Surprisingly, or rather not that surprising when it's pondered, women make up a very small portion of the gaming industry. According to the BostonGlobe.com, women only make up 11% of game designers and 3% of programmers. And when it comes to gaming conventions, women are even less prevalent there. One game designer, Filamena Young from Machine Age Productions, stated the reason she doesn't go to the meetings is because:
"Really, I've been groped."
Yep, that's right. Groped. As if that wasn't enough, when women are depicted in games, they're often dressed as porn stars. And more often than they should, they're treated like one too. Sadly, other degrading acts happens every day on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam. Men, tending to make up the majority of the online community when it comes to shooters, etc., tend to treat the hubs as water cooler moments. Yet, when this topic is brought up, most game writers talk about the good gestures to do, however, maybe this is the wrong approach. Maybe people need to be taught on what not to do toward women online.
Will it help? Probably not, but it's worth a shot.
First off, quit being the pseudo knight-in-armor. What do I mean by this? Nothing is worse than when someone rushes in and tries to stop the light banter between a girl and a guy to protect her honor. The reason is obvious of course, the guardian angel is just trying to come across as the ultimate savior, allowing nothing to harm the fragile doe. But, ultimately, he just comes across as needy, and overprotective.
Also, another aspect of being a chaperon is trying to revive the girl every, single, frikkin', time she is downed in a fire fight. Case in point, Gears of War. A girl on the COGs team gets downed, Mr. I-Would-Die-For-You748, rushes through the whizzing bullets and explosions to pick her up. Of course he never makes it.
Not even close.
They both needlessly die. Whether he says it out loud or not, he uses this to prove his love to her. Instead of being on Team COG, he is now on Team Disaster.
My next point is quit being an obnoxious attention grabber. To clarify, this is when one has gone from the knight-in-shining armor to a jerk. For instance, jumping in front of a girl's sights just to get them to cry, shout, or just plain quit. Sure, if you know them, then that's different, as long as you know they are okay with it. I'm talking about random strangers. Admittedly, it can be fun at first, maybe even for both involved, but everyone gets tired of jokes. Some faster than others. Besides, they're there to play a game, not watch how fast you can block an entrance and not let them out to shoot the enemy.
Another problem is friendly fire. Why would you shoot your teammate because she is a girl? Instead of trying to work as a unit, you're impeding your groups progress just so that you can look good in front of her or your allies. This is the very definition of a troll that so many claim they're not. Honestly, often this boils down to men thinking of them as a sex interest and lashing out in ways to get eyes on them.
- "Yes! Now it's time to ruins someone else's game because they look different than me."
And last of all, don't discredit their gaming prowess just because they're a chick. There are professional gaming leagues out there, such as the Frag Dolls, comprised of nothing but woman, who can stomp down competition that is comprised of mostly men. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that women are astoundingly better than men at games or vice versa. It mostly depends on who practices more and who has the best innate skills, though there is some evidence that women can multitask better than men. Whether this helps women more in a game is yet to be thoroughly proven. None the less, just because you were born a different sex doesn't mean that you are now going to totally decimate against the other in a game.
In the end, by not being a: over-zealous warrior, an attention gasbag, and disrespecting their game skills, men could make women feel more welcomed amongst the gaming community. Granted, what I mentioned is just the leaves of the planted carrot. There's still many many "don'ts" left. But hey, this is as good a start as any. It may seem fun at times, but we don't need a world before the 14th amendment again.