Unfortunately, women are a minority in the gaming community and suffer from it. Let’s discuss one specific way men offend women without knowing it.
You might have heard about the controversy involving Riot Games, the publisher behind League of Legends. The company is accused of adopting “bros before hoes” and being hostile towards women.
Here is a paragraph of Kotaku article about it:
— In her interview at Riot in 2015, one woman was asked to recall her favourite trinket from a 2004 World of Warcraft raid. She had already detailed what games she played and how often she played them. Throughout the hour-long interview, she said, her interviewer had been fact-checking her, looking for holes in the story of her gamer upbringing. “I was trying to prove to this executive that I wasn’t lying about playing games,” she said. To demonstrate she was a real, Riot-style gamer, she recalls wondering in desperation, “Should I just ask this guy to log onto my World of Warcraft profile?”
This precise kind of attitude is very popular in the gaming community when it comes to women. Male games are very suspicious and/or astonished when they stumble upon a female who loves video games. And it can be very annoying.
A Suspicious barrage of questions
What would you do if you met a woman who claims that she plays a game better than you? Let’s illustrate a popular reaction with an example.
Imagine a man going to a bar with friends and getting introduced to a woman. She tells the man that she plays CS:GO.
Here is how their conversation is likely to progress:
(M)an: Really? How often do you play? (implying: “I doubt you play a lot”)
(W)oman: 7-10 hours a week on average.
(M): Yeah, wow, do you play ranked?”
(M): What rank are you.
(W): Gold 3.
(M): Are you serious! Do you play alone or with friends? (implying: “does your boyfriend carry you?”)
(W): Usually, I fly Solo.
(M): You know what Zeus is?
(W): Em, yes. (getting very irritated)
(M): Can you tell me what it is? (implying: “now I’ll know for sure if you are full of crap”)
(W): I think I’ll go somewhere else. (offended, doesn’t want to prove anything)
The man is throwing questions and testing if the woman is lying, and the lady doesn’t like being on the receiving end of an interrogation.
Female streamers are also susceptible to this kind of behaviour. Here is the story of Atira, a StarCraft 2 streamer, who recently participated in a talk show by ESChamp on the topic of women in gaming:
— It’s usually (done) by the most well-meaning people. I had at least 20 different people saying, either while I’m streaming or private message me later: “Oh, I’m gonna keep watching your stream because you’re actually into the game and trying to get better”... I do hate always trying to justify that I like that game. Guys don’t have to do that.
It’s the same type of behaviour, but in this scenario, men don’t need to check if the woman is playing games seriously. Male gamers just get astonished and express their state in the most obnoxious way.
You can talk to any amount of lady streamers and they will all concur that this type of thing happens regularly.
What can we do to avoid annoying female gamers?
Here is a couple of simple steps to start with:
Don’t assault anyone with a barrage of questions to check if they are a “real” gamer. Conversation is much more pleasant than interrogation.
Admit, that a lady can be better than you in any video game, just like a man.
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