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Gaming Community, The Internet, and Sexism


MEN AND WOMEN AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN.

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)

2. We are IMPERFECT

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.

Ode to Stress Relievers


this

A Teenager’s Guide to Relieving Stress:

#1. Find the closest person to blab too

The more you talk the better it will be right? Get it out of your system? Well after talking to just about every single friend of yours, family members, random strangers, and maybe even the waitress that serves you lunch at your favorite restaurant everyday, you still dont feel any better.

#2. Try talking to a Professional

Hey, it works in most the movies, why not IRL (in real life) ?

#3. Decide you probably need to blow off some steam physically instead.

Run around like a child in  park. Jump off a small bridge. Get a adrenaline high by taking a run around the block. Play weird games. Still feel dissatisfied.

#4. Grab  a random make out buddy.

You thought this was the best idea yet.

#5. Oops.

You’re random make-out buddy happens to also have a significant other they forgot to mention. Feel like shit for 2 weeks.

#6. Video game + Monster + Cheetos Binge

You’re young, you’re body can handle it, just not the overwhelming pounds of homework, family drama, and friend catastrophes. When life gets tough, the teenagers get procrastinating.

#7. Decide to make changes about yourself.

Make quirky habits, like always folding your money in your wallet a certain way, or rearranging every salt and pepper shaker you come into contact with in the perfect way on that table.

#8. Pretend like everything’s alright

Everyone else is doing it.

#9. Try something new

Maybe drugs, maybe smoking, maybe a new video game, or maybe a scary combination of Greek yogurt and old crystallized honey bits with graham crackers.

#10. Try to forget you were stressed

Tell yourself many lies. Like : “I am the happiest person on the planet!” , “I love this song!” , “Best week ever!” , “School isn’t so bad.” , “I bet my mom isn’t the only women who will love me.”,  “Someday I’ll find my prince.”

lies (just saying)

#11. Wonder why you started this

Writing stuff on crumpled lined paper titled “Dear diary” isn’t making life easier. Re-watching old ’80’s films is also probably going to give you some type of eye cancer or something bad. Definitely something bad.

#12. Do random Google searches.

This will most definitely make you think about other things. But don’t visit WebM.D., You’ll probably end up being a hypochondriac and then in turn develop extreme germophobia, which will inevitably lead to agoraphobia, says WebM.D. anyways.

#13. Fuck it.

Give up the search and buckle down. Or not.

myhopesanddreams (life in Windows 7)

Swears


I’m writing this while listening to my favorite band. (can you guess?)

I’ve been raised to not swear by my mom, and to swear (especially when drunk) by my father. Now that I am a young adult I can make more decisions for myself, such as what vocab I use. At 12, I hung with a cruel group of teens a few years older than me who liked to swear in random bursts. I didn’t really like it then and only tried to stop them. But I got addicted to the sound of the words, the effect they had on other people’s faces, and the way they made my sentences sound. The way they made me sound. I sounded dangerous, rebellious, different, and somewhere between grown up and immature. Until I was 14, I loved the swears, but something changed. I cant remember what it was, maybe it was something I heard somewhere.. maybe at Berea, the trip I went on with my youth group. Or maybe it was the falling out I had with my group of ruffians after my disaster of a three-way birthday party. (Joe and I both turning 14 in the same month and Josh turning 17.) It was the worst birthday party in the history of my birthday parties (and I have had some pretty bad ones.) That year I entered 9th grade early, and went to the public high for Drama club and met new best friend Nick D. He swore even more than my old friends. But the difference between him and them is when I asked him to not swear, he would try. He cared about me and respected my views, even if those views were confusing for him to understand. We ended up spending almost everyday together for around 4 months, maybe more. Both of us having a very platonic relationship. And we spoke freely about our relationships at the time, and neither lasted. He turned me to swearing again, but this time it wasn’t to hear my voice, or to see other people reactions, it was for the true use of passion in speech. It was for usage and not for impression.

Nick taught me a lot about things I had never thought of. After all he was 2 years older than me and much less naive as I was. Some things I took badly too, other things I liked. He’s at boot camp now. And he’ll be graduating this coming year. I miss him.

Although I was more used to swearing because of him, I barely used it. It wasn’t something I needed. It wasn’t part of my daily vocabulary. It wasn’t necessary.

My 15 birthday brought so much joy, it was the best party ever! Although I was still heart broken from my little fling during the fall, I was willing to put it behind me for an amazing night with my best girlfriends. And it truly was the best night. It was even better than prom. Everyone dressed as fairies and looked unique because they brought their own take on what a fairy would be like. My hair was completely purple so I was a dark faery of the night. That night we swore. We laughed, and we laughed so hard we cried and swore more. We played truth or dare and swore happily, we played Kings and swore, because everything we said was unspeakable in public. We watched a movie and cursed at it. We had so much fun. And so peacefully we slept in my living room after eating to the brink of barfing candy, cake and pizza. I’ll never forget that night.

I started gaming a lot. I played Xbox almost daily. And everyone I met online, including my new boyfriend was avidly swearing about everything. They missed a shot on someone during a quick scoping match, they would cuss loudly. If someone made fun of their gamer-tag, an exchange of cuss words and profanities were thrown around, sometimes peppered with sexist or racist comments. Whenever  I spoke with my boyfriend and his friends on Xbox their was so much swearing I wouldn’t let my parents hear the volume on the TV. I kept it strictly in the Turtle Beach Headset. Almost the opposite happened when I was on the phone with him. He barely swore when he was away from the Xbox. I swore more when I was away from it. We broke up 3 weeks ago but it had nothing to do with swearing and everything to do with indecision and unsureness. We talked on the phone for 2 hours today to talk about a lot things. We laughed and swore a lot. We swore because people in our lives are fucked. His brother died this month. Our ‘friends’ tried to break us up an uncountable amount of times, and we had struggled for sometime. But its water under the bridge, and my bridge is made of the strongest stuff, they wont be getting at me any time soon.

I used a lot of swears today. And in the past months since February 20th 2012 I have sworn more and more. And have become  more and more aware and accustomed to swears. I don’t see them as bad, I see them as expression of wrong, but not wrong itself.

What do you think about swears?

Dont you just hate it when..


..You are a teenager that is terribly confused about what to do about stalker boys. I got a few of them now. It may be do to my activeness on Xbox live, but it’s not like my avatar is wearing a t-shirt that says “Friend me~ I’m a gamer girl who has *insert all gamer girl myths* and will always flirt with you.” No. Does it seem as though the  majority of nerdy gamer boys of these days are assuming way to much of women? I think they need to start reading more self-help books…. But you know, its not that bad having a set of friends online,  I have  a gang, they are even placing bets on whether I am going to “break up” with Brett in the next year. Cash (some random boy) is betting November or before, he probably just  wants me to cave and get his $50. (I’m still not sure where he is getting it from…hopefully not me or Brett…) Aside from the groupies drama, I can actually kick some ass on MW3 and Halo Reach, but ME3 and BF3…eh not so much.  Maybe I am just an annoying brat..? Sad thoughts.

Now I’m listening to a song about dying and going to my own funeral…why does my family put up with me?

The stuff of the next paragraph I wrote 8 days ago… it has nothing to do with the above.

It’s really too obvious, but I have a strange want for very obscure and rare objects. I have a pink Spartan 3 action figure leaning against a pink and silver Hello-Kitty old fashion clock next to the authentic green and gold jewelry box from the Disney Anastasia animated movie I used to watch over and over when I was ten. And did I mention the mini plush ewok sitting next to the Spartan? That is clashing of science fiction stories….maybe I should separate them?

On another shelf of mine, I have a 1×1 blue frame with all these little bobbles around it, and it goes for another two rows down the shelf with the other frames a purple one, and a brownish green one from my best friend. In front of them, are rubber 3 inch stand ups of the Rockefeller  and the Empire State buildings, a Harajuku doll, a red background skull and cross-bones plastic melting bead plaque, two porcelain antique donkeys about half an inch each, 2 plastic leemers, a smurf with a yellow horn, a pair of aviators sun glasses, a pair of green foldable nerd sun glasses, a pair of black sparkly curling fake glasses, a small box of random shiny rocks, a small box of fallen or extra buttons from jackets and sweaters, a Hello kitty cookie jar with nothing in it….

Well I guess I should write about something important….Nah. Important stuff is stupid….

Biology is teaching me about algae and seaweed now….YEAH! *stabs heart and gives it to teacher in replacement of unfinished homework*