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Gaming Community, The Internet, and Sexism


Before we talk about these touchy subjects let’s make a helpful list :

1.We are creatures with sexual natures (asexuals you count too <3)


3. We are emotional creatures (except for you, psychopaths, you’re one of the reasons we are in this mess.)

4. We all face consequences for our actions, deservedly or not, equally or not, we face them.

5. Our bodies may have different looking reproductive organs, but we are two sides of one coin (or if you are genderless etc, you are the coin and I love you for being super cool, brave, and unique).

Ok so here are some articles I found while looking at news reports:

Game Reviewer Receives Rape Threats 

Continued article: ’30 Days of Sexism’

If you read these you will notice that this community (the world wide web connecting gamers since 19-whenever) is one of many genders, races, ethnicity, religions, blah blah diversity. Secondly, the gaming community in its wide diversity can be extremely narrow minded and can be extremely problematic in its ways of being offensive, abusive, negative, and even life threatening, (see: Swatting).

In the gaming community, things move fast and things change fast. But one thing that hasn’t changed too much is women being treated like a sexual commodity. I know this sounds strange, but I can prove it to you.

Here are some videos made by the gaming community about things that ACTUALLY happen (some of these even happened to me).

I kid you not, this kind of language and ludeness is extremely common among gamers male and female, but the intent behind them is simply offensive and wrong for both sides.

Because of the popular belief that most gamers are male (54%), the gaming culture has been formed around these chauvinistic stereotypes. This doesn’t tend to bother too many female or male gamers much, though there has been some marketing campaigns and arguments about this. “You can’t have a woman as a main character in a video game, it just won’t succeed.” (Jean-Max Morris 2013:1). This a sentiment that was argued by the producers of Morris’s game, obviously this is untrue. The sex of the main character has very little to do with the success of the game, actually, the more the game creates a community the more successful the game will be. The gaming community is comfortable for most people because all of us want to be there and participate, if we didn’t we would simply stop participating in the culture.

Females being treated badly in gaming communities is simple. Females started out as a minority in gaming culture because of the gender norms and boundaries set up in the way games were geared toward, war, violence, adventures, and monsters. These things at the dawn of gaming were “manly”, “rough and tough”, and everything but sugar and spice and everything nice. Now that gender roles in our society have evened out a little more girls dont feel like war, violence, adventure, and monsters are all that threatening to their femininity or threatening at all to face in a game. But from what I’ve seen is that the community of gamers was established on male virtues. Slogans like “Bro’s before  hoes”, “you game like a girl”, and “make me a sandwich” all stem from guys being the dominating figures of the gaming community.

Since males have dominated gaming for so long, girls who have eased their way into the community usually keep a low profile, 47% is a lot, but still women openly saying they are women on their profile or in game can be rare. This is because of threats like what Alanah Pearce received in the comments on her game review videos. For me, I’ve been online gaming in both the Xbox live and PC gaming (League of Legends mostly) communities for years, and I have actually met guys and girls online that I am still friends with after gaming since 2012. There is hope for the community to revive itself, but when environments are toxified by people with no actual understanding of what their words are doing, change can’t happen.

The best way to explain gaming culture is to experience it, but not everyone is interested or accustomed to the way gamers communicate and relate to one another. That is why most people write gamers off as uneducated and not very sensitive, when the opposite is true, gamers have feelings too we just express ourselves very differently. “Young people will always find new ways to represent their cultural concerns, in ways that inevitably alienate the previous generation. Such linguistic creativity as 1337 5p34K, characterized by adaptation and modification, has evolved from the game geek’s need to express and communicate within a supportive community of like-minded participants.”(Blashki and Nichol 2005:85) What we lack is support usually, because the gaming community is very competitive and raunchy. We like the raunchiness to a point though. Things cross lines, and our ways of communicating can be taken to whole other levels of bad. Swearing is normal, insulting people randomly is normal, threatening to rape, abuse, assault, swat, etc. is not normal or legal.

Welcome to my Suburban life

Maybe you didn’t know, but I am a dancer, not a pole dancer or a strip club dancer, a real hip-hop/ballet/tap/jazz/contemporary, dancer. I dance because its an  emotional devotion. I use it as emotional stress relief and a work out. I get to be joyous while I dance, or I get to show my deepest, darkest, inner most, secretest pain ever. The stuff no one talks about, the stuff that is indescribable with words, and only with movements can people truly see how I feel. This past week was “peek week” at the dance studio. The classes instead of being closed doors, are open to parental and friend viewing. Usually this is a great time to show how hard I work to my parents to stay healthy, strong and capable to perform. My mother who dance for her whole youth loves to watch me and my class mates dance, she understands each movements strain and power, she sees each muscle flex and tighten then spring to jump or coil to turn. I love that she knows this. On the depressing side of this phenomenon, my father, who couldn’t be more blind, only sees the mistakes, the miss comings, or the constraints that I have. I might be a dancer, but I have always been naturally inflexible, although I am much better than I was 3 years ago, I am still not jumping into the air with my feet to my ears. Obviously, because I am physically impaired, this means I am not good enough for him. I am just not pretty, perfect, barbie like enough to be a  good leaping, bounding dancer for him.

At the beginning of the week, Monday, I gave him a schedule of performances, days, dates, times, places, and details of my life until January. This was to prepare him to know what time to be where and how to be ready. I new it was just my pathetic way of crying to attention from him but I didn’t care. He took  the hint (after many arguments). Wednesday was the first class of the week. I have Ballet Contemporary, and Hip hop after. Ballet started at 6. We warmed up or arms, legs, torso, back, neck, hands, feet, knees, ancles, toes, shoulders, and waist. We strengthened our thighs, calves, and abs. Then we danced across the floor. Back and forth, back and forth, spinning, traveling, jumping, twirling. Then we did our actual combination of a song, that at the end of the year, we will perform on stage. It was great. My dad wasn’t there. Finally it was 5 minutes till the end of class, and my dad walks in, I totally mess up my shene, and cant even rande-son and porta-bras.  He sits down, and my teacher tells us we are going to do leaps. This is my least perfected dance movement. As you already know, I cant do a split, not like I don’t try or anything, I just havent had the capability to do one yet. I can try to do a leap but it doesn’t look the way it should. So, I leap and I can see my dad head shaking, and he puts his head in his hands, then after I try for the third time he tries to correct me by yelling some type of mangled french words he stole for my teacher. We ignore him.. and class ends.
After that, I went to hiphop and I could tell he hated it, because he just sat there with a disaproving look, and I am actually a really good hip-hop dancer. I learn fast, and can do all the moves properly without falling on my butt. Dance finished and I was angry. I went home disapointed with myself and my dad.
Thursday, is the class I am the best at, Tap dancing. I can do a tap off with anyone. I am super good. We jumped for 2 minutes, thats our warm up, jumping without touching our heals down at different speeds. Then we did out excercizes across the floor, draw back, Cincinati, Buffalo, filaps, shuffles, pull backs.. etc. Then we did time steps and then hop shuffle jump toe turns, which are my favorite. We did our combination to As long as You love me by JB (yeah yeah tease me all you want, its a good song…to tap too.) and then we were done. My dad praised my a lot about this stuff, which is nice he noticed finally how hard I work. 

I have a choral performance Monday, its every year, twice a year, once for Christmas, once for spring. He wont be coming, but I don’t care, because it gives me more leeway bring a friend.

Welcome to my bitter sweet suburban life. I am just content I don’t live in a poor aids infested place like Sudan or Libia, better pray for them… It’s horrible to be a woman there.

Gamma Ray Microscope?

I don’t know what it means but I do know that it has absolutely nothing to do with my blog post, just like my other blog titles relations to my previous blog posts.

I don’t have much to say about today, other than its been uneventful, and full of facebook messaging to my friends. I read for 2 hours in and under a tree out side, so I some out door time, and I have accomplished unloading and reloading the dishwasher. I have had more than 4 transactions in life with human beings outside of facebook today.

I left this blog post sitting here for a very long time. I think I might have some thoughts now.

In my other post, I talked about my obsession with being a geek. Well, I evolved that obsession a little more and now I’ve been watching wed series. Like TV on the web. Really funny. So I watched this one call “The Guild”.  It’s about a bunch of geeks that play an RPG (role-playing game) that is online, they use microphones to communicate and later web-cams. Only four episodes long, and I’m not sure they have continued it. I guess I’ll google it later.

My mother keeps asking me if I can touch type. If I couldn’t why would I be blogging this much?

Got to go to bed now. Too bad blog, I’ll talk to you later .