Spotlight On Privilege In Gaming Culture: ‘25 Invisible Benefits Of Gaming While Male’ (VIDEO)
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Anyone who’s ever spent time online, whether it be through social media or gaming, knows the more anonymous the environment becomes, the more likely the prejudice and bigotry of society rears its head and runs free. Think about how many knee-jerk fights and ugly, sexist, racist interactions you’ve seen by people using false screen names and pictures on social media. Perhaps you’ve had the misfortune of finding yourself in the midst of such an argument, as well. The world is filled with catfish, and they love to sting.
Gaming environments, just like social media, have unfortunately become a cesspool of privilege where such behavior is commonplace. As an avid gamer, myself, I can personally say that one could spend half a night’s game play, easily, simply jumping from room to room looking for a group of people gaming who come across all right, who are not spouting prejudice and sexism at any girl or grown woman who happens to be playing, and don’t even get me started on the rampant, blatant racism abounding everywhere.
Trying to find a gaming room without prejudice, sexism and racism is like trying to walk through a forest without stepping on a leaf.
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While it may have been true that video game culture started out largely made up of boys and men, women have also, always made up a portion of that pastime, culture, and industry. As the years go by, the presence of women in gaming is growing by leaps and bounds, too, yet the ease of anonymity, coupled with the ever-present juvenile mentality of the younger gamers (and perhaps a good dose of arrested development by some older gamers) has left a huge gaffe between where the culture is going, and how the culture currently behaves.
Due to this reality, it’s no surprise that a video was just uploaded to YouTube by feministfrequency titled, “25 Invisible Benefits Of Gaming While Male”
The video attempts to introduce these issues to those who have remained blind so far to the fact that female gamers have to put up with a lot of guff simply to enjoy playing video games. As the video states, women are constantly dismissed in gaming groups. Their ability to play well is called into question. They are laughed at, quizzed, sexualized through interrogation by male members of the gaming community. Women gamers are sometimes pressured to talk about their sex lives, share details about their bodies and anatomy, and can often be bombarded by pictures of fellow gamers’ genitalia.
Female gamers face extra pressure to prove themselves capable, and if they have a bad round, as we all do from time to time, it’s blamed on their sex. Even male gamers who have bad rounds are referred to as “p*ssies,” “chicks,” “girls,” and “women.”
In short, women are made a seemingly helpless, idiotic, sexualized joke in gaming communities, and feministfrequency’s video opens a dialogue for recognizing where we find ourselves today in the hopes that gaming communities and environments of tomorrow can be that much more welcoming to all.
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Watch the video above to see and hear many examples as to what women put up with while gaming, as well as what men don’t have to put up with. Suggestions are also made as to how, together, we can begin to create healthier and happier gaming environments for both men and women. (And again, a similar video on racial prejudice would certainly not be off-base, either.)
And clearly feministfrequency’s video has pushed a button, as it’s already spurning a backlash from some male gamers, such as the following video by MrRepzion, uploaded the very next day after “25 Invisible Benefits Of Gaming While Male.” It seems male gamers are feeling so oppressed by all these women gamers that they have to defend themselves.
Go ahead and watch both videos. Ask yourself which one makes the better points, and which one presents itself in a more mature, respectable manner. I’m sure the answer will be quite clear for you.
In many ways, online social interaction through social media and gaming culture gives you something to think about. Which reality is the more accurate portrayal of who we are as a society? Is it the face to face, day-to-day interaction in the real brick and mortar, earth and sky world, or is it the people we reveal ourselves to be when hiding behind the masks of anonymity online? Why is it that so many people turn into pond scum the moment they feel like no one can find out who they are?
It’s something worth chewing on. Think of it as a fish fry.