Enforcing “Decency” in Gaming


Bullying is Wrong!

Now it’s not something that troubles me deeply but thanks to ShortyMonster for bringing the interesting topic of immature misogyny and bullying in gaming, to my attention.

The article is certainly worth reading before bothering with my views on the matter anyway.

Don’t worry, my views will still be here when you’re done.

As Shorty says, it’s far more of a problem in online gaming than tabletop roleplaying and I’ll say the same for LARP.

The LRP systems I have been involved in are pretty much self policing when it comes to bullying in general.

Yes, I’ve heard horror stories from some of the ladies I larp with; strange men trying to get in their tents and the like and a refusal from some to take “No” as an answer, but all of the anecdotes have usually ended with “But then so-and-so walled them up and they never bothered me again”.

That’s one of the things I like about LARP, there’s a real sense of community and a warm and fluffy “help each other out attitude” from most of the people I’ve met through LRP.

(Sickeningly sweet I know, who would have thought I could do saccharine… where’s my Insulin?)

The problem is a very real one when it comes to online gaming though.

Whether deathmatching the latest FPS blockbuster or trawling through quests in your favourite MMO you are bound to come across griefing of one kind or another.

Tough Love

Tough Love?

The article above is a call-to-arms for us to stop that kind of misogynist behaviour.

Specifically a call to the mature adult male gamer – which isn’t as contradictory as it first sounds, after all, the major culprits of the griefing detailed in the article, already treat anything that a lady says with contempt.

I’m very much more of a solo gamer than a social one.

Sure, I’ll play a few hours of FPS online with friends and even have one or two XBox Live “friends” who I have only ever interacted with via multiplayer gaming; it’s also worth noting that I’ve never bought into the whole MMO mentality though.

One of the things that has put me off online gaming is the very attitude that the article writes about.

Anonymous, puerile abuse spouted over your headset as you’re trying to enjoy your game of choice.

There’s only so much of that kind of constant babble that I can take without losing the will to continue playing.

You don’t hear it so much when you’re in your own party but if you log onto random arenas you can guarantee that it will start as soon as one of the gamers is revealed to be a lady.

Lady gamer friends have told me of occasions where they end up being fragged by some loser on their own team as soon as they speak… and that is just unacceptable.

So I agree with the sentiment.  Join the call to arms and stamp out this immature and prejudiced attitude wherever you find it.

Would you let someone talk that way to your Mother, Sister or Lover?

Block them, report them and if you’re feeling brave let them know they’re out of order… the worst they can do is give you grief in return and that’s what the Mute option is for!

(Erm… that last statement maybe isn’t that accurate… as this article from 2010 tells us… stay safe people)

I’d be interested to hear other opinions from gamers on this subject, regardless of gender.





5 thoughts on “Enforcing “Decency” in Gaming

  1. A friend has just reminded me the problems that Anita Sarkeesian had earlier this year when she ran a Kickstarter to fund research into “Gender Tropes in Video Games”.

    She ended up receiving a whole world of abuse from internet bullies, woman-haters and similar ‘tards. Thankfully she managed to turn it round and get the funding she needed but she still had to endure the worst the web has to offer.

    At the end of the Call to Arms article, there is a link to gamersagainstbigotry.org but it seems even that has come under attack by the same level of internet hatemonging.

    Unfortunately, the database of pledges was deleted by hackers, causing us to go from nearly 1500 pledges to ZERO … Attempts to restore the database have been met by repeated attacks, rendering the pledge component of the site essentially useless. We’re not sure how the exploit was completed, so until we figure it out we ask that instead of signing the pledge (because the signatures will all be lost again) you donate to our indiegogo fundraiser to help us fight back.

    A group of narrow-minded, childish individuals are attempting to silence us, and so far doing a great job at it. Let your voice be heard.

    So it isn’t just badly-developed-boys behind all this… but badly-developed-boys with leet hacksor skillz and a will to take their bullying to the nth degree… and that is something very difficult to fight.

    My friend also pointed me at this compilation of the types of abuse lady gamers see often.

  2. Pingback: Troll Hunting on Twitter « Armaitus on…

  3. The social contact required for table top gaming and LARP, for most people at least, fosters a sense of maturity and respect for people. My gaming group does not consist of a bunch of names, those names have faces & personalities and I have memories associated with them, mostly good memories and the same applies at LARP (although a bigger crowd means there are more exceptions to this rule at LARP).

    Playing online grants the user total anonymity. The user name means nothing to anyone and it’s easy to be brave when you know the person you’re victimising can’t see you or find you in real life. It’s also easier to be nasty when the only consequence you will see is your victim logging off, In a real world situation, such as LARP or table top gaming, the consequences of your actions are there to see, whether they be violent or emotional, you still have to deal with them in person. Online gaming protects you from all of that.

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