Posted by HumanityPlague (251 posts) -

I'm not going to pretend to really understand how women are treated, in online playing, or with game development (regardless of job/position). I do understand some of the impulse that men have towards women. There are three issues involved primarily:

1. Guys (incorrectly) see women gaming as some sort of encroachment on "their territory", as it were. These are the same idiots who tell a woman to "get back in the kitchen" if she dares utter a word while playing Call of Duty. That's usually why most women I know don't even bother with a headset when they play, because they don't want to get harassed by idiots. Here's a small flowchart of typical male gamer behavior:

1. Girl Speaks in a game (there's a female in here!)

2A. "You're either fat, ugly, or don't know how to play. Stop playing." (the usual response)

2B. "Woah, a girl? How old are you? You hot? Got Pics?" (the other usual response)

3B. Woman says "Uh, I just want to game" (Because she does, and doesn't want to be harassed)

4B. Guy then immediately proceeds to step 2A because his lame pickups were shot down. (Thus the cycle is complete)

2. There is a gender disparity within the gaming population. While you can argue about specifics and such, there is a bit of an imbalance with regards to number of men vs. number of women playing games. Here is a thought experiment to deal with:

(General set up)

Step 1: Assume that for every female gamer there is 10 guy gamers, as a ratio. So, for every 5 female gamers, there is 50 male gamers.

Step 2: With this 1 to 10 ratio, think about the ratio of single female gamers out there (in a group). I'm friendly with a decent amount of female gamers, and 9 out of 10 are either married, or have a boyfriend. I'm sure others might have different opinions, but there is also a disparity between single female gamers vs. "attached" female gamers. For the sake of this experiment, imagine that ratio is still 1 to 10. So for every 10 female gamers, 1 is single. So, in my original analogy, it translates into 100 guy gamers for every 1 single female gamer. (Just as a general example)

It's analogous to the "small fish in a big pond" quote, with a single female gamer having a LARGE number of guys that are interested in her. This is the primary reason why most guy gamers are so obnoxious/angry towards women. It's a mix of loneliness/rejection/and depression that is the cause. (Mixed in with the usual internet anonymity thing). Most guys want a girlfriend that plays games, and when they don't have one, they become bitter and angry because of it.

(Actual thought experiment)

Step 3: With all that being said, imagine a world in which the gender ratios were reversed. That for every 100 Felicia Day's in the world, there was a nerdy guy. More-over, all 100 of the Felicia's, or Morgan Webb's, or whomever, were *AFTER* this guy non-stop, in hopes of getting a relationship with him (or really, just casual sex, which is what a large chunk of guys want). Now imagine you, the reader, was transported to this world. Do you think that there would be a lot of guys playing Halo complaining non-stop about women? No, of course not. It would be somewhat the opposite actually, with 20 women all instantly messaging you, and asking you if you're single, and the like.

Summation: While there are some outliers (sociopaths, trolls, etc.), most guys aren't inherently bad, or evil, just bitter and lonely. It's no excuse for guy behavior's online, but it is at least one reason to understand it.

3. A lot of developers and the media aren't even consciously aware of a problem. Most gaming sites only have 4 (max) women on them, as staff. Think about it, it's actually about the same ratio (1 woman to 10 men) when it comes to developers/reviewers. A friend of mine recently asked me why Giant Bomb doesn't have any female writers. I tried giving the reason that Jeff/Ryan/Vinny/Brad were the core group, and that they would expand, if needed. But honestly, that's a bit of garbage. How many women have been on the Bombcast over the years? I can think of two, Leigh Alexander, and Carrie Gouskos. And Carrie semi-doesn't count, because of her Hotspot/Gamespot connection. Compare that to the over two dozen guys on the Bombcast, over the years. Now, I don't think Giant Bomb hates women, by any means, but most everyone seems guilty of it, whether they are conscious of it or not. Gamespot (proper) has only one, Carolyn female, and that's it. The auxiliary GS sites (notably Australia) have more women, Laura Parker chief among them, but it's still not a perfect ratio.

Women are over 51% of the population (as a whole), but are only represented by about 20% (if that) when it comes to gaming. Now, not all women are into games, for sure, but the same can be said about men as well. Still, there is an uneven distribution of men and women in gaming. I have a female friend who works in game marketing, and frankly puts my computer/game knowledge to shame. She's said that when she goes to game events with her boyfriend, developers/designers always go up to him and ask him about stuff. Not her. He's not even that into games, but he's there to support her. That is another example of the inherent problem with the current gaming climate. I can think of only 5 or 6 female designers/developers off the top of my head: Brenda Romero (nee Brathwaite), Kim Swift, Corrinne Yu, Jade Raymonde, Amy Hennig, and a few others. Compare that to the dozens of male designers that most everyone knows, Kojima, CliffyB, Miyamoto, Inafune, American McGee, Sakaguchi, the list goes on.

I'm not going to pretend to say I have any real answers, but people should at least see this as a general problem, and hopefully address it. Otherwise, the gaming population is just going to get more and more fragmented, especially as more younger girls get into gaming, they're only going to encounter assholes in the future, which is good for no one.

#1 Posted by HumanityPlague (251 posts) -

I'm not going to pretend to really understand how women are treated, in online playing, or with game development (regardless of job/position). I do understand some of the impulse that men have towards women. There are three issues involved primarily:

1. Guys (incorrectly) see women gaming as some sort of encroachment on "their territory", as it were. These are the same idiots who tell a woman to "get back in the kitchen" if she dares utter a word while playing Call of Duty. That's usually why most women I know don't even bother with a headset when they play, because they don't want to get harassed by idiots. Here's a small flowchart of typical male gamer behavior:

1. Girl Speaks in a game (there's a female in here!)

2A. "You're either fat, ugly, or don't know how to play. Stop playing." (the usual response)

2B. "Woah, a girl? How old are you? You hot? Got Pics?" (the other usual response)

3B. Woman says "Uh, I just want to game" (Because she does, and doesn't want to be harassed)

4B. Guy then immediately proceeds to step 2A because his lame pickups were shot down. (Thus the cycle is complete)

2. There is a gender disparity within the gaming population. While you can argue about specifics and such, there is a bit of an imbalance with regards to number of men vs. number of women playing games. Here is a thought experiment to deal with:

(General set up)

Step 1: Assume that for every female gamer there is 10 guy gamers, as a ratio. So, for every 5 female gamers, there is 50 male gamers.

Step 2: With this 1 to 10 ratio, think about the ratio of single female gamers out there (in a group). I'm friendly with a decent amount of female gamers, and 9 out of 10 are either married, or have a boyfriend. I'm sure others might have different opinions, but there is also a disparity between single female gamers vs. "attached" female gamers. For the sake of this experiment, imagine that ratio is still 1 to 10. So for every 10 female gamers, 1 is single. So, in my original analogy, it translates into 100 guy gamers for every 1 single female gamer. (Just as a general example)

It's analogous to the "small fish in a big pond" quote, with a single female gamer having a LARGE number of guys that are interested in her. This is the primary reason why most guy gamers are so obnoxious/angry towards women. It's a mix of loneliness/rejection/and depression that is the cause. (Mixed in with the usual internet anonymity thing). Most guys want a girlfriend that plays games, and when they don't have one, they become bitter and angry because of it.

(Actual thought experiment)

Step 3: With all that being said, imagine a world in which the gender ratios were reversed. That for every 100 Felicia Day's in the world, there was a nerdy guy. More-over, all 100 of the Felicia's, or Morgan Webb's, or whomever, were *AFTER* this guy non-stop, in hopes of getting a relationship with him (or really, just casual sex, which is what a large chunk of guys want). Now imagine you, the reader, was transported to this world. Do you think that there would be a lot of guys playing Halo complaining non-stop about women? No, of course not. It would be somewhat the opposite actually, with 20 women all instantly messaging you, and asking you if you're single, and the like.

Summation: While there are some outliers (sociopaths, trolls, etc.), most guys aren't inherently bad, or evil, just bitter and lonely. It's no excuse for guy behavior's online, but it is at least one reason to understand it.

3. A lot of developers and the media aren't even consciously aware of a problem. Most gaming sites only have 4 (max) women on them, as staff. Think about it, it's actually about the same ratio (1 woman to 10 men) when it comes to developers/reviewers. A friend of mine recently asked me why Giant Bomb doesn't have any female writers. I tried giving the reason that Jeff/Ryan/Vinny/Brad were the core group, and that they would expand, if needed. But honestly, that's a bit of garbage. How many women have been on the Bombcast over the years? I can think of two, Leigh Alexander, and Carrie Gouskos. And Carrie semi-doesn't count, because of her Hotspot/Gamespot connection. Compare that to the over two dozen guys on the Bombcast, over the years. Now, I don't think Giant Bomb hates women, by any means, but most everyone seems guilty of it, whether they are conscious of it or not. Gamespot (proper) has only one, Carolyn female, and that's it. The auxiliary GS sites (notably Australia) have more women, Laura Parker chief among them, but it's still not a perfect ratio.

Women are over 51% of the population (as a whole), but are only represented by about 20% (if that) when it comes to gaming. Now, not all women are into games, for sure, but the same can be said about men as well. Still, there is an uneven distribution of men and women in gaming. I have a female friend who works in game marketing, and frankly puts my computer/game knowledge to shame. She's said that when she goes to game events with her boyfriend, developers/designers always go up to him and ask him about stuff. Not her. He's not even that into games, but he's there to support her. That is another example of the inherent problem with the current gaming climate. I can think of only 5 or 6 female designers/developers off the top of my head: Brenda Romero (nee Brathwaite), Kim Swift, Corrinne Yu, Jade Raymonde, Amy Hennig, and a few others. Compare that to the dozens of male designers that most everyone knows, Kojima, CliffyB, Miyamoto, Inafune, American McGee, Sakaguchi, the list goes on.

I'm not going to pretend to say I have any real answers, but people should at least see this as a general problem, and hopefully address it. Otherwise, the gaming population is just going to get more and more fragmented, especially as more younger girls get into gaming, they're only going to encounter assholes in the future, which is good for no one.

#2 Posted by believer258 (11986 posts) -

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

#3 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Nice science!

#4 Posted by Tarsier (1069 posts) -

i just puked everywhere.

#5 Posted by TooWalrus (13235 posts) -

@believer258: I... feel ya. I mean, I'm just going to tough it out, because what else am I gonna do in class tomorrow besides browse the forums... I suppose I could go to sleep.

#6 Posted by JasonR86 (9742 posts) -

Giantbomb, both the staff and the community, should stay away from social issues. None of us have the capacity to write about it with any skill.

#7 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@believer258 said:

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

Shouldn't be too difficult with Far Cry 3. It's nice seeing you change the world OP, one forum post at a time.

#8 Posted by htr10 (341 posts) -

The other day I had to spend 10 minutes listening to a tall, white male from an affluent family complain about how the world isn't fair for people like him. He's probably right. The OP is probably right. Everyone is probably right. The world isn't a fair place. Oh crap, we already knew that. I don't know, just do your best and believe in yourself or something like that.

#9 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I don't know what you're talking about.

What are you talking about?

#10 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2025 posts) -

The problem is that the vast majority of games don't appeal to girls, so there's not as many of them, and I don't blame them. The industry needs to mature a whole lot more before we have games that are complex enough to appeal to both sexes universally.

#11 Posted by Willtron (243 posts) -

@RollingZeppelin said:

The problem is that the vast majority of games don't appeal to girls, so there's not as many of them, and I don't blame them. The industry needs to mature a whole lot more before we have games that are complex enough to appeal to both sexes universally.

Uh, you know that how?

#12 Edited by DarthOrange (3866 posts) -

Your whole argument is based on a bunch of "let's assume" situations. You took Mr. Rogers' train to the land of make believe but you never returned to make a real point.  You need to remember to take the train back to the real world otherwise you will confuse the land of make believe with the real world and develop psychosis. 
  

#13 Posted by Tarsier (1069 posts) -

this is not worth discussing. game developers and writers of characters and stories write either A: the kinds of things they are interested in, or B: the kinds of things theyre pushed to write because of money.

B is the problem. and it is the thing to focus on and talk about. its the destroyer of art. the less of B there is, the more A will come, and the more you will get creative games that are from female perspectives.

this BULL SHIT, is like people focusing on gay marriage , abortion and health care. when the problem is that the entire system is fucked because its run by sociopaths. you need to focus on the core of the issue if you want to change something. not the side effects.

#14 Posted by TooWalrus (13235 posts) -

It's too bad the other 1000+ people in the other two threads on the subject didn't feel like their personal thoughts were important enough to warrant their own threads. Then these forums would be really somethin' else.

#15 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1856 posts) -

@RollingZeppelin said:

The problem is that the vast majority of games don't appeal to girls, so there's not as many of them, and I don't blame them. The industry needs to mature a whole lot more before we have games that are complex enough to appeal to both sexes universally.

It all depends, I guess. Not to sound confrontational, but why do you assume that video games don't appeal to girls? Maybe it's just because I grew up with them, but video games are just fine. I don't enjoy your standard first person shooter middle eastern war fantasy games but that's more because they've saturated the market and they're just boring now and not because I don't enjoy shooting people in the mouth. Women are not naturally more "complex" or "deep" than men. It is not inaccurate to say that they enjoy different things, but you don't need to be complex or deep for a female to enjoy it. Plenty of girls enjoy Twilight and we all know how complex THAT is.

#16 Posted by LikeaSsur (1563 posts) -

You committed the cardinal sin of essay writing.

You didn't answer "So what?" What was the point of writing this?

@HumanityPlague said:

I'm not going to pretend to really understand how women are treated, in online playing, or with game development (regardless of job/position). I do understand some of the impulse that men have towards women. There are three issues involved primarily:

1. Guys (incorrectly) see women gaming as some sort of encroachment on "their territory", as it were. These are the same idiots who tell a woman to "get back in the kitchen" if she dares utter a word while playing Call of Duty. That's usually why most women I know don't even bother with a headset when they play, because they don't want to get harassed by idiots. Here's a small flowchart of typical male gamer behavior:

1. Girl Speaks in a game (there's a female in here!)

2A. "You're either fat, ugly, or don't know how to play. Stop playing." (the usual response)

2B. "Woah, a girl? How old are you? You hot? Got Pics?" (the other usual response)

3B. Woman says "Uh, I just want to game" (Because she does, and doesn't want to be harassed)

4B. Guy then immediately proceeds to step 2A because his lame pickups were shot down. (Thus the cycle is complete)

I think you're confusing "Women hating" with "social awkwardness." If we're going to generalize, then let's do it correctly. The general Call of Duty player is going to insult someone with whatever is easiest. If it's a guy: Your mom's a whore, you're gay, get a life. If it's a woman: You're ugly, a whore, and fat. This is not a problem unique to women.

#17 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2025 posts) -

@Artemesia said:

@RollingZeppelin said:

The problem is that the vast majority of games don't appeal to girls, so there's not as many of them, and I don't blame them. The industry needs to mature a whole lot more before we have games that are complex enough to appeal to both sexes universally.

It all depends, I guess. Not to sound confrontational, but why do you assume that video games don't appeal to girls? Maybe it's just because I grew up with them, but video games are just fine. I don't enjoy your standard first person shooter middle eastern war fantasy games but that's more because they've saturated the market and they're just boring now and not because I don't enjoy shooting people in the mouth. Women are not naturally more "complex" or "deep" than men. It is not inaccurate to say that they enjoy different things, but you don't need to be complex or deep for a female to enjoy it. Plenty of girls enjoy Twilight and we all know how complex THAT is.

Most of my female friends I've talked to have no interest in the big macho-man saves the universe style stories that litter the landscape of videogames. Not to say woman aren't complex, but my point wasn't that women need more complex games to enjoy them. What I meant to say was that we need more games with better, more nuanced stories, like The Walking Dead, for them to appeal to both sexes at the same time. It's like you said, most guys wouldn't be caught dead watching a Twilight movie unless their girlfriend dragged them into it because the majority of men just don't care for that style of story telling, but the movies are a guilty pleasure for a lot of women. It's the same for a lot of games except in reverse. I can see that my argument doesn't apply to you, but from talking to my friends, I get the impression that you are the exception not the rule. Of course my group of friends don't constitute a statistically significant sample size, I could just have an outlier group of female friends, so I could be wrong.

I just think that the hostile online environment is not enough to justify the huge disproportion of male/female ratio. There are plenty of single player games out there where this is not a factor.

#18 Posted by beepmachine (618 posts) -

@DarthOrange said:
You took Mt. Rogers' train to the land of make believe but you never returned to make a real point. You need to remember to take the train back to the real world otherwise you will confuse the land of make believe with the real world and develop psychosis.

I don't know why, but this made me fucking laugh for like 30 seconds straight.

But yeah, what IS this thread? I mean...I agree with what you're saying (I think?) but like...WHAT?

#19 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -
@believer258 said:

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

I might do the exact same
#20 Posted by anarchyzombie9 (615 posts) -

that's some Glenn Beck-tier math you did their

#21 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

This is so retarded.

#22 Posted by Sursh (243 posts) -

this wasn't as fun to read as i thought it would be.

#23 Posted by Cianyx (50 posts) -

this is a work of art

#24 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

if a bear had horse legs instead of bear legs, do you think it'd be better or worse?

#25 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -
@believer258 said:

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

Yeah.
 
It's not the fact that everyone on the internet suddenly feels the need to white knight us females, yet again, but more the entire "topic of the week" idea behind this. Just like with movies, music and more, it's relevant for a week, then we forget about it and move on.
#26 Edited by freakin9 (1151 posts) -

It's not just gaming. In most places there are guys perfectly ready to make a woman's life miserable. Some guys, simply put, are losers. Most women can walk away from them in real life, but there are situations, like a message board, or really anything involving the internet, where they just can't escape them.

#27 Posted by Carryboy (717 posts) -

@Clonedzero said:

if a bear had horse legs instead of bear legs, do you think it'd be better or worse?

Good question, it would certainly make the bear faster but no more claws also i get the feeling it wouldnt be as flexible as it currently is, so im going to say worse for the species over all but for just 1 specific bear its better because they could probably get a gig from it.

#28 Posted by Rotten_Avocado (83 posts) -

I think women who develop and/or play games is awesome. I lament the fact that I have met zero women that like gaming as much as I do. It would have been nice to encounter another perspective in regards to my favorite pass time. I hope for a time when women will be welcomed to the video game community and be able to engage with others in productive discourse and fun gaming.

#29 Posted by Lukeweizer (2706 posts) -

I'm so sick of this subject.

#30 Posted by InternetCrab (1504 posts) -

The world isn't fair. I mean, shouldn't men have something that only they do or a vast majority of them do? Women have alot of those things right?

Sorry, this forum isn't made for these sort of threads. I'm out.

#31 Posted by Rotten_Avocado (83 posts) -

I guess the question I have to pose to you then is why are you reading this thread at all? Bored perhaps?

#32 Edited by Nights (615 posts) -

@HumanityPlague said:

I'm not going to pretend to really understand how women are treated, in online playing, or with game development (regardless of job/position). I do understand some of the impulse that men have towards women. There are three issues involved primarily:

1. Guys (incorrectly) see women gaming as some sort of encroachment on "their territory", as it were. These are the same idiots who tell a woman to "get back in the kitchen" if she dares utter a word while playing Call of Duty. That's usually why most women I know don't even bother with a headset when they play, because they don't want to get harassed by idiots.

Come on, really? These issues aren't exclusive to women. I think you'd find that quite a lot of people play without a headset. Why? Regardless of your race, sex, color or creed, you're bound to be called something. I've had people go off on me for saying, "Hey, how's it going?" I've had people send me ridiculous messages just for beating them in a match. We all have. Don't act like this only applies to women, because it doesn't.

#33 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

Giantbomb, both the staff and the community, should stay away from social issues. None of us have the capacity to write about it with any skill.

Christ, this should be in the official forum FAQ and the number one rule.

#34 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@believer258 said:

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

Take me with you bro.

#35 Posted by Wrighteous86 (3819 posts) -

I hate this subject but I'm going to keep bumping this thread anyway!!!!!!!!!!!! GRUMBLEGRUMBLEGRUMBLEIJUSTLIKETOBITCHGRUMBLE

#36 Posted by TheVeteran13 (1210 posts) -
Girls don't play video games you silly goose
#37 Posted by Little_Socrates (5683 posts) -

People aren't gonna like you for this one.

I like you for trying.

Thanks for trying.

#38 Edited by l4wd0g (1984 posts) -

I get called all types of racial and sexual slurs when playing games online. It just comes with the territory (unfortunately).

Hate is hate, no matter who's the intended target.

#39 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

@l4wd0g said:

I get called all types of racial and sexual sluts playing games online.

What? Can I join? I too wish to play with the racial and sexual sluts.

#40 Posted by l4wd0g (1984 posts) -

@FourWude: I may have had a little typo. In my defense, t and r are right next to each other.

#41 Edited by IzzyGraze (851 posts) -

@TaliciaDragonsong said:

@believer258 said:

This and a recent topic seem to be my cues to take a break from forums for about a week. Or more.

Yeah. It's not the fact that everyone on the internet suddenly feels the need to white knight us females, yet again, but more the entire "topic of the week" idea behind this. Just like with movies, music and more, it's relevant for a week, then we forget about it and move on.

I think white knight might be a bit strong. I don't agree with what everyone has said on this. I don't think a lot of them are well written. However, discussing an issue and bringing more awareness to it isn't a bad thing. Also standing against sexism isn't bad either. The main problem in the industry seems like "hey saying 'not with the vagina in the room' is ok". Changing public perception is kind of important and if guys don't say that we think it's a bad thing and try to change things in guy culture(probably a bad word but hey it's 2am) then it makes it hard for change to happen. If it's just women who say it and no guys support it then it's kind of hollow. Bigots can still be like "Man. Bitch be crazy asking to be treated fairly. Right bro". I don't want to stay silent because I'm afraid of "white knighting". There's a difference between support and white knighting.

Edit:

Ok it's not 2am now and I looked up "white knighting" to make sure I knew what it meant. I saw white knighting as essentially: saying to a woman "Don't worry. I got this. You sit back there and I'll fight your battles for you". But I guess white knighting is:

"A gaming term used to describe a male gamer who, in a desperate attempt to get himself laid, will attempt to woo or impress any female gamer he comes across online by being overly defensive of her and giving her special attention, such as playing as a healing class and only healing her."

Yeah...there might be a lot of that going around. I stand by my support reasoning above though. And hopefully not defusing that by calling it "white knighting" will help this to not become the "'topic of the week'". Sorry for being so aggressive. I just get all butt-hurt when the old misandric "men can't do anything right" gets thrown around. So in this case, if they speak up about the mistreatment of women then they must be doing it wrong or for the wrong reasons.

#42 Posted by FierceDeity (358 posts) -

@htr10 said:

The other day I had to spend 10 minutes listening to a tall, white male from an affluent family complain about how the world isn't fair for people like him. He's probably right. The OP is probably right. Everyone is probably right. The world isn't a fair place. Oh crap, we already knew that. I don't know, just do your best and believe in yourself or something like that.

As opposed to short people, who are clearly oppressed.

#43 Posted by laserbolts (5331 posts) -

This thread is absolutely necessary and I hope another one is made tomorrow on this same topic.

#44 Posted by Discoman (169 posts) -
#45 Posted by BillyMethers (149 posts) -

@HumanityPlague said:

Summation: While there are some outliers (sociopaths, trolls, etc.), most guys aren't inherently bad, or evil, just bitter and lonely. It's no excuse for guy behavior's online, but it is at least one reason to understand it.

I disagree. Good people are rare and it is hard to find good people in today's society. Nobody really has any moral values left and most people are in it for themselves; not for the benfit of others. People would rather rob you while you're passed out or take advantage of you. (when nobody is watching and who they truly are is shown)

So I disagree with this statement, especially in these hard economic times.