The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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irixith
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by irixith Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:50 pm

Forlorn Drifter wrote:Here's something I would like to note about female treatment in the gaming world, one that I don't think we've covered yet in this thread.

In cases where women are big gamers (especially so if they are attractive), many male gamers practically worship them. We can see this in the likes of previous G4 hosts, the likes of various Youtube personalities, IGN ladies, etc.

Now, I wouldn't know, but I've heard horror stories of girls having to deal with all the guys swarming them in some situations. It seems like it would be an issue. I don't think we're so bad here, but the internet has taught me that some of the nerds out there are some creepy SOB's. Just a different spin to think of.


I've seen this happen. Not to me, as I didn't win the genetic lottery, so I don't know what this feels like first hand. I do know what it feels like to watch, and it's weird. All the men doing the swarming all seem to honestly believe that the girl is going to want them. Which is strange to me, because what are they offering? OK, so she's pretty and she plays games ... so you have something in common, now what? She's not going to unzip for them just because they play games! God forbid she's better at games than they are...

Some girls like (even feed) off of that kind of attention. I've never seen someone get terribly uncomfortable and shy away from it...but then that puts us in a whole different "privilege afforded to pretty girls and how it changes how they view and interact with the world" conversation.
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by Menegrothx Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Forlorn Drifter wrote:In cases where women are big gamers (especially so if they are attractive), many male gamers practically worship them. We can see this in the likes of previous G4 hosts, the likes of various Youtube personalities, IGN ladies, etc.

Now, I wouldn't know, but I've heard horror stories of girls having to deal with all the guys swarming them in some situations.

This issue was quite prevalent in World of Warcraft. Many guilds broke because a number of (usually high ranking) guild members fought over that token girl or two. A friendly athmosphere of nonhomosexual brotherly love could easily turn poisonous very quickly because a girl happened to join the guild. I remember how back in 2007 there was a fuss because the best guild in the world had a no women allowed policy in order to maximize their efficiency.
It wasn't really that rare though, you could usually separate the people in more hardcore guilds in to three different groups, the first would try to hit on women, the second didn't mind having women in their guild in theory and weren't intrested on trying to hit on them, but opposed it in practice due to the risk of loosing their band of brothers to inane e-drama, and third that just all together prefered to stay away from women and thus opposed the idea of women entering their sanctuary from the real world.

Many women also got "carried", which means that they got much better gear and into better guilds than a person of their skill and effort level normally would, because male players would help them for free in hopes of getting to know them in real life. Some female gamers only play the game to get attention from men. Naturally there are more female gamers who play the game just like any one else. In my experience they often hated the people who got carried and the attention whores with a passion, since those types gave female gamers a bad name.

The problem really isn't in gamers and gaming culture. I don't think the situation would be any different in any real life activities, put 1-3 men into a group of 30-60 women and it's the same thing, it causes disruption to the established social order of the group. Or let's say you put a few females in midst of a large group of males who like to bond over football or bowling or some other sport. It's very likely that suddenly there will be some friction between some of the group members that coexisted peacefully before the arrival of said women.
Male and female mating rituals just work differently, so men are biologically and culturally more prone to compete for the attention of women like that, since traditionally it's been the male's job to do the initiative, impress the female and be the breadwinner. Not just in Western culture, but amongst many animal species too.
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by Forlorn Drifter Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:05 pm

Menegrothx always has great posts.

I completely and totally understand what you are saying, but I think we need to look at games other than MMO's for this- MMO's have always been better known for awkward sexual advances over the internet compared to console or arcade games. However, you bring up an interesting point with clans banning women because they "hurt the guild". I'm not much for MMO's, but why in the world would it be so important to someone that they would bar someone from entry? Personally, I think that is not only a poor way to deal with the situation, but also reflects badly on the gaming community as a whole. It says something along the lines of "You're allowed to play with us, as long as you don't cause any potential problems in our fantasy world."
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by Erik_Twice Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:26 am

The analysis is spot on.

I don't think it's different anywhere, no matter the game. It's not even exclusive to gaming, the Salomonic measure of banning a whole sex to prevent "problems" is the reason why there are so many female-only gymnasiums nowadays.


It's simply the logical result of dating being an incredibly fucked up game and most people being terrible at it. :lol:
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by Menegrothx Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:51 pm

Forlorn Drifter wrote:Menegrothx always has great posts.

I completely and totally understand what you are saying, but I think we need to look at games other than MMO's for this- MMO's have always been better known for awkward sexual advances over the internet compared to console or arcade games. However, you bring up an interesting point with clans banning women because they "hurt the guild". I'm not much for MMO's, but why in the world would it be so important to someone that they would bar someone from entry? Personally, I think that is not only a poor way to deal with the situation, but also reflects badly on the gaming community as a whole. It says something along the lines of "You're allowed to play with us, as long as you don't cause any potential problems in our fantasy world."

Thanks.

Indeed, MMOs are quite unique in this regard. Not just because of the social and community aspect mind you. In a FPS or RTS game, even if it's based upon team work, there's nothing more to the game than playing it. Even if you are working as a team, you're ultimately playing for yourself. In a MMORPG the situation is very different though, since in order to get better gear you must work as a team with other people. Still that doesn't guarantee that you'll necessarily benefit from this teamwork at all. After a long night of trying to kill a boss with your guild mates, loosing a lot of money that you worked hard for to repair costs, potions and such, when the boss finally dies, it drops 2 or 3 items. There are 25 or 40 players, which means that most people don't get compensated for their efforts at all.
FPS games, fighters and RTS games are very quick to get into, there's no down time. MMOs on the otherhand have a lot of busywork. You'll level for months so you reach the maximum level and can thus start raiding with a guild. You'll farm money for 3-5 hours a day 5-7 times a week so you can raid with your guild 3-4 hours a day 2-4 times a week. It might take months of practice to finally kill one single boss. It might take months of killing that boss on a weekly basis over and over again for you to finally get that pay off and compensation for your efforts, as item drops are limited and you can only kill the boss once a week. So other competitive games are more based on short term plans and goals while MMOs require long term plans and dedication. You form much stronger social bonds and networks in MMOs and when you finally overcome an obstacle with your mates it feels great, but there's a lot more of tedious work, repetitive grinding, planning, strategy and stress involved. A single raid might last for 7 or 8 hours, during which people might take breaks that last longer than an entire round of Call of Duty or multiple fights in Street Fighter.
People dedicate a lot more work and effort to WoW, so the whole culture surrounding the game is very different. If you don't feel like finishing the round in Call of Duty or Halo, you can just leave the game and join another game within a minute. When that one tank that you have helped to gear with your guildies for months in order to defeat that really tough boss decides to join another guild that has progress further into the game, it will have devastating effects on your guild. It's much more personal, as your guild mates as a collective have dedicated hundreds of man hours to that cause.


And as to why hardcore guilds are willing to ban women as a whole? They'll do anything to increase their efficiency. Run relatively complex calculations and simulations so they can find out the most efficient party composition, spell rotation etc. Try to find programming loop holes in the game that they can exploit and so on. People at the top are super competitive and they're willing to do anything for the sake of min-maxing their efficiency. Guilds compete with each other who can kill the newest boss first in the world/first in EU and USA/first on their realm. The guilds who get the world first kills become "e-famous" and are often sponsored. Besides that there's also the player versus player arena tournaments, which is a popular form of eSports.

Back when I was in school I used to dedicate all of my free time to WoW (15:30-16:30->00:30-03:30 on weekdays and between 30 and 40 hours during Saturday&Sunday) and I still couldn't become an "elite" player even on my realm which wasn't a good one, as there weren't any really good guilds nor PvPers on it. Some realms on the other hand have a lot of good guilds and PvPers, so it's a lot harder to get on top on those realms. I haven't counted, but I'd say that judging by this list there must be around 200 realms in the world.
So, that should give you some kind of picture how hard it is to get to the top in World of Warcraft :lol:

I'm getting kind of off topic here and I apologize for that, but my point is that MMOs are basically another job rather than a fun game you can pop into for 15 minutes when you feel like it and leave when you feel like it, so I hope you understand why such attitudes exist amongst MMORPG communities. Bottom line is that even if you are a hardcore Street Fighter, Quake or Starcraft gamer and you play daily as much as an MMORPG gamer, no one can take away the efforts of your labor from you. Every round you play, is for yourself only. In an MMORPG game guild drama can fuck up something you've worked for hundreds of hours.
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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by dsheinem Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:51 pm

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Re: Nerds and Male Privilege

by Ack Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:23 pm



That's all pretty sickening.

Oh, I did a little digging. The guys who worked for that AAA company that were harassing Jenn Frank? They work for Bungie and were part of the E3 Destiny demo. The friend's brother is Kris Graft, Editor-in-Chief of Gamasutra.

Sexism is a major problem in video games, but it's one that I don't think we can confront in the medium without at least examining the actions of the creators themselves. Because if these guys are willing to behave like this, it's little wonder they're willing to comrpomise female characters in such ways.
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