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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

#1reasonwhy

Posted by on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Sexism continues to be a rampant problem in gaming culture despite a growing number of women in the industry and an even larger number of female gamers. Sadly it was big news a few weeks ago when two Halo 4 developers, 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross and Halo 4 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill, said that sexist behavior will not be tolerated on XBox Live... something that should go without saying, one would hope.

In an effort to continue to raise awareness of what women face in the industry, game developers are using the hashtag #1reasonwhy on Twitter today to highlight some of their own experiences:

Screen_shot_2012-11-27_at_12.14.52_PM.png

If you have some time, go check out #1reasonwhy on Twitter, or GiantBomb.com has this nice roundup including some of the inevitable haters and trolls. PCGamer.com also has a nice overview.

Nerds, I'm so tired of talking about this, of hearing about women (and LGBTQ folks and people of color…) being mistreated online and at cons and wherever else nerds congregate. GET IT TOGETHER. Follow Wheaton's Law. It is NOT that hard.

 

Comments (32) RSS

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1
Nerd misogyny is like nerd BO. It'd be nice if it went away forever, but I'm not expecting it to happen any time soon.
Posted by GermanSausage on November 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 2
Everyone in gaming treats every other gamer like shit. If you expect to be treated differently, fuck you.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on November 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 3
Happens in science too. I can't tell you how many times people have put their back to me at my own presentation to listen to someone else who knows far less only because they are male (or older than me, I look very young).
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on November 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
5
I don't get the anti female nerd thing. I find female nerds attractive. Why would not want there to be more of them and isn't treating them well a way to encourage this?
Posted by Spike1382 on November 27, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
6
If "booth babes" were some kind of mythical creature, then that complaint would be valid. But since attractive women are, from my understanding, in fact hired to stand around in booths at conventions using their sexuality to create interest in products, assuming that an attractive woman standing in a booth is one more of the same doesn't exactly seem like the patriarchy in action.
Posted by Adversary on November 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
Some fields of science are now female-dominated. A few. But gaming seems to be stuck with out of tune dynamics that no longer match the world we live in.

On the other hand, it's refreshing to see all the woman engineers nowadays. Used to be, they wouldn't let girls take drafting, electronics, mechanics.

Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 27, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 8
I completely disagree that this is a problem that a) will continue to grow & b) won't go away. It's similar to LGBT coming out. There's a society that isn't used to their presence, and they react out of ignorance. Unfortunately, the worst kind of ignorance comes from people who are convinced they're too smart to be ignorant. As ScienceNerd points out, it happens in the science/skeptic/atheist circles as well.

If you disagree w/ my analogy, or feel it's too extreme, well, perhaps. But the solution is the same: More visibility. Female gamer nerds, be out, be proud, it gets better, all that stuff. Because while the shit gets the headlines, there is plenty of acceptance happening in the living rooms, coffee houses, schools & dorm rooms everywhere.

Look on the bright side: At least you don't have to put your civil rights up for a vote by the populace. It could be a lot worse....
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 9
@6 - Did you-- did you just justify the routine ogling of women by the fact that women are routinely ogled? Maybe it would also be a good idea to do away with the practice of propping up a nice pair of tits next to every booth.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on November 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Lissa 10
@2: Awwww look at you being all part of the problem and not the solution. What a crankypants you are with your little beret and your "Fuck you!"
Posted by Lissa on November 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Mary P. Traverse 11
@6 Maybe booth babes are part of the problem.

@8 I agree it's changing, and it will Get Better. And talking about it, like with this hashtag, is an important step. I'll throw it out there that ladies still face civil rights issues... who thought we'd be talking about birth control in the 2012 election? (That is in no way meant to diminish the colossal struggle still faced by the LGBTQ community.)
Posted by Mary P. Traverse http://www.nerdhole.org/ on November 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 12
#10, there is no 'problem.' And endless claims of victimization by an amorphous, ill-defined 'community' isn't the solution.

Also, what's with the anti-beret sentiment up in here? I think this community needs to step back and take a good look at their perceptions of berets. I look stately, not cute, thank you very much.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle http://slog.thestranger.com on November 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
lizlemon 13
How does Kiki Wolfkill plan to enforce their "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to sexist or other discriminatory remarks? Good luck when it comes to trying to limit free speech. Whenever people can hide behind the anonymity of the internet/xbox/what have you, there will always be trolls and straight up shit bags. They talk about producing their games in a better way to discourage that type of behaviour, but I highly doubt that will change anything.
Posted by lizlemon on November 27, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
14
I think it is amusing that for so long the 'nerd' culture has adopted a persecution complex, as if somehow the rest of the world just didn't understand you. We understand you just fine. I've spent the bulk of my life in the company of 'nerds' and one thing is absolutely true: many of you are unlikeable as human beings. Rampant sexism, crudeness, lack of manners, racism, poor work ethic, etc -essentially a bunch of adults who are still emotionally 14 years old. I have no idea what drives this dynamic, and I am often caught off-guard when I run into it in professional situations. There is nothing wrong with being engaged with games/movies/characters. There is nothing wrong with maintaining the enthusiasms you had from childhood, but ...seriously, grow up.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on November 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Lissa 15
@12: I must say I do like the beret.
@13: Oh well, better not try then since you've deployed the bullet proof "It's always been that way" argument. We might as well just call it a day!
Posted by Lissa on November 27, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
16
@2 I would posit that a lot of the "gamers treating other gamers like shit" is mostly adolescent males doing what comes naturally in this society: having fun at others' expense, and not fully understanding the social ramifications of their actions, coupled with pseudo-anonymity over the internet (see also: racist teens on twitter).

Having been a member of Xbox LIVE during my youth, I can say that there were plenty of insults tossed around, directed in just about any direction there could be a direction in. The modus operandi of most online shit-talkers tended to be: Attempt to discern the most sensitive nerve and pound it relentlessly. If no obvious cracks emerge in the target, resort to standard racist, sexist, etc slurs until the game ends.

If you're female, I would expect a shit-talker would find sexism to be an easy fallback that hit an obvious nerve, so it's not surprising that a lazy shit-talker would indeed engage in sexist insults, etc.

I used to wear pink armor with a heart emblem, and my friend would wear a similarly gender-stereotyped color with a unicorn emblem. To us, it was sort of a game to bait the shit-talkers into saying stupid things (pussy, fag, bitch, etc). It was quite amusing, and that much more satisfying when we gave them a good drubbing.

All that said, it really depends on the community you play in. The server I play my favorite game on is quite welcoming to females, and people treat other people like adults. I think that's what it really comes down to. Then again, I come from the position of white male privilege gamer, so perhaps my viewpoint is worthless (or is discarding my viewpoint just unprivileged reverse racist sexism?!? o.O).

Hope you enjoyed the story anyway. And fuck you too!
More...
Posted by Sam O. on November 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
17
@11 "Maybe booth babes are part of the problem."

Seriously? Maybe the fact that companies hire models (read: attractive females) to stand around and look sexy (read: O-B-J-E-C-T-I-F-Y) solely in order to attract attention for their brand (read: have no worth other than being sexy) could possibly maybe just might be a little tiny bit of the problem?

Y'know, I never really thought about it until RIGHT NOW. But nah. Not possible. There's no way that could contribute to any sort of objectification of women, that's just silly because boobs.
Posted by Sam O. on November 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
18
Yeah this won't change anytime soon. Many games are still male centric, if not sexist, and gaming culture is still largely male dominant. You'll be hearing about this for a long time.
Posted by Bluur on November 27, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Knat 19
You only need to pay attention to DeMarco and Madsen's remarks in the intro video of Halo 4's Spartan Ops section (while they're referring to Majestic's "community outreach" in Rio) to see just how hard they'll come down on sexism. About as hard as the redhead in the video does, I'm guessing.

Apparently it's accepted practice in the UNSC, given the reaction of the woman in the room just shaking her head with an "Oh, you boys!" expression on her face.

After all, it would be hypocritical of them to crack down on behavior that they included in their own game, right?

Not that I'm defending sexism in gaming, of course. I just find this particular example of someone trying to tackle the issue very amusing, given the source material.
Posted by Knat on November 27, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
balderdash 20
Wow. I certainly expected better than this from Slog commenters, known trolls excepted. What the fuck, guys? Denying there's a problem doesn't make you look cool and hard, it makes you look like clueless pricks.

And for that matter, even if the abuse really were egalitarian - and it is not - what kind of repressed self-loathing shitheel wants to maintain a status quo where everyone is a garbage-spewing rage machine just because it makes them feel included? Congratulations, you're part of gamer culture now; it's terrible but at least you're in it.

It "won't change for a long time" because you worthless simpering twits are so scared of losing the only community you feel included in that you tell yourselves that you don't care if it's toxic, and that there's nothing you can do about it anyway.

Chickenshit. Absolutely, pathetically craven.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on November 27, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
21
@2 There is a difference between teasing and bullying. Male gamers mostly tease other males, and mostly bully females.

@11 Gwen and I are almost ready for panda dungeons, but TSARY is lonely most nights. =[. Come panda stuff with us!!
Posted by Hanoumatoi on November 27, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
22
Too many stupid twerp kids, and too many meathead refugees from comic book world, a world which tends to be disturbingly conservative. Just take Dave Sim for starters.
Posted by K on November 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
23
@ 13 - Free speech. This doesn't mean what you think it means. This means that you are free from from government interference in the expression of your ideas and beliefs. X-box is not a governmental organization, so they are within all legal rights to terminate service to all the cool people you mentioned in your post. Even on the nebulous internet, your shitty anonymous behavior has consequences, as seen by recent outings of major depressing trolls and online bullies. So, calling people out on what they say to others can have an impact. I believe that will continue to happen, and more frequently.
Posted by barfy cute on November 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 24
@12, see @20

re: the beret. Some people can pull it off. It's all about the attitude. If you're considerate & chill, it makes you look cool. If you're an aggro 'fuck everyone else and if they don't like it it's their problem', then you're not only a douchebag, but an Epic Monumental Douchebag.

See how this works?
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
emor 25
@23

TL;DR:

"Your beret sucks because YOU suck!"

Nicely done.
Posted by emor on November 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 26
soap takes care of BO, and humanity and empathy will take care of hatred... along with a fucking SPINE to stand up to assholes.
Also, this only seems to apply to online gaming, when I played tabletop there was never any of this shit, but then people are rarely so hateful to someone they are face-to-face with. I really only first encountered creeper jerks in LARP with a wanna-be vampire who tried to bite me for real and was surprised to find that I really did know how to throw someone across a room.
Posted by Skye Blu on November 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
27
@26 It is a lot better in table top, though not absent. Even in person the idea that women can't be real nerds is around. Which is rediculus of course. At least half the nerds I know are female and one of them won't date people unless they will watch Star Trek with her.
Posted by Spike1382 on November 27, 2012 at 9:01 PM · Report this
Sandiai 28
Star Trek IS the most important compatability test.
Posted by Sandiai on November 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
watchout5 29
If you looked dressed up and part of a booth at a con I will always assume you're the hired sexy hand and I will always each out to the person in a polo shirt quite usually with a fancy looking badge. I've seen a number of men play "booth babe" so I think it's a bit sexist to assume only women have this problem. Imagine that guy who was hired on just to look like XYZ character in a game and everyone treats him like an object instead of a gamer. I've seen this at nearly every con I've been at, it's just that women are disproportionally represented as booth babes, maybe they need a union? Maybe booths need to stop parading people around as objects? (readers note: I have not talked to a booth that has booth babes and continue to consider the practice as, "come look at our shitty game, it's so shitty we have to sell it with sex, you won't have fun playing this game, but we hope after seeing some titties you'll give us your money anyway" so do yourself a favor and don't waste your time)

Xbox live banning people who are sexist harassing is something that should have been done from the beginning, but I think equally as important is the rule from 4chan "there are no girls on the internet" which while sexist I think had a point when eyes/voice isn't involved. Don't join into a game and then claim you're female to get special treatment, or don't do anything in the game and then mention you're female when it has no bearing on the matters at hand. I guess I believe in this idea that we're all just humans on the internet. I never care the sex of my game partners but if you act like a fool I'm going to call you on it, and I don't care what gender you are, which is why I use non-gender specific slurs that nearly every human will understand what I mean when I say get those extra points in dexterity or your ass is finding a new party. Good articles though, I know it's a problem even if I don't Xbox live, whenever I choose a female in a game instantly people assume I'm female, until they start to cyber me. Poetic justice? Instead of creeping on some girl they're creeping on me, and when I type out how hard I'm stroking my cock they seem to end the conversation and move on. mmm
More...
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on November 28, 2012 at 4:49 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 30
It is a long held human idea that women ruin the work of men. For example, women used to be considered bad luck on ships, and it was once believed that a menstruating woman will cause crops to wither and die.

This is essentially the same thing. Young males have created this little safe enclave of nerdery that was sheltered from the often harsh (and judging) gaze of women, and well, they see it as now under attack.

Kind of like that gym Curves that is designed for women to feel more comfortable with themselves while working out. It was supposed to be a safe place from the gaze of judgemental men.

Because where men immediately judge women on looks, women immediately judge men on percieved social status. Nerds/gamers have typically been on the bottom of this ladder, and so may assume that women are still judging them for it.

Long story short: young male insecurities. But they can hardly be blamed for feeling insecure in their hobbies, as society has been telling them they are inferior for a while now. But of course, blaming it on the ladies is just a silly little defense mechanism, and all the misogyny is part of that defense, and they do share blame for that.

Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 28, 2012 at 5:29 AM · Report this
Fenrox 32
Booth babes are actual women hired to do a job. Lets all try talking about them like they are our friends or, you know, humans. It's strange that an argument about sexism has both sides treating these women as objects.
Posted by Fenrox on November 28, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 33
@32 Booth babes are filled with only the most basic of knowledge, in general So, if you're asking for, lets say, the bare minimum of hardware, most hired help doesn't have that in their script of promotions. And, the vast majority of them also don't care about gaming even though they are hired to pretend that gaming is the most awesome of awesomeness.

So, while its fine and dandy to say "talk to booth babes as if they're human." You can't really ask them the technical questions you may want to know if you're wondering if your clunker will choke on a particular game, or if your 3rd party accessory is compatible.

Also, booth babes come in the form of both men and women who know nothing of the product they're shilling. The derision of booth babes is not sexist. However, the assumption that a woman is a booth babe is the result of the sexism that most booth babes are women.

That being said, can we have more male booth babes? Men who are forced to wear almost nothing? Is that too much to ask?
Posted by TheMisanthrope on November 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
lizlemon 34
@15 I am in no way saying "Oh well, better not try because theres no point", I'm saying that it's incredible hard to filter out those kind of people because they are everywhere. You don't see people getting banned for calling others 'Faggot' do you? No. And yet that doesnt mean we should give up. The whole idea she was purposing just seems idealistic and I was merely pointing that out. I'm all for banning idiotic harassment like that on gaming.
Posted by lizlemon on November 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this

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