Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Girls Allowed?

One of my best students of recent years wrote her dissertation on female gamers. Before that, I'd assumed that most gamers were relaxed, liberal and male. Turns out that the male bit was largely right, and the rest entirely wrong. Reading her data, I realised that to use a female (or black, or homosexual) avatar was to invite a constant stream of misogynist, racist or homophobic abuse. Interestingly, it didn't seem to matter what kind of game it was. I thought the more reactionary the game, the worse the gamer, but no: every kind of game harboured thousands of people who believed that two XX chromosomes meant that you were desperate to hear their uninformed opinions on a) your gameplay b) your intelligence c) your assumed appearance and d) your sexual habits. Apart from my readers, it appears that everyone on the internet is vile.

Coincidentally enough, I've just finished reading Cline's Ready Player One, a very good read in which online and offline sexual identities are at variance, partly for the same reasons as people take on new identities now.

Here's a rather good video from some displeased gamers:


Anonymous said...

I'm a female MMORPG player and I agree this is very much the case.
Sometimes being a female works in your favour, but largely I'm told to 'get back in the kitchen' or something similar.

Lucy Griffiths said...

How depressing that in 2012 women are asking themselves the same questions Mary Anne Evans did in the 19th century...