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Sociological Look At Multiplayer Attitudes

This article is probably going to be an introduction of sorts going more in-depth about why multiplayer in too many single player games is a bad idea. If lost while reading this article, please refer to my “Your Multiplayer is Touching my Single Player” article.  I want to look at the gaming community and gamers from a sociological standpoint. Not just with games, but situations in real life, as many of the problems in the gaming community are because these people behave the same way outside of multiplayer game lobbies. For instance, anyone familiar with reader comments on Yahoo news articles know exactly what I am referring to. I will attempt to keep politics out as much as I can. However, the Tea-Bagger movement would be a wonderful analogy to cross-reference to the gamers. Not just in name but some of their political ideals fit so well it is frightening.

I’ll start with a personal example to better explain to what I am referring. The rural high school where I grew up was racist, homophobic, and otherwise filled with the same hate of difference and change that I see in the gaming community. If people spoke out against this or defended themselves then they became a singled out target. Because they questioned the collective masses, belief that they have the right to discriminate whomever they choose. Therefore, its ignored or agree by silence. The gaming community behaves a lot like that. These people aren’t just contained on Yahoo, though Yahoo posters tend to stand up for themselves and others more than gamers will. There is a lot of racism, nationalism and homophobia brought to multiplayer games. They are members of Xbox live, Playstation network, PC gamers. They are in your town, city, and neighborhood. Some of you are happy that there are other racist people or homophobes nearby. That is kind of like saying the neighborhood pedophile is happy he’s not the only twisted psycho in town. Just to clarify, I have spoken up in real life situations (frequently) and on Xbox.

The gaming populace takes it to another level by having the most severe case of “boys club” mentality not seen since the 1970s. To that effect, many of the females that play fps games or are members of popular forums like Gamefaqs, choose not to disclose their gender just to not have to deal with the comments; even for games that one would consider unisex, like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. I created a topic for Gamefaqs on Rock Band’s board a month ago and it was as if the majority of posters were still in grade school by their reactions; just outright rude and disrespectful. If we talk or communicate in an fps style game, and if it is possible to be team killed then we most certainly will be if we do not have enough male friends to support us. We are accused of being children or in some way harassed until we have no choice but to leave and find a different lobby. Even adult males, believe that females should not be in THEIR game(s). I don’t even know how many times a day I have heard that on Call of Duty 4 or Modern Warfare 2. Females, for the most part, will not stand up for themselves or other girl gamers and declare their right to exist in the gaming world. Whether its a fear of confrontation or just simply being outnumbered.

I have been on Xbox live for two years, a PC gamer before that and owned a PS2 even before that. The things I have heard, seen and read astound me, and that is saying something considering what I saw and had happen to me growing up. Some, though not all (most of my Xbox friends are guys), males in the gaming population are misogynists who think that females exist to serve them. If we share some of the same interests as they do then we are fat, ugly, or pathetic for some reason. Which is pretty much a direct quote I have seen on Gamefaqs countless times. On the other end of the spectrum, some heterosexual females get upset with lesbians who do not hide what we are because of the common misinterpretation that any female interested in video games is also lesbian. They think we give them a bad name and resent us for it. I have been told outright before that they wish they didn’t know I was because I made them look bad. Lesbian gamers are hit from both sides at times and it gets frustrating.

I do not apologize if this article offended you. If it did, then chances are it was because it hit a little too close to home, and I intended to offend. I have a knack for angering people almost as much as they anger me. I attempt to anger people for the right reasons and causes but some get angry because they are the cause, the problem, the reason. Someone needed to do an in-depth article about this and other topics, but it shouldn’t have to have been done in the first place. I haven’t seen one at all or recently enough to remember. That is what prompted me to write this article. There are posts on girl game forums about this but no articles.

If this article doesn’t pertain to you then that is great to hear. My experiences on multiplayer games and forums have been much different from yours. The comments I see on Yahoo, sound very much like what I see on gaming forums and in games. I know that women are just as bad as men when it comes to some of the provoking, and even though it sounds like I am singling the men out, I’m not; I have just had more bad incidents with them. I even had one female opponent defend her male counterparts so she wouldn’t be ridiculed as well. My clashes with female gamers have largely been about cheating or glitching. Haven’t heard a woman on Xbox say the N-word or other racial derogatory words once but the amount of times I heard it in real life was embarrassing. Men say it constantly.

My life suddenly got hectic, therefore I am considering creating a facebook page to consolidate as much of it as possible. If you are inclined to agree with some of my opinions, then you will find the link in the next article if I create one.

10 comments

  1. This kind of sounds just like someone whining.

    Immature reactions from immature players? It should be expected. You've also failed to represent the boon female gamers get. Playing Halo and having my girlfriend talk in the headset gets me placed in whatever party I want, regardless of my skill.

    • so you use your girlfriend to help you get attention? I think I don't understand your statement.

      And it's not whining. It's an actual problem that when playing games we have to sometimes hide our identity to get some form or respect from @$$holes. "Do you have a boyfriend?" "Wanna cyber?" are like the 2 common things that are said to me as soon as I admit I'm a girl.

  2. It's an unfortunate reality of playing multiplayer. What's the equation? Anonymity plus audience equals douchebag? This is precisely the reasoning why Blizzard's RealID system was such a progressive step forward. You don't see the kind of verbal pornography on Facebook that you hear over Xbox LIVE because Facebook comments are tied to a real person's identity. But, anonymous trolls exploded the internet when Blizzard tried to force their new system on them, and now what we've got today is a watered down version.

  3. Xbox live is your problem. And the fact you generalized the majority of gamers into pigs just says so much more than the rest of your pompous article ever could. I'm a guy. I've met girls on the internet. The quotes and attitudes from your article have never been uttered from me or any of my friends, but, hey, that doesn't matter, as long as you have experience with bad lobbies in the very civilized world of Xbox Live.

    Just mute the losers and get on with the game, that is, after all, why you're there. Anything else is just an someone using online anonymity for fun (to them), sure it's wrong, just grow up. Not everyone's nice.

  4. "I attempt to anger people for the right reasons and causes but some get angry because they are the cause, the problem, the reason."

    I see what you're saying and you do have some good points but comments like this make you seem self-righteous and arrogant. That makes it difficult to see your view as part of the solution, I'm afraid :(

    Even so, there are a lot of jerks prowling good games making them hard to enjoy. Maybe Blizzard's idea wasn't so bad after all.

  5. For the most part this just sounded like whining. What are you exepect for the gamimg community that is mostly made up of grade schoolers or racist homopohbic teens. Not only that but the female gaming community does not take half as much crap as the younger gamers (8-12ish) online with a mic and you do not see them making articles and whining about it maybe because of an intellectual inablitiy to do so but even so they relize its just a troll trying to get to them and move along. so all this article sounds like to a reader is a fat lesbain ranting about how no one wants to be nice to her online.

  6. I have to agree with John.
    Your main point may be noble, but lumping every ignorant moron into the same category as me "a male gamer" is just really repugnant.
    It is the same as lumping every Muslim in the same category as bin Ladin, every black person it the same category as the Black Panthers, every white person in the same category as the KKK. It just doesn't make sense.
    You trying to quantify peoples personalities online without knowing their full back story is just unwise.
    I am an outspoken EMT is real life, but online I am rather laid back. The group that I play with consists of a Black college guy, a White Navy diver guy , a White Lifeguard guy, a South Korean Texan woman with a bit of a temper, a half Japanese Jewish guy, and me a White Irish/English Mormon who likes long walks off of short piers.
    Am I saying that my group and I are the norm? Sadly…no.
    I am saying that you need to be very specific with your arguments, or you just come off sounding petty and bitter.
    As my debate teacher told me.:
    If you are trying to make a point. Make it with certainties, not wide sweeping generalities.
    On a side note….
    I would really love to hear your views on the, as you put them, the "Tea Bagger Movement"
    I wonder if you even know anything about them. Or, are you just placing your wide sweeping views on what someone else with wide sweeping views wrote about them. Would it surprise you that one of the most wanted speakers at Tea Party functions happens to be Lloyd Marcus a Black Proud Unhyphenated American. The most respect politician associated with the Tea Party happens to be a woman, named Michele Bachmann.
    So please go on with your ignorant generalizations. It make my job so much easier.

  7. Clearly 4chan is to blame for this horribleness

  8. I think that I'm gonna make a sweeping generalisation here and say its mostly an American thing? I ve played multiplayer (mostly with UK gamers) with girls and more often than not nothing derogatory is said.
    From what I've seen young teens who slag people off get shut down pretty quick with a few choice words from the rest of the group.
    If some muppet is running his mouth then call him a dick and mute him… but don't group men all together.
    On the other side of the coin I don't know what you have to put up with every day on line and I use psn which seems to be a little bit more "mature" than xbl or so i've heard?

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