Sitrep: The sexless men-children who apparently play all the shooters

South Park Nerd

By on August 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

Y’know, I reckon I play a lot of shooters. Don’t ask me why I suspect this, just a strong feeling I have. I prefer to play them by myself but multiplayer, multiplayer, MULTIPLAYER encroached on my personal space so much I gave up and now I have a legitimate problem. Even so I make sure my headset’s mic is dead. I don’t really wanna talk, I just want to kill. Kill all of you. Yes. Soon.

But uh, you know that doesn’t stop other people from having their mics on and breathing heavily, or eating corn, or talking about some dumb thing, or pretending they’ve touched a boob. It’s that last one I think is funny and interesting, because, see, I did an experiment once by accident.

In an effort to bring myself and the girlf even closer together until we are like Tetsuo in Akira, I made her play Black Ops. She’s more social than me. She flicked on the mic and in between absolutely murdering the sky with whole clips of SMG fury, she said something, one single thing, into that mic. It was like, “Hi everyone.”

Immediately:

The stereotype was real that day, my friends. I had never see anything like it. Everyone got talking to her. Some instantly shifted into a strange anger seemingly directed at her because of her vagina, calling her all kinds of names. It was not hard to figure out why. Only men – boys, let’s say, really – who’ve experienced hot blonde rejection respond that way to the mere presence of a female.

It made me sad, because it seemed to me a self-perpetuating rage cycle and they would never know the fun of not paying for intercourse. Most dudes, though, were just excited. It was like they’d found a freaking unicorn, man. I actually think that was scarier than the straight-up torrents of abuse. It was creepy too.

Without them, ‘girl gamer’ would not be a thing and I’d like that because it’s stupid.

Just by the sounds of their voices – both young and older, some even possibly coming up on middle age – and the tones of their messages, you could tell: These were sexless men. Not just that, but something sadder: These were lonely men. Boys and men. Boys who might grow into those kinds of men. Entire unrelated families of males with hymens. The Hy-men, I called them.

And I thought, then, of the comic book store guy in The Simpsons and how that guy is what a lot of people think a dedicated gamer is also like. For the first time ever, I saw it take living shape (just add oestrogen?). I wondered a lot and am still wondering why so many emotionally and socially underdeveloped types play all the shooters, all the games. Is it some kind of safe haven for the pre-maladjusted, and when they get there and really commit to serving this haven with high scores, does it then nurture this maladjustment in its own little bubble built by its founders, the sexless men-children of the devolution?

Without them, ‘girl gamer’ would not be a thing and I’d like that because it’s stupid. Not every gamer is like these dudes, no way. But I think this is how magnets work.

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32 comments (Leave your own)

“I made her play Black Ops”

The problem started here, CoD is a magnet for these types of idiots. These types of people are one of the main reasons I don’t play CoD anymore.

Some games have a much more mature following than others, but I agree completely that shooters seem to be the meeting ground for all the douche bags of the world.

My solution: play strategy games instead!

 

Honestly, all you had to do was ask any woman that plays games online and not in silence :P They aren’t restricted to young and FPS style games, they are everywhere. They also spring from the fact that everyone assumes all other players are men unless lead to believe otherwise (I go the opposite, I assume all players are women unless declared male, it makes things way more fun).

I had one guy in my guild say over voice comms that I was the only woman he knows that plays this MMO. Ignoring the fact that there are other women in the guild (but they are either taken by other members of the guild or don’t talk on voice comms) and how many other women he would run past every day… It was pretty embarrassing and I didn’t know how to respond.

I do think you have it the wrong way around. Why shouldn’t there be girl gamers? Not to do the whole ‘as a woman’ thing, but I have noticed that myself and my fellow ladies do like playing games differently, we tend to have different goals and desires than that of our male counterparts and we like playing different roles.
It shouldn’t be about getting rid of the term ‘girl gamers’, it should be about stopping the unsolicited crap that goes with saying ‘hi everyone’.

Those players could acknowledged the fact that your girlfriend was indeed a girl, and even used it to their advantage but no, instead they decided to be -coughs-

Plus, imagine if that voice didn’t sound female, imagined if there was a thick accent or they sounded homosexual or anything like that. The tirade would have still happened, it would just be 100% focused on getting rid of the interloper.

These men aren’t lonely (ok maybe they are, but that isn’t the problem), they are playing games for the wrong reason. Not as a form of enjoyable entertainment but as a form of escape and the female sounding voice over their headset? Why they are just part of that escape fantasy, one where women shouldn’t exist or only exist to please their peens. Just like any voice that doesn’t sound like a cis-heterosexual, white male.

The gaming world is a really sad sad place and will continue to be so while gamers continue to demand that games (and fellow gamers) be what they want their fantasy’s to be.

 

^^Zomg gurl!

/me sends friend request

Ha!

Well I don’t think this is limited to games at all either, this is online in general. I have a few good females friends that delve into different hobbies online, and I tend to hear this kind of story back, whether it is a game, or simply a forum/discussion board. Once they discover the interaction is with a female, all shit goes downhill in various ways.

 

katamara,

Because the term girl-gamer is singling out an entire section of the gaming world, therefore creating a focal point. Why can’t women just be called gamers and leave it at that? Nothing wrong with being a gamer.

The gaming world isn’t as sad as you put it forward, it is sad yes, but no where near as bad as you make it sound. Isn’t that the point of entertainment though? To live out some form of fantasy? I mean lets take, for me, I read a lot of books. I tend to read sci-fi because it’s a fantasy to be in space. I specifically choose sci-fi because it is my fantasy. So it’s a bit unfair to say we shouldn’t taking our games as an extension of that. The gaming world is a genre unto itself with many sub genres.

“Those players could acknowledged the fact that your girlfriend was indeed a girl, and even used it to their advantage but no, instead they decided to be -coughs-”

What advantage? What does this even mean? You’re just another player on the field, what possible advantage could you have that the other gamers don’t?

I play a lot of different games, MMO’s, FPS, RTS and even get dragged into some MOBAs, the only place I’ve seen massive disparity in the reaction to girls in gaming has been FPS, and not all of them, mainly CoD. Most are treated equally and equally dangerous on the field. so that’s how I personally treat women in gaming. Equal.

 

katamara,

Holy sheeeet it’s Katamara. Didn’t think you were still around :P

I reckon the gaming world is no different to the real world. Any environment which is male dominated is going to have that “zomg females” element. I lived and worked in a mining town for a few years where I swear the male to female ratio was 50:1. Any attractive females there were cracked on left, right and centre.

 
Toby McCasker

kinkykel,

Totally. I don’t like the division suggested by ‘girl gamer,’ because who cares? I know some chicks who are murderously good FPS players, and I know some guys who play squealing JRPGs (uh, me). Personally I am just stoked to find cool people to play games with, regardless of pink bits. Certainly this whole thing was/is symptomatic of heterosexual, male-dominated environments in general, but more and more I hear about girls not wanting to make themselves known online because the difference is: Gamer dudes don’t have to be drunk to be lewd, not like at a bar or at a sporting thing. There’s already six degrees doing the work of six beers for them. It really sucks, ‘cos I don’t think my lady is going to give it another go anytime soon. And I need this, because when BF4 comes out she must understand the madness that will consume our lounge room for months.

 

ralphwiggum:
katamara,

Holy sheeeet it’s Katamara. Didn’t think you were still around :P

I reckon the gaming world is no different to the real world. Any environment which is male dominated is going to have that “zomg females” element. I lived and worked in a mining town for a few years where I swear the male to female ratio was 50:1. Any attractive females there were cracked on left, right and centre.

Absolutely this.

Its not because its gaming. Its simply because gaming is typically a man’s domain so we naturally expect most players to be male unless pointed out otherwise. I know some women do enjoy playing games (my girlfriend does), but there is no denying that the vast majority of gamers are male. Especially when you get into the online domain.

Its like as a guy playing football (AFL) at school and a girl joins your team (or the other team). Its a bit of a shock to the system at first because you don’t quite know how to tackle the situation (no pun intended). I remember playing footy in primary school and had no clue what I am supposed to do if an opponent was a girl and she got the ball. Do I tackle her? Bump her? Leave her alone? It was quite a strange experience and I am certainly one of those people who gets white line fever and if it was a guy I would have lined him up and dropped him. But since its a girl……ehmmm……I had no idea what I was supposed to do.

Likewise I think its very much the same in online gaming. When its just a bunch of guys playing there is definitely that ultra-competitive atmosphere around (hence the vulgar language a lot of the time). But when they all of a sudden hear a woman over a mic it kind of throws things into chaos. You get the douchebag man-children as Toby referred to them; who just become the biggest knobs in the world and become rather sexist and vulgar. Then on the flip side; you will get others who will tone things down because there “is a lady present”. So I personally think it works both ways. Having females visibly present (so to speak) in online gaming shows the best and worst in people. I know quite a few guys who the moment they know a woman jumps online to play they refrain from the torrent of abuse they would otherwise be hurling at the opposition. Likewise, I have definitely witnessed occasions where the douchebags all come out of their hiding holes and abuse the poor woman for no good reason.

But you can’t go and put all guys in the same box. Girls in gaming show the best and worst in the guys online playing at the time imo.

 

I was honestly pretty surprised to learn that 2 of my regular Quake Live dulling partners were sisters. I’m pretty sure I made some stupid “holy shit, girls play Quake” remark, but other than that it’s just made me think about how liberally I call everyone “he” in online games.

 
 
steve_rogers42

I’m a dude with a problem, to me, everyone is a dude, and as a dude are responsible for being dudes with rugs that really tie the room together.

In a roundabout way I had this conversation with my GF the other day after some awkward circumstances came about, you see to me the term dude and mate are interchangeable and can refer to either sex.

she is also a yank, so mate means something else to her, so when a childhood friend rocked into town and wanted to meet up for coffee I asked her if she was keen to meet an old mate of mine, which she was, and then proceeded to be a tad shocked and awed that my mate was of the female persuasion, who I always seemingly call a dude, as I was later informed.

My problem is, Online and in real life, I regard people by personality, not by gender.

I apologize in advance if you get turned into a dude, or a mate mid conversation by me, just know I’m so sorry.

Toby McCasker,

As one of the ‘cool’ kids who has gotten into the whole ‘i have a mic’ thing, i miss being a silent gamer. But honestly I’m hoping that there is a chance my better half will indulge in the BF4 with me, because if L4D2 is anything to go by, she will be an invaluable team playa.

Also as a short history lesson, the worst female gamer rant i have been witness to, and was appalled by was in a game of CS:S, where a mate of mine did the whole speaky thing and then “omg gurls!!!11!!!1″ which lead to us playing some L4D, which then lead to people jumping into the game with us following her steam ID.

That was some true next level bs.

 

I wonder how this experiment would play out at a LAN party, where you have many of the same gamers, but lose the pseudo-anonymity that the online gaming world provides.

 

ralphwiggum:
katamara,

Holy sheeeet it’s Katamara. Didn’t think you were still around :P

I reckon the gaming world is no different to the real world. Any environment which is male dominated is going to have that “zomg females” element. I lived and worked in a mining town for a few years where I swear the male to female ratio was 50:1. Any attractive females there were cracked on left, right and centre.

Except that most of the real world outside of mining, board rooms and the military has been pretty effectively reformed so that it’s not particularly shocking for anyone to see a woman.

I took the point of the article to be – why is online gaming such a seething mass of not just males, but poorly adjusted, sexless males.

I would guess that the answer lies in the ease of interacting with people via shooting in the face/yelling anonymous abuse is appealing to the type of person who has great difficulty building relationships in the real world.

PS – Toby, what you describe is exactly what makes me feel the need to hide or downplay my interesting in gaming in certain circumstances. Unfortunately the stereotype has more than a grain of truth to it.

 
Toby McCasker

caitsith01,

Re: downplaying interest in gaming. I would be lying if I said I don’t often do the same. The crowd I usually run with are not really gamers (and if they are, it’s because of my influence, which is good! Right?), and at first they looked at me like I was some kind of subterranean slime creature when I was all, “I love Final Fantasy I play it like constantly aw yeah.” They still do sometimes. It’s almost like they wanna pat me on the back and tell me it’ll all be OK.

 

It’s funny how the good female players tend not to get hounded so much. We have 2-3 girls in my clan (the almost one is my sister who rarely plays), and they are all of such different personalities that the whole “OMG Gurlz!!!!1!!!111one” thing is kinda interesting.
Not naming names but one of them thrives on attention, as long as she has all the guys in the game or TS talking to or about her then she’s happy.
The second of them is one of the top players in our clan, she has been recently more inactive due to the division of games caused by MW3 and Blops 2, but when she gets in there, she doesn’t really get much abuse or even the OMG gurlz thing because usually she’s soundly spanking everyone in the game. So much there have been claims that she can’t be female. Believe me she is very very much female and pretty damn good looking at that!!!
The third is my sister, who if challenged online in any shape or form tends to eviscerate wannabe insulters or 40yr old but mentally 12yr olds with words. So much they usually leave and never return.

The other interesting thing though is that all the males in the clan while we can be crude when relaxed and just talking crap in TS, will jump to their defence as though they were sisters to us all. It’s not that common to see though as was proven when the first of the three mentioned above joined our clan, as her previous clan had been a nightmare for her. The comments and crap she had to deal with were appalling and seeing as it was her first clan she had no experience otherwise. IMO there’s no reason at all to treat girls in games differently from males, but people who lack common courtesy will always react like a bogun.

 

ralphwiggum:
katamara,

Holy sheeeet it’s Katamara. Didn’t think you were still around :P

I reckon the gaming world is no different to the real world. Any environment which is male dominated is going to have that “zomg females” element. I lived and worked in a mining town for a few years where I swear the male to female ratio was 50:1. Any attractive females there were cracked on left, right and centre.

Agreed

Females who play games like Black Ops are[i] like unicorns. I would expect the female percentage of the gaming community who play Black Ops type games would be in the single figures. And I would expect that a great percentage of those would be playing because their significant other plays.

So when a girl says “hi” in a black ops game, men do get excited, because it [i]is rare. Play a more female popular game like WoW or Second Life, and you’ll get more of a “Meh” response from the male community when a girl logs in.

caitsith01: Except that most of the real world outside of mining, board rooms and the military has been pretty effectively reformed so that it’s not particularly shocking for anyone to see a woman.

Even with reforms, the Military and Mining will see less women because that kind of work appeals less to women. On deep water oil rigs, the only women you usually see may be a geologist who flies in by helicopter, stay a few hours to take a few readings, then flies out again.

 

I’m going to have to agree with the sentiment that playing BlackOps specifically was probably a mistake here. I don’t know what it is about the people who play that game but I swear it’s like videogame playerbase equivalent of 4chan’s /b/.

I don’t generally see this sort of thing on Team Fortress 2, for example. As long as you’re on a decent server (like games.on.net), it generally just doesn’t happen that much.

 

caitsith01:
PS – Toby, what you describe is exactly what makes me feel the need to hide or downplay my interesting in gaming in certain circumstances.Unfortunately the stereotype has more than a grain of truth to it.

It is a serious shame that this is how it has to be. I find that if I’m talking with my mates that I’ve had since primary school, or those that I play with online, it is not an issue (obvious reasons), but as soon as you speak about it with someone that “isn’t in the know”, you instantly ‘lose’ 5 points and need to prove that you’re a perfectly normal, well adjusted individual.

it is interesting, because I was actually speaking to a mate from Uni not too long ago about gaming, and what comes to mind when he hears the term ‘gamer’. Low and behold the first thing that came to mind was the picture above from South Park. This was with me present, looking nothing like the above, and after discussing my interest briefly. It is also worth noting that we are both Psychology students, so in a ‘perfect world’, we should be able to see beyond that and look at things objectively.

I’ve also spoken to my hair dresser about it (she’s such a trooper), and she has the opinion that she’d never pick up a video game (or take them seriously), or that a gamer would have to ‘show’ that they are normal for her to date them. This isn’t to say she is perfect herself, but as highlighted, the stigma of video games and gamers is just that strong, that anyone who dons the label in any shape or form is automatically denoted to the lowest common denominator.

The dating scene can be an especially harsh area for individuals that make it known they are gamers, whether it’s because of the stigma, or the world view that you shouldn’t be playing video games after 18 years old (or because you are the maladjusted, stereotypical gamer :P). I’ve spoken on this topic with some female friends who again aren’t gamers themselves, or would even consider picking one up (because learning to pole dance and watch MTV is a better use of time, and less frowned upon no less), who have explicitly said ‘never mention video games or anime when talking to a girl’, which is a pretty sad reality when those two categories are just a fraction of the things you enjoy and do during your free time, and a fraction of who you are. The ideology seems to be unless you find that ‘rare’ girl that plays video games too, you’re going to be forever alone, or have to suppress a part of yourself/completely change (which is damaging on several levels).

It is probably worth mentioning, and hopefully it doesn’t make me sound like a total creeper, that on occasion I’ll peruse dating websites (again, Psych background :P), and when you actually find a decently written profile (surprising how bad some are, given that you’re essentially ‘selling’ yourself in an online ad), when a female mentions games, people will ‘flock’ to it, but when a male mentions it, they seem to be ‘avoided’. Kind of highlights the mentality a bit I guess. If you have any interest in Psychology, dating websites are a great place to get a feel for things and can be quite fascinating, especially when you consider how the words affect other people and… okay, maybe this is why I’m a ‘bad’ boyfriend. :P

 

I think calling them “sexless” is a bit of an injustice, ignore the gaming aspect for a moment, lets pretend you’re a single, 25 year old male whose favorite hobby is fly fishing:

You’re standing knee deep in your favorite brook one morning and the sun glints on something out of the corner of your eye. You turn downstream and see something you’ve never seen before in your 10+ years of flyfishing… a pretty girl with a rod.

Naturally any sane man is going to slowly fish his way downstream till he’s close enough to strike up a conversation, luckily you can use that fishing rod as an excuse to get close, maybe you drop something in the river accidentally and it floats by her.

In casual gaming, there is no river, there’s no rod, there’s no way to attract positive attention from this mythical she-beast who shares a hobby with you… so most people act out.

Course a lot of people are smart enough to realize how dumb it is trying to pick up a chick outside the playground with “you’re ugly” and a punch in the arm, but that doesn’t stop a vocal minority from trying.

Of course that hypothesis also ignores those of us who just want to chill out and catch some trout…. and why is that person in my river? “HEY YOU… UGLY…. THIS IS MY RIVER!”.

 
steve_rogers42

nekosan,

Dude, a fisherman is a squire and a gentleman, he would never pursue a lady when undertaking the art of fishing, he would simply ignore her in his focus of perfecting his craft, until he lands the catch of the day, and then acknowledge her with a doff of his cap as he makes his way past, admiring her positioning and musing to himself about the pleasantry and serenity of the fishing spot.

Meanwhile the lady would be swept in fear of vocalizing the fact that she is in troubles catching fish in that spot, and highly wonders if the fisherman is able to give her pointers, but her self analysis has decreed that if she were to mention the shame in the spot she has chosen, verses the size of his catch, he would judge and shame her for the choices she has made at this point in time.

At this point in time there are a bunch of unistudents further downstream making a rukus and scaring all the fish away as they throw dynamite into the stream and drink and partake in all things not related to fishing, whilst thinking they are the only ones enjoying the stream on this day, and how dare anyone ever enjoy it differently.

yea?

 

nekosan,

Excellent story. 10/10. Would publish. (Not kidding, it was great haha)

 
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