To Have Dungeon Runs

“Cassandra” at Left Mouse Button writes about the sexual politics of online life in WOW and, as she puts it, the myth of the meritocracy. Hits some regular riffs, but with a lot of local colour. The quote from a 17-year old guild leader – annoyingly, with his name changed, which does undermine its credibility – is particularly memorable: “Girls just aren’t on the same level. Sometimes they’re okay as healers or whatever, and I’d rather have a girl than an empty raid slot, but they lack that primal aggression that a man needs. They don’t need the kill as bad.” It’s the modern-day equivalent of the playground game where you stomp around in a conga shouting “WE ARE PLAYING ARMY! DO YOU WANT TO JOIN US?” continuously until a girl tries to, at which point you stop and shout “NO GIRLS ALLOWED!”, innit? Of course, it’s mostly anecdotal, which is why I bring it up – what are people’s experience with this?

(Image from here)


  1. Richeh says:

    Oh my god. Meanest conga ever.

    Gillen, you’re a monster.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Richeh: I didn’t say I did it!


    • Richeh says:

      Oh, we know now.

      We know.

    • the wiseass says:

      That is the reason why the method of induction is generally a bad social indicator of how society thinks. You may conclude from a general set of jerks to a single one, but you can’t conclude from one single jerk to the rest of society.

      That is another reason, why personal experience, which usually consists only of a very subjective and limited set of cases, cannot be used as basis for general statements. That is also why such arguments should be banned to the local regulars’ table.

  2. Psychopomp says:

    Pretty much every guild I was in while I played WoW was led by a woman, but, I was on an RP server. So, yeah…

    Concerning the picture:All. Alliance.

  3. Paul_M says:

    I’ve never played WoW, but of the MMOs I’ve played I haven’t seen any evidence of gender inequality. There were probably slightly more female than male leaders if anything.

    I tend to avoid servers with annoying idiots on them, but in online FPSs female players are few and usually known to server regulars. Voice chat seems to get a lot more lively when there’s a female player on as well.

    Other than the usual pornographic sprays and what not, I’ve not really encountered any overt misogyny in my gaming life.

  4. mechtroid says:

    Hm. This actually taught me a lot. My friends always rib me for how many girls friend me on steam, but I had no idea why it happened. Are people that think gender doesn’t matter really that rare? I mean, come on, “OMG THARS NO GIRLS ON THE INTERNETZ” is such a prevalent meme, I assumed people would try to AVOID fulfilling that stereotype.

    I’ve found it’s more fun to play with people who are engaging, have a good sense of humor, aren’t overcompetitve, don’t feel the need to insult you skills, and are willing to chat outside of the game. If those people happen to be girls most of the time, so be it. Heck, you automatically score amazing points with most of the girl gamer population by just treating them civilly. Perhaps I’ve got an advantage, because I’m overly self-suspicious when there’s a girl on the server, thinking things like “Oh, come on, now you’re trying to just show off.”

    And really? “NO GURLS ALLOWED” because they cause ‘drama’? Why don’t you kick the guys that are causing the drama instead, as obviously if their mental function and common sense die in the presence of a mere female, how can you trust them in the middle of a 20 man raid against Arothgar, epic lord of Nordic breakdance?

    My god people, what’s so hard to understand about this? Chicks dig internet gentlemen. Act like a gentleman to a lady, and you’ll gain a good friend. Nothing more. If it does become something more over the internet without ever meeting her, you’ve got bigger problems, such as the question of the girl’s sanity and common sense.

    …Trust me, I learned the last one the hard way. >.>

    • mrmud says:

      If you are running a relatively high end raidforce you probably cant afford to kick your best raiders.

      Now I would never allow this to happen to my raidforce and I wouldnt recruit people who had that tendency (easier when you have girls raiding with you since day 1). But I can sort of understand where it is comming from. Having enough people who are good enough and dedicated enough is ALWAYS going to be a huge problem for pretty much all raidgroups.

    • mechtroid says:

      True enough. I never really understood the dynamics of a WoW guild, seeing as I’ve never touched the game (and never hope to), my experience stems from a TF2 clan. And the week I posed as a girl on Runescape, back in junior high. …I try to repress that memory. >.>

    • Larington says:

      If there isn’t an epic lord of nordic breakdance, there should be…

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      mrmud: I still say it all depends on priorities. If you think progress in digiworld is more important than decent social behaviour.. your priorities will differ from those who do not.

    • mrmud says:

      Which is why I never had a problem with either gender in my raids.

    • kromagg says:

      @mrmud: you’re still assuming that girls do “bring drama”. They don’t (not any more than adding men to your guild does, anyway) which is exactly why not accepting them over it is silly and sexist.

  5. Bolt Axyon says:

    My experience is that women tend to bring some calm into a tense situation, be it a battleground or raid instance.

  6. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    hardly ever notice a difference…but hey, some of the TF2 female players I encoutered sounded VERY hot….

    • mechtroid says:

      Female TF2ers are the best. They somehow grasp the idea of “Teamwork” much better than 90% of the male population.

    • Blackberries says:

      We have a couple of girls on the TF2 server I frequent (well, used to, when I had time :<). They're as wonderful as everyone else on there. We occasionally get blokes perving on them, but very rarely, and I've never heard anyone try to claim they're worse players.

  7. poop says:

    I storm to the bathroom door while she’s taking a poo poo and start pounding on it, I screamed “ARE YOU FUCKING MY GUILD MASTER” “ARE YOU SERIOUSLY FUCKING DOING THIS TO ME?” Silence. She knew what happened. She knew she should have logged off when she went to take a shit. I guess it was fate’s way of clueing me in on what the hell was going on.

  8. mechtroid says:

    Also, if you’re a girl, and you find yourself contemplating an online relationship, please… Take a good, long, hard look in the mirror. It’s damn rough, and you will encounter online drama. It’s never the good kind.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I don’t think it matters whether you’re a boy or a girl in that whole schpiel.

  9. Richeh says:

    Back when I played WoW the girls in the guild were the stable lynchpins in what was basically a guild full of posturing dramaqueens.

    Although it might be true that girls bring drama, it’s largely because they turn fifteen year old boys into posturing dickheads. Which is hardly their fault. I’m not saying there aren’t girls out there who DO relish attention and drama, I’ve just never met them.

  10. Okami says:

    Gamers are mysigonists? Who would have thought that!? Next time you’ll try telling my they’re homophobes as well….

  11. mrmud says:

    Having played wow for 4 years and being a raidleader for 2 of those this is not something that I have ever experienced. While it is true that girls gravitate more towards healers (this is not always the case but from my personal experience they are overrepresented as that role).
    I think its ludicrous to think that there would be any performance differences between girls and boys and the only real argument for not allowing girls that I know of is to try to keep raid drama low. Not because the girls are dramaqueens but because 50% of your raidforce is going to try and impress the girl.

    That said we had several women in our raidforce when I was a raidleader and I never had any problems that would stem from their gender.

  12. Piratepete says:

    When we played we Wow our guild had a good mix of males and females, who were all equally capable players. Even my wife who got into Wow because I was, became a capable rogue who was rarely out of the top 5 for damage.

    Then again most people in our guild were 25+

    Publish his name and see how long it takes for him to learn his lesson.

    My missus was also kick-ass at Worms Armeggeddon and when kids used to come on and abuse her . “My p3nis is blah blah” “Why don;t you sit on my etc etc” that kind of thing. Then you would see the steely glare come over her face and she would utterly ignore all other players, evening nija roping across the whole map, to pick on the offender until he was ground into dust. It got to the point where the regular offenders would log out when they saw she was in a game.

    Yup she rocks.

    • mechtroid says:

      I can only hope my wife approaches that level of awesomeness. I salute you.

      Also, Worms for the win. I miss it.

    • Larington says:

      Yeah, that’s the sort of story I like to hear, well, the vengeance/justice part of it anyway, not so much that this childish behaviour happens in the first place.

  13. Schmung says:

    “from a 17-year old guild leader”

    Does that not explain 90% of the motivations and reasoning behind the quote he gave? I mean, come on..

  14. PC Monster says:

    (clicks link) Yeah…I’d hit that. And that. And that. Oh, and defintely that. But ick, never that.

    What was the question again?

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      I was going to do the same thing until I realised that most of them are at least half my age and then closed the page in a fit of self loathing.

  15. negativedge says:

    I played in a top ten world guild, and our raid leader was a woman. Many of the top guilds have a number of women in them–at least in proportion to the game’s overall gender ratio. What you see here is the shitty guilds, the guilds that put it endless amounts of time only to end up middling. You can see the correlation. Any woman with the wherewithal and desire to apply to a top guild has skill, same as a man. Is wow, in general, less appealing to women than men? Yeah, it probably is–attitudes like this make up a large part of the reason behind that, I’d imagine.

  16. Huggster says:

    I am sure that because my steam name and picture is ambiguous, I get treated differently by some people i.e. they are overly friendly. It seems that way anyway – maybe its just me. I don’t think it is though. Why else would I feel slightly uncomfortable on occasion due to someone being overly keen?
    It will be interesting to see what the gaming ratio and balance is in 20 years once more non-violent games come out as well – Farmville showed me that absolutely anyone has the potential to become addicted to a game, and people I would never have otherwise imagined.

  17. EyeMessiah says:

    I was particularly dismayed by this thread recently.

  18. Taillefer says:

    “I’d rather have a girl than an empty raid slot.”
    I don’t know what it means, but I’d like it on a t-shirt.

  19. anomie says:

    I used to play WoW all day, everyday. Most of the “sexism” draws from the fact that many, many girls that end up involved in the hierarchy of a guild will do what they can to get ahead. Because raiding in WoW is such serious business, this could be anything from NuDe PiCz, to meeting up in real life.

    I never saw a serious guild, with actual credentials, not allow girls because of their skill level. The ones who weren’t allowing girls just had some guild destroying drama interfere with raiding, and didn’t want to deal with that in the future.

    Dunno about skill level. My guild had 4 female players, and only one was competent, and is now an officer. From my experience, the average female was not a good player. This doesn’t mean shit though, because the average male player was horrible as well, it’s just that there were infinitely more male players than female.

    Also, the people commenting here with the usual white knighting regarding sexism, and then using age as the explanation for the quote in the post seem to be contradicting themselves a bit…

    • Schmung says:

      I think the fact that the guy making the comment is 17 is pretty salient TBH.

    • anomie says:

      I guess I just don’t understand why it’s cool to ditch feminism for ageism. You’re discriminating in both circumstances… Instead of saying, “That person said something stupid because he’s ignorant.”, people are saying, “He’s sexist and stupid because he’s 17! Sexism is bad, and stupid!”.

    • Schmung says:

      What I’m trying to say is that his comments are coloured by his age, sex and the fact that he is a guild leader for WoW – a notorious time sink of a game. I realise that the quote is there to start a debate, but I think it’s given undue weight given it’s source. Chances are that if you’re 17 and spend an insane amount of time playing games then it’s reasonably safe to assume that you are not going to have the most balanced viewpoints about the opposite sex – unless that is the entire social working of school have changed massive in the last few decades. Now, I concede that it’s possible that this guy is popular, well adjusted and a hit with the laydeez but it seems unlikely given his age, hobbies and statements about women.

      I don’t think it’s ageism in the same way as I don’t think saying that men are better than women at X or Y because it’s something that is generally true in the majority of cases. People are massively over-sensitive about these things because they don’t seem to see the difference between a generally useful heuristic or baseline (e.g women are physcially weaker than men, teenage boys who spend vast amounts of time playing games are likely to be more socially awkward) and actual discrimination.

    • anomie says:

      I think you are correct when you say, “People are massively over-sensitive about these things”, but I feel this way about every single sort of discrimination. My point was (and still is) that many people in the comments here seem much more comfortable with blaming the quoted person’s age as a reason for his sexism, instead of his ignorance. I can guarantee that not every 17 year old on the planet is sexist, so it’s useless to sit around saying, “Hurp durp he’s 17 what do you expect”, because that IS just another form of discrimination.

      Society should not pretend to be offended by the ignorant things people say, they should be offended by the fact that people are ignorant. Denouncing sexism on the internet, only to blame the sexism on age does absolutely nothing because age is completely irrelevant to the case. Ignorance can, and does occur in all age groups. Instead of blaming age, we need to blame ignorance. Nothing is accomplished if we blame his age for his sexism, because with that comes an underlying assumption that he will “grow out” of his ignorance.

    • Lestaticon says:

      “…Nothing is accomplished if we blame his age for his sexism, because with that comes an underlying assumption that he will “grow out” of his ignorance.”

      anomie: Very well said. Although it’s easier to just blame the young age and move on, the responsible thing to do is react to that and address the fact that person has to actively change.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    There are 3 kinds of players in guilds. Dramas, math heads, and cruisers.

    Most people are cruisers with moderate levels of activity few original ideas and a limited understanding of the underlying systems, easy going and they don’t clash with others.

    Math heads are power freaks, they want control and they are good at it in terms of the game but cause problems socially.

    Dramas are often the most loved, but they clash with other dramas and math heads, they are often the most active and have good ideas but aren’t always sure on implementation.

    Most girls are cruisers, as are guys. But when a girl is a drama? They give all girls a bad name. Math heads are more often guys, its these who see the dramas as a threat, but they don’t realise dramas are the glue which hold guilds together.

    • mechtroid says:

      What about that one guy who’s in the guild that you’ve never seen, yet everyone talks about reverently? The guy who has the legends spawned about him, and his name turned into a verb? The guy who said he was “taking a short break” a year ago, and never came back, but the leader keeps him in just in case he returns one day?
      I wanna be that guy.

    • Heliocentric says:

      @mechtroid Then quit your mmo to achieve it.

    • mechtroid says:

      That’d require me to BE in an MMO. Plus, I doubt I have that kind of capacity for awesome.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      That was me, back when I used to play.

  21. CMaster says:

    Honesty, from my limited MMO experience and from some FPS servers/experiences – the majority of players how put out there that they are women expect to be treated like something special because of it. They expect male players to be overly nice to them, to give them items and assistance when needed. Of course, these are the ones that call attention to being female in public channels and the like. I dare say there are many more living their lives quietly away in clans that aren’t like that at all. Certainly I don’t think it’s at all on to admit people or not based on their gender much like any other prejudice.
    You decide based on the individual player – the only real rules I’ve ever had when recruiting people are communication. They have to be able to communicate in english. They need to be on vent if they expect to participate in most group outings. On top of that, they just have to fit with the ethos of the clan.

    • mechtroid says:

      I have to kindly disagree. The girls that announce they’re a girl and expect to be showered in kindness are just naive. They expect EVERYBODY to be showered in kindness, regardless of gender. Then they get their first annoying stalker… The good ones barely change. The bad ones, well… Drama queen.

    • CMaster says:

      Oh no, the one I’m thinking of in particular was well aware of what she was doing and what kind of reception to expect. It’s perhaps worth mentioning that my MMO expereinces stem from a pretty small MMO, where there were maybe 4 or 5 famously female players.

      As said, to pre-decide if someone is going to be a worthwhile member of a clan/guild based on such things is silly. You take them on trial, see if they work, see if they don’t. Thats it. Sexism and other discrimination only means that you’ll lose potentially valuable members to other groups.

  22. Dan (WR) says:

    I played in a small WoW guild for a little over a year and there was women made up a little over half of the membership. I can’t imagine playing in a guild that didn’t have a similiar balance now because I always found the women gamers to be more level headed, more sociable, more fun to play with and much less likely to act like idiots.

    That said, we formed ourselves as a ‘social guild’ and were never that interested in raiding or being ‘uber’. You can pretty much gravitate into the groups and guilds that suit you. I played WoW before there were any expansions and the high number demands of end-game raids were something of a stumbling block though. It was much less fun when you had to ally with another guild that had a different mentality.

  23. Dante says:

    I wasn’t aware it took any bloody skill to play WoW anyway.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Cool Yogg+0, bro.

    • mrmud says:

      Probably because you havent tried it.

      Granted for raiding most of the skill is in one of three categories:

      #1 Being good at math and figuring out how to approach an encounter.
      #2 Being good at controlling drama
      #3 Being good at hearding sheep (trying to get 25 people, or 40 back in the day to do the same thing is hard).

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      LOL. Glad you said it rather than me =)

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      mrmud that’s roughly about as much skill as it takes to do small gang PvP in EVE-Online.
      Try scaling that up to alliance or coalition (multiple alliances on either side) where you have 300+ people on either side of battles for weeks if not months on end where everyone who dies needs a whole new set of gear (ship + fittings) to continue participating. You’re looking at several thousand people involved in the conflict on either side over that period of time.

      Plus the skills you’re talking about I’m assuming are relevant to one person, the leader of the raid. Everyone else just presses a couple of keys at the right times when shouted at over voice comms. Compare that to 6v6 matches in TF2 or similar.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I would argue that small gang warfare takes more skill than huge battles, as once you get past small groups everyone just blobs eachother.

    • Senethro says:

      Is it bad that this FPS player thought this about raiding as well? Then I remembered that even within FPS TF2 players look down on BF:H and are in turn looked down on by QuakeLive.

      There can be a lot of silly attitudes about skill in games I guess.

      Also: Chronotron! <3

  24. Finn says:

    Well, me and the wife have been playing WoW on and off for 4 years, sometimes casually and sometimes raiding and I can honestly say she is a better healer and a better tank than me and I bet if she WANTED she would be a better DPSer than me too… so, this whole “gender difference” argument IMHO only applies when there is someone stupid trying to back it up, regardless of age or sex.

    PS: at least I PWN her on TF2 and basically any other FPS! TAKE THAT, YOU ARROGANT FEMALE!

  25. Rob Hale says:

    Reading that article just reminds me why I never ever want to play high-end WoW.

    Raids aren’t for me thanks. I’d rather bumble through content making jokes and having fun with friends than be expected to “bring my best”. It’s no fun at all if when everybody wipes out somebody gets angry and points fingers.

  26. Cheezey says:

    In my experience, when it comes to skill level, gender doesn’t really play much of an issue. Most of the girls I’ve played with via the game have been decent enough. I probably can say I’ve encountered more guys that have been “bad players” now that I come to think about it.

    Even when it comes to drama I don’t really think you can disproportionally point all the blame to anyone either. Saying that I can recall a few girls I’ve been in guilds with who certainly stick in my memory for the wrong reasons. One was a complete attention whore, to the point of once notifying us she’d just been in a shower and was dripping wet. It was rather pathetic how many guys then fell over themselves to flirt with her after that. There was also another girl who quite literally turned into the server bicycle, no joke! She ended up “doing” at least 3 guys in the same guild, which certainly lead to some tension. There was another one, a hunter, who ran out of food for her pet during a raid. The poor girl asked on vent “Does anyone have any meat for my kitty?” lets just say she never lived that one down lol

  27. Collic says:

    Hmm, okay, I have to have disagree with this. Not in regard to WoW because I’ve never bothered with it.

    Lots of girls play games, and play them well. Many of them choose to remain anonymous precisely because of this attitude. They don’t want the perceived stigma of being a girl, to be patronised or attract ‘white nights’ because they are one, or to be hit on.

    Now, perhaps some of the ‘visible’ girls do help to reinforce this negative view, because often they tell everyone they can they’re female precisely because they want the kind of attention mentioned above. They want to be pandered to, they wouldnt mind getting hit on, they like people to give them free lootz, or to comment on how awesome they are at the game (for a girl).

    That doesn’t go for every girl (known to be female) i’ve come across while gaming, but I’ve known a few who do in some ways help reinforce those negative stereotypes.

    It’s patently bollocks. In a world were men are out-shined at school and higher education, that intelligence and competence is suddenly reserved when it comes to gaming competitiveness and skill? Doesn’t sound very likely, does it.

    • mrmud says:

      Most raiding is done with voicecom so girls are going to have a hard time hiding in a raidguild.

    • Collic says:

      that should have read *reversed*, not reserved..

  28. MadMatty says:

    Wee Mens need more chicks in gaming. In my old Darkfall guild, we eventually had to use the “Anna from Microsoft” text-to-speech program in Ventrilo, and made her say very naughty things to us. Great for morale :)

  29. MadMatty says:

    Womens seem a lot less interested in killing things and blowing the fuck shit up, than us guys…and about 80% of all the games seem to be about butchering thinghs… testosterone factor y´know…?

  30. Piman says:

    My guild’s probably coming close to an equal split of m/f players, with women officers (including a former guild leader), and women tanks, healers and damage dealers. I’ve never seen anyone in the guild suggest that gender should play any part in how to build a raid team. And if they did, they’d be invited to shut up or leave – I can’t imagine anyone wanting to leave some of our best players behind…

  31. Hulk Hogan says:

    Lots of raid guilds are either one by 12 year old boys who still think girls suck and 30+ who play all day and hate women because of high school or something

    they’re whale penises if you ask me

  32. Hulk Hogan says:

    raid guilds suck, only play normal guilds unless you like ‘sperging out over the most efficient way to do the same raid over and over again for some magic gloves

  33. John says:

    Considering the fact that the picture is from a page selling Alliance t-shirts I’m not really surprised they’re all wearing one!

  34. Collic says:

    @Mrmud, fair enough, but I was primarily speaking from experience with other multiplayer games were mic shyness is often gender related.

    That said, if my argument in the case of WoW is utterly discredited for those reasons, that’d mean MMO’s are the sole exception to everything i’ve said.

    That doesn’t seem very likely to me, either, simply because a persons gender has bugger all to do with anything apart from easy it is to piss standing up… or into a bottle ? Hmm.. Is that why girl WoWer’s lack the required commitment ? heh :)

  35. Tim Ward says:

    Guy does know they’re not *really* killing stuff in WoW? Right?

  36. Poppis says:

    I agree with Frankie and others, that TF2 girls are the best.

  37. corbie says:

    Well WOW is the same as any other online community, it has a fair share of plonkers. My wife plays (a tank) and I know a fair scatter of women across the server and I cant say that I’ve noticed any of the above to be true. They arent lynchpins or healers or team players or drama queens. Just people that happen to have boobies.

    It’s more interesting that so far no women have commented here. I’d like to hear it from them. Better go round up some! :-)

    Oh and its the evil webbernet. Are you sure all the women you know are? Or all the men?
    Hold on. I think I may have boobies too…..
    “The name is Bubba, and this here is the main filly o ma herd.”

    • mechtroid says:

      Actually, I had an experience with that a few months ago. Friend claming to be a girl, wasn’t. It was kinda funny, because I had deduced it already, wondered how I should act, and decided he didn’t change overnight, so why should how I treat him do so? It was endearing, seeing how worried he was about my opinion, afraid of losing my friendship, and how relieved he was when I told him it didn’t matter. Anyone that values honesty over personal shame, over admitting to a lie, deserves to be a friend in my book.

  38. gulag says:

    This is a dead issue for anyone, playing games, raiding, in real life or otherwise, with an emotional maturity of 12 or up. Leave the hair-pulling fools in their playground.

  39. mandrill says:

    Some of the most ruthless and fearless PvP pilots and fleet commanders I know in EVE are girls. People like Mynxee, Shae Tian, and others spring to mind. In alot of cases I’d rather be FC’d by a lady, they tend to think more intuitively and have a better grasp of what the fleet is capable of. That and the other (boy) pilots are more likely to shut up and listen because of the whole “OMGWTF its a girl must be on my best behaviour” attitude you get in the stereotypical socially inept male MMO player.

    • anomie says:

      Clearly the person quoted in the original post did not try to display his best behavior, and I’m pretty sure female gamers wouldn’t be so worried about playing if most men online fit the form of “socially inept” you describe.

      In fact, this entire controversy would not exist if people treated women with their best behavior…..

  40. Bozzley says:

    What are my experiences with girls? Not saying. What are my experiences with girls in WoW? Same as my experiences with boys in WoW, or men, or women. People are idiots; doesn’t matter if they own tits or not, they can still be an idiot.

    I wouldn’t credit a 17 year old guild leader as knowing what he’s talking about, though. He may know how to take down a boss or twelve, but he may not necessarily know what a woman is, let alone how to take her down. Erm, that come out wrong, but you know what I mean.

    • anomie says:

      I don’t know what you’re saying at all.

      Are you saying that sexism is bad, and then using ageism to describe why he’s sexist?

      It’s astounding to me to see how many people in the comments denounce sexism, ostracize the person quoted, and then blame his sexism on his age.

    • Bozzley says:

      I’m saying that WoW is filled with idiots. Their sex doesn’t necessarily matter. A guild which won’t accept female players is a guild filled with idiots advertising to half the idiot pool available to them. I say this with a small amount of affection since I’m also an idiot (really, I cause more wipes than diarrhea), but the point remains. WoW is filled with idiots of all different shapes and sizes and sexes and anything and everything. Pointless to make a case that girls play any differently or cause any more drama than boys (or men and women for that matter); anyone who has ever played WoW for a decent length of time has caused drama in some form or another or made a mistake with consequences for more than just themselves before. My point is – shit happens to everyone who plays eventually.

      I’m also saying that a 17 year old doesn’t know shit. I’m happy this astounds you, as you should learn something new every day. This can be your new thing! Kids are idiots. That’s it. Nothing to do with him being misogynist or anything; his age makes him an idiot. Yes, this is condescending, and yes, I can think of exceptions, but they merely prove the rule.

      Also – ostracize isn’t correct. I haven’t excluded him from anything, I’ve merely labelled the anonymous idiot as an idiot. IMHO etc.

    • jalf says:

      Anomie: Well, the difference is that most of us actually have a fair bit of experience being 17 years old. For most of us, we spent a full year in that state. That gives us a certain basis for saying “17 year olds don’t know what they’re talking about”. It might not be objective fact, but it’s not entirely groundless accusations either.

      Would you rather blame it on personal individual stupidity? Do you know the kid well enough to say that he’s just fundamentally a moron? Isn’t that just as bad, and just as much a generalization?

      No one is saying “17-year olds in general think girls suck at games”. But rather that 17 year olds have limited experience to draw on. They also tend to be immature pricks. Again, every one of us have been there. Every one of us know that when we were 17 years old there was a lot we didn’t understand, and we sure as hell knew how mean, ignorant and immature all the other 17-year olds could be.

      I guess you could boil it down to this, if you want to avoid all the vague and subjective stuff about maturity” or “social experience” and other fluffy terms for being a nice person who doesn’t generalize and discriminate:

      The older you are, the more female gamers you’re going to have met, simply because you’ve had more time in which to meet them. The more female gamers you’ve met, the better you’re able to notice if there is some kind of general trend concerning their skill at games. The younger you are, the less data you have to draw on, and the less qualified you are for judging if female gamers in general “suck”.

    • anomie says:

      I completely agree with the fact that idiots play wow, and I said pretty much the same thing in an earlier comment (that women can be idiots too). Don’t go thinking that it’s a 50/50% thing though. Maybe, and this is a pretty big maybe, the population overall is split evenly, but in the raiding scenario it is not 50% men, 50% women. It’s not even close to 50/50%, but I digress.

      I much prefer you admitting to the ageism, though. It’s pretty annoying to see people who won’t admit to their form of discrimination, but I don’t share your opinion that all kids are stupid. Technically 17 is an adult in many places worldwide, but it’s fine to refer to a 17 year old as kid, no issue with that; but to say that all “kids” are stupid is a bit brash to me. Like I said in another earlier comment, anybody can be ignorant regardless of their age. To act under the assumption that all 17 year old males are sexist, and will therefore “grow out” of their sexism is totally wrong.

      And yeah, I guess ostracize isn’t the best fitting word.

    • Lilliput King says:

      It’s not about absolutes.

      If we say “women are generally physically weaker than men,” we’re saying given any random women, chances are she’ll be physically weaker than any random man.

      This becomes discrimination when we make incorrect assumptions from the evidence, assuming any woman is weaker than any man.

      We don’t think the 17 year old lacks worldliness because he is 17, but rather because the evidence (17 year olds are generally less worldly than their elders, his “interesting” quote, the fact that he is a leader of a raid guild) suggests this is the case.

      Whether he is representative of wider views in WoW (or in gaming generally) is a far more interesting question than ‘is he a jackass’, anyway, but so it goes.

    • anomie says:

      jalf I tried to reply, but it ended up on the second page. Maybe this one will end up there as well, who knows…

      link to

  41. jalf says:

    They lack “primal aggression”? Geez, I know one or two girls who have more than enough primal aggression to go around. I’m scared of playing FPS’es with them. A man’s ego can only take so many headshots, you know…

  42. Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

    In FFXI I just assume that everyone’s a guy unless proven otherwise by podcasts.

    I don’t really care enough to comment, though. One recent L4D2 game had a pair of girls who were probably friends. They shot things. I shot things. The other guy shot things. All was good until oh fuck a tank, run, jesus, run, not into the you startlked the fucking witch, goddamnit, and oh god I just fell off a ledge help me now you chucklefucks, I can’t do this on my own gimme some help people.

  43. no says:

    There are two very negative experiences I tend to have with women when it comes to gaming (and a lot of male-oriented geek-ish/technology communities). I wish it wasn’t the case, but it has occurred time and time again.

    The first one is that the appearance of a girl in a game or a community tends to result in males form mine to ninety years old suddenly dropping everything and behaving like idiots as they try to draw the attention of a girl they have never met and probably never will and should not even have given to thoughts to. Everything grinds to a halt while everything with a dick turns into a blubbering idiot.

    The second is that a lot of girls make a huge deal about being a girl, because they want the situation mentioned in the above paragraph to happen. For some reason, they seem to derive a lot of joy and esteem from jumping into a gaming forum or becoming a regular on a CounterStrike server or something and becoming “the girl” which everyone then drops everything for to flirt with and pay attention to. They whine and bitch about how “guys treat girls differently blah blah blah” and yet they are the one who goes out of their way to point out they’re a female. Sexy photos, teasing name, flirting with everyone, etc.

    Speaking of which, if you don’t like the way you’re treated and you are a girl – you can blame the above type of girl for much of your own experienced problems. I truly wish it wasn’t the case. I wish you could jsut jump into the community or the game or the server and it would not even be a blip on the radar. But because of stupid males (and often, stupid things you do yourself, too) it is rarely the case. I just sigh, wait for it all to turn into a festering pile of shit, and then log off and hope everyone gets their brains back on by the next time I want to play or talk or interact.

    The hilarious thing about all of this is that these people are losing their shit over a chick in a videogame or an online forum. Even if she’s hot, she’s still someone who spends all her time gaming or in an online forum. Who the hell wants that?! I already spend too much time wasted on those things. The last thing I need is a significant other who ALSO spends all their time there, meaning that we have to compete for each other’s attention and time that is always being sucked into such things. Give me a girl who likes fashion and 18th century literature or something normal. Anything but another me with tits.

    • Greg Wild says:

      Agreed on this first point. Most girls I’ve met online within various communities have always been the centre of some form of drama. Not their fault, generally. But the appearance of a girl or two tends to cause a lot of stupid, stupid arguments. I’ve made a point of not getting involved these days, if I can.

  44. Wendy says:

    Here’s a story from the other side:

    Four of five years ago, I used to play a lot of Counter-Strike.

    I also had a microphone too. Made gaming on there a lot easier, bit it also attracted a lot of attention which I didn’t see what the big deal was about in the first place. A lot of CS gamers felt that they had to question whether I was a pre-pubescent boy or an actual female gamer. I guess the idea of a female gamer was crazy back then. I didn’t know whether I should have taken it as a compliment or an insult.

    Anyway, one day, some jerk thought it would be funny if he’d go about sexually harassing me online. First he asked me whether I was a girl or boy. I answered “girl” and then he started saying some really crude stuff about us “getting it on”. I immediately jumped off the servers and didn’t play CS for some time (like, a few months). Now that I look back, it was definitely stupid of me to let someone get to me like that. I would probably never come across this gamer again – hey, it’s friggin’ CS. It’s a huge out there.

    Having said that, just referring to some comments about male gamers treating female gamers with respect… yes, it’s true. You’ll definitely get a higher disposition if you treat female gamers just like any other gamer. Just remember, any gamer you come across, you come across because gaming brought you here! Don’t go about creating divides when they’re not needed at all.

    • disperse says:

      You will not: Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.

      This is from Valve’s Steam Online Conduct policy. Please report any violations to Valve. I hope Valve takes complaints about sexual harassment seriously and this results in the offender’s account being banned. In the end, the community will be a better place if gamers no longer feel like they can get away with this behavior.

      If someone harasses one woman online it is likely they have done it before and will do it again.

      Update: It occurred to me that reporting a user on Steam is not all that easy. Here’s one set of steps to accomplish it:

      1. Make sure you are logged into the Steam Community.
      2. In the Steam Control Panel go to View | Friends
      3. Click “Add Friend” (Hold on a sec, this will all make sense.)
      4. Click “View list of users recently played with”
      5. Click “SteamID Page” next to the offender’s username.
      6. Click the “Report Violation” drop down menu in the upper-right hand corner of the page, select “User misconduct” and type a description of the problem.

      That’s it!

  45. Shadram says:

    My raid group was almost 50% female. And it’s a horde guild. On an RP server. Our best tank was female. Many of our best healers were female (although not the best, that was my job :P). And we always had female players in out top 5 dps.

    That was back in Burning Crusade days, though, I didn’t really get on with raiding in Lich King. Still, we made it all the way through Black Temple and into Sunwell Plateau before they broke it all with patch 3.0.

  46. Gorgeras says:

    Lol at the pic.

    For the cam-Horde!! (see what I did thar? See dat?)

  47. Dinger says:

    Interesting, but so far from the real problem. The REAL PROBLEM is the glass ceiling of female characters in Solium Infernum. Seriously, now. There are plenty of all-female legions, but only a handful of praetoresses. And when it comes to Avatars, only one of the images available is female, and I’m pretty sure she’s a dude too.

  48. Twigg says:

    This site seems to be made up emotionally mature individuals who know that this sort of thing is stupid. However this sort of issue really does happen (believe me) and I think it should be taken seriously.

    That’s because it supports negative gender stereotypes that the outside world has about us. I.e. That all gamers are emotionally crippled MALEs.

    This is an image gamers need to lose if we are ever going to be taken seriously as a mainstream medium.

    We really need more vocal female to get involved games to prove that this stereotype is wrong (which is made more difficult by this kinda stuff), having said that, it shouldn’t be too difficult; us girls are only 51% of the population after all.

    • D says:

      Thats right!! We need to show that damn world that both males AND females can be emotionally crippled gamers!

  49. l1ddl3monkey says:


    17 year old boys who fill the internet and it’s asociated media with their “opinions” (I’m back to The Escapist forums again, aren’t I?) on gaming, while bragging on their 1337 Skillz (or insulting people) are:
    1) the main reason that the mainstream still don’t take gamers and gaming seriously, despite the fact it’s now the biggest entertainment industry on the planet.
    2) destroying vast swathes of online landscape – I love online play but the screaming kids drive me back to single player gaming again and again. MW2? Not touching it with a barge pole.
    3) Not allowed to comment on women – you actually have to have spoken to more than one woman in real life (your mom don’t count – actually from what I’ve heard your mom can’t count, unless it’s inches of dick – that one’s free, try using it on screaming kids, they can’t handle anything cleverer than “fag”) to be allowed to have an opinion on them.

    I’m in a gaming community of more mature gamers and we have a number of women players. Clan policy is to give them kick/ban rights and let them decide how much abuse they want to take off non-members playing as guests on our servers (screaming teenagers get banned pretty rapidly by normal admins – I don’t work all day to spend my spare time listening to etc etc etc). It avoids tedious white-knighting (mostly) from the guys and lets the women get on and play. Most of them kick arse at games as well; women have better hand-eye coordination and faster reactions than men – scientific fact, I think.

    • Lilliput King says:

      2) destroying vast swathes of online landscape – I love online play but the screaming kids drive me back to single player gaming again and again. MW2? Not touching it with a barge pole.

      Incidental, but I generally feel the same way. TF2 has a rather snazzy console command that blocks all voice and text communique, and when playing on public servers it vastly improves the game, reducing any bigot to the level of a well-made bot in seconds. Something that all games should have, to be honest.

    • D says:

      “Scientific fact, I think” is not sensible to me. So I googled for you, look: link to Some select quotes:
      – “… in almost every age group, males have faster reaction times than females, and female disadvantage is not reduced by practice”
      – “However, things may be changing–Silverman (2006) reported evidence that the male advantage in visual reaction time is getting smaller (especially outside the US), possibly because more women are participating in driving and fast-action sports.”
      – “Barral and Debu (2004) found that while men were faster than women at aiming at a target, the women were more accurate.”

  50. 57005 says:

    I know many women who play videogames, and by videogame i am not only talking about peggles, wiisports, or solitair.
    Some play fighting games, some, play RTS, most play RPGs. And even though i am happy to see a fellow gamer in them, if i had to do a teambattle for anything important (money, winning a theme shirt, whatever) i would never team up with any of them for such a reason.
    I don’t think there is any general reason why women should be worse players, but face it: women simply have less interest in non-casual games. And in those games it’s mainly practice that builds skill.

    it’s the old “our society raises girls and boys different”-problem. and even if it’s not nice it doesn’t simply away and make females attractive coop partners just by realising that females _can_ be good players.