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Games Double Standard: Men vs Women Online Games

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I don't play many online and competitive games myself, and when I do it's only with friends, but I watch a lot of games on youtube and livestreams, and one thing I have noticed is a double standard between how males and females are judged in games.

Sure both parties get trash talk, some more than others, but what I'm talking about is when a girl plays badly, so many times people seem to assume it reflects the entire female gender. Yet when a man plays badly, no one assumes that all men are bad at games, they know it's just that particular guy in that particular match.

I was watching a game recently, with one girl playing with about 4 males as well. The girl kept getting comments such as these:

"Time to give up that cute little girl act."

And

"I think you're just providing commentary and getting someone else to play for you"

To which she eventually got sick of, and said this:

"I HAVE to do well. You guys don't get comments saying that if you do badly it reflects
your whole gender"

And it's true. I've noticed it before, but hearing her say it like that really made me think about it again. There are so many times in games where if a girl does play badly one time, people instantly make comments about how girls in general can't play games. Yet the same thing never happens with guys.

Anyway, as much as this seems to be getting worse sometimes, I can see it being something that will fade away in the future. I think the idea of girls even playing games, as ridiculous at it sounds is still new too many people out there. Hopefully it will become so commonplace to everyone in the future that this assumption will be wiped out altogether.

Has anyone ever seen this happen, or had it happen to them?
 
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Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
There is no logic or reason behind trash talking. A trash talker is going to pick on whatever makes the victim stand out, whether it's being a girl, or being a kid with a high voice, or having a stupid username, etc. Yeah, girl gamers are the minority, but I also think there are a lot of immature gamers out there who simply see females as being inferior to males. It's not much different than calling someone "fag" or the N-word. I think it's more just plain immaturity and ignorance than a double standard.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
I think the idea of girls even playing games, as ridiculous at it sounds is still new too many people out there.
In my opinion, you've already found the answer to all your problems right here. Firstly, it's not ridiculous because it is a new phenomena. Men and women have always played games, but it has always (and currently still is) a predominantly male activity. Gaming itself has just gone mainstream in the last few years so it is going through a lot of changes and changes take time.

Here's some of the problems though.

Yes, there are phonies out there. A few semi-famous female gamers have been caught playing the role of "model" while someone else actually played. It's common knowledge that a girl playing games is perfect for gaining viewers and keeping them.

Studies have shown that many women who consider themselves "gamers" actually just play phone games like Angry Birds and such. I don't think it makes them less of a gamer, but it certainly isn't what the average "gamer" thinks of other gamers. However, there are plenty of female gamers and it is a demographic that is growing and to be honest, like I said earlier, it will grow as gaming becomes more of a social event rather than a nerdy pastime for lonely male virgins. Once it loses that assigned gender, you will see a lot more acceptance of women in gaming.

We already have a few strong female characters in gaming (Elizabeth in Bioshock was a favorite of mine) and the number just keeps rising. Pair that with the growing number of women in the industry and gaming 'celebrities' such as YouTube/TwitchTV personalities who are women and there's nothing but light in the future for female gamers.

Like any cultural transition however, they simply need to understand that this is a 'boys only' stereotypical activity. It's already changing, the gaming landscape that is, it will just take time and acceptance from both sides.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
There is no logic or reason behind trash talking.
In this particular case I'm not just talking about trash-talk, but rather the stigma that seems to face women in gaming where if they are bad, it reflects badly on their whole gender, where as if a man is bad it reflects badly only on him.

In my opinion, you've already found the answer to all your problems right here. Firstly, it's not ridiculous because it is a new phenomena. Men and women have always played games, but it has always (and currently still is) a predominantly male activity.
I guess the reason I still find it ridiculous is that at the age of 22, I am part of a generation of girls who grew up playing games. When I was a young girl all I wanted for my birthday was the latest gameboy colour, or the Age of Mythology expansion, and I didn't have any brothers. I grew up playing games with neighbours and school friends of both genders with no issues.

It wasn't even until I was in my late teens and started to watch gaming videos and talk on gaming forums and blogs that I even realised there was an issue with gender in gaming, and I've been shocked by it even since.

I agree with you that playing Angry Birds or phone games doesn't make someone less of a gamer, just a different type of gamer. In the same way that someone who only plays Nintendo games is different to someone who only plays COD.

I hope what you say about their only being light in the future for female gamers. I do think the games are getting better. This year we had a lot of good female characters in games. I just worry about the community, they seem to sometimes be getting worse.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Female gamers are just a 'new entry' to the gaming world. Like you, I grew up with games although like a lot of people in my generation, it was not really something you bragged about. Gaming was a silly, childish, loser-guy type activity and it made me feel ashamed sometimes. Nevertheless, it was my escape from all the bullying and empowered me as a kid. The idea of a girl playing video games would have been alien to me and most kids in my school years simply because it was not even something fully accepted amongst males yet.

Gaming has grown into such a common activity that people don't think twice when someone mentions it as a hobby or a serious activity anymore.

When it comes to communities however, I think it's incorrect to say it's getting worse, it's simply a transitional period. You can't just assume that because people resort to stereotypical insults ("girls can't play video games!") are somehow damaging the fabric of progression in the gaming world or that they themselves are actually out there with the complete intent of making sure to combat this "agenda". I think one of the things women run into a lot (and I base this in biology, mainly testosterone) and are having trouble coexisting with is how competitive many guys can be.

Now I've known some feisty women in my life. Dated one for three years, I know there are plenty of fighting women out there but biologically, men are simply more likely to be aggressive, cocky and more intense when it comes to competition especially with other men. I cannot tell you how many insults I've thrown over the internet in my life playing video games and I can tell you that I meant none of them. It's all heat of the moment or done trying to unsettle or annoy your opponent. No one wants to admit it, but most people who have played a competitive game know what it feels like to get completely owned or beaten to the point that you're just angry. It's like athletes on the field, they might curse and yell at each other during a match but later, you'll find them at the pub sharing a beer.

I think as long as men continue to grow as a community and learn to respect women as gamers and women understand that they've entered a world they've just become a part of and will not instantly be treated like they've been there all along, then things will progress just fine and gaming will continue to be great.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I think Merc and Maj nailed it with their comments. I couldn't agree more. I will add that I am very competitive with everything I do, so I can scratch and claw with the best of them, but I know my limitations, and when it comes to gaming, I have many. For the record, I don't play online, but I have a pretty good understanding of what happens out there.

Like Merc and Maj mentioned, these gamers flame each other as a form as intimidation or to "own" each other. What makes the easiest insults? Race, gender, religion and politics. I think if someone were to insult me while playing online because of my gender, I would laugh at their unoriginality and tear them to shreds for their stupidity.

We "fairer" sex should be less fair and sensitive about these things if we really want to move for a reform and be seen as equal in a pass-time dominated by men for centuries. Grow a pair, ladies. ;)
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
I don't play games online but its obvious to me that these guys do this to get the girl to mess up. If you can't beat them make them nervous and you'll have a better chance. What the girl needs to do is mute them so she can't hear them or make a remark that will upset them so they will mess up.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I've known a lot of girls who have this mentality that if they do play online games, they have to be the best, because if they aren't amazing and coming 1st every single time then it reflects badly on all girl gamers. This is the mentality I talk of that men don't have which is a shame, because when a guy does badly it only reflects on him, not the whole gender.

I think it's something that also turns a lot of girls off competitive gaming, because of this stigma it's not okay for a girl to only be mediocre in games, which is a shame since that's what many people would like to be.

Merc, the reason I think it's getting worse is because huge-scale things, like the abuse of women at E3, and the scale of the online attacks on Anita etc were way worse than anything I had heard in previous years. And those things happened recently. I've also been hearing stories recently of female game developers who got so much abuse for putting their games on steam greenlight that they actually took the games down. I've never heard of anything as bad as these incidents in say, the previous 10 years or so, it's only been in the last 4 or 5 years that it seems to be escalating each year.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
I've known a lot of girls who have this mentality that if they do play online games, they have to be the best, because if they aren't amazing and coming 1st every single time then it reflects badly on all girl gamers. This is the mentality I talk of that men don't have which is a shame, because when a guy does badly it only reflects on him, not the whole gender.

I think it's something that also turns a lot of girls off competitive gaming, because of this stigma it's not okay for a girl to only be mediocre in games, which is a shame since that's what many people would like to be.

Merc, the reason I think it's getting worse is because huge-scale things, like the abuse of women at E3, and the scale of the online attacks on Anita etc were way worse than anything I had heard in previous years. And those things happened recently. I've also been hearing stories recently of female game developers who got so much abuse for putting their games on steam greenlight that they actually took the games down. I've never heard of anything as bad as these incidents in say, the previous 10 years or so, it's only been in the last 4 or 5 years that it seems to be escalating each year.
That's a ridiculous standard and I honestly don't see where it exists in the gaming world.

If girls want to be treated equally then nobody should be getting upset when their gameplay is criticized. Trust me, it happens to guys all the time too.

I have to go back to something Merc said, it's quite true. Gaming is a predominantly male activity and on top of that guys do tend to be much more competitive (it's our nature). Just because female gamers are a minority in that community doesn't mean they're being discriminated against.
 

Crouton

Ninja
V.I.P.
I agree Dave, it's just a shame that this stigma has been put against girls. If they do badly in a game, they get crap about their whole gender, when it should just be about their own personal talents. It's a shame that it's gotten to the point that it's like this but it's developed over several years of this happening.

They are being discriminated against though, that's the problem.
 
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