Sexual Harassment in the Gaming Community
It goes without saying that there is sexual harassment in the gaming community. Generally it is guys being sexual towards girls, or even just out-right rude. Whether their remarks are sexual, or they even take it to the extent of death threats, they happen. A lot of girls who are gamers avoid talking on voice chat in games that offer them. Now, this could mean they have their microphone muted, or maybe they do not even own one, it varies. But this is their way of avoiding the inevitable. Getting messages saying, “Show me your boobs,” “Want to cyber?”, “You’re a fat bitch.” Plus even worse and more provocative messages. It is the easiest way of avoiding these. Assuming that the girl’s gamertag isn’t something like, “LULGIRLGAMERFTW” or something else gender obvious. This doesn’t mean every girl that talks in voice chat is asking for the attention, because that is not the case at all. But, we all know the lobbies and the instances where there have been girls talking on microphone practically BEGGING to be treated poorly. They want the attention, they crave the attention, and they want to be asked about their breast size. They want to hear guys swooning over them, and trying to send inappropriate pictures. It is an unfortunate truth, and more than likely one of the reasons girls who just so happen to game are looked on poorly. Not just because they are girls/woman, but because there are the girls out there who portray themselves poorly because they want that attention. They want to get the poor attention, and the guys think it is automatically alright to treat any woman like such.
Extra Credits brought on a really good point as to what some things could be done to prevent poor gamers from attacking innocent people though. Not necessarily other girls, but just gamers in general. Such as, lets say a gamer talks a lot of crap in lobbies and gets muted regularly. So, it reports back to the servers that this player is getting muted by a certain percentage of gamers, so whenever this gamer enters a lobby they are auto-muted by the game as opposed to people actually pushing the mute button. So, when they see this player enter their lobby already muted they have an idea of what kind of trash spews out of the players mouth and can keep them muted.
But Extra Credits also brought up the point that it is not just voice chat in games that all of this happens. As mentioned before people often receive inappropriate, and even just out-right threatening messages. Another system they suggest is maybe if the person doesn’t get very many replies to how many messages they send out they can be limited to only send messages to their friend’s list and not to random players. Which would stop gamers from yelling at girls, or just gamers in general in messages. To look more at their other points please go HERE and watch their video in their entirety.
So, what can you do as a gamer? Well, assuming you are not one of the people that causes these issues you can easily approach companies like Microsoft and Sony giving them the link to this article, the links to the videos, and showing them that this type of behavior is not acceptable. That there surely are ways for them to implement ways for these people to get auto-muted after so many ignores, or even stop them from sending messages to people who are not on their friend’s list. There is always a way around things, and surely these companies would be able to find out exactly what needs to be done. Lets face it, they hear it all the time. When they go to conferences women stand up saying that they are no longer willing to pay for the service because of the harassment that comes with it. Maybe if there is a strong enough backing, they will actually do something about it. Microsoft or Sony might not be able to control the people, but they can control the service they use. If there is a way to limit them or stop them from harassing people, then why not?
Not all gamers bring this harassment onto themselves. It is not always girls/women that get harassed. It is the most prominent just because it is the most known and seen such as on websites like FatUglyorSlutty.com. While these websites make a joke out of it, which there is nothing wrong with that, it also brings to light how flat-out awful some of these people can be. Death threats, rape threats, other forms of sexual threats, and just being out-right vulgar. There are hours on top of hours of horrible messages and even audio clips of these men saying these awful things. The sad thing? Most of these boys/men are GROWN MEN… These grown men attack gamers. In the video you saw at the top of the article you see a grown man making sexual comments towards a girl as she is training with a teammate. It doesn’t stop, and it is actually being livestreamed for hundreds if not thousands of people to view. It is inappropriate and wrong, but that doesn’t stop these people from doing it. In the video, the girl didn’t know how to re-act. In many circumstances they don’t know how to respond. Often, they just ignore it, laugh it off, and pretend it is not happening. We are all guilty of doing it at some point, because sometimes it is just best pretending it is not happening, than it is to actually approach it head-on and start a possible conflict.
Harassment in the gaming community is huge. As much of a loving community as we can be, there are those who can yell and scream louder than we show our love. Which is why it is so much more known than the good. The hate is known better than the good, because it is more entertaining. Lets face it, who wants to hear all good news all the time when there is this awful news that people can broadcast about and make things look worse than they are. There are few of these bullies, but when they are found… they explode. It isn’t just towards female gamers, although they generally are the ones in the spotlight. All gamers get harassed. All gamers get hated on. Females often get the stronger blows, mainly cause the fact that they are females. But when we do not do anything about it, people think it is okay… We need to do something about it. People need to know it is not okay to harass gamers in general. I highly suggest messaging Microsoft, Sony, and any other company you think might be able to implement these suggestions. Let us know if you do. Let us know if you think there are other suggestions that would be good to offer!
What do you think of harassment in the gaming community. Have you dealt with it yourself? What happened? We’d love to hear your stories and experiences.
Ending on a lighter note, when gamers fight back against those who try to bully. Or becoming the bully of the bully.
About Angela Heidenreich
I am a Mother, Gamer, Photographer, and Writer. I take on many roles, but they all mean the world to me. I love doing what I do, and I love meeting new people through it. ♥