Sunday, 17 March 2013

Male gamers aren't nice (except me of course)

Lately I have been feeling a little ashamed of being a gamer, not because I play games, but because I am a man. There have been a fair number of high profile news stories lately that have lead to very negative reaction from my fellow gamers. I am talking about sexist asshats who seem to react to anything that suggests women have been put upon or overlooked in the games industry as unworthy of attention.

There have been backlash of comments on various news articles regarding anything that shows women in video games as a positive. A prime example is the twitter hashtag #1reasontobe, started off by the Tomb Raider scribe Rhianna Pratchett. This was created following some examples on twitter turning up of women in the games industry being treated pretty badly. The fact that women seem to not get equal treatment in the games industry is bad enough, but what really makes me ashamed of being a male gamer is my fellow gamers reaction. Go to any major games website and do a search for this new story. Find it and scroll down to the comments sections. In my case read the comments and find yourself having a sense of revulsion and shame that these commenters are my gaming compatriots.

What really brought this thinking to a head was that I watched this last night.
It was quite an interesting look at gaming history and the fact that it has been, literally, objectifying women for years. This is a the start of a series, famously funded by kickstarter, by a woman called Anita Sarkeesian, who has had no end of abuse for simply trying to get her point across. You may notice that the video has had it's comments disabled. However browsing Reddit this morning I came across a video, by a man, who had made it purely to disagree and criticise her.

Up until recently I sort of assumed that sexism was no longer an issue, that it was something that had died out 80's like shoulderpads and perms. Now I am faced with the realisation that not only is it still very real, but seemingly those I play games with online are a big part of it. I guess that the stuff found on fatuglyslutty is the rule rather that the exception. Fuck, now I am sad about the state of humanity.

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