Monday, August 12, 2013

Sexism and Abuse in MMOs

So I came across this article (Sexism and abuse isn't only on Twitter: one woman's gaming experience) on a friend's facebook page (she says she swiped it from Elite Girl Gamers facebook page)

Now I've put up with a lot of crap on games but thankfully not to this extent.... Anyways the part that got me with this article was not the article itself but mainly the comments around it.

First off I seen a a few people who think this girl could be "exaggerating" this story a bit... I happen to think these people are kinda clueless as to how much some women put up with in most online games...

Now I will admit the whole thing about ALL women getting crap in games is a lie as I do know a few women gamers who are lucky enough to not run into every idiot on the server but most women gamers have gotten at least a random comment or two just based on their gender.

As for me the only game I've gotten a lot of crap on is World of Warcraft... It seems like I'm blocking idiots on a daily basis (yes ladies we do have a simple way to deal with half of these jerks... :3 ) Honestly when I look at WoW compared to the other MMOs I've played over the years it honestly seems that there are more sexist boys in this game compared to all the other ones combined!

Sure I sometimes get a few random comments or that one random idiot who tries his hardest to make my time in game a complete nightmare in the other games I play... Thankfully for me though when I finally do decide that someone is worth reporting (which normally takes a lot for me to finally come to that point) I don't get the same treatment as this girl did. Sure I have gotten a few GMs who have told me that I should play a gender neutral name but they thankfully also took care of my problem (without banning me from game).

Now for the longest time I dealt with a lot of crap on MMOs that I thought it was the "norm" until I got on Star Trek Online... Shortly after entering the game I joined a fleet (clan/guild) we joked around a bit and then it came... they were all like "Come hop in vent man... Don't be shy!" to which my very first thoughts were "Here's where it starts... Here's where these great guys I just met become a pack of ravenous dogs." So I stall a bit but they keep urging me to hop in vent and meet everyone so I finally give in and connect... "Hello..." vent goes quiet... "Whoa... (character name) is a chick!" here it comes I think to myself...But the only thing that came my way was a bunch or random hellos and a few of the guys apologizing for calling me him/he/man/guy for the last hour... I was shocked... I still sat there waiting for the insults to start flying... I was quiet... "Hey everything ok (character name) you still there?" I was stunned... "yeah" I replied (still waiting on the insults)... Never had a single insult the entire freaking night... Well only insult I got was on my bad driving (bloody hell your helmsman have too much Romulan ale??)... but then it shifted to everyone laughing at one of the guild's officers as the whole fleet felt that they had to tell me of his first flight... back when this officer started playing he got his ship stuck in the side of a planet and had to contact support to get him moved out of the planet. Two years later I still haven't gotten many rude comments from people in game (and nothing at all from my fleet)

So after this shock I decided to try my luck on a few other games...

I had gotten to do the beta for the Old Republic and I had liked it but never bought it so when I found it was free to play I thought I'd try it again. So I make my Sith and get into game... With in minutes I end up in a guild... We talk a bit and finally they mention "Hey we got vent... Why don't you log in and meet everyone!" so I stall a bit thinking (this game is different than STO these guys will be more like the guys on WoW!) Finally I log in... I'm met with the same type of reaction as I got in STO... Everyone was nice.

So I though this was odd and thought to try my hand at Rift (had gotten to beta this one too but was paying out for WoW so didn't buy it either)... character created... joined guild... met in vent... nice guys... woman guild leader...

Moved on to a few more games... character... guild... vent... nice people... you get the picture... Sadly I've found that there are less jerks on the big pay to play games that finally went free to play.

Yes I'll admit not all the games I tried during this little test of mine worked out as the ones I listed above (a few games I did not list I got met with waves of random jerks and on some games I made second characters and joined different realms (if they were offered) and joined different guilds (one guild I joined every one was friendly for the first 30ish minutes then I joined them in vent... I got booted from it less than 5 minutes after popping in vent with them as the GM told me he like a drama free guild : / ) And on those games where I was met with hostile players I learned I got less crap from them if I played male characters and stayed far away from vent.

Anyways back to the article...Reading though comments most people believe that this game in question is World of Warcraft except this person here "This is the only fact that might hint at the game not being WoW... seeing as you can't communicate with players of the opposite faction..." Well sweetie the woman didn't say she was PvPing the opposite faction... You have obviously never set foot in Goldshire... Can't even step into that place without getting at least three different people wanting to duel you (same with in front of Org most days) point is you can duel people of your faction and thus you can communicate with them after you stomp them into the ground... I've dueled in GS, I've been insulted, I've gotten threats too but mostly insults (usually ranging towards the whole women suck at games back to the kitchen with you... followed by a beat down followed with my simple reply of something around the lines of "Well if women suck at this and you just got owned by a woman then what does that say about you... it says you suck noob!" followed by the poor little boy getting laughed out of town by other players) Also I would truly love to know the server the commenter has played on because I've never "found that most female players were actually given special treatment (positive attention)"  Not even on the other games that I mentioned above did I find this to be true (the guys were nice but I never got "special treatment" unless you count "special treatment" as being treated like an equal then yes I got "special treatment" on a lot of other games!)

But anyways I keep getting off subject... Sadly I actually was not too surprised by the contents of this article as I've dealt with much of the same thing and in the end the best advice I can give to the female gamers out there is... If you do decide to report someone... Screen shots... if you are experiencing ongoing harassment from another player the best thing to help your case is screen shots... Some GMs I've encountered in my time have tried to accuse me of abusing the reporting system as I "obviously dislike the player in question and wanted to stir up trouble for the poor guy" (or as one once said... "I'm guessing it's that time of the month if you can't take a simple joke") and I was given a warning that if I reported again I would be banned (well it was one GM and the guy who I reported had reported me first though I did nothing and so the GM was on his side... I tried to explain to the GM that I didn't do anything and I had proof of this guy harassing me but he wouldn't listen so I simply told the GM "ok" and he was "good now then that is settled have a nice day!" The player came back to harass me more about an hour later... I reported again... I had screen shots of the first harassment... screen shots of the talk with the first GM and screen shots of the guy doing it again... Needless to say the player got banned and I was assured that the GM in question would be dealt with...) But anyways my point is if you are dealing with this kind of abuse and can not block the player in question... SCREEN SHOTS... Screen shot everything (including your chat with the GM you are in contact with)


No comments:

Post a Comment