“Girl means ‘guy in real life.'” “Are you really a chick?” “I didn’t think girls could game!” “You can’t play ___ (insert name of game here) because you’re female.” “Oh, you’re a girl? Will you be my WoW-girlfriend?” “I’ll run you through that instance if you’ll give me a blow job/have sex with me/give me a lap dance/etc.” “Girls make terrible guild masters!” “Girls are only good as DPS or healers, so why do you want to tank?”
This sucks so hard! I’m sure all of the women who play video games will agree with me, here. In fact, a lot of women I know roll male characters in MMOs just to avoid being harassed by horny, sexist men. A lot of insults in the gaming community are sexist in nature, even if they are leveled against other male players.
Sexism erodes the gaming experience for everyone. Just because a woman lacks the plumbing a man has does not mean she’s incapable of playing up to par with her male counterparts. Also, why do most video games have to be marketed to the male audience exclusively? Why do the mechanics and visuals of the games need to cater to a male-centered audience. Just because men play the game does not mean it has to revolve around their gender.
Take the leaders in World of Warcraft, for instance. How many of them are female? Think about it. Even in our little virtual world, the fight is led by “real men,” and the women are seen as weak and faulty because of their emotions or lack of sheer strength. The Horde’s warchief is male and Stormwind has a king, not a queen. This sets the game up to be sexist in nature, because even in our virtual world, women are seen as the weaker sex.
I wish that the developers of these games saw how sexist their creations are. If you don’t want that sort of bullying in your gaming community, perhaps you shouldn’t create the game to be sexist in the first place. I’m not saying I don’t love these games, just because of this, but it makes it less fun to play at times.
This post is in response to the Daily Prompt. Join me and other bloggers around the world in calling out inequality in all its forms today, for Blog Action Day 2014!