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Author Topic: Gender in gaming.  (Read 6825 times)

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Offline DiceTopic starter

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Gender in gaming.
« on: April 05, 2016, 10:59:28 AM »
I just had this slide across my desk so to speak. I would like to know what people think. It is quite the read for someone very much on the privileged side of this situation.

http://latining.tumblr.com/post/141567276944/tabletop-gaming-has-a-white-male-terrorism-problem

My personal thoughts, when a cop is telling you "Find another hobby" to keep yourself safe, this world is in need of some quite self reflection time.

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 12:19:23 PM »
I just had this slide across my desk so to speak. I would like to know what people think. It is quite the read for someone very much on the privileged side of this situation.

http://latining.tumblr.com/post/141567276944/tabletop-gaming-has-a-white-male-terrorism-problem

My personal thoughts, when a cop is telling you "Find another hobby" to keep yourself safe, this world is in need of some quite self reflection time.



*sigh* Life is just full of shit and shitty people. But those guys are a special kind of bad. Seriously if you tell a 13 year old girl.
"Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed" you deserve a solid kick in the balls followed by a hammer to the teeth.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
All hail the glorious scripture of Shepard Book!

I feel for her but...I don't know. I want to say something but I am unsure what I want to say.
Though I don't like how they have phrased the article because it sounds like typical tumblrism type of stuff that preaches equality but hates on someone else at the same time.

Edit:Then again I was always taught to get mad instead of scared from anyone and that if someone calls you a name, you give them the finger and tell them to Fuck Off......so...I don't know maybe my mindset is not the right one. Plus...its on tumblr I take everything I see there with a grain of salt.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 12:31:07 PM by Lustful Bride »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 01:03:27 PM »
Where would you prefer it was posted?  Assume for the moment every word is true, which website would have been acceptable and not caused the grain of salt?

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 01:06:53 PM »
Where would you prefer it was posted?  Assume for the moment every word is true, which website would have been acceptable and not caused the grain of salt?

*throws up arms* I honestly don't know.

Im not saying she's wrong just that it feels like just as much finger wagging at those who were not involved as much as sharing her tale.

Offline Aethereal

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 01:12:55 PM »
        Luckily, I've not encountered something like that myself, nor had something like that happen to anyone I know face to face. Regrettable, that people apparently still do get things like that. I may write more on the topic when more awake.

        I do agree, though, that Tumblr has a bit of a bad reputation, though... It must, however, also be noted that the content on there is user-produced and doesn't go by the rulings of some structured unit.

        Tone is subjective - I did not like it much, either, but I'm giving that the benefit of doubt for the time being.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 01:28:07 PM »
It just strikes me as a real problem, is all.  Tumblr seems to me to be the absolute logical place to tell a story like that, genuinely can't think of a better one.  But, to you, it's grounds for suspicion that they have chosen to use it.  It makes their story less likely, or more unbelieveable.  So...what are people to do if they want to tell stories like this?  Putting them in the best possible place - as far as I'm aware - is a cause for unjustified suspicion, apparently.  What do you actually want to happen, Lustful Bride?

Offline Skynet

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 02:16:49 PM »
I just had this slide across my desk so to speak. I would like to know what people think. It is quite the read for someone very much on the privileged side of this situation.

http://latining.tumblr.com/post/141567276944/tabletop-gaming-has-a-white-male-terrorism-problem

My personal thoughts, when a cop is telling you "Find another hobby" to keep yourself safe, this world is in need of some quite self reflection time.

Title is provocative, but a lot of the anecdotes are things that have happened.

Yes, there are bad apples in every community, but many geek communities have an historic problem of turning their eyes away when one of their one turns out to be a creep, an abuser, a rapist, etc.

However, it did get noticed by one of the employees, who pretty much responded in the worst possible manner.


Don't have the link, but Wyrd did reign this guy in and sent out a note about wanting to be a safe, inclusive space in typical corp speak. Edit: Link.



I'm just going to say it right here and now; the tabletop gaming scene really sucks about this, even worse than video games IMO. At least with GamerGate you had a lot of big companies condemning the toxicity. In table-top, not only do they get defended, there are more than a few self-publishers who rally around these folks. Some of them get hired on to do writing projects by bigger companies in spite of their history. Even the most rational and well-spoken arguments against prejudice and bigotry in the hobby get attacked all the same (especially if said voice is a woman or minority); in some cases go unnoticed unless someone tries stirring things up with provocative titles.

So there's one part of me which feels that the title is unnecessarily provocative, but another part of me goes "hey, she's shining light on this and getting noticed. Good." And after seeing and hearing about these kinds of negative experiences from people both inside and outside my regular gaming circles time and again, I'm leaning a lot towards the latter right now.

And here's a news article from 2014 relating to one of the Tumblr post's stories.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 02:24:26 PM by Skynet »

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 02:26:32 PM »
It just strikes me as a real problem, is all.  Tumblr seems to me to be the absolute logical place to tell a story like that, genuinely can't think of a better one.  But, to you, it's grounds for suspicion that they have chosen to use it.  It makes their story less likely, or more unbelieveable.  So...what are people to do if they want to tell stories like this?  Putting them in the best possible place - as far as I'm aware - is a cause for unjustified suspicion, apparently.  What do you actually want to happen, Lustful Bride?

*Throws up arms* I don't know, but that's just me, ive seen so much stuff on Tumblr that is either outright false, hypocritical, batshit insane, that when I see something like this I'm pretty much trained now to take some salt.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 02:30:23 PM »
Though the fact that she cites her lawsuit, and there is documentation about such, gives it a couple orders of magnitude more credibility than the average Tumblr screed, so it's very much worth at least trying to turn off that internal filter for a bit.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 02:31:57 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Blythe

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 02:34:35 PM »
My personal thoughts, when a cop is telling you "Find another hobby" to keep yourself safe, this world is in need of some quite self reflection time.

Yeah....that's pretty disturbing.  :-\

When I read things like this, my first thought is, "What can I do to make tabletop rpgs a hobby where people feel comfortable and safe?"

And most of my answers revolve around listening to people that are upset/afraid/harassed and not being quiet if/when I notice it. A lot of times challenging someone on their BS or if unable to do that, working to create one's own group that is inclusive and safe, goes a long way.

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 02:39:22 PM »
Though the fact that she cites her lawsuit, and there is documentation about such, gives it a couple orders of magnitude more credibility than the average Tumblr screed, so it's very much worth at least trying to turn off that internal filter for a bit.

I know, that's why I never said she was lying or the like.


Edit: I used a double negative and confused myself :P
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 02:50:29 PM by Lustful Bride »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 02:45:04 PM »
One thing that did jump out at me partway through:

Quote
Wed have a lot less work if women just stayed away from dangerous, psychopathic losers.

The quote is included to show how the police/authorities fall back on victim-blaming...but stuff like this is problematic in multiple ways. The victim-blaming, and the general perception of the 'mainstream' is that all gamers are antisocial, dangerous losers. To groups like the police, who think Mazes and Monsters was a documentary, all of us are just fringe nuts one bad dice roll away from a psychotic break, so they don't see incidents like the ones blogged here as exceptional or unusual.

And that, I think, is the only problem I have with the tone of the whole article now that I reflect. Sure, there's a sop thrown in at the end about how some male gamers aren't bad - but since it's immediately preceded by a hashtag-headed mockery of such, it very much comes off as aggressively dismissive of any effort. It's not an article written by a gamer to other gamers demanding that we police ourselves, it's an article written by a self-proclaimed ex-gamer to other non-gamers demanding that the 'gamers' be policed from the outside because we clearly cannot police ourselves, when I like to think the former would be more effective (not that reality has proven me correct thus far). The entire article is structured, by alternating personal anecdotes with how those anecdotes are generally applicable to the entire community, to reinforce that outside stereotype that leads to stuff like the RCMP jerkass victim-blaming in the first place.

None of which makes what she's said untrue, but the method of sharing it is...well, very Tumblr. So I can see why Lustful Bride is having an instinctive reaction to it, in part.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 02:46:17 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Beorning

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 03:19:25 PM »
I... just don't know. I'm completely at lost here.

If what she is saying is true, then it's horrible. Truly horrible.  :-( I never thought that in a creative, intelligence-demanding hobby like ours stuff like this could be happening.

But is it true? I've fallen for so many invented stories over the years that I can't help wondering...

What I'd like to hear is the opinion of other women in the hobby. Did they have similar experiences?

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 03:25:52 PM »
I... just don't know. I'm completely at lost here.

If what she is saying is true, then it's horrible. Truly horrible.  :-( I never thought that in a creative, intelligence-demanding hobby like ours stuff like this could be happening.

But is it true? I've fallen for so many invented stories over the years that I can't help wondering...

What I'd like to hear is the opinion of other women in the hobby. Did they have similar experiences?

There is credence to it since she also posted her lawsuit/documentation.

I never had anything that bad happen to me...not that I can recall..., If anything I had a cool experience, buying my first space marine box (I never finished painting them because I have no patience/hands are too unsteady) but the guy at the shop was super cool and totally sold me on them.

"The space marines are these big, heroic dudes who jump down from spaceships and fight monsters and aliens."

....wow he really toned down the Grimdark now that I'm thinking about it.......

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2016, 03:32:30 PM »
I'm not accusing the author of giving in to hyperbole but I do find that many people going through bad experiences need to relieve the stress they feel.  I do this myself during bad times.  I might exaggerate my description of events and feelings at the moment of impact, you might say, and if the situation is particularly egregious I can't seem to let it go.

I don't doubt for the moment the author experienced what she described and was badly affected by it and I know there are some who seemed to become possessed by adverse personalities under certain conditions.  So while some of us may see her as going overboard I'd give her the benefit of the doubt and accept as much of her story as I can.  I've seen some pretty horrible things in my time and experienced a few as well.

Online Thesunmaid

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2016, 03:55:08 PM »
This honestly just boggles me...I mean my Sunday night D&D group there are 3 woman in it as opposed (used to be 4 but one of our players just had a baby..so it makes sense why she would not be there now) ...a lot of the local gaming cons I go to have many woman either running and/or playing in the games...and I used to belong in a Larping group called the Camarilla...and at the time I joined we had more female members than men...one of our local gaming stores is run by a woman...the other is owned by 2 men but the staff is made up of equal men and woman.

So....I am honestly confused by this. I have never had anyone harass me for being a gamer nerd..I have played both male and female characters in Larps ,tabletop and online games..I ran an HTML room online where no one ever gave me any trouble over my gender..(other problems..such as a player was being a douche or something but...I found I had more problems with woman being assholes then men oddly..I had to ban 2 women as opposed to 1 man.)I have run games..one of which had my male GM as one of my players...so..I guess the closest thing I had happen that would be considered harassment in gaming would be at an after game party we had for someones birthday. A guy in the Larp group tried to grab my ass. (and he realized what he did the next day and apologized profusely.)

Our local gaming stores would I am fairly sure kick someone out if someone were to harass a customer no matter what thier gender of either the harasser or harasee.(one of the owners was the photographer at my wedding and an all around sweet man.)So yeah the whole old enough to bleed old enough to breed would be met with not only the owner but probably any regular customers threatening to kick the shit out of who ever said it while telling the person it was said to it will be OK.

I guess the closest thing I can really think of where someone treated me differently because I am a woman is two instances I went to buy a motherboard at a store and I had the store clerk tell me not to worry my pretty little head about all that technical stuff. I then proceeded to tell him where he could shove his computer parts and the manager came out as I was snarling at him and when he found out what had happened he actually fired the guy, and I was working tech support for an ISP and I had a guy say he was not sure I could help him because"This is technical stuff little lady." I then reset all his passwords and then told him he should look into the error that was coming it..it was an ID10T (eye-dee-ten-tee)error. So I have run into more problems with being a semi computer nerd than a gamer.

I have heard about these things..but...yeah maybe I am lucky the guys in the gamer community where I live and surrounding areas I have gotten to meet are...not chauvinistic at all about things.(well unless its in thier characters background to be lol)


Offline Far eyes

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2016, 04:32:07 PM »
I have been a table top gamer for a long long time, in a country that meany westerners would probably get a lot of weird ideas about. I have actually found that for the most part its 40/60 mix, there are less female gamers but the game club i visited for years actually had a fairly good mix. Was there occasionally problems? Yes, but you know what there were also occasionally problems between other sexes, there were a few incidents of two girls going at each other viciously enough that they had to be delta with.   

I am going to assume that she is in fact not making stuff up, its sounds like a shitty experience. But you know i am a 2m ish dude and i had a few shitty experiences to the jabs go in different directions because when dealing with an asshole they will always go for the vulnerable points. And with girls that is usually the crassly sexual. Its a shitty thing to do, but in some way its like making fun of somebody because he is short its just the lowest hanging fruit.

Reading it it just feels a bit at 11...    i am just...    this is not the gamers i know, and have known since i was 9 years old.

   

Offline Anteros

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 05:59:37 PM »
It's horrible but misogyny and transhpobia among others forms of bigotry are rampant in the gamer community. It was a shock to me when I found out, although retrospectively it shouldn't have been. I naively assumed that all gamers were like the ones I knew, geeky, gentle, fun-loving idealists who got yelled at by their SO for littering the ground with dices.

Then I discovered 4-chan and quickly lost all my illusions.
I've yet to see one thread on \tg\ without some form of bigoted speech. The last example I saw was a shitstorm about the inclusion in Pathfinder of a kingdom ruled by women and how it was "pandering" and "shoving political agendas down the customers' throat", accompanied by insults to the female writer. All of this because of one tiny piece of the setting where no AP or module even takes place, is a benevolent matriarchy.

It's also surprinsingly difficult to convince some people, that no they aren't entitled to touch or take picture with a female cosplayer iif she doesn't want to. 



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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 06:02:05 PM »
I've yet to see one thread on \tg\ without some form of bigoted speech. The last example I saw was a shitstorm about the inclusion in Pathfinder of a kingdom ruled by women and how it was "pandering" and "shoving political agendas down the customers' throat", accompanied by insults to the female writer.

That is pretty much the Internet in General.

Offline Skynet

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2016, 06:11:08 PM »
That is pretty much the Internet in General.

I wouldn't say that. It's a conclave of like-minded folks creates such a space.

Let's take RPGnet for example. Its moderators cracked down a lot on transphobic and sexist discussion, much to the chagrin of a lot of "free speech" folks, conservatives, and Men's Rights folks in the table-top community.

A sister site to RPGnet was made as a "free speech haven" where you won't get banned for being a bigot, a jerk, or otherwise holding repellent views (in theory). I'd rather not say their name and thus give them publicity and traffic, but ever since it's become dominated by the worst voices in tabletop. People who think that inclusivity in games is a sign of cultural Marxism, that putting LGBT people in an adventure path is political correctness run amok, etc.

And the sad part of it all is that several of their more prominent members have a following, especially among the "old-school D&D" crowd. Self-publishers advertise on their message board, people send complimentary copies of their books to the mod team to review, basically treating them with legitimacy.

If one were to go on Paizo or RPGnet and have a discussion about inclusivity and gender issues in games, you'd get a far different discussion than if you did the same thing than several other communities, including EN World which is the closest thing tabletop has to a news site.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 06:36:47 PM by Skynet »

Offline Far eyes

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2016, 06:50:34 PM »
I really would not take 4-chan as anything more then a competition in who can say the dumbest most shocking thing. Its hardly a watermark for anything except, stupid shit on 4-chan.

Quote
It's horrible but misogyny and transhpobia among others forms of bigotry are rampant in the gamer community.

I disagree on this, it might seem like it because some of the time this gets brought up in a very clumsy way by maybe some people who still need to do a lot of growing, there is very often a whole bunch of static and accusations flying around, But i would not say its more so the case then any other random group of people. But the thing is the media has always joyfully shit on gamers and tabletop gamers and now playing up this angle is just the newest and more insidious version of the Moral panic of the 80s in the US. I am not saying it dos not exist just that its no more prevalent then any other place with a lot of teens declaring there absolute wisdom gathered trougout there long lives. Add to that a a sprinkling of crumagens who think anything not written by Gygax personally is not worth tere time and generally being cromugeny about everything and thats prty much it. But i could say the same about any large group of people. 
 
   

Offline Blythe

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2016, 07:04:08 PM »
I really would not take 4-chan as anything more then a competition in who can say the dumbest most shocking thing. Its hardly a watermark for anything except, stupid shit on 4-chan.

4 Chan is a bit more than that.

It's been a platform, and often continues to be a platform, for coordinated harassment campaigns against people or harassment in general. It's a bit more than just "a competition to say the dumbest and most shocking thing." If it were just that, it could remain in isolation and not do so much damage. But on 4chan, many people often actively engage in bullying, harassment, and abuse, which is the norm there. Is all of 4chan like that? Probably not; I hesitate to paint anything with too large a generalization, but 4chan's reputation somewhat precedes it.

I've read a thread on 4chan where people actively attempted to a coordinate campaign to drive transgender people to suicide.

That's a lot more than "dumb people saying dumb things."

It's a very disturbing thought.

Intolerance is a problem in the gaming community.

The toxicity most often comes out when people think they're being anonymous...and once they feel validated, it spreads well beyond that.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 07:20:48 PM by Blythe »

Offline Far eyes

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2016, 07:14:06 PM »
Fair enough, i have to admit its not a place i frequent much i think it might have been several years since i have seen it and it struck me just as a 1 joke place, and its a lame joke.
 

Offline Anteros

Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2016, 07:28:54 PM »
I really would not take 4-chan as anything more then a competition in who can say the dumbest most shocking thing. Its hardly a watermark for anything except, stupid shit on 4-chan.

I disagree on this, it might seem like it because some of the time this gets brought up in a very clumsy way by maybe some people who still need to do a lot of growing, there is very often a whole bunch of static and accusations flying around, But i would not say its more so the case then any other random group of people. But the thing is the media has always joyfully shit on gamers and tabletop gamers and now playing up this angle is just the newest and more insidious version of the Moral panic of the 80s in the US. I am not saying it dos not exist just that its no more prevalent then any other place with a lot of teens declaring there absolute wisdom gathered trougout there long lives. Add to that a a sprinkling of crumagens who think anything not written by Gygax personally is not worth tere time and generally being cromugeny about everything and thats prty much it. But i could say the same about any large group of people. 
 
   
Granted, misogyny, transphobia and bigotry in general are rampant everywhere, not just in the gaming industry, but bigot gamers are particularly vocal about it. They may not be the worst, but they're certainly bad, and too numerous for many people who aren't white cis-males to feel comfortable or even safe in some case. You can't even just ignore them because of how loud they are.
Recent example: http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/972903-gamers-flood-baldurs-gate-expansion-negative-reviews-introduces-transsexual-character

And while not as terrible as the rapes and death threats, you get tired fast from having people make inappropriate comments because your character has breasts or from being told that your wizard can't be dark skinned because medieval settings should only have white people. It doesn't happen everytime, thanks heaven, but often enough that it's a real problem. And yes, those are the actions of a minority, but it still a significant number of people, each of whom can be an ignoble jerk to dozens of people.

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Re: Gender in gaming.
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2016, 07:30:49 PM »
I no longer play games online, and especialy not in a voice chat.

I just stick to story modes or with friend.