Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Sexism in gaming culture
03-06-2012, 07:34 PM
My apologies if this is the wrong forum for this discussion, but I think that anyone who is a part of gaming culture needs to talk about this. To that end, let me start the discussion with a video essay:

http://moviebob.blogspot.com/2012/03...-not-okay.html

In many ways, nerd culture is more.... sociopolitically advanced than the general culture. We embraced racial diversity in Star Trek and other science fiction franchises decades before the rest of the country. And yet, in one particular area, we tend to fall down: gender issues. I'm sorry to say, but the gaming subculture of nerd-dom is probably the worst among nerds.

I do not think it's OK. I do not think it's OK to accept games that treat women as sex objects first and people second, but I really think it's not OK when individuals mistreat women, whether it's on a forum somewhere or in an online game.

There was even a thread in the main STO discussion forum in which a female gamer complained about treatment she received in fleet chat, which is in part why I'm starting this thread. I think more of us need to speak out when we see things like this in a game or on the forums, and let's be honest: we've all seen it, haven't we?

Each MMORPG has its own player culture, and I'm thankful to say that the STO culture is a great deal less misogynist than WoW's player culture, but we still see it, and I think we need to speak out when we see it instead of leaving the target of the abuse to argue her own case against some troglodyte or group of troglodytes.

To the moderators: if this is the wrong forum, can you move this thread to the appropriate forum?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-06-2012, 07:44 PM
I think that both 'warring parties' need to understand each other (as hard as it may seem) or at least find common ground in discussion.

I started my gaming career rather naive and ended up learning the hard way in STO:

I brought a bunch of women I know to join a large fleet and that became a very sad story as none of the fleet's senior officers knew how to protect us from the many unwanted advances we got.

I also tried to assist with greviances voiced by others who posted on the forums (like in the example you quoted) despite my manner of posting and the subject matter being very controversial.

I have also, for a change of environment, joined an GLBT fleet just to see how they dealt with gender diversity and possible discrimination from others.

--

In conclusion I will say that the issue is all about Fleet management and not the individuals. Do the people in command know how to manage a balanced group of men and women and maintain fleet cohesion and maintain fairness for all?

As a fleet leader (actually, just a small RP guild leader now) it is my reponsibility to make sure everyone in my organization knows about the fleet's code of conduct and also let everyone know the challenges faced by female or even transgendered players, (the latter I have no objection to).

Only the person in command can really bridge the barrier between the genders and make possible true equality.

Because if left unregulated you have two very dangerous casus belli between the respective 'warring parties': -

1. Males lavishing attention on women (regardless of OOC identity) and causing disruption in Fleet activities due to unwanted advances on those women who have no desire or tolerance to such

2. Females who have made themselves too much of a target for attention or have raised family concerns with the married men in said Fleet (especially where voice chat is concerned)

It takes two hands to clap, and as harsh as it sounds I want to receive personal blame if there is a female/male argument or complaint. Individual members of the society should not have to deal with this because the person in the centre seat should be dictating group policy.

It sounds difficult because Fleets can be big, but let me assure you I don't see this type of conflict in my groups... partly because I have listened to both sides of the equation IRL and don't wish to see anyone get hurt if I can help it.

So I will always hide the ban-stick, sit both parties in my ready room, and interview them as canon characters like Picard and Janeway would do. Find out the root cause of the problem and advise the dissenting parties how to deal with the situation and how a fleet wide argument can impact our organizational performance.

As far as my group is concerned I will always respect the ladies in my group because by participating in paramilitary-styled in-game roleplay under strict Soviet era flight protocol, they are going the extra mile to fit into my organization and to learn a skillset that few other RP groups implement and enforce.

By addressing them at all times as ma'am or Ms. in chat, the male players of the organization also do not try and bring up personal matters because they regard the lady officers as persons with authority.

And for that matter, if the male players are in the minority for the day, I call them Sir.

They kind of like it, because it does enhance in-character communication in a strange way, as though people are encouraged to talk to one another or wait for command decisions : -

Quote:
"Sir, we have a Romulan battlegroup uncloaking to starboard, range 20. USS Antietam and South Dakota standing by for your orders."

"Ms Katarina, IKV Qa'pla is placing a requisition order for three Mark X DHCs. Please advise availability."
Very medieval... but for my case it works well. Maybe I'm born in the wrong era, but maybe some of you can glean some ideas off it. And no, I don't wish war between the two species. We've seen too much of it lately even on the forums.

Please don't hate me for the kind of ideas I bring to this table. Just consider it a survival skill I've learned IRL, and which has kept my small crew together despite the troubles we faced.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-06-2012, 10:00 PM
In my experience there is a simple problem of communication, or lack there-of as well as quite ironically a intolerance with people who want equality. This also comes with a large helping of double-standards.

While I'm not going to defend people who are rascist, sexist, homophobic, blah, blah (there's a damn long list and i'm too tired to cover it all) because yes their behaviour is more than likely in poor taste ... the real problem tend to be with those who are willing to subject themselves to such situations.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-06-2012, 10:09 PM
.... theres a GLBT fleet?!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Some interesting comments have been made on this subject.

As a Senior Fleet Officer and Quartermaster for my fleet, some of the more mature players refer to me as "Ma'am" or "Admiral." TBH I've only ever been hit on twice playing the game and it was quite some time ago. The last time i can remember it happening my teammate pointed out that I had someone following me around ESD, I was wearing the VA outfit with the angled skirt, after he pointed it out to me i switched to my full pantsuit S31 uniform and the guy went away. I either don't stick around long enough for anyone to notice or it's just becoming more common to see female toons running around and it would embarass the heck out of some teen boy to hit on a character and have the reply come back "i'm a dude, dude".

This is not to make light of the situation our sisters face in a world where some think it's odd that females would play games, but it does happen. I can't tell you how many people i have on /ignore for CoH. Maybe I'm just lucky that the fleet i'm in is (mainly) made up of mature (wait what's that? ) players. But I also don't advertise my gender. Those that do know are fine with it and the rest will find out if they ask.

Unfortunately this will never go away. The only advice I can give is to remove yourself from a fleet that is sexist or immature and find one that likes diversity in it's members.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
03-06-2012, 10:54 PM
This brings to mind a documentary i saw afew years ago about trekkies, they had this little village where they threw a trek parade each year and during an interview this guy said "you know last year we even had a GIRL here" said girl like it was a dirty word. For a bunch of people that are supposed (generalising here) to have atleast a good base of common sence, some members of the 'nerd' community seem awefully behind the times, rediculous but true.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
03-07-2012, 06:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benfea View Post
My apologies if this is the wrong forum for this discussion, but I think that anyone who is a part of gaming culture needs to talk about this. To that end, let me start the discussion with a video essay:

http://moviebob.blogspot.com/2012/03...-not-okay.html

In many ways, nerd culture is more.... sociopolitically advanced than the general culture. We embraced racial diversity in Star Trek and other science fiction franchises decades before the rest of the country. And yet, in one particular area, we tend to fall down: gender issues. I'm sorry to say, but the gaming subculture of nerd-dom is probably the worst among nerds.

I do not think it's OK. I do not think it's OK to accept games that treat women as sex objects first and people second, but I really think it's not OK when individuals mistreat women, whether it's on a forum somewhere or in an online game.

There was even a thread in the main STO discussion forum in which a female gamer complained about treatment she received in fleet chat, which is in part why I'm starting this thread. I think more of us need to speak out when we see things like this in a game or on the forums, and let's be honest: we've all seen it, haven't we?

Each MMORPG has its own player culture, and I'm thankful to say that the STO culture is a great deal less misogynist than WoW's player culture, but we still see it, and I think we need to speak out when we see it instead of leaving the target of the abuse to argue her own case against some troglodyte or group of troglodytes.

To the moderators: if this is the wrong forum, can you move this thread to the appropriate forum?
people sit behind their computer screens and become keyboard warriors, they can do what they like when they like and never meet the real person on the other end. that means harassing women in game disgusting filthy messages filled with sexual innuendo.

the problem is not that nerds struggle to see women or girls as more then sex objects and such because there are women who are really good at beating their male compatriats. i just think your smacking the wrong bush when you should realize that there tends to be a minority of rotten people who like to use any excuse to get an advantage, including harassment and being behind a keyboard and screen as a coward, there are no consequences to this act.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
03-07-2012, 07:28 AM
I don't know what you guys are talkin `bout, but I saw there were womens posting in here. Someone make me a sammich!! :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
03-07-2012, 07:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hort_wort View Post
I don't know what you guys are talkin `bout, but I saw there were womens posting in here. Someone make me a sammich!! :p
*hands hort_wort a sandwich in the spirit of equality*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superchum
It's pretty sad the state that sexism is in today. I feel like our overall culture's regressed a lot.
I am not that pessimistic. I think we're just so much more concious to sexism that we notice all the places where it's still around. It's a shame it's still there and seeing how we all (including myself) may be contributing to it even more so.

We geeks and nerds like to think of ourselves as something better, but that's probably something every self-selected group says about itself, and it's wrong in all cases.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
03-07-2012, 08:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
*hands hort_wort a sandwich in the spirit of equality*


I am not that pessimistic. I think we're just so much more concious to sexism that we notice all the places where it's still around. It's a shame it's still there and seeing how we all (including myself) may be contributing to it even more so.

We geeks and nerds like to think of ourselves as something better, but that's probably something every self-selected group says about itself, and it's wrong in all cases.
I see what you're saying. I guess I'm just reacting to this topic in light of recent news events (ala the Rush Limbaugh thing) and just thinking about how overall that's really depressing you know? But I really don't want this thread to veer into that aspect of the topic.
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