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Editorial: End the online abuse of women

Respect is something female gamers have been struggling to gain throughout the history of gaming. It’s 2012 and one would really hope that in the gaming communities, gender and sexism were issues of the past. Unfortunately, female gamers are regularly bombarded with sexist messages and comments both online and in-game, while at the same time being misrepresented.

Press2Reset takes a look at the industry and its need to change.

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Elderly_Cynic1887d ago

If you want to know what developers think of women, all you need to do is look at the games that are supposed to appeal to them: Cooking Mama, Barbie's Horse Adventures, Mary Kate and Ashley's Magical Mystery Mall, etc.

MariaHelFutura1887d ago

I think you're confusing little girls w/ women. My friend, you may have a problem.

Elderly_Cynic1887d ago

Okay... perhaps that was inartfully phrased, and I should have said 'females' rather than 'women'. However, your snide implication that I'm somehow too stupid to recognize the difference between adults and children is really uncalled for.
Further, only one of the examples I listed (Barbie's Horse Adventures) is geared specifically to 'little girls'... MK&A's shopping game is targeted squarely at teens, and Cooking Mama appeals (apparently) to all ages.

MariaHelFutura1887d ago (Edited 1887d ago )

I know what you meant and completely agree. I was just jokin w/ you. I have a daughter myself, her favorite games are LBP, Fat Princess and Infamous 1/2. To think about it though.... who doesn't love butterflies.

Elderly_Cynic1887d ago

No hard feelings. And the games your daughter likes kind of proves the point I was trying to make... none of those titles are specifically geared or marketed to females (of any age).

dc11887d ago (Edited 1887d ago )

Considering that the above is in direct opposition to the story - I agree.

My daughter and wife love two of the five games listed above; I'll also add gardening mama and Crafting mama. Both great products and highly addictive (I love cooking mama .. and I'm about as 'hard core' as it gets).

obviously I'm talking a short cut here. However the gaming industry is no different that the movie industry.
If we will not object at the 'realities' of a young women trapped on an island with core-killers on the silver screen then, there is no need to object to it through gaming. In fact, I would be more offended if it wasn't.
** of course I would want Laura to escape unharmed, however the every present danger speaks to the 'plausible reality' and growth of Laura**

With respect to online.. I have not heard any abuse (on the PS3 servers)....when a women joins in, shes just a gamer that has to hold her own .. .. Like everyone else.

DarkTower8051887d ago

I've heard abusive comments towards female gamers on COD on PSN many times. I've also heard female gamers play up to those comments which doesn't help the whole movement towards equality.

Sharodan1887d ago

Interesting how two of the favourite female role models in gaming are actually characters that you flesh out yourself through conversation options.

telekineticmantis1887d ago

their morals, garner. REAL Female gamers deserve the same respects as male gamers. Females pretending to be part of the community, just to get attention, deserve the same amount of respect any poser garners. Not too long ago these women we're making fun of gamers, now that it's popular they wanna use it like some sort of hook up site, and that's fine, but you don't then get to pretend you're part of the community. Not saying you can't find a gf/bf or a hook up online gaming, because "things happen" but a poser is a poser always.

despair1887d ago

Am I the only one who doesn't quite get the whole problem with what the Tomb Raider dev said; Its her story and if you get involved enough in her character then you don't want anything to happen to her, how is that sexist?

Its like red dead redemption for me, if I am riding on the road and see someone in trouble I feel like I should help, I'm involved in the game world so I want to do something about bad things there, its just one aspect of gaming and it can apply to single player games as well.

Also the whole bit about the "attempted rape" is also blown out of proportion; violence, murder, survival are all parts of the game's core and everyone is fine with Lara falling down tunnels or getting pierced in the side with a protruding object, getting attacked or killing to survive, but when Lara, who is on an island with psychopathic killers and all manner of degenerate scum, is actually put in a situation where she might get raped people get all high and mighty and call it sexist. Its a part of reality sadly and putting it in a game (and she does fight him off as well but that part really should not matter) does not make it sexist just part of the extreme violence she experiences on the island.

Also the writer of this article feels like she is entitled to something, I am a male gamer and I have been subjected to taunts, messages and curses that would make anyone ashamed, acting like female gamers are the only ones who get abused online is actually being sexist. Its all immature, prepubescent ignorant assholes who act that way online (the majority of players are decent from my experience) and trying to take that serious issue for all gamers and making it a "female gamer" problem is something I have a problem with.

Finally if you reached this far in my post you would see I have "female gamer" in quotations, that's because I truly do not believe anyone should be classified as such. Either you're a gamer or you're not, I don't care who I play with online as long as you don't piss me off or act like a fool.

I have been gaming for almost 20 years and I have met a lot of gamers male and female and one thing that is clear to me is that the true gamers don't give a shit what gender you are, only if they can frag your ass (not a euphemism).

PS: btw Princess Peach kicked ass in Super Mario RPG.

GameRage1887d ago

I don't think it's a matter of the rape scene being too mature or too taboo to be included that has garnered the controversy so much as the developers backpeddling and stumbling over themselves about it. As a female gamer, I think that's an ok subject to have for Lara (albeit depictions not going too far) it's a very real moment for a lot of women that isn't talked about. However, don't slap me in the face and then say you didn't. That's mmy issue -- with how it's being handled, on top of the condescension.

Also, being that the writers of the article are all female, they likely feel passionate about the subject due to their own personal experiences. They made no implicatrion that male gamers aren't discriminated against just that female gamers are in a way that is detrimental. Gaming used to be a boys club and in a lot of respects it can still feel that way for women. By the way, It's great you don't care who you're gaming with but honestly, a lot of people don't seem to share that view -- thus the article.

Bimkoblerutso1887d ago

It's not that I don't think there is sexism in the industry, but it really irks me that something like the Tomb Raider trailer is what's causing the most uproar in the industry right now.

It really just seems that supporters of feminism (whether it be traffic-hungry journalists or ACTUAL female gamers) react EVERY TIME something violent or sadistic happens to women, regardless of the context in which it is presented. The Tomb Raider trailer did not have Lara bouncing around on-screen with her melons spilling out or a close-up of her posterior or blah blah blah...it's not like that scene was played for laughs. It didn't present an unrealistic, male-centric portrayal of women.

It was a dire and disturbing scene. It was more responsible in it's portrayal of women than MOST GAMES these days.

As for the online abuse...I don't know what to tell people. I was made fun of just yesterday for having a squeeky voice, and I'm a heterosexual white male (the demographic that, as far as the media is concerned, is immune to abuse). It's just what people do in an environment of semi-anonymity and extreme competition. I know it's unsatisfying to hear, but if verbal abuse bothers you that much, online gaming might not be hobby for you...