Girl Gamers

I follow a blog called Not In The Kitchen Anymore, this blog is dedicated to documenting the abuse one girl gamer, Jenny Hanniver, gets whilst playing video games on on-line video game services like Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network.

Most of the abuse could be considered just “trash talk”, in the gaming community this is what follows after you get a point over the other player or team (akin to “ha I just beat you”). But this trash talk can get really out of hand and inappropriate sometimes. For example, a common thing to say whilst trash talking is using the word rape in ways other than it’s literal sense. For example, you could be killed by an enemy player and then you would say “Oh man, did you see that? He just come out of nowhere and raped me.”

And as you can probably see, this could cause offence to a wide number of people male and female. But one of the most common things that appear on Jenny’s blog and another blog dedicated to the harassment of girl gamers (the whole community not just the tales of one person) called Fat, Ugly Or Slutty, is when this “trash talk” goes from offensive but not literal, to the ‘you better lock your door’ literal. Examples of this are messages where the girl gamers have received either voice messages or text messages over the internet along the lines of, “You’re a fucking bitch, I’m going to rape you then murder your family”.

We can all agree this crosses a line, it goes so far past the line no-one can even see the line any more. Well what can we as a community do? I understand a lot of you are writers and probably not into video games but every bit of support these blogs can get in any shape or form will help their cause and who knows, any female readers may find a new passion for video games!

The reason girl gamin was on my mind recently is because of a comment on a recent story draft I uploaded. In the story the main character Ella states that she can’t wait to go home and play video games and have a beer. I was called up on this by a commenter and she said “I don’t think Ella would want to go home and play video games…”

It just made me realise that there are still a lot of people out there who associate video games with just males when in America over 42% of gamers are female.

Jenny was also featured in a segment for the BBC World Service Programming entitled Assignment: Guns, Girls and Games, as was the creator of Fat, Ugly or Slutty.  If you click that link you can go over and listen to segment and it offers a lot of insight into the whole girl gaming scene.

10 thoughts on “Girl Gamers

  1. Did you know: Jenny Hanniver was the way the English tended to pronounce Jeunne D’anvers which means “The offspring of Antwerp” These were flatfish like Skate, dried and carved for centuries on the dockside there. These grotesque little sculptures were sold to the grindshows and gaffshows of the seventeeth to nineteenth centuries and tourists as ‘mermaids’ and ‘sea monsters’ along with dramatic tales of how these brave seafarers had captured them.

  2. Hi! I’m a female gamer and I all I can say is, show your gender ANYWHERE ONLINE and this will happen. In any community.
    Now, it hasn’t happened to me in any games yet, and I guess I’ve been fortunate at that or haven’t played enough online but yeah, it’s sad when it happens. It has happened to me countless times on skype and messenger and things like that though, even when you say NOTHING SEXUAL on your profile or in your post or whatever. It kinnda makes you wonder how stupid some guys are. And how desperate. And some girls, but I’ve met significantly fewer female creeps.
    Please note that I didn’t say all guys so don’t get offended over nothing.
    And thanks for a great post, this is something that needs more attention =)

  3. I’m a female gamer, but I can honestly say I have never encountered this behavior anywhere I’ve played (or participated in, if it’s a forum), though I have heard of it through blogs and newssites. I think it’s unfortunate that people act like this, but other than calling people out on their actions, there isn’t much people can do.

    I have noticed that, by and large, people are generally decent. I mean, sure, they’ll complain about a hard boss just raped them (I’m guilty of using that word too–which I’m aware reduces it’s severity and seriousness), but it’s only the truly obnoxious jerks that will ever escalate their taunts. Even then, it’s not serious, as many are made in the heat of the moment. The feeling of ARRGH DAMN YOU is certainly genuine, however.

    I do tend to stay away from Xbox live (which is generally joked to contain only 12 year olds who did your mother last night), which pretty much everyone agrees has terrible people in it. That may have something to do with how I’ve never had this problem. I’m not saying the problem doesn’t exist in other avenues (because it clearly does), it’s just that Xbox seems to be where most of this happens nowadays.

    That, and fighting game championships, where you have to *be there in person* to participate.

    The most reaction I’ve ever got from someone finding out I was a girl was a long time ago. One of the people there heard me talking, and promptly freaked out there was a girl in the server (this was a time when girls still weren’t playing many games). Then he was cool with it, and didn’t mention it again. Nowadays, all I get is, “Oh, I see/that’s cool/alright.”

    I think the difference between a great gaming experience and a horrible one for any person (male OR female) is the community and the crowd they game with.

    I can imagine that playing with immature people who can only talk about t&a and insult you is probably not fun at all. There’s nothing to be done for those people except mute them, and report them for harassment.

    • People can report the player and get them banned from Xbox, it’s just people don’t think there’s any point, but Microsoft for example will ban people with the right evidence (:

  4. One of my favorite things on this topic is how many of my male friends who play WoW or what-not play female characters. I asked why, once, and got pretty much the same answer from all of them: “If I’m going to spend 6 hours staring at someones rear end, at least it should be an attractive one!” So making snarky/trashie/bullying talk about/to someone on WoW is kinda pointless/dangerous, as there’s really no way to know who’s a lady and who’s not. No, not even voice. One of my friends uses a voice modulator thingie whenever he’s on Vent., he’s known and played with the same group for about 5 yrs. now, and they still think “she” is a female irl.

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