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The online gaming community is overwhelmingly male. So much so that when playing against a human opponent who happens to be female, it's considered a big deal.

Now why is this? One could go into a long discussion about the stereotypically-male games that usually involve violence of some sort. Or the marked lack of diversity among female game characters. Or the fact that most games tend to have a very male, "accomplish this goal and you win" style.

But there's one other contributing problem. And I'll use this example from a Starcraft II game to illustrate. I'll try to stay away from as much of the game-specific jargon as I can, clarifying whenever I have to. Note: I will not be casting (commenting in real time on) the gameplay itself. I'll let the commentators, dubbed "MaximusBlack" and "NovaWar," do that. They're two of the most hilarious commentators in the Starcraft community, and they know the game pretty well. However, in their enthusiasm in casting this particular match, they overlook a poignant conversation between the two players, which I want to open up for discussion.

(Note 1: Audio is NSFW. Video is SFW if you don't care if it looks like you're playing a computer game. You can watch this muted and still get all the dialogue between the players.)

(Note 2: All times listed below are of the video itself, not the in-game clock.)

(Note 3: Ignore the occasional lapses in grammar and spelling. Due to their sheer volume, I will not be using [sic] tags. Typing out proper messages can cost precious seconds in a real-time strategy game like Starcraft II, even during the first couple of minutes of the game when relatively little is going on.)

The game opens with the following:

MadSkillZ: hello sir

Adalgisa: Should use a gender neutral.

MadSkillZ (I'll call him Mad for short) takes a bit of a risk, because though most Starcraft gamers are male, not all of them are. And Adalgisa (whom I will refer to as Adal) corrects him on it.

Roll the tape.

Mad: why so?
The first of Mad's many mistakes. All he had to do was say, "Ah, you're right, glhf" (Good luck, have fun), and that might have been the end of the conversation.
Adal: Could be a ma'am. :P
Again, though unlikely on any given match, the probability of facing at least one female opponent increases over multiple matches. And it is not unheard of for Starcraft players to play more than a dozen matches a day.
Mad: girls don't play
Whether this is just plain denial, an attempt to intimidate, a comment from ignorance, or all of the above, Mad has descended into full-fledged sexism. How will Adal react?
Adal: Wow. People really believe that?
Excellent question.
Mad: i do

Adal: Well, Adalgisa is not a man's name.

And the chat goes awkwardly quiet.

Really, Mad? You didn't take the hint when Adal politely reminded you to be gender-neutral until the point in time you learn your opponent's gender, if you learn it at all?

Mad: doesn't look like ladys name either

Adal: It's Europena.
European.

I'll take that as a no, you didn't. Yet Adal refuses to take the bait, yet again.
Mad: so u have hairy pts?
And now we transition to lame stereotypes. It's worth noting that even if Mad actually believed this, why the hell did he feel the need to ask this? Creepy, much?

BTW, this is the first time that the casters comment on this in-game dialogue. They start down an odd path, but MaximusBlack notes that, for all intents and purposes, "European women do not shave their armpits" is a false stereotype. Unfortunately, it goes downhill from there. (I warned you--the audio is NSFW!)

Adal: ...

Mad: dont all girl from eu not shave?

At this point it's becoming almost impossible to tell if Mad really is this ignorant or if he's just trolling. My money is on the latter, but, Poe's Law.

Adal refuses to answer. She probably realizes the painful truth about sexism: if a woman stands up to it, she's a bitch. At this point she had every right to do so, but she probably knew that she had to take the high road, at least in the comments that she made.

(The chat goes quiet for awhile. Feel free to watch the game until then or fast-forward it to that point.)

Mad (6:40): did u copy my build lol

Adal: Yep

This is game chatter. A build order is a series of steps in the early game, somewhat like a set of routes and blocks in a football play.
Mad: great minds think alike
No, just, no. First of all, your build orders were not quite the same. You didn't build a thor (that giant, red, mech robot) that wiped out all your opponents' workers. Adal did. In your defense, however, you almost accomplished the same with your widow mine (the small, blue, spider-like bomb tosser).

And you're out of her league when it comes to civil discussion, dude. But please, carry on.

(Interestingly, the casters still haven't realized that one of the players is female.)

Mad (8:03): well played

Adal: Thank you

Finally a decent comment. (Right after he got Adal's thor, though...)
Mad: i think u just gave me a boner lol
Well so much for decency. Yeah, that was so funny, Mad. /snark
Adal: Now remember.
Always use sir and ma'am.
PWNED!!
Mad: i let you win btw
(Shortly after, Mad ragequits, giving the win to Adal.)

No. No you didn't. You got outplayed. You let Adal sneak a production building into your base--one you could have easily spotted--and get a thor out. And that thor tore your base and your sorry-ass misogyny a new one. Furthermore, you broke one of the most important unwritten rules in Starcraft: ALWAYS type "gg" (good game) right before you resign from an unwinnable match. Even if you feel like crap, failure to do so is referred to as a "ragequit" and is a sign of poor sportsmanship.

I posted this example not because I went looking for it, but because I happened to stumble upon it. I was dismayed at the blatant sexism that MadSkillZ showed. But the worst part? It doesn't always end this well. The bullied gamer doesn't always get her sweet revenge. Games are supposed to be an escape from the world and its madness, but what happens when even games bring that madness to you? What happens when you can't even seem to get a moment's rest from this?

Fellow male gamers, how can we stop this? By not being dicks like this. By standing up to it when we see it. By simply using the appropriate gender in our nouns and articles. By not being any more upset when losing to a female than when losing to a male--and when we do, by typing "gg".

Originally posted to Risen Tree on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Gamers and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Without otherwise stepping on a very (49+ / 0-)

    good, illustrative diary, I do want to address one point from the opening:

    The video gaming community is overwhelmingly male.  So much so that when playing against a human opponent who happens to be female, it's considered a big deal.
    Actually, according to ESA's most recent data (pdf), women make up 47% of players and 48% of purchasers.  Apparently women are also more likely to play online co-op than solo console games.

    Certainly that doesn't mean that male online gamers take this into account.  Public perception is a big factor in how and why people still treat women as if they're not a target demographic.

    And of course, the biggest disparity by far is on the developmental end, and that feeds into the perception of target audience as well.  Susan O'Connor has complained that, on some of her projects, they didn't even bring women into the playtesting stage because the developers assumed it was a "guy" game.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:19:57 PM PDT

      •  Thanks - and thanks for sharing this story. nt (12+ / 0-)

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:46:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Paging Larry Summers... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53
          Apparently women are also more likely to play online co-op than solo console games.
          I recall a study a few years ago in which a college wanted to test the real-world driving skills of first-person shooter players against those of non-FPS players. They could not find enough female FPS players to participate in the study.

          I suspect that even though females are 47% of players, they are a much smaller % of players in games that (a) have violent themes, and (b) reward quick reflexes and aggressive physical (virtual-physical) moves.

          Brain structure, hormones, and culture all influence each other. Yes, environment can influence hormone levels and brain structure; just one example: http://www.wired.com/...

          So "nature vs. nurture?" is the wrong question; nature and nurture affect each other.

          Bottom line: I suspect if gaming culture were sex-neutral, we'd still see more men than women playing FPS and similar violent-action games; but I suspect the % of women would be higher than currently.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:00:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If I only have so much time to play games, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, crose, gustynpip

            I would probably play the games that I'm already good at.

            If I had a lot of time, I'd start working with games that I'm not good at for the challenge.  

            Since I have to spend so much time for my Miss America competition, with all the exercise, clothing fittings, and makeup application lessons, and just getting ready for work and job interviews and all that,  I'm gonna go for the games that have a quick payoff for me.  

            Let the guys in the basements practice practice and practice some more to win the tough stuff.

            •  We all only have so much time (0+ / 0-)

              I have friends who spend time and friends who invest time. I'd put my wife in the latter category.

              Even though we play cribbage every night and she is incredibly competitive in that realm, is progressive and follows politics closely, she has never gone online to play a game, try social media, blog, or shop.She like to interact with people in real life.

              Her idea of entertainment is being a sports fan. She likes football, baseball, hockey, basketball, figure skating, golf, but doesn't play or participate in any of those herself.

              She likes to garden, cook, and sew, on a level where her artistic skills have been awarded grants. I get to be her sous chef, frame her art work and keep the deer out of the garden.

              She has allowed me to participate in sewing by fixing her machine and stitching together strips of stuff, but I think her sense of color and design exceed my ability to compete.

              Sometimes she will duplicate an oil painting that catches her fancy in fabric so you can't tell the difference. Then she will spin off that into her own world where she paints her fabric with vegetable dyes from the flowers she grows. Her art has developed in a manner that is similar to the quests for professions in WoW.

              In a way she is playing the game of life at a level that has her living her fantasies and making them real.

              Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

              by rktect on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 02:07:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously? (9+ / 0-)

            And what scientific evidence do you have that supports this idea that women don't enjoy violent FPS's as much as men? Did it never occur to you that maybe we women are just tired of the fact that these games are 100% geared towards men, with female bodies that are typically anatomically impossible, if they show up in the game at all? As a woman who has been playing these violent games for freaking decades, I'm laying down the bullshit card on the very idea that women just don't like these kinds of games. I and many, many other women do love them.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:10:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Subject to interpretation. (0+ / 0-)

              Your experience is, of course, valid.

              But anecdotes, while thought-provoking, are not data. Neither of us has "scientific evidence."

              Everyone seems to agree that most gamers are men. This could be because the industry caters to males and alienates females, with those anatomically impossible female bodies, etc. Or the catering/alienation could be a response to the overwhelming maleness of the gaming customer base.

              Most likely it's both, each reinforcing the other. Feedback loop. Yes, this is just a guess.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:43:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Everyone seems to agree that most gamers are men, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tommymet

                even though hard evidence shows 53% of gamers are men.

                Also, I'll add that Portal is not exactly a FPS, but very similar, and the only character is female. The killer AI is female too.

                Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

                by Boundegar on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 06:07:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Word - (4+ / 0-)

              I actually enjoy those games.  I spend nearly as much money on gaming as I do on shoes (which is more than I should).

              My ex-husband played zero video games.  He thought talking to fake internet people while gaming was stupid, and he just couldn't get the hand eye coordination needed.
              So I played solo at home.

              Sometimes us ladies like to shoot imaginary shit too.

              •  For real (0+ / 0-)

                The amount of time and money I have spent playing Resident Evil games is pretty ridiculous. I play them way more than my husband who prefers rpg games.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:18:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'm male... (18+ / 0-)

      And POV video games make me sea-sick.  The disconnect between the visuals and what my own senses are telling me is difficult for my mind to reconcile.  Interestingly enough I don't get sea-sick on a boat - even a small one on pretty rough seas - as song as I am on deck and the movement of the boat makes "sense" to my eyes and brain.

      My nephew and his girl friend don't have this problem - I guess it's a brain training issue.

      •  I have the same problem sometimes. (10+ / 0-)

        Luckily for me, I don't have the reflexes for FPS games so I'd be skipping those anyway but it is a problem with the Portal series for me, particularly given that the player rotates to remain upright when going through a portal. I've pretty much learned that an hour to an hour and a half at a stretch is really all I can handle at once.

        But of course Civ and Battle For Wesnoth aren't 'real gaming' even though they don't make me sick.

      •  Same. I'm a Civ5 addict (13+ / 0-)

        And I remember playing CivI in the dorm rooms of my college and losing track of days; the association that gamer just means someone who plays online in some shoot 'em up is pointless.   The best games I've played htis year (dishonored and last of us) are best in the story mode.. not online.  

        And the best game I've ever played (Civ) is a challenge for your mind.

        Meanwhile, my 13 year old autistic son is enjoying the goodness of early Lucas Arts games, making his way through "Day of the Tentacle" now.  

        Being a gamer isn't what these people think it is, bunch of noobs.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:35:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am "addicted" to Civ III Complete... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          duhban

          but then, I only have an 11-gig laptop that won't handle the bigger games.  

          Had Civ IV on the other computer, but the cpu burned out.

          Haven't even seen Civ 5 yet...

          •  Civ 5 is good, though you need to expansions (5+ / 0-)

            to make it more complete.  The glaring problem I have with it is it does not have the pollution mechanics of the older games.  Climate change is very much part of the story of our civilization and becoming more so every day -- why did they take it out?

            Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

            by The Dead Man on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:18:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The answer to this would infuriate you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nathanfl, EastcoastChick

              Seriously, google it.    But, there were other factors as well.  That said, you're right it wasn't until the most recent expansion (Gods & Kings) that Civ5 turned truly fantastic

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:24:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  brave new world (0+ / 0-)

                is most recent and completely changed teh flavor of the game.i just started emperor level and am crushing it with early cb rushes on continents, when you discover the next continent, they don't know about your sordid past.

                catherine, pocatello, songhai, mongols, casimir - i love these guys!  not as big a fan of zulu.

                and not to forget, wu zetian, elizabeth, maria, isabella - women straight up represent in this game.

                •  I agree, BNW completes the game (0+ / 0-)

                  Culture victory is actually challenging now, diplomacy is more nuanced, etc.  Still working my way through the achievements, only 58% so far.

                  The Girl Who Loved Stories
                  I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

                  by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:00:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  gl with the achievements (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Avilyn, VelvetElvis

                    i've actually abandoned CV and SV because some civs are so loaded its almost unfair.  i've been doing domination as that seems more challenging now with the happiness hit.  a few games of civ will give people a basic grasp of geopolitics and the importance and consequences of resource wars.

                    my current game had me as casimir on a desert flood plain coastal capital, and japan just off screen.  my part of the continent was empty otherwise, including of resources except for a really nice flood plain desert spot with a lonely mountain that had a river hill with iron adjacent.  to capture that spot, i had to break out with an early cb rush on japans capital and raze tokyo so i can get that sweet spot.  then a few border wars with japan, as well as bribing egypt to war against japan has kept them week and expanding into poor resource areas.  im sitting on two cities pumping out units until i can get japan to hit egypt back, then i'll rush in my mob and capture kyoto.  egypt is fenced off with a big ass jungle, so it will take some time to get to him - im thinking a naval assault as he has a coastal city that i can take that is weak but a good landing spot once i cap kyoto.

                    •  I like world-building, so CV was always my (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nathanfl

                      preferred victory route.  Stay isolationist and build a tall empire was pretty much my gameplan.  I like how in BNW now, it's not about how much culture you generate, but tourism vs other civ's culture, which forces you to open trade routes & diplomacy with them, and even settle additional cities on large maps in order to reach the other civs for trade routes.   I've done domination and culture victories so far with BNW; haven't tried for science or diplomacy yet.

                      The Girl Who Loved Stories
                      I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

                      by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:22:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I did google it, and didn't find anything clear (0+ / 0-)

                Can you share a link to the infuriating answer you know?

                Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

                by homunq on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 06:13:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Couldn't find it, but I'll just guess it because (0+ / 0-)

                it pissed off the mouthbreathers and they thought they'd get more money by removing it.

                Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

                by The Dead Man on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:51:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  civ5 (0+ / 0-)

          pocatello domination guy here.

      •  Exactly. I stopped playing SWG when they altered (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, avsp, mmacdDE, MizC, catleigh

        the movement setup to make it FPSy to get all the handheld people to start playing.  I couldn't run for even a few seconds without getting nauseous.

      •  I have the same problem (4+ / 0-)

        There are a couple of MMORG's I can play that use overhead or distant behind shoulder views, or where combat is frequent and done in an overhead view and breaks it up enough. But most games I can't play at all. It sucks.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:02:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I find it's a matter of tolerance (0+ / 0-)

        The first time I played Jedi Knight (first person computer game), I got massively sick . . . but after several periods of short exposure (a lot like dealing with sunlight, lol), I became able to "stomach" it.

        But after any long break--same problem. The rolling around in all directions, that does me in.

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:03:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, it seems you actually do get seasick. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, ladybug53

        People on deck don't get seasick so much as people below deck. The action of physical motion combined with the visual experience of lack of motion, or vice-versa, is what causes seasickness, more generally described as motion sickness. People are often counseled to spend more time on deck to avoid seasickness because then they can both see and feel motion, which minimizes the disconnect between the two, thus reducing the need to puke.  :)

      •  Seasickness+games (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        outspoken82

        I played a metric TONNE of 'Bioshock (1)', no problem, then switched to 'F.E.A.R' and was sick as a dog.   WTH?

        I think it was the renderer: the Bioshock one was pretty and very soft, while F.E.A.R was very aliasy and hard-edged.

      •  Really? odd. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        Third person games give me motion sickness. I can do first person just fine!

        "Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth."

        by kamrom on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:07:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me too (0+ / 0-)

        I found that out a long time ago, when the games were less refined.

        Newer games aren't quite as bad, but they still bother me. However, if it's a skill/puzzle game, it's not a problem.

        I don't think it's the POV as much as the quick movements. In a skill/puzzle game, you move in first person, but you're not jumping around all the time. The goal is to find things out in the environment, and to solve puzzles, not to jump around and shoot things.

      •  The do to me to if they are really boring. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, llywrch

        It's a mind over matter thing. There is a certain level of discomfort that my body is willing to endure for the gratification of the mind.

        These days I don't play person versus the interface type games(i.e. FPS, RTS, etc.). I prefer strategy and tactics turn based games instead.

        The last thing I was trying to do in amidst sessions of XCOM was fight my way across Syria with the Canadians in Combat Mission Shock Force. I done it with the US Army, US Marines, the British, and the Dutch. It really made me not want to get involved with Syria on any level. It's a place you really don't want to put boots on the ground. Let's just say that there was a lot of really tough decisions to make and I caused a lot of collateral damage to keep my troops safe. I may have scored military victories, but I lost the peace.

        For those who don't know, Combat Mission Shock Force, is a company level modern ground combat simulation that came out in the mid-2000's. It was set Syria in 2008, because Syria all the terrain types that are relevant to fighting the Middle East. The developers never expected that we'd really be considering fighting there.

    •  The question is, how many women (29+ / 0-)

      Don't let others know they are women, to avoid the crap that is thrown at them?

      I have known many that do that.



      Women create the entire labor force.
      ---------------------------------------------
      Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:40:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  are these mainline PC and console games (5+ / 0-)

      or are they including tablets, smartphones, and facebook games in the study?

      •  The study includes all of the above (21+ / 0-)

        which is why it's a really poor indicator. People who play browser and mobile games don't usually think of themselves as 'gamers', nor would anyone who does think of themselves as a gamer label someone who played browser and mobile games as a gamer.

        The gaming community - that is, the subculture of people who commonly agree that we're all gamers - is male-dominated. Women are a presence, certainly (I play World of Warcraft with quite a few women, and most of the friends I've made through the forums have been women because I play a role with a strong female presence) but they're a minority.

        Saying that women are already playing games isn't helping anything. Yes, they're playing lots of games. But that doesn't mean we don't need to deal with the fact that casual sexism and misogyny are driving women away from certain genres of games that they might like to play if we weren't assholes to them.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:45:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's what i thought. (6+ / 0-)

          most gamers who self-identify as that usually don't regard bejeweled and farmville as real video games. I got my wife onto WoW and i specifically told her to never reveal her gender to prevent unnecessary drama. It's an unfortunate part of gaming... but to be fair, I'm a male and I've never specifically pointed out that i was male in a game before either.

          •  Why would you care to point out that you're male? (5+ / 0-)

            Everyone automatically assumes it. The situation is not symmetric.

            And not revealing your gender becomes impossible once you reach a level of play where you need to use voice chat. Even if women were generally content to go through life pretending to be men, the really good ones would eventually be 'outed'.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:19:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm not saying it's perfect (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM

              it's the way things are at the moment. It's not that my wife pretends to be a man in the game. She even plays as a female character, as do I. She does 5-mans and LFR. I haven't done a Normal raid in over a year because of my work hours. There's just no need for voice chat for either of us at this point. I realize that it becomes a problem, specifically for women who want to game at that level of competitive play but for the vast majority it isn't a problem. Misogynistic assholes will be assholes... and they are easy enough to tell to piss off. The real problems start when female players start to receive positive discrimination in game. I've seen it lead to break ups of whole guilds.

              •  And naturally that's women's fault? (0+ / 0-)

                Based on your previous comments in this thread, you honestly seem to think it is.  Sorry, but if men are being sexist pricks, that's men's fault, and if men are giving women favors because of some sort of sexual interest in them, that's also men's fault.  So quit trying to cast the problem of a large portion of the gamer community being completely inappropriate in their dealings with women as though it's either not a problem or as though it's womens' problem.  It's YOUR problem.

                Seriously, how much more discouraging could you be toward women in gaming by suggesting that their achievements are simply due to them trying to prostitute themselves for in-game favors?

                I know, I know it's instinctive for when someone points out a problem in your "group", whatever that group is in a given context, for you to try to instinctively want to find one to criticize in their "group".  But this objectification and sexualization is largely a one-way street, being done overwhelmingly by men.  Think of the broader world for a second.  What percentage of strip clubs do you think have women strip versus the percent that have men strip?  There must be 10-20 of the former for every one of the latter.  And probably half of the latter stripping is targetted... at men!   And even when women do go to see men strip, it's generally a "Hey, men are always objectifying us - let's do it to them for a change!" attitude.

                Or look at the ultimate form of sexualization and objectification - rape.  According to US rape statistics, 92% of cases are male rapes female, 7% are male rapes male, 0.8% female rapes female, and 0.2% female rapes male.  Now, even if we assume that men are less likely to report rape than women, there's some very obvious trends: not only are women overwhelmingly the victims, but even when the victim is a male, the perpetrator is still overwhelmingly likely to be male.

                So yes, this objectivication and sexualization is YOUR problem, it IS a problem in the gaming community as well, and you need to stop casting YOUR problems off on women as though its theirs.

                (Yes, this comment isn't just in reply to the one above, but your general comments in this thread as a whole - it needed to go somewhere, so I picked one)

                Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                by Rei on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 04:25:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'm male and I don't do voice chat. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mungley

              I don't want to hear other people talking, it takes me away from the actual game.  And for the game I play, it would be nonsensical, you simply couldn't be talking while in a big melee anyway.

              •  I'm not a fan of voice chat (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                geordie, Nina Katarina

                but for MMOs it's rather necessary at high levels of play. Other genres that involve real-time strategic coordination (RTS in particular) also essentially require it for competitive play.

                On console games, voice is about the only way to have any sort of social interaction, so there's that too.

                "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                by kyril on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:57:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I don't do player vs player fighting (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Darryl House, atana, kyril

                  and generally speaking, you don't need that sort of coordination vs any AI controlled critter, even in boss fights.  Once the strategy is understood, simply knowing how to play your character and your role in the fight and being a bit flexible is pretty much all that's needed.  My graphics card can't handle the 30+ player v player melees anyway.

                  •  Coordinated team play requires voice chat (5+ / 0-)

                    I play WOW (with kyril as it happens, we are part of the Wreck List, a guild founded by and for Dkos and other progressive lefties) and while you can do individual questing and gathering type activities, and even 5 person dungeons without voice chat, you cannot raid (10 -25 people) without it.  Team work takes communication and you can't take the time to type everything out.  

                    •  I do LoTRO, and after a run or two (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, Nina Katarina

                      pretty much any raid up to 12 man can easily be done without voice as long as the party members are competent at playing their classes.

                      24s are certainly more chaotic, but as I noted, my graphics card can't really handle me joining in raids that big anyway.

                      •  We had raids of over 60 people in EQ1 (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, nathanfl

                        And never had a need for voice chat.  It's all about the discipline.  Not everyone is cut out for raiding without training, and today nobody ever trains anymore; they just want to play the high end game without ever really learning how to truly play their classes.

                        Sincerely,

                        A Cleric who really hates ending up dead because folks are trying to be uber without really being uber /ewg

                        •  /gems /pizza (0+ / 0-)

                          1pp for a bind, tele to bfay?  ec tunnel, camps?  train to entrance!  warrior gate, can i get a SoW, breeze? calrity???

                          canny-dance, corpse drag, stack of bat wings, stack of bone chips.  ding!  /surname, zone! camping disco, fear kiting, can i get a rez??  paladins suck, but SKs suck more.

                          so many good times in EQ!
                          i mostly played my bard and my enchanter.  great thing about enchanter is that they print money, and i named my character Malkum so that he had a statistical advantage in PUG loot rolls - and boy did it work.  plus, maxxed out my enchanting = printing money, phat stacks of plat yo!  one of my favorite tricks was to drop a silver piece in a heavily populated zone then cast lesser illusion, which turned me into a silver piece then i'd yell "1500pp at x/y first one who gets it gets it!" and watch as the whole zone right clicked on me.

                          my bard was the ultimate though - incredible utility, very complicated skill set, and i loved twisting.  just could never carry a conversation lol.

                          i got really good on my monk at splitting camps, and that skill set actually made my bard completely bad ass at soloing almost any camp.

                    •  I Am Not so Sure (0+ / 0-)

                      I was a member of a high-end raiding guild in EQ1 and we never used voice chat.  Ever. It is all a matter of discipline - during raids nobody talks but the raid leaders, and unless it's orchestrated movements where timing matters (i.e. healing rotations shared by multiple clerics) folks simply don't type anything.

                      I find voice chat to be so distracting that I actually cannot raid with it. I am very focused when I am raiding. I can easily introduce text into that focus but hearing folks talking to me just puts me off my timing. Fortunately, life got so busy that raiding now is largely impossible anyway, but the introduction of voice chat (which really was needed only to address the fact that too many gamers can't type worth a damn and raids are fast reaction type of situations) was a huge turnoff for me.  I avoid using it whenever possible, even today.

          •  Farmville is not a real video game (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, nathanfl

            it's an exploitative and manipulative addiction simulator.

            Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

            by The Dead Man on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:20:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Hell, Facebook games are mostly played (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, catleigh

        by women. Except a few really male oriented games, and even then . . .

        Of course, women make up the majority of the Facebook population.

        And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

        by Pale Jenova on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:04:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I met a lot of female players in Runescape (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      avsp, Tracker, duhban, catleigh

      Of course, that game has a lot more to it that just smashing the hell out of an opponent. Though you certainly can do that if you want.

      Of course, have of the guys run female avatars--but usually you spot them as the most scantily clad. :)

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:00:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for correcting that pico, and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tracker, annieli, JosephK74

      let me take this moment to address the title as well.

      Technically speaking, when you break down gaming and looking at just raw numbers, males don't really have a majority anymore.

      If you want to break down game types, to what I classify as "Frat Boy Games" or "Bandwagon Games", and "Parent Games" or "Common Games," the sexually diversity may take a hit. But that's not because of any imagined reality of gender preference. It's sociology, not biology.

      In our culture, starting in the 80's, it was acceptable for adolescent males to enjoy video games. That's true into the 90's, and less so today, but the stereotype is still prevelant.

      Let's be clear: It's conisdered "normal" for boys to play video games before they go skateboarding or play hockey, to play a game of Call of Duty before some college party.

      Does this types of video games are inherently male? No, they were simply made male by our society.

      Anyone who has taken anthropology 101 can give you the example of Farming. I won't go into the whole thing, but in some cultures farming is seen as men's work, or women's work, and instrinicly linked to that gender. Obviously it is neither, but any man or woman doing it would be mocked as if they were doing work traditionally associated with the other gender.

      Hobbies, like gaming, are no different than "genderized work". We've self-fulling-prophecized ourself into this situation.

      I'll go one further and classify gamers into what I perceive as two basic types: gaming nerds, like myself, and casual gamers. Casual gamers used to skew heavily male, but nowadays, not so much. When a male-gender-majority is held in the gaming crowd, it is because of the Casual Male.

      These guys play stuff like an RTS, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft as part of their life. Then they go to hockey practice and forget all about it.

      But when it comes to people where gaming and nerd stuff is a huge part of their life, you'll find the actual gender line is pretty much 50/50. I've heard personal and online accounts of older women who just realized they love that kind of stuff, but never thought to try it before because it was considered "not for women." This happened around the time World of Warcraft got big.

      In any case, going over my lifetime account of female friends, closer associates, and girlfriends shows a single truth. All of them were video game geeks, just like me, because those are the kind of people I like ot hang around with. And my friendship roster is close to 50/50, as I never had any desire to just hang around males because they were male. I hung around people that shared my interest. And there are a lot of fellow female gaming nerds out there.

      Like all (perceived, in this case) minorities in a majority, women gamers may choose to not advertise their gender. Yes, there are issues of sexism with the louder and stupider males in most gaming communities, and they should be punished and reprimanded and exiled.  These are symptoms not just of the historically male-dominated aspect of video games, but also our toxically patriarchal society.

      But the idea that women don't play video games is as ludicrious as the idea that women don't watch porn or men don't cry.

      These kind of "norms" are self-manufactured and never biological in nature.

      If history had played out differently, what we would consider "normal" or "male" or "female" could be radically changed.

      In final closing, you want to see a huge room of my fellow female nerds? Just check out a Yaoi convention picture online from like AnimeExpo or something, and look at the audience.

    •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

      That definitely caught my attention. There are a lot of female gamers. We just tend to not advertise ourselves when online because of teh stoopid that often follows.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:00:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd tend to agree... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catleigh, TrueBlueMajority

      ...the industry thinks we don't play games, but we really do.

  •  I play every day and I'm 50 something (16+ / 0-)

    but I don't play on line.  Started playing with my grandson then found out i could play while I pedaled my exercise bike and was hooked. Seems everything now is war and grand theft auto.  I liked the old role playing games like Mario and Ratchet, I still play them over and over even though we have the newer consoles.    I enjoy exploring levels, looking for secret puzzles.  Wish those would come back.

  •  The video gaming community is overwhelmingly male (19+ / 0-)

    It also, as you noted, overwhelmingly sexist. I won't play multiplayer games, ever again. My experience was a bit more....uncivilized....than your example. Good diary though, thanks.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:19:11 PM PDT

    •  it's not overwhelmingly sexist. even if it feels (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lilith, Darryl House, JesseCW, catleigh

      that way. There are just a bunch of assholes and often times trolls who make life hard for female gamers. Assholes are just that... Trolls do what they do not to be sexist but just to get rise out of people. Don't respond and ruin their lulz.

      •  I have to disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommymet, shanikka

        in MMOs the better guilds tend to be more mature, more older and as such less sexist but there's a lot of people out there that either are or like to pretend to be creepy assholes.

      •  The problem is not a few 'bad apples'. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        outspoken82

        Look at how the whole PAX issue with the Team D*ckwolves merchandise and everything that's happened with Penny Arcade over the years, for example.  By and large their fans have been more than willing to cheer on sexism, rape apologism, and anti-LGBT sentiments, dismissing anyone who gets offended by them as "hating free speech".

        It's time that we stop pretending that sexism is rare in the gaming community (or more broadly, the geek community in general).  

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 03:53:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  well, not everywhere (8+ / 0-)

      I play WOW, our guild is at least 50 percent female if not more, our guild leader (GrassrootsMom here, Dkosmama in WOW) is female, most of the officers are female.  And our guild rules, as you would expect from the bunch of lefty progressives that we are, explicitly prohibit racist, sexist, and homophobic comments in chat or vent.  So my experience of the game, from the comfort of my in game community, is very different from what you describe.  However, without the guild, I don't know how long I would have lasted in the game, although I have not had very many outright sexist incidents.  I do occasionally have players make comments to my very pretty priest Pamena, to which sometimes I reply "Would you talk that way to your grandma?  Because I'm old enough to be one!"

      •  I played WoW pretty much 24 7 for a year (0+ / 0-)

        then realized it was an addiction and I needed to leave my room and reclaim my life. IMHO it depended on which server you were on whether the female players seemed more progressive than the males.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 01:19:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  that example sadly is peaches and cream (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, catleigh, TrueBlueMajority

      compared to some of the crap I've seen on MMOs. Thankfully more and more it's not tolerated and you can get a mod's attention in many of the better games to get it to stop.

      That said it's changing with all the speed of a glacier.

  •  I don't like shoot 'em ups and won't play them (6+ / 0-)

    I only play online now, on facebook.

    "Truth catches up with you in here. It's the truth that's gonna make you hurt." - Piper Chapman

    by blueoregon on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:56:50 PM PDT

    •  I think this is plays as much a role as the (9+ / 0-)

      misogyny of other gamers.

      Most 'action' games are designed for men, by men.  Whether consciously, or unconsciously, they're designed in a way that appeals to male tastes.  It takes more women designing and molding the game arcs to create a game that appeals to both genders.  I think it's obvious you meet a lot more gender-mixed crowd in games where not every aspect of the game revolves around blowing things up or shooting or stabbing them. (And an older average male as well, one who appreciates more complexity to a game than his younger self might have.)

      •  I think you're right. (8+ / 0-)

        My 30-something daughter adores Bioshock, but for her the best parts of the game seem to be the story, the characters,  and the environment-- though she certainly enjoys the shoot-'em-up aspects as well. And she IS a gamer. I've never heard whether she's been subjected to gaming sexism. I'll have to ask.

      •  The unfortunate thing is.... (5+ / 0-)

        ....that game advertising tends to stress the violent parts of the game, rather than the more subtle possibilities.

        Take Dishonored, for instance. It's a revenge game where you play an assassin with some decidedly unpleasant powers, one of which is to have your enemies eaten alive by a horde of rats. However, if you choose (and if you have the skill) you can go through the entire game without killing a single person, and doing that will earn you one of the rarest achievements. (If you want to drive yourself truly nuts, you can also try going through the entire game without ever being noticed, which of course precludes any open violence). Nearly every aspect of the game is set up to punish you for any unnecessary killing -- it becomes more difficult the more violently you act, and the ending is decidedly distasteful rather than satisfying (you will corrupt, or even kill, the person you were supposed to be saving). NPCs and your supernatural mentor, the Outsider, are openly pleased when you avoid violence. But the trailer and other advertising? Buckets of blood.

        It's the same with nearly every game trailer. Skyrim, for instance, where the activity in the trailer is predominantly violent and leaves out all of the most interesting activities you can engage in (whacking dragons gets rather dull after the first dozen or so). When a trailer isn't violent, it's usually sightseeing, trying to wow you with the places you'll be going. You very rarely get an extended scene of non-violent action.

        Skyrim brings up another point, in that with games where you have the option of playing a female or gay character, you never see this in the advertising. Instead, the Dragonborn of the trailers is just another generic muscle man. This in my opinion is a major mistake, since I know a number of women who play the game in ways that maximize RP and minimize violence. My partner, for instance, runs a mod that almost completely eliminates the dragons -- she finds them a nuisance. Skyrim without dragons seems a bit like Hamlet without the prince for me, but she loves it.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:35:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  skyrim is great (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sagesource, outspoken82, Avilyn

          there is no penalty for playing a female character.  i've downloaded so far 147 mods, many of them to enhance the female characters and make them more appealing to my daughter.  she is slowly getting drawn into the greatness that is the elder scrolls.  i am hoping we will be able to reminice about skyrim and the next elder scrolls like my brother and my friends and i do about morrow wind and oblivion.

          one of the smartest people i know is a women and she plays even more skyrim than i do.  

          video games are an incredible bonding experience for my daughter and me.  she's been playing WoW and for the past several years she has to teach me all the new mechanics!!  i'm trying to get her interested in civ 5.  i played the new tomb raider and she just loved watching every minute of it.  

          •  You're probably looking forward to... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nathanfl

            Elder Scrolls Online then. I and my partner are, partly because it seems to be capable of single-player and very small group play as well as larger groups. Meanwhile, she amuses herself by learning to create her own mods, and I write fanfic to explore more complicated questions than the game yet allows.

            "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

            by sagesource on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:43:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ESO (0+ / 0-)

              i watch it with cautious optimism.  there hasn't been too much success in the MMO space for new epic games.  warhammer just shutdown, SWG went gaput, SWTOR was no fun, star trek same deal... it's a big $300 million gamble.

              i will support it, but i've always wanted co-op skyrim more than mmo skyrim.  i picked up the secret world - which is soooo bad ass, but i got screwed buying it and paying for a sub.  maybe ESO will go more like guild wars eventually.

              plus, i dunno if the console version can interact with the pc version.

              one mmo i am looking forward to is civilization the mmo.  sounds awesome.

              •  The console version.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nathanfl

                ....can't do PvP with the computer version, I have been told, for reasons of balance. A well-equipped computer player will beat a console player into a pulp without breaking a sweat. Computers are a good deal more precise than consoles when it comes to control. As for the rest, I'm not sure.

                The story worries me a bit. I'm not sweating over the screams that it doesn't conform to lore. Lore is flexible, and the sort of "history" contained in lore books, like all history, is full of gaps, inaccuracies, and contradictions. But Daedric Lord tries to invade Tamriel has been done before. And how will it develop? Will we be whacking at Molag Bal's anchors, or ankles, forever or will the invasion be defeated sooner or later? And then what?

                I have absolutely no idea why there has never been a two or four-player version of one of the Elder Scrolls games. I have seen mods that try to allow two players, but none of them work very well.

                "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                by sagesource on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 10:50:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  im not hung up on the lore either (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Darryl House

                  i just love their wonderful sandbox.  the lore at some point will become too constraining simply because it is so detailed.  to be honest, i have never actually completed an elder scrolls game - i just explore everywhere and find killing bandits to be a great way to unwind before i stop over and figure out whats in that cave, or on that mountain.

                  ESO looks nice, but i'd rather it look closer to skyrim (or some of the mods for the character enhancements) rather than the more cartoony appearance it has now.  also curious how well the roles will be defined, im not too interested in having everyone do everything in an mmo, ala guild wars or secret world, i like defined roles and specializations.  i just want to be a healer, dammit!

          •  Skyrim is an interesting example (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            outspoken82, nathanfl, Avilyn

            Gender doesn't matter, you can marry an eligible character of any sex or race, play as pretty much any character you choose, lots of open choices.

            The thing about that world and its game play is that it challenges the player's ethics at many turns. It is a libertarian (I would say closer to Byzantine) world. Everyone is armed and conflicts are resolved between antagonists by death with little interference from authorities, with some notable exceptions.

            Some of the quests really put the player's personal ethics to the test but they usually have an option of following a path that best fits their own moral code.

            The civil war in Skyrim is a basic example where neither side has a clear moral advantage and both have their faults. One doesn't need to choose a side but doing so requires some ethical compromise.

            Many of the quests also involve moral choices as well -- one of the most distasteful to me involves cannabalism but one of the most interesting involved whether or not to kill Paarthurnax, and some others like the question of what to do about Saadia or any of the several other quests that require the player to betray a friend can bring some thought-provoking moments if one actually thinks about them in the role play.

            Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

            by Darryl House on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 10:08:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  or the dark brotherhood intro (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Darryl House

              kill the orphanage matron in front of all those children?  considering how sweet the dark brotherhood quest line is, it's definitely worth playing through.  there certainly are no small amount of moral choices in the elder scrolls.  

              the skyrim civil war reminds me of syria in some ways:  the empire does have many good features, including protecting skyrim from another thaalamor invasion, and the nords were pivotal in founding the empire, so many people feel a history of loyalty.  the empire brought order to chaos, build and patrolled roads, and as its influence wanes, bandits are retaking the roads.  but, they torture - boy do they torture.

              the storm cloaks on the other hand are led by a seriously egotistical maniac who assassinates the king and wages civil war on his home land.  i personally am against just about any group who resorts to slaughtering their fellow country men and overthrowing their government, especially over some ridiculous reason like Talos worship - it always seems like religion is one of or the most pivotal factors in conflict.

              so who do you join, or do you abstain?  

              the daedric lord quests usually involve you trading power for murder, which turns out usually to be a trap.  although, the mace of molag bar is pretty sweet!

              great comment and it just goes to show that many modern day games are incredibly deep.  i spent some time explaining to my wife the incredibly deep and rich history of the elder scrolls series and their importance in the CVG world.  one day, i think video games will be recognized for their artistic qualities and people who disparage them should spend some time in skyrim or azeroth, spend some time investigating the rich tapestry of art that these games are.  my wife was pretty impressed by blizzards museum.

              •  Agreed, they are tapestries (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nathanfl

                I've explored lots of paths, and all of them have evoked emotion of one sort or another.

                Ulfric and the Stormcloaks' racism toward Elves is a tough one to get over, but the Imperials are... imperious :)

                I don't know what it says about me but I've considered, and am still considering, casting and crafting a carbon steel non-prop version of Mehrunes' Razor. I just find it to be a beautiful blade -- impractical I think because of the hooks on the pommel but still, it is a thing of beauty.

                I don't mean to sidetrack the diary, I brought up the issues because gender doesn't play a role in any of them in any meaningful way, and I think that's pretty cool.

                Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

                by Darryl House on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:21:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I love Skyrim for those reasons (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Darryl House, outspoken82

              I can really get into the roleplay aspect and be a Palladin, or an Assassin, or whatever.  I've had dozens of characters, each with a different backstory.  Sometimes they do the same quests, but for different reasons.  Namira's quest though I've only done once (to get the Oblivion Walker achievement) because the cannibalism skeeves me out personally, even in a character.  

              And I'm a proud geek girl gamer.  :-)

              The Girl Who Loved Stories
              I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

              by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:07:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeppers that's a tough one for me too (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Avilyn

                Did it once to, like you, get the achievement but it really did give me the heebie-jeebies and I won't do it again.

                Like I replied to a comment above, I brought up the issues because gender doesn't matter in them, the roles can be played out by any character or race... of course some of them make more sense than others because the openness of the quest lines can lead to some absurd character positioning.

                Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

                by Darryl House on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:27:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, I retired that character. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Darryl House

                  I almost always play females in Skyrim, because that's what I'm comfortable with, but I usually make a point of doing at least one or two playthroughs with a male character, to see the differences.  For instance in Oblivion there was the quest in Anvil I think it was, where if you were a woman the female gang would try to recruit you, but if you were male, they'd try to lure you out & rob you.  I love the little differences like that, so I try to do a wide variety of races and male/female.

                  The Girl Who Loved Stories
                  I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

                  by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:47:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  "bloodiset beef in the reach." (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Avilyn, Darryl House

                i think a more somber quest line is the one with boethia when you have to lure someone to the shrine and then betray and murder them.

  •  Mature Gamers (7+ / 0-)

    The real trick is to find a group of older gamers to play with and stick with them.  As long as you keep things on party-chat, you'll be fine.  Playing with the general population is just a recipe for disaster if you are offended by that kind of talk.  It is just the nature of the beast.  People get way more aggressive with each other when there is anonymity involved.

  •  One of the (6+ / 0-)

    many reason I never play online games.  I game to escape reality and not have to deal with people.

    "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

    by Kevskos on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:07:45 PM PDT

  •  Why do we deny their existence? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, tmservo433

    Because, dammit, they're winning.

    "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

    by kirrix on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:12:02 PM PDT

  •  There are plently of female gamers (21+ / 0-)

    out there, however most of us don't see any reason to broadcast the fact.  Many of us tend to be quiet.  Not only because there are still plenty of guys that think sexually harassing female players is okay, but because it's easy to be branded as an "attention whore" by other female players if you openly broadcast that you're a "girl gamer"  I've been an avid WoW player for the past 7 years, but I've dabbled with number of other games online, including Diablo 3 and SWTOR, as well as having spent almost my entire life playing console games.  While I've never attempted to intentionally obfuscate my gender, I don't openly advertise it either, and don't make a big deal if other players refer to me using male pronouns (even though I play female characters.)  My gender should have no baring on my ability to play; if I keep the raid alive as a healer, or put out enough dps, that's all that should matter.  I'll continue to play, and let strangers online assume I'm whatever gender they want.  

    •  Absolutely right (10+ / 0-)

      I've been playing WoW since it was in closed beta more than 9 years ago.  The trick I've found is to find a 'friends and family' kind of group to play with.  (in fact I just got done raiding and I need to wind down before I go to bed)
      There are tons of asses in all hobbies, but because sitting behind a computer screen with a fake name makes them fearless it's much more pronounced in MMOs.  

      As for me, I actually enjoy the occasional humiliation I inflict on some of the more egregious offenders.  I try to make sure it's in public as well.  But I'm mean that way.  Something I've picked up doing this for a really long time, not to mention working as a technical professional in Silicon Valley - the ultimate boy's club.  

    •  ^this. (8+ / 0-)

      I spend more hours than I'd care to publicly admit each week on my Xbox 360. I play a rather diverse set of games, and while many of them are single-player, I do venture out into the world of Xbox Live, more commonly known as the cesspit of humanity.

      When I do play games online, including whatever Call of Duty we're on now, I usually do so either as a "party" (for the uninitiated, that's in a group chat with a restricted group of my friends) or with the in-game chat completely muted. I make a point to NEVER openly discuss my gender online. If people bother to look at my profile, it's there, but I don't open my mouth in-game to strangers anymore. It's an ugly, ugly place. The harassment, the slurs -- no one should have to hear the drivel that's so common in the online arenas of these games. As a gay female gamer, often times it feels like just about every single negative remark out there is aimed at people like me, in one fashion or another. Or then there are the players who see me playing in a room, check my profile, and then my inbox blows up with friend requests based on no other reason than I have a vagina. Seriously. It's depressing.

      It's a sad statement, but there it is -- it's a hell of a lot easier to enjoy a game when you're just an anonymous player.

  •  Aisha Tyler on Gamers (22+ / 0-)

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    I play.

    I've played since I was a little kid.

    Since I begged my dad to buy me a Nintendo LCD Donkey Kong, Jr.

    Since I blew through three weeks' allowance playing Defender at the laundromat.

    Since you were a twinge in the left side of your daddy's underoos.

    I've been a gamer since I made friends with a girl in the 5th grade just to get at her Atari.

    Since I missed the bus playing Galaga after school.

    Since I missed the start of Return of the Jedi playing Tempest in the theater lobby.

    You think you know. You don't know.

    I've been a gamer since before you could read.

    Since I aced midterms after staying up all night playing Evil Tetris.

    Since I became dorm champ at Leisure Suit Larry.

    Since I double-wielded on Time Crisis 3 at Fuddrucker's.

    I was a voice in not one, but two major video game titles.

    I hosted the Reach Beta tutorial.

    I was a Gears of War superfan panelist at ComicCon.

    I hosted the Ubisoft presser at E3 2012.

    I didn't do any of it for the money.

    For most I got paid next to nothing, and for some, less than that.

    I did it because I love video games.

    Because I've dreamt since I was a kid of being in one of the games I love.

    How many games have you done voices for?

    How many cons have you repped at?

    Your buddy's Unreal Tournament garage deathmatch doesn't count.

    I go to E3 each year because I love video games.

    Because new titles still get me high.

    Because I still love getting swag.

    Love wearing my gamer pride on my sleeve.

    People ask me what console I play.

    Motherfucker, ALL of them.

    I get invited to E3 because real gamers know I'm a gamer.

    I don't do it for the money.

    I have plenty of money.

    I don't do it for the fame.

    Fuck fame.

    I do it because I love video games.

    I don't give out my gamertag because I don't want a mess of noob jackholes lining up to assassinate me on XBL.

    I don't give a shit what you think about my gamerscore.

    I don't play to prove a point.

    I don't play to be the best.

    I play because I love it.

    I play.

    I've been playing my whole life.

    I'm not ashamed of it.

    I don't apologize for it.

    It's who I am.

    To the core.

    I'm a gamer.

    So to all the haters out there who claim I don't play;

    To the GAF dicks,

    Gamespot trolls,

    To every illiterate racist douchebag on Youtube:

    Flame away. Go nuts.

    Post every jackass comment your heart desires.

    I'll still be playing when your mom's kicked you out of her basement

    and you have to sell your old-ass console

    and get a real job.

    For now, I say to you respectfully,

    and I mean this from the bottom of my heart,

    GFYS.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33:39 AM PDT

  •  as a child of the 80s and 90s (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lilith, JesseCW

    i can say for sure that girls didn't play video games by-and-large BEFORE online sexism crept in. We begged our sisters, moms, and friends who happened to be girls to join us in our favorite hobby. The girls mostly rolled their eyes into the back of their heads. Only now that gaming has become cool do girls want to be included but it's much harder now. The gaming culture has largely been set; booth-babes and all.  It's going to get female gamers much more effort to be taken seriously in the community because girls from the 70s to probably the mid 2000s just didn't care. They looked at it as man's toy... or even toys for "loser geeks".

    It's really been only in the last 10-ish years that girls have been trying to get in and a lot of female gamers have been going about it the wrong or bad way...

    for example on World of Warcraft female players intentionally use their gender in order to get special help from tanks or healers often times to the detriment of the group. Others still have whipped up guild drama.

    Wrong headed activism like that from Anita Sarkeesian, feministfrequency, just look for patriarchal oppression under every trope.

    The truth of the matter is, if women want a larger seat at the table of gaming they need to make up more of the population. It isn't a job. There is no gender based discrimination that says you can't join even if some asshats make it hard. More girls need to go into computer science and help design and program these games.

    Until girls, en masse, decide they want to play games and create them they will be a minority in the community and will largely be seen like their 70s to 2000s counter-parts who didn't play, had no interest in playing, and actively shamed men for playing to begin with.

    •  As one of the self same gamer (23+ / 0-)

      girls that also grew up in the 80's and 90's, you're painting us with an awfully broad brush.  Indeed those of us who started playing video games in the early 80s were outnumbered by our male counterparts but we were by no means non-existent.  

      I would also contend that part of the reason that a lot of women/girls did not pick up the video game bug was because 'that's not what girls do'.  My experience is that the sexism in our society discourages women and girls from even considering video games as a fun entertainment option.  

      I'm not going to apologize for my fellow women gamers, yes I have seen lots of poor behavior from both sexes frankly.  I know a lot of women gamers and the ratio of drama filled women gamers to non-drama filled women gamers is pretty low.  We're here to play a game just like you. :)  

      And as a woman who actively games (anonymously) way many more hours per week than I will ever admit and who works in the computer science field, I agree, we need more women in both video games and CS.

      not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

      by Lilith on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:20:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As a child of the 80's and 90's, (14+ / 0-)

      you're full of shit.

      Sorry, I don't mean to be insulting here, but you're wrong.

      I remember going to visit a family with a girl who was my age, and she and I bonded over video games.

      She had a brother, and he and I had nothing in common.

      He was sad because he expected me to go kick a ball endlessly with him, and I was completely uninterested.

      But no, videogames. We played them together for years. NES, Super NES, PC. I remember when Mechwarrior wasn't a FPS.

      Girls our age played video games.

      A lot of them did.

      Just because you didn't notice them doesn't mean that they weren't there.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:52:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •   (13+ / 0-)

      Wow, sounds like someone is all cranky regarding the perceived "fake geek girl" controversy. And about being called out on sexism in the community.  Have you ever called out a fellow gamer for douchiness, even if it's not directed at you? Saying it's a problem for women to fix, and oh, gee, there are so few so there is nothing they can do, oh darn, is allowing it to occur.

      Women DO design games. And receive death threats for doing so. Women DO play games, and have done so ever since the the first consoles. Lord knows I'm one of them.

      I'm a female gamer. And also guild leader/main healer of the second ranked horde guild on server (before you cry I only do it to get "special help from tanks and healers"). And there is no sexism and no drama in my guild, because I don't tolerate it and the guild knows it. There is a reason my guild is 40%ish women and has been in existance since early BC.

       

      Republicanism: the political theory that the poor have too much money and the rich do not have enough.

      by bacchae1999 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:08:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my experience if your raid leader is female (5+ / 0-)

        you can count on a few things.
        1.) She will not yell at you or berate you.
        2.) She will not insult your gaming skills.
        3.) If you are under-geared she will politely suggest that you improve your gear before you try again.
        4.) She will not rage-quit and blame the group.
        5.) She will be polite, constructive and helpful.

        Not every female raid leader is like that, but your chances of getting that kind of level headed treatment form a woman is higher on average than from a male leader.
        (I'll point out that most male raid leaders are also professional, but your chance of an angry or petulant leader increases if it's a male.)

        Thanks for leading raids by the way.

        I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

        by mungley on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:33:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm also a child of the 80s and 90s (5+ / 0-)

      I was a "girl gamer" before it was cool.  My very first game was "Super Mario Land" for the Gameboy, back in 1989.  I spent countless hours of my childhood (and adulthood) playing Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Playstation, PS2, PS3, not to mention PC games.  

      I have played with dozens of women over the past 7 years I've played World of Warcraft, and I can only think of one instance in my guild where a player used "sex appeal" to garner favors from other players, and "she" turned out to be a "he" (which several other female guildies and I had suspected all along.)  The only time my gender has ever been a factor while gaming was that it helped me meet my husband.  We met online playing World of Warcraft.  

      There are lots of female gamers, and have been since video games first became popular.  Most of us just don't see any reason to advertise our gender.  

    •  orly? (5+ / 0-)

      I play WOW, I'm a woman, and I have never ever seen or engaged in the kind of behavior you're describing here.  Sounds like misogynist fantasy to me, frankly.

      •  that's good. i'm glad. (0+ / 0-)

        maybe i'm just on drama filled server. i've seen 3 guilds go through major break up over guys acting like idiots trying to get attention from a girl who was actively egging them on. I guess the warning on the box is right. You're online experience will vary.

    •  Rubbish. (0+ / 0-)
      The truth of the matter is, if women want a larger seat at the table of gaming they need to make up more of the population. It isn't a job. There is no gender based discrimination that says you can't join even if some asshats make it hard. More girls need to go into computer science and help design and program these games.
      Please enjoy some links that illustrate exactly why this hand-wringing punt of a response is made of fail.

      Let's talk about how easy it is to kill a girl's enthusiasm for STEM subjects like programming, and how early it's done.
      https://www.usenix.org/...

      Let's talk about how institutionalized and rewarded the juvenile behavior of manchildren is in Tech when Techcrunch decided to laud as innovators (and pay to bring them halfway around the world) two aussies who created an app that allows you to share pictures of yourself staring at women's chests. Let's also talk how a 9 year old girl showed up at the same presentation and actually made something useful...but still got to see firsthand that she's already too mature for the romper room antics of people who are supposed to be leading the pack in the industry.

      http://www.theguardian.com/...

      It's going to get female gamers much more effort to be taken seriously in the community because girls from the 70s to probably the mid 2000s just didn't care. They looked at it as man's toy...
      Are you sure? Or were their first attempts knocked away or belittled? How many times were they told "girls don't do that" and believed it. You're saying that if they were told they shouldn't play games, believed what they were told, that their daughters now bear the responsibility for that? Rubbish. Regardless of how many women were welcomed by gaming or programming communities, the fact of the matter is still that men behave badly in these communities and get rewarded for it. What that boils down to is, again, putting the responsibility for mens' behavior...on women.
      ... or even toys for "loser geeks".
      And there the bitterness comes out. Gaming is quite often a refuge for the social outcast--it has its roots in hundreds of thousands of kids (of both genders) who didn't fit in, couldn't find more "acceptable" social outlets to interact in. Now there are a lot more of those kids grown up, there are a LOT of people who haven't left the bitterness of being outcast behind them. So they turn it on somebody else, unable or unwilling to see themselves perpetuating a culture that caused them so much pain, and in turn, passing that pain on to others.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 01:55:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  66 and hard core Half Life player (11+ / 0-)

    I love FPS and have been playing for years, and Half Life is my favorite. I encountered such viciousness on the Half Life and Day of Defeat multiplayer online games (Steam) that I gave up. Players on my own team would attack and kill my avatar as soon as I respawned, over and over, and chat about getting the b*tch out of the way. I have a Steam username that is feminine and they were outraged and went to great lengths to make it impossible to play. I decided it wasn't worth it to change my username to something to hide my gender because the fun had been spoiled already. I have the thought that perhaps those punks wonder why they can't get a nice girl to love them.

    •  Never play a game.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....where you can be spawnkilled.

      Never.

      It's an open invitation to assholes of all varieties, including but not limited to sexists.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:48:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anonymity breeds incivility (7+ / 0-)

    Public shaming is generally the best cure in society for dealing with sexism, racism, etc. but the internet often provides easy mechanisms for avoiding all of these measures.

    Sadly, I am afraid this is a byproduct of the internet age we live in.  It isn't found only in gaming, though I applaud your diary, and as a gamer myself, I have often found this exact situation occur all too frequently.

  •  Blurred lines? Following a night of gore with torn (0+ / 0-)

    Limbs and blood splatter, you are concerned about "using the appropriate gender in our nouns and articles" when communicating with other gamers? Such obtuse observations suggest to me that the lines between fantasy and reality are not so readily discernible.

    “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

    by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:53:10 AM PDT

    •  Not even the same league. (5+ / 0-)

      First of all, most of the violence in Starcraft II is bloodless, especially if neither of the players is Zerg (one of the three races in the game).

      Second, even graphic violence is pixels on the screen. No real live humans are actually dying. Whereas the sexist words from MadSkillZ were very real.

      Third, and most importantly, Adalgisa chose to play Starcraft. She did not choose to receive sexist comments.

      •  Digital transmission of misogyny words reality but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluebird of happiness

        Pixilation of violence is fantasy? Picture worth a thousand words. More blurred lines. Look at any anger management syllabus, and visualization is first step to acting out. So after playing/visualizing aggression for hours, why would speaking aggressively come as any surprise to someone, especially in their use of "appropriate gender in our nouns and articles."

        Any parent would tell you they observe heightened aggression of their children (including males under 25 years of age) following hours of video gaming.

        “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

        by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:06:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anecdotes |= evidence. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, tommymet

          There is no reliable research data to support that assertion. All studies done have failed to concretely link/prove a connection between game:real violence.

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 04:25:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Common sense is quite often the best evidence. And (0+ / 0-)

            when combined with a reasonable standard of obscenity, there leaves no doubt many many video games today are just plain obscenely violent without any redeeming characteristics. You know it when you see it, to borrow a phrase, and the purveyors of this filth, not saying Warcraft is, prey on that part of the brain that attracts one to violence. I believe its akin to child pornagraphy. Normal people don't go on mass murder sprees, but madness is just around the corner for a lot of people, and as a society, there is really no justifiable purpose served by excessively violent video or film.

            “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

            by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:47:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Flip flopping? You support violence. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder

          You supported George Zimmerman killing Trevon Martin, you do support real life gun violence to hide your protection of your precious guns and trying to scapegoat whatever is most convenant.

          •  Why do you keep saying this about GZ. I always (0+ / 0-)

            thought he was and is guilty. My only problem was with the way the case was prosecuted. You are confusing me with someone else.

            “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

            by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:36:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  See below my comment after the verdict (0+ / 0-)

              “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

              by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:53:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Let the record show: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tommymet
              Were Travon white, and acted same, are you saying (8+ / 0-)

              Zimmerman would not have shot him? If instead it was a white teenager on top of him, are you saying Zimmerman wouldn't have used his weapon? I'm not sure race is the reason he shot Trayvon. Maybe the reason he followed him, but not the shooting element.

              "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

              by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:21:38 PM EDT

              if Trayvon were white two things (31+ / 0-)

              1. Zimmerman is a negrophobe obsessed with black people. So, no, he likely would not have even stalked and harassed him.

              2.Zimmerman would then be a "Mexican" who shot and killed and innocent white teenager. Ironically, Zimmerman's defenders would then turn on him.

              So by your equation, anyone defending Zimmerman (2+ / 0-)

              is a racist. Not sure the facts support this. Personally, I think anyone who did what Zimmerman did deserves manslaughter, regardless of the color of the actors.

              "Mais n'enculons pas des mouches." (Let's not split hairs) Ian Fleming, Casino Royal.

              by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:45:38 PM EDT

              the claim is more nuanced, "defending him" (21+ / 0-)

              how and for what reason. Yes, lots of Zimmerman's defenders and apologists are racist. Given what we know about the colorline, implicit racial bias, and the powerful image of black criminality and "the black beast rapist/thug" in the American popular imagination, I stand on my claim.

              Nevermind the empirical data we have on race, attitudes, crime, and symbolic racism. If Trayvon were named Johnny and white many of Zimmerman's defenders would either turn on Zimmerman and emphasize his "Hispanic origins" or be quiet as justice was done as Zimmie would have been put under the jail by now.

              by chaunceydevega on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:48:41 PM EDT

              The vast majority of people defending (12+ / 0-)

              Zimmerman are racist. That doesn't really seem in question to me. A 17yo white kid would never have been in that situation and if he had been then Zimmerman would have been crucified in the press. You seem to want to give him the benefit of the doubt despite the fact that he chased Trayvon.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 06:54:09 PM EDT

              So, at best you can say is he "might have deserved manslaughter", but them you question why is was racist if you had supported him, which is defiantly a red flag. And you certainly denied race was not why he went after and shot him. As people were trying to get through your head, if Trevon had been a white kid walking back from the store at night, Zimmerman would have not went after him. Whie people are "suspicious".

              And yeah, maybe I'm acting like a dick about this, but the way I see it you were acting dickish firstthe way you just weren't blaming video games nearly a couple hours after the shooting byut the way you tore into people who disagreed with you and tried to show you where on things you wre wrong.

              Also, again, I'm an asshole if you want to look at me as such, so may I ask you, what video games was George Zimmerman who commited gun violence playing that night?

              Sure gun violence is the result of playing violent video games, right, and Zimmerman didn't even need to use the stand your ground defense, he could have just claimed "Mario made so it."

              •  Oh, and the funny thing is that last commnetor AoT (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tommymet

                on the bottam was right about George Zimmerman, but has been trying to butt heads with me on violent video games, so you, and him actually agrre on this while you couldn't be more wrong about race being the factor that got Trevon Martin killed.

                Strange bed fellow... maybe next time I should pose that to Aot, as well.

              •  I just happen to believe race was not behind the (0+ / 0-)

                tragic shooting. I don't believe GZ acted the way he did because of trayvons race. No one can get inside his head to know how he really felt at that moment, so all Anyone can do is speculate and you can believe what you want as well, but at the end of the day, it's just speculation.
                So if you take race out of it, as did the judge, then I still find GZ guilty of murder, albeit manslaughter.

                “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” Richard Nixon, 1977.

                by Kvetchnrelease on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:03:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So it was the video games that got Trevon Martin (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tommymet

                  killed, and not race. Okaayy...

                  Also, manslaughter and murder are two completley seperate charges, so you last line is not logical.

                  No one can get inside his head to know how he really felt at that moment, so all Anyone can do is speculate and you can believe what you want as well, but at the end of the day, it's just speculation.
                  Again, you are a big GIANT hypocrite, you say we can't get inside Zimmerman's head so we don't know what motivated him to kill, yet you can get into Aaron Alexis' head and know that games contributed to why he killed?

                  This is why you have no credibility when it comes to this issue.

  •  Because it's more fun to be in the real world (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, Kvetchnrelease

    If I want to build an imaginary world in my head, that happens at night before bed with a book in my hand.

    Otherwise I would rather be outside, not sitting on my butt getting carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I make my kids play outside too. I literally kick them off the computer and make them go outside.

    I get it that this is something you love, but not everyone is going to agree with you, that this is something fun to do all the time, or even one time.

    If I have to take up valuable space in my brain learning a new vocabulary, and learning deeper or complex rules, I would rather that be with a scientific discipline than a video game.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:21:17 AM PDT

    •  lotta people find time for both (4+ / 0-)

      i play video games all the time and have found time for a family, two college degrees, spend a ton of time with my kid.  

      i also have incredible memories about gaming with family and friends, including my daughter.

      btw, video games are the largest driving force behind computer hardware and software innovation.  video games have given us the most unbeliveable special effects in our movies.  if it wasnt for video games, we wouldn't have toy story.

      •  Hey if it works for you, great (0+ / 0-)

        It just doesn't thrill me. My kids play some games, but I limit their time on the screen. I don't want that becoming the end all and the be all.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 05:33:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've noticed lately (7+ / 0-)

    the pushback against sexism in nerd culture and I've really enjoyed it.

    I'm disappointed to see the dismissal in the thread.  Gaming isn't that big a deal, even first-person shooters. it's a fun hobby to have and a fun way to pass the time. I prefer grand strategy games that are just as violent. I mean I nuke cities in Civ all the time.

    That said, I tend to avoid multiplayer even in those games because even there, there are obtuse sexist little racist shits.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:32:21 AM PDT

  •  2 daughers/ 2 gamers (9+ / 0-)

    Both of my girls, 18 & 21, have been playing video games since they were very young.  

    They like playing with boys because they can often beat them and the boys are usually impressed by the fact that they are serious gamers AND female.

    I overheard one of the guys telling my daughter he was so happy to have a girl that he could talk to about games! It cracked me up.

    In fact, my older daughter got a part-time job at GameStop while in school, and I honestly think the fact that she was female worked in her favor because they didn't have many (or any) other girls applying for the job at the time.

    Based on what I see with my kids and their friends, I'm pretty sure there will be a lot less sexism among the younger "millennials" when it comes to gaming AND other aspects of life.  Their generation gives me so much hope for the future.

    "My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right." -- Marcelas Owens

    by Mad Mary on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:47:55 AM PDT

  •  these commentators are obvious misogynists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    churchylafemme

    I take exception to you saying that they're "most hilarious." They regularly rely on hateful misogynist humor. I specifically remember a hilaaarious when cheese fails conversation about "how do you like your rape?"

    Please, these people don't deserve the compliments.

  •  Good Diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmonroe, Darryl House, mungley

    My only extended online gaming experience has been with 'IL2 Sturmovik' series.  It's a serious WWII flight sim and really can't be 'gamed' so prolly draws a more mature community......even so you always end up with a couple morons due to the anonymous nature of the internet.

    the best thing is to join and only play on servers that have good admins who won't tolerate jerk ass behavior

    This space for rent -- Cheap!

    by jds1978 on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:12:30 AM PDT

  •  I stopped playing online years ago (4+ / 0-)

    The lack of maturity and downright insulting nature of the comments got to be too much - and I'm a guy.

    Not to mention constantly getting my butt kicked by  14-year-olds who have nothing better to do with their lives but play that particular game all day long.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:13:46 AM PDT

  •  I've been able to find bastions of sanity (3+ / 0-)

    but I've had to look for them. I don't play multiplayer games any more, my micro just isn't what it once was. When I did, not so long ago, UT2K4 was my game of choice and I was able to find groups where racism and sexism weren't a factor.

    The clan I joined had policies that prohibited language and attitudes that were offensive to any social or ethnic group in game or in their forums, and they wouldn't play with other groups that exhibited offensive language or behavior.

    Based in The Netherlands, it is almost defunct now because the popularity of UT2K4 has waned to the point that there aren't many players but I still correspond with some members in the forum and via email because of the bonds of friendship we made. A fair number of those members are female.

    I chose UT2K4 over other FPS games for more than its game play. Most other FPS game servers are, just as the diarist describes, so full of racists and misogynists that it distracts from the game and destroys the fun of it all. Even then, I had to do a considerable amount of research to find a group of players that supported and enforced policies that aligned with my own philosophy of fair play.

    If you know a female gamer who is finding it difficult to have fun in the genre I suggest looking for a group or clan that supports them. They exist, and aren't too difficult to locate through web searches.

    This isn't meant to minimize the problem in any way. It is a huge problem and I have no solution to offer other than the above.

    Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

    by Darryl House on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:36:37 AM PDT

  •  Part of the problem is Jocks. (5+ / 0-)

    We have a lot of jock games now, and now that they're popular, the FPS jocks come in and act the same way they would on a football field.

    Even though these guys aren't generally physically fit, they have the same mentality.

    The problem is that Geek culture has always had its own unique form of sexism, and we're now mixing that sexism with the common sexism that most people see.

    I know women who go to cons wearing stormtrooper armor because they can't be groped through it, and it makes them look formless.

    Same thing with master-chief outfits.

    It's a huge problem in geek culture, even though we're ideologically supposed to be welcoming and supposed to celebrate diversity. That's not what we're doing, and we fail to impose consequences on the folks that reinforce sexism in our community and fail to be open and welcoming.

    Required reading on this subject is this article about Nerds and Male Privilege over at Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/...

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:57:28 AM PDT

  •  Heroines (11+ / 0-)

    Tangentially related, I've started noticing a shift in the storytelling in mainstream video games. Heroines are playing a greater role than they used to, and some are even doing it in (GASP!) attire that doesn't look like lingerie! Have you played the Tomb Raider reboot from earlier this year? I loved it. Lara's back to realistic proportions and practical clothing, but still as much a badass as ever.

    This is what I want from the future of gaming. I want strong female leads with stories in their own right (not just as foils to the strong male hero or what not), and I want them to be real -- not some sexed up, ridiculous fantasy for the male gaming community. I want to be able to play a female character that DOESN'T have to run around in a bikini, please. Thanks!

    •  Portal comes to mind. The hero is female (6+ / 0-)

      For Portal 2 they were going to make the hero a different character, and the player community convinced them to keep the same woman.

      I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

      by mungley on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:21:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So is the villian ;) (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lilith, mungley, catwho, catleigh

        GLaDOS is one of the most delightfully sinister characters ever, and so wonderfully voiced by Ellen McLain.

        Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

        by Darryl House on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:15:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. I was going to mention that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darryl House, catwho

          She is also Chell's mother from what I can glean watching and listening over my son's shoulder.

          Then I figured we'd need to get into how hurtful GLaDOS is to Chell, and how she always called her 'fat'.

          My son (He's 8) thought Chell was fat. She's not. She's very typically video game female build (but with clothes)

          Of course, "Now your fat eyeballs have seen everything. That's right a potato just called your eyeballs fat," is one of the best lines ever. (or something like that)

          Wheatly rocks too.

          I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

          by mungley on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:32:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's more, too (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mungley, catleigh

            The founder of Aperture Science is Cave Johnson. Could there be a more stereotypically bungling and misogynistic male character with a name that just screams chauvinism? It was a brilliant move, in my opinion.

            Much has been discussed about the events leading up to his comeuppance far beyond the trivial comments made by players like myself. That game has social commentary that has a whole slew of sociologists penning their thoughts.

            Somewhere, in the depths of Valve's offices, Erik Wolpaw is laughing his head off.

            Tofu knows nothing but what is good for you. -- dharmasyd

            by Darryl House on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:06:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well...looks like I need to buy the Portal series. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Darryl House, mungley, catwho, catleigh

              :) Thanks for the idea!

              •  It's really a puzzle game. Very well done. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darryl House, catleigh

                We got both titles on 'Steam' late last year.

                That's an online gaming portal, if you are not familiar with it.

                Your other options are to find the disks on ebay or at a used game store.

                I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

                by mungley on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:46:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  As far as I know, Portal isn't available by itself (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darryl House

                Portal is an approximately three-hour game (not to knock it in any way by saying that) that was released as part of the Orange Box with Half-Life 2 and its expansions and Team Fortress 2. (All are excellent games.) Unless you are playing on PC, where I believe it is available stand-alone as a retail box or through Steam. Or, if you have an X-Box, you could probably still get Portal: Still Alive from the Live Arcade, which has the original game plus some additional content.

                Portal 2, of course, was a tremendous release in 2011 and it's very easy to find used or new copies.

    •  TR reboot was amazing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      outspoken82, Darryl House

      it was also produced by a female, story written by a female.  one of the best games i've played ever and certainly the best tomb raider by far.

  •  Could be that girls have more sense? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    At least that is what my daughter claims.

     And there may be lots of reasons, the least of which is the lack of a competitive nature.

    The games are puerile, pointless and a waste of time; no matter how much the gaming industry wants to make one believe that they have benefits beyond immediate entertainment.
    And beyond having as much intellectual development aid as reading two paragraphs a night.

    And as much manual dexterity increase as shooting baskets for 15 minutes a day.

    Or jogging.

    “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

    by shigeru on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:42:07 AM PDT

    •  That's a pretty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debby, nathanfl, tommymet

      judgemental point of view.  Thanks for your input.

      not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

      by Lilith on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:20:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pointless? (6+ / 0-)

      I'd actually beg to differ on the "no benefits beyond immediate entertainment" line above.

      1. I took a trip to Italy last year, and gaming absolutely enhanced my trip. Specifically, the Assassin's Creed series gave me a good rudimentary background on specific eras in Italian history, as well as very detailed knowledge of a handful of key historical figures, incidents, and buildings. On top of that, I knew my way around the historic sections of Rome, Florence, and Venice fresh of the train because of the amazingly accurate historical research and detail that went into make these games.

      2. Sure, there are some games out there that offer nothing more than mindless mayhem. But there are also games that are breathtaking works of art and scathing political commentaries to boot. "Bioshock" is a landmark in the gaming industry, and it's something I've gone to time and again when engaged in political discussions about the consequences of Ayn Rand-ian worldviews and a no-holds-barred endorsement of capitalism.

      3. There's a remarkable social aspect to gaming. I've met people from around the world. We're slowly teaching each other our native languages through regular conversation. And I'm especially fond of challenging friends who visit my home to a dance-off using the Xbox's Kinect motion-sensor feature. We all look absolutely ridiculous, but we work up a sweat and have a laugh. Together.

      So if gaming's not for you, great. But don't sweep the entire gaming industry and gaming community with that broad brush. Loads of us are mature adults who manage to find quite a bit more than 'immediate entertainment' through that outlet.

      •  Thanks for your opinion. I wrote it pretty much (0+ / 0-)

        tongue in cheek, but I do get tired of the overhyped claims about the benefits of games.

        As long as you don't take the info in the games as gospel you will be fine. However, if you do you will certainly develop a jaundiced view of the world.

        Given your user name I thought you of all people would be understanding of an outspoken comment.

        “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

        by shigeru on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:42:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm...I guess I missed the tongue in cheek. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Darryl House, Whatithink

          My apologies -- when I read your comment, I guess I missed the tongue in cheek part. Mostly I just thought "great, more people telling us we're wasting our time or our hobbies have no redeeming value." Trust me, we hear it often, so you're likely to find that approach might get our hackles up a little.

          As for taking them as gospel, I no more do that than I would with a film or a book. Of course they're still entertainment, but they can and do provide a valuable spark to learn more about some subjects through more traditional means. Or for the folks who are a little less knowledge-thirsty than I, at least it's a small dose of history or politics or whatever it may be that they may not have gotten on their own.

          Gaming is just one of many things I like to do in my free time. I work an 8-5 office job, but in my down time, I garden, I read extensively, I travel, I take photographs, I renovate my 100 year old home, and I spend time immersed in fictional worlds through a gaming console. I love all of these things, and I wouldn't trade them for the world! :)

          •  Hey! Thanks. As a long-time IT person, I am (0+ / 0-)

            in favor of anything that creates more jobs for IT folks.

            All is well. I am sure you are an intelligent, insightful and knowledgeable person.

            Hoa binh.

            “Never argue with someone whose livelihood depends on not being convinced.” ~ H.L. MENCKEN

            by shigeru on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 09:13:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Childish (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whatithink, tommymet

      I think that running endlessly up and down a basketball court chasing a ball is deadly boring. But I don't drop in to sports forums and say so. It may bore me, but it's harmless, and everyone has their particular likes and dislikes. I don't get my knickers in a knot if someone likes what I don't like.

      Quite apart from that, I don't know enough about basketball to intelligently criticize it. And I'd suggest you don't know enough about gaming to intelligently criticize it either.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:57:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the same wavelength. (0+ / 0-)

        We as a sociaety are inundated daily with this mythical "beast" called sports whether we want to or not, it's on the top and bottam and sometimes more of every radio program and TV news broadcast, and sometimes just scores, there is actually TV show dedicated to just listing scores, I' mean... wtf, can't you just read it in print or online, and yet gamers have there own thing, and there aren't syndicated radio shows 24 adays about video gmaes like there is with this "sports." If watch about roided out pimply freaks hit a hyde skin orb with a wooden stick is your idea of fun, hat at it, but let me go to Rapture.

    •  CK2, Europa Univeraslis (0+ / 0-)

      these are epic Grand Strategy games that require so much mental fortitude to play.

      this is an incredibly ignorant comment.

  •  In World of Warcraft (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Brown Thrasher, Matt Z, catwho

    I've never seen women treated like this during any of my raids. Of course, I could have introduced bias into this; i don't think i'd like playing with people who would be jerks just because of someone's gender.

    "Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth."

    by kamrom on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:46:22 AM PDT

    •  It may be the nature of WoW. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      I don't have any statistics handy, but if I had to guess, MMORPG's have a higher percentage of female players than RTS's, and especially higher than shooter games.

      •  Quite likely (0+ / 0-)

        I played Final Fantasy XI and now Final Fantasy XIV, the two online offerings in the series.  FFXI had a reputation for the 2nd most mature player community, just behind EVE (which is probably the most expensive and strategic MMO offering out there.  Youngsters and idiots don't make it far.)  

        I have had the delight of being in a group entirely composed of females a few times in FFXI, and my current group of friends is 2/3 female there.  FFXIV seems to have a more properly balanced ratio of men to women than XI did, but it does seem to be about half and half.

        Then again, the Final Fantasy games are made for and marketed to women, it seems. (Final Fantasy X-2 was widely derided as "pretty pretty dress-me-up" for featuring three female protagonists who changed abilities by changing outfits.  Funnily enough, the guys who actually played it said it was better than its prequel, Final Fantasy X!

        The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

        by catwho on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:45:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also the fact that is is subscription based and it (0+ / 0-)

        has effective channels to report bad behavior helps. Meaning if you are paying to play a game and you will be banned if you behave badly you have a lot less motivation to act like a ass.

  •  Nice dairy. Thank you. (7+ / 0-)

    In the MMO I play there is a fairly high female population.

    That might just be on the server on which I play.

    Fortunately sexist comments are more rare, as ore racist and homophobic ones.

    The community is also not shy about telling people when a comment is out of bounds.

    It would be nice to see that spread to all areas of gaming.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

  •  Empire, anyone? (goodgamesstudios) (3+ / 0-)

    Great diary, thanks for writing this.  I'm 52, and got into Empire when my 9yr old son asked me to join him.  Now I'm addicted, and really should stop playing so much.

    But the main reason I play is the close social nature of the chat in our alliance.  I couldn't care less about blowing up someone's castle, but I do enjoy talking to my friends and playing a very strong defense - the cavalry, as it were.  Our alliance is about 1/3 female, some of us strong attackers, some both attack and defend.  

    I tried some of the other games mentioned, but immediately got turned off by the misogyny.  In 1.5yrs on empire, I have yet to encounter an outright sexist, though several have been surprised that they were beaten by a "girl".  
    cheers, "Pan"  (my game name - daemon_pan)

    Do the best you can.

    by home solar on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

  •  love this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    home solar, Risen Tree

    My husband used to play WoW online, and usually had a female character. He would get cruised. Like other players thought he was a woman and tried to hit on him - as if he looked like his character. Go figure.

    But games are overwhelmingly violent and depressing, in my opinion. Most are about killing or death.

    I don't play, not because I don't want to deal with repulsive sexist assholes (although I don't - not to mention the other forms of rampant gamer bigotry), but because I don't want to blow stuff up, or beat monsters to a bloody pulp, or combat serial killers, or behead opponents with a sword, or shoot the shit out of someone, or hear about kidnapped and murdered children, etc. What's fun about that?

    I wish there were games where it was possible to take an ugly place and make it better, search for stuff without killing anyone, figure stuff out without killing anyone, and without dying. And without being bored.

    Best stuff out there might be depressing but has artistic merit (like "Dear Esther) and shows imagination. Like that Russian game with the ghosts in the post-apocalyptic subway station - at least it's atmospheric.

    •  Sounds like some of the Sim games (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebird of happiness, Debby
      I wish there were games where it was possible to take an ugly place and make it better, search for stuff without killing anyone, figure stuff out without killing anyone, and without dying. And without being bored.
      Or possibly Minecraft (though that does have enemies to fight).

      Both allow for exploration, creativity, and can be quite engrossing.

      We do not forgive. We do not forget. The whole world is watching.

      by Tracker on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:07:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've played Sims (0+ / 0-)

        But my problem with it is that it is extremely tedious (like watching paint dry) and seems like something tween or teen girls would be most interested in. I'd like something a little more grown up. Their "world adventures" game is OK, if a bit stereotype laden. The problem with Sims is that the technology is out there in the world to have vast free-roaming game environments, like on WoW, but in the Sims, the characters can't really go anywhere - the world is pretty small. And boring. God, it's boring. Takes so long to build up skills...and you just sit there watching a character read a book or something like this. Or they go into a building, but you can't follow them in. Creating houses is fun. Some of it's humorous. Maybe future iterations will become more interesting - it has the potential to be so much more than it is, if it is not treated like a virtual dollhouse (not that there's anything wrong with that if you're a kid - it's probably awesome for kids). Also, the program is incredibly buggy and gets all hinky and weird.

        My son told me I should try Minecraft since I like to build houses and plant trees and whatnot.

    •  Hmmm.... (5+ / 0-)

      Obviously you've never run with a herd of deer over the Cyrodiil hills while the sun rose over the White Gold Tower in the city just visible in the distance below you.

      Games work largely through compression and intensification. Real-life speed is just too slow for something that you may be playing an hour or two a day. And that means that confrontations that might be solved slowly through negotiation are often settled quickly through fighting. But in modern games, there's often a choice. If I run into a bear, say, in Skyrim, I can kill it. Or I can use one of a half-dozen types of magic to make it run away, or turn it friendly for long enough so that I can depart peacefully. My choice. I've fallen into the rather sentimental habit of never killing foxes, for instance. It just seems a shame, since they are curious about you and will accompany you, at a distance, for long periods of time. I don't kill netch either, though they're valuable, because they usually appear in rather cute family groups and aren't hostile to you. A few gold pieces aren't worth spoiling that.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:15:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, there's always Katamari (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebird of happiness, Odysseus

      Fun games, easy to learn, high replayability. Just don't think too hard about the actual fate of all those people, animals, and things you've picked up.

      Flower is a pretty good game. So is Journey. You can pick up both games plus Flow (which is less of a game and more of a tech demo) for $30 on disc if you've got a PS3.

      There's all the LucasArts graphic adventures. Easily available online these days. There are only a few games where you can make the game unwinnable.

      There are plenty of games out there that should meet your criteria. It's just a question of looking.

      •  my impressions may be colored (0+ / 0-)

        by what my kids own and play: Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, LA Noir (which scores big points with me on art, atmosphere, and coolness), WoW, Diablo, and that game ..."something" Rain about "the origami killer" - or something. And another one about a zombie apocalypse. Creepy. And I don't know what else. They don't let me use their stuff, anyway.

        Not my generation or my universe. So thanks for the suggestions. I play on my PC.

    •  wow, there are lots (0+ / 0-)

      the entire Animal Crossing series, Sims series, Sim City series, Harvest Moon series, Flow, Flower and Journey just to name a few.

      Try Flower and Journey.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 08:51:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a woman.... (4+ / 0-)

    ...I don't like to play multiplayer games. Not because of misogyny, per se, but because most online gamers are very immature (young) and/or dumb.

    But I love playing single player or games that can be soloed.

    GOP Motto: The rich don't have nearly enough and the poor have way too much.

    by DawnG on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:27:05 AM PDT

  •  Finding a guild or other group (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darryl House, Tracker

    of like minded players to game with makes gaming so much more fun.

    I got hooked on gaming when Diablo2 came out, first just playing over LAN with my husband and later venturing out into the public online world. We very quickly returned to playing private games because of the general tone in public games, not to mention the poor gamesmanship.

    We then stumbled upon a website dedicated to D2 and started playing with a nice group of other players. There are strict policies against sexism/racism as well as other foul language, and the amount of female players was and still is pretty high. Played with the same group when Diablo3 came out. Using Teamspeak and meeting players from around the world is a very enriching experience and I think can be a very positive aspect of online gaming. I found real friends through playing games.

    Right now I'm addicted to Path of Exile, still playing with people I know. Sometimes I turn on global chat to check what the general population is talking about and I usually turn it off quickly because not much has changed - still a lot of juvenile chatter with sexist overtones. I often help people who ask nicely with quests or waypoints and usually get a "Thanks man" or similar, showing that everyone assumes you're a guy. When I correct them I always get a positive response though.

    Nice thing about Path of Exile is the fact that the female characters for once don't have big boobs, lots of cleavage or are otherwise scantily clad.

  •  As a male gamer I think things are changing. (7+ / 0-)

    Very slowly. Very, very slowly. But changing.

    This is a really broad topic so I'll open with a couple basic points:

    1: When games like Bioshock Infinite and The Last Of Us have major publishers pushing to take the female character off the front of the box because they think it will hurt sales, that's a real problem. When major publishers think that there is no market for a strong female protagonist (maybe even one that wears pants) that's a real problem.

    2: The male gamer community on the internet is being dragged, kicking and screaming, through this conversation. They desperately don't want to talk about this. KEEP YOUR FEMINISM OUT OF MY VIDEO GAMES! IT'S HARMLESS ESCAPISM! FIFTY SHADES OF GREY MEANS THAT MEN ARE OBJECTIFIED JUST AS MUCH! FEMINAZIS!!!!!

    Any kind of discussion on sexuality and gender in video games comes up will be accompanied immediately by at least three dudes sighing and whining and shaking their heads over feminists and "white knights" trying to ruin their video games.

    They just want the conversation to go away. "Everything is fine and men have it just as bad as women do in every respect, just leave me alone." It gets their backs up because if they're supporting something that's juvenile and misogynist as a hobby, it makes them look bad. Thus, they simply attack the messenger.

    There's alot of adolescent ego and white privilege that plays into it. Regardless, the conversation continues in gaming communities of all types, and lately games with blatantly hypersexualized characters/costumes/mini-games have come under criticism for it.

    Ugh. I'm really rambling here. My point is that in the past couple years, the issue of sexism and video games has become a somewhat big deal in the gaming community, much to the ire of many within it. The backlash against that conversation is still huge, but the genie is out of the bottle and it's not going away.

    The interaction between the Starcraft players above is indicative of that. Every day some punkass high school kid learns that some gamers are in fact female.

    Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

    by Boogalord on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:30:51 PM PDT

    •  i don't think the way that the converation is (0+ / 0-)

      brought to them is brought to them in the most positive way. I can't count the ways that Anita Sarkeesian has done damage to her own objective with her web series.

      •  Since you keep bringing up Anita Sarkeesian (0+ / 0-)

        in disparaging terms, would you care to elaborate for the community here why?

        For a backgrounder, let's quote Wikipedia:

        On May 17, 2012, Sarkeesian began a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new series of short videos that would examine gender tropes in video games. The campaign was featured as a campaign of note on the official Kickstarter blog,[10] and reached its funding goal of $6,000 within 24 hours.[11]

        The project triggered a campaign of sexist harassment that Amanda Marcotte in Slate magazine described as an "absolute avalanche of misogynist abuse," in which "[e]very access point they could exploit was used to try to get to her".[12] Helen Lewis of the The New York Times reported that Sarkeesian was e-mailed images of herself being raped by video game characters.[13] Attempts were made to hack her Twitter and Google accounts, doctored images of her were posted online, and negative comments were posted to her YouTube and Facebook pages.[14][15] Her Wikipedia article was repeatedly vandalized with images of sex acts.[16] Her website was subjected to denial-of-service attacks, and there were efforts to obtain and distribute her personal contact information.[17]

        Sarkeesian posted examples of the harassment on her blog, and supporters responded by donating over $150,000 to her project.[14][15] This further enraged the harassers; one man made an internet game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian, where users could punch her image until the screen turned red.[14][18] The people behind the campaign awarded each other "Internet points" for the abuse on forums; Sarkeesian argued that they had "gamified" misogyny.

        All too reminiscent of the reaction to "Karlar sem hata konur" here in Iceland...

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:09:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ** This ** (0+ / 0-)

      Can't rec here, but consider this a rec.

      Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

      by Rei on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I played Wolfenstein when it came out (4+ / 0-)

    with the joy stick.. Totally addicting... Same reason I don't watch soap opreras.   Someone has to take out the trash and wash the dishes... No can do sitting in front of an x box.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:33:15 PM PDT

  •  games as an art form (0+ / 0-)

    That's the stuff that intrigues me the most. An interactive story, with drama and atmosphere, a quest or mission, a mystery to be solved. Where the choices you make lead down a different story trajectory.

    Seems like designers with a literary or artistic sensibility could do (and have done, in some cases) things with real emotional depth and impact - not just fun stuff, but with an emotional message, like a good book or film.

    It's a fascinating medium.

    •  One you might like.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebird of happiness

      ....is Analogue: A Hate Story by Christine Love, a woman on the autism spectrum. It's a mystery where you investigate the wreck of an ancient spaceship to find out what happened to it, and if you've ever asked yourself "How could s/he fall in love with someone so awful?", it's interesting. You can google up a free demo that covers about the first third of the game.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:25:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another you might like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebird of happiness

      - is Journey, which came out on PS3 last year and won 2012 Game of the Year by a few companies.   It was very much an example of "video games as art" and had an amazing live orchestra soundtrack.  

      The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

      by catwho on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 05:46:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The good thing about Journey (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluebird of happiness

        for those who don't like the atmophere at times of online players, you can play it online, but no talking, even if you have a mic,  you just roam around a desert and other landscapes with people other people whos character resmble a piece of cloth like yours does, and you cooperatively play as you travel to solve the mystery of what exactly is this game about. No PSN id are shown, either. Its completley anonymous, and you never hear any unpleasant talking by jerk players.

        •  Well, you do get PSN ids shown at the end (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluebird of happiness

          As companions you have traveled with. But that doesn't invalidate your point. And you can just as easily ignore someone who comes along as stick with them the whole way. (I've done both and I think it's generally much better with a companion, especially if it turns out to be someone who has played the game before.)

    •  Do you like RPGs? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bluebird of happiness

      One with really beautiful art is Eternal Sonata, I still haven't finished it, in the old backlog, but what I played out it back when it came out was absolutley gorgeous. It is actually telling through allegory I guess the life aof a real life composer, I think it was.

      Available on Xbox 360 and PS3, but i don't think on PC.

  •  btw , Adalgisa is an opera character (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    home solar, Denise Oliver Velez

    Re the character name of the player in the diary - as it happens, I also have a toon named Adalgisa - this is the name of a druid priestess character in the opera Norma, by Bellini.  Just FYI.

  •  Lots of girls do play video games, (4+ / 0-)

    including competitive online games. Unfortunately most that I know choose to keep their gender to themselves to avoid an unwinnable scenario:

    If you lose, it's because girls are posers and naturally suck at games. "Probably just trying to get attention lolololol!"

    If you win, it is viewed as emasculating. Then the knives really come out.

    One of my ex-gf's always incorporates her name into her gamertag in some way, so everyone knows she's as she, but that's pretty rare in my experience.

  •  I'd love to play... (3+ / 0-)

    ...but I'd become addicted, never leave my room and never get sh*t done.  Plus my behind would be even fatter than it is already.

    Women cannot afford to sit around, as it is easier for us to get fat.  I've become addicted to computer games before.  I once played Grand Theft Auto at a friend's house and became frighteningly good within a few hours.  I once played Tetris so avidly for one day, I almost skipped dinner.

    There's a lot to do in this great wild world, including spending time outdoors and doing honest to God work.  I just can't afford the time and health commitment of video games.

    But I'm not judging others.  Have at it, ladies.

  •  I keep at least four games of scrabble (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Risen Tree, Debby

    Going at all times on my phone.  Yeah, who's the master gamer now?!?!?

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 03:26:10 PM PDT

  •  Video game players are losers! (1+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    anime1973
    Hidden by:
    Ponder Stibbons, terrypinder, tommymet

    If there’s is anything women hate it’s ‘men’ (boys) who play video games. That’s not even a loser, that’s a nonstarter.  
    "Why don't more girls play video games?" Maybe they don’t want to end up as useless vegetables???

  •  My wow guild is at least 1/2 female (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez, tommymet

    Seems a tad more females in wow then many games.

  •  In my experience... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    home solar, Denise Oliver Velez

    I stick to guilds (Warcraft) like our own Wreck List, which is composed of adults with certain attitudes.  Some games are less sexist than others.  I'm one of those women who just shuts up and doesn't say anything if I'm in a group with obviously young and rude guys.  

    It's often the young and clueless males who are offenders.  Older, more experienced guys usually have figured this out.

    Sexual harassment used to be common on Mucks and MUDS until the culture changed back in the 1990's.  As we women got into administrative power, we started "coming out" and started tightly enforcing anti sexual harassment policies.  This did change the overall mood of the game.

    The gaming companies could improve things by not making games so obviously gender biased.  I find it terribly annoying that in Warcraft the guys get Real Armor and female characters get Plate Mail Bikinis with Hello Nurse metal stockings.

    SO not cool.

  •  To answer your initial question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    They have better things to do with their time??

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:05:08 PM PDT

    •  that's kind of my theory too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Denise Oliver Velez

      but i would put it slightly differently.

      women in general have less discretionary time.  fewer discretionary hours.

      more women than men are caring for children, parents, other relatives, housekeeping, and similar time-intensive work that when it has to be done has to be done right away.

      It is harder for women at any age to get large chunks of time when they are not going to have to attend to other people's real world needs.

      so women/girls have other things to do with the minimal discretionary time they have.

      i was an expert at lots of different computer games in the pre internet days, and every now and then I get curious about what the online games are like.  but between the sexism and the fact that I barely have time to do the things I have to do, I have not explored it.

      however, when I have a rare day off and spend several hours or all day here at dK, I sometimes think about what it would be like to spend those hours learning/playing a multiplayer game of some kind.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 07:46:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why there are more male gamers.... (3+ / 0-)

    .....if you show up in an online game and everyone starts mocking you for your gender, you're going to find some other group activity where that doesn't happen.

    And I will note that my daughter walked off with the XBox 360 when she moved out to her own abode.

  •  Here's a link to why women keep quiet about their (0+ / 0-)

    gender in on-line games.

    Fat, Ugly or Slutty

    Read some of those conversations, and if you don't understand why women don't admit to being women in these games, then there's no hope for you.

  •  is there a gamer caucus on dkos? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    outspoken82, Avilyn

    i know there are some groups like a WoW group, just curious if there is a gamer group altogether.

  •  I'm a bisexual male who games. Both of my sisters (3+ / 0-)

    game, my wife games a little bit (diablo is her big stress reliever.) We all avoid pub games, and stick to playing with people we know. The amount of misogyny,  racism and homophobia in the gaming community it astounding. I have always tried to stick up for women gamers whenever they are being harassed, (I used to pkay a ton of TF2 prior to my son being born). It's horrid how gamers treat anyone that's not a SWM. I'm going to hazard a guess that you've watched the feminist frequency Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games series on youtube, (if not go do so). The amount of hate that Anit Sarkesian (sp?) got was crazy. You van just look up tropes vs women controversy to see it.
    There's a great website that collects all the hate women get called fatuglyorslutty.com, it's pretty awful the shit that female players must endure just to do something they love. Most girls I know who play keep their mics on mute to avoid harassment.

  •  Maybe they just grow up faster? (0+ / 0-)

    ------
    Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
    It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 08:49:38 AM PDT

  •  Have Always Loved CRPGs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusflinthead, Brown Thrasher

    Tried my hand at some online ones here and there but the time requirements, combined with the fact that I love to go it alone (which MMOs don't encourage), made me stop.

    One observation from my MMO days: I was a beta and then early player in Star Trek Online. I played a variety of personae, some of which were female. Aside from the trolls and griefers who exist in all games, the majority of male players would go out of their way to come to the rescue of one of my female characters -- less so the males. These players were always polite, never forward in any non-game way and always fell over themselves diving in to help the female captain I was playing. Obviously there are lots of guys in this world who love being rescuers of women but the end result of their rescuing was always that they helped out.

    Maybe it's the culture of Star Trek fandom that comes into play. There have been more than a few strong, lead female characters across all the shows and it's quite possible that Star Trek fans, even the males, have a humanist outlook on things -- far more than Call of Duty players.

    Now that I've mentioned CoD -- if there is a more frustrating game for newbies it's that one. Way too many griefers there who camp out at spawn points and just waste you. It's almost comical. And the smack talk is quite sexist and homophobic.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    by The Lone Apple on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:27:29 PM PDT

  •  there is some positive movement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darryl House

    i am am so glad there are many strong women speaking out on this topic.  i have a gamer daughter and this trend is encouraging to me too.  there are tons of crappy people everywhere in this world, not just in gaming, but i do see some real positive actions from the community - the publishers will always lag, especially the big ones.  but then again maybe it just cause i hang out on ars and kotaku.  patricia hernandez is a great writer and has been blowing up this issue too.

    MS is releasing an improved reputation system that looks incredibly promising so when xbox one is released, we will learn how useful it is!  blizzard has real name service which maybe moderates the tone on their forums some.

    we are getting there, we are moving in a positive direction, and thanks to all the women gamers out there who are helping us men to grow up and join the human race.

    great diary, i hope this becomes a series because i will follow!

  •  As a proud geek girl gamer, thanks for the diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nathanfl, Caipirinha, Darryl House

    I tend towards single player games; or sometimes LAN parties (had great fun in college with Duke Nukem or ROTT games with my friends), although I don't even do those much anymore.  I tried mulitplayer games with my husband, but we like different games for the most part.  Turn-Based or Real Time Strategy games, RPGs, FPS.  

    Started in the 80s with games on the TRS 80; graduated to an NES, then eventually to PC games.  Thankfully, as I'm not into MMOs or Online games of any sort, I'm isolated from a lot of the active sexism out there.  Still off-put now and then by the passive sexism (games where you can't play a female character, or where the only females in the game are wenches, etc. etc.).

    The Girl Who Loved Stories
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

    by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:04:48 PM PDT

    •  rts are sweet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avilyn, Darryl House

      LAN warcraft, starcraft, or evven better: Dawn of War.  sooo many good memories of the playing as the raven gaurd - not exceptional but rock solid.  what's you favorite?

      •  Rise of Nations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nathanfl, Darryl House

        Even with newer RTSs out, I still load that up (as recently as a couple weeks ago) and play, especially the conquer the world campaigns.  Haven't tried Dawn of War, I'll have to take a look at that one.  Warcraft was OK; Starcraft really wasn't my thing (I'm more into either historical like Civ/RoN or Fantasy genre).  The Age of Mythology games were fun too, although it's been longer since I played those.

        The Girl Who Loved Stories
        I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape"

        by Avilyn on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:26:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Logging in right now to the game my daughter found (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darryl House

    when she was 8. Wizard101 seems to be dismissed as a kid's game, but asresearchers found out there are a lot of grannies playing with the kids.

    QUOTES
    "This is one of the largest studies of online game players conducted to date," said Dr. Aaron Delwiche, Associate Professor of Communication at Trinity University. "We were particularly impressed by the willingness of players to elaborate their opinions in answers to open-ended questions."
    "Wizard101 players of all ages enjoy the game, and for many different reasons: from meeting friends to learning math to talking to grandma in the next state," said Dr. Jennifer Henderson, Associate Professor of Communication at Trinity University.
    "This study demonstrates clearly that the stereotype of the dysfunctional, male teen gamer no longer holds," said the researchers. "At any time during the game, your teammate could be a kid, a neighbor, or a grandparent."
    "I'm particularly amazed by the amount of creativity that the survey suggests is inspired by games like Wizard101," said Fred Howard, vice president of marketing at KingsIsle Entertainment. "At a time when school budgets across the country are being cut, I think it's more important than ever to be aware that certain online games have the potential to sharpen critical thinking, bring families together and inspire creative expressio

    Yeah, I see some misogyny, homophobia and racism in game. Mostly in pvp. That is really where the rubber meets the road. It is one thing when you are bashing a boss or a mob and talking smack to a program that does not respond, it is another altogether when it is another person at the end of the pixels. There are a good many players that opt out of chat for that very reason. In regular questing they will talk, but not in a match.
     Since W101 is by design for younger players open chat is supposed to be unavailable for younger players. But, just like anywhere else they find ways of speaking in code that is unmistakable. In all of it though, I don't see how this playground is all that vastly different than the ones IRL.

    Putting on the spectacles of science in expectation of finding an answer to everything looked at signifies inner blindness. -- J(ames) Frank Dobie

    by cactusflinthead on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:13:58 PM PDT

  •  Indy game developer here, with a young daughter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darryl House, outspoken82

    I find the comments here are really interesting, partly because my financial future hangs on me making games that people want to play...

    I think it's sad that multiplayer games are scaring off female players because of the puerile boys who make up the main fan base of the popular games.
    I suggest playing the less popular games.
    I can't possibly compete with the million dollar epic war games with action-movie graphics. So I'm not trying to compete with them. There are a lot of talented people making great original games that you've never heard of; and most of them will make very little money for their efforts.

    I am working on a multiplayer game that I hoped to appeal to women as much as men. It's a RTS / word game hybrid. Considering that the main "resource" is the player's own vocabulary,  it should weed out most of the "I CAN TYPING" demographic. And it's non-violent (ok, it's violent in the same way chess is violent; it's just not graphically violent.)

    I was a Bungie & Blizzard fan when I was younger, and wanted to make those kind of games. Now, I think I have to make ones that have at least some wholesomeness because my daughter is going to want to play each one.

    [I won't post a name or a link, I think that would make me just  one more comment spammer. But if you already read r/indiegames on reddit, which you should if you like games, it will show up there when it's finished.]

  •  You do realize, don't you, that this guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marko the Werelynx

    Mad is probably about thirteen years old, right?

    It's not worth the hassle.  

    As far as games being dominated by males... I've been playing The Sims since the game came out about 1999.  The demographics of Sims, as I recall the developer saying some years back, are majority female.  When they tried to turn it into an online game at one point, around 2004 or thereabouts, EA discovered the online community for it was predominantly single females.  There has always been a large gay community participation in the game as well.  

    I think it may be because there's something more social and creative about the game rather than goal directed, and the online community aspects of it create a hobbyist atmosphere rather than a barbarian destroy-all-challengers atmosphere because there's no real way to win the game and it's up to people to think of ways to keep the game interesting, like showing off things they've built, or making funny youtube stories using their Sim characters or hacking the code so the Sims can do inappropriate things (my favorite).

  •  I wonder how many . . . (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder how many Kossacks, male and female, are like me:  I played a couple of games of PacMan right after it came out and have never played a video game since . . . online, on my PC, on my phone . . . none . . . not one.

  •  Ahhh, I played Frogger off a cartridge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marko the Werelynx

    inserted in my Commodore 64. Played games back when all you had was the DOS prompt. Wrote little programs because I didn't know at the time that girlz kant do that.

    Been gaming ever since, but because I don't enjoy screams of agony, spurting blood and my character being dressed in two handkerchiefs, I've avoided FPS games. Is this because I'm not as good at shooting? Or because my reflexes are slower and I just wouldn't be good at it? No, I've tried it out once or twice with friends and done very well.

    Just didn't enjoy the sexism or the gore in the game. Dealing with all the sexism among the players too -- forget it. But I've never stopped gaming. I can say, anecdotally, that I've told lots of people I'm a gamer over the years and they always forget. It comes as a surprise every time I mention it, especially back in the early days. Too far outside of people's expectations.

    I'm amazed by people's courage and kindness in the face of everything and life.

    by LaraJones on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 09:52:13 PM PDT

  •  I suppose with an opponent named (0+ / 0-)

    "MadskillZ" I'd have entered the match with pretty low expectations.

    The immaturity and horrible, aggressive, arrogant, and just plain rude behavior that permeated my online gaming experiences overshadowed the many wonderful encounters I had and I haven't played anything online in years.

    It's an interesting experience to play a game like WoW where everyone has a character with a clearly defined gender and have people make assumptions about your gender based on the character you're playing. The out-of-character chats can be quite entertaining.

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