Gosh, Online People Are So Charming

Culture, Gaming

Yesterday my eight-year-old daughter schooled my sorry ass at Mario Kart Wii. She did so even though her strategy mostly involved deliberately crashing into hazards. The word "pwnage" was invoked. By her. Against me.

That's what my life is like now.

Evan's already a dedicated gamer. Abby's less hardcore, but with a family with so many gamers, she's bound to become one. But her experience will be different than Evan's, or mine. That's because she's a girl.

To illustrate what difference that makes, I offer you two sites: Fat, Ugly, Or Slutty, a blog that collects the sort of messages that women get online (as well as the sort of hate mail sent by people upset that women are collecting and posting such things), and Go Make Me A Sandwich, a blog that explores how women are depicted in gaming art, particularly fantasy gaming art (and, again, exploring how certain men react to anyone talking about such things).

So that's what Abby is looking at. Fortunately she's strong enough to handle it.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Ignatius  •  Aug 8, 2011 @8:49 am

    ugh. just… ugh.

  2. ecurb  •  Aug 8, 2011 @10:24 am

    Ok, some of the things the King of Fighters reviewer had problems with are just… wut?
    A full karate gi is some kind of deplorable fetish outfit that exploits young women? Tell that to my ex and you'd best start running…

    It's a good thing we don't have censorship committees in this country, because that's the kind of hypersensitive moral guardian who'd end up chairing it.
    And everyone already knows WoW and Magic are jokes, so the point of self parody.

  3. PLW  •  Aug 8, 2011 @10:58 am

    ecurb, I guess you didn't actually read the write-up, just looked at the pretty pictures?The complaint about Yuri is not about her outfit, but rather the fact that her shirt flies off intermittently to show her breasts.

  4. Scott Jacobs  •  Aug 8, 2011 @11:04 am

    PLW, you're going to have to use small words explaining to me why that's wrong. :)

  5. Scott Jacobs  •  Aug 8, 2011 @11:09 am

    I would like to say something about Fat, Ugly, or Slutty…

    A lot of female gamers think that Xbox should have members of Policy Enforcement checking that site, so that they can issue bans and suspensions against the gamertags seen there.

    To that I say "fuck you, you lazy bitches".

    Xbox has a mechanism for reporting such behavior, and it is far easier than getting it on FUS. Report it via the console, and they will deal with it. Having Xbox come to YOU is fucking stupid.

    If they aren't willing – for whatever dumb-ass reason – to file the complaint, then they are part of the problem.

  6. PLW  •  Aug 8, 2011 @11:14 am

    I like breasts as much as the next guy, but claiming that the author of the article had a problem with "a full karate gi" is just wrong. We can argue about the author's stance, but let's make sure we are arguing about things he actually said. BTW, the KoF article was mostly positive on the changes in the portrayal of women in that series over time.

  7. Ken  •  Aug 8, 2011 @12:28 pm

    Xbox has a mechanism for reporting such behavior, and it is far easier than getting it on FUS. Report it via the console, and they will deal with it. Having Xbox come to YOU is fucking stupid.

    If they aren’t willing – for whatever dumb-ass reason – to file the complaint, then they are part of the problem.

    I don't perceive FUS as saying "look how ineffective online networks are at policing conduct." I perceive it as a whistling-past-the-graveyard "look how freakishly dysfunctional some people are online."

  8. Scott Jacobs  •  Aug 8, 2011 @12:44 pm

    That is certainly true, Ken.

    But there is a very vocal portion of the female-gamer group that thinks Xbox should come to them, instead of them using the system that is already in place.

    I hate those people.

  9. SPQR  •  Aug 8, 2011 @1:44 pm

    ** bookmarking new sites for prurient purposes **

  10. Illinisasssen  •  Aug 8, 2011 @4:48 pm

    Female gamer on WOW here — seen everything these sites talk about and more. Fortunately, there's a language filter option and an ignore button. The people who talk like that are generally jerks and target people in any way they can. On an encouraging note, the rest of the crowd seems to be shouting them down more often of late.

    Women make up a significant portion of the gaming community — once that fact was understood, I think more of us starting realizing we could stick up for ourselves. But you can sure tell when school is out and the 12 year olds are home alone….

  11. John David Galt  •  Aug 8, 2011 @5:42 pm

    That kind of politically correct BS (and especially women who feel outraged that guys would have that sort of fantasies — get a life, gals!) is one of the things we play RPGs to get away from. The writers of those sites wouldn't enjoy any of my game groups, but there are plenty of folks who do.

    You might want to introduce junior to BoardGameGeek instead (where I am "jdgalt").

  12. Ken  •  Aug 8, 2011 @5:56 pm

    I don't know what "politically correct BS" you are referring to, JDG. Is it politically correct BS to call out and ridicule the sort of loser profiled on Fat, Ugly, or Slutty? I don't see it as a matter of "political correctness" to refrain from asking strangers online to suck one's dick just because they beat you at a game.

  13. jb  •  Aug 9, 2011 @8:02 am

    So JD Galt,
    You call a request not to deluge female gamers with words like "b*tch," "c*nt," and so on, and demands to perform oral sex, "politically correct BS," thus demonstrating your opinion of the acceptability of the use of those phrases, then invite Ken to sign his 8-year-old daughter up for a games website which you partake in. Classy.

    (Boardgamegeek is a great website, frequented by a number of female friends of mine. As far as I know, its culture does not condone such attitudes, which makes me wonder what JD Galt sees in it).

  14. Goober  •  Aug 9, 2011 @9:57 am

    I don't play games as a rule. However, my brother in law is a big gamer. He has been called a sandn*gger (he is Persian), a c*ntmuffin, a polesmoker, and any other long list of horrible things, and I've seen it with my own eyes as I watched him play. I do not believe that women are somehow selected to recieve additional torture that men are somehow immune from – these guys are just assholes doing what assholes do:

    pick out a defining characteristic of your target and exploit it. My middle-eastern brother in law is therefore singled out as a camel jockey and a towel head. My sister is a bitch and should be in the kitchen making "me" a sandwich.

    I don't think women have it worse. They just get different insults because they have different characteristics to exploit. If I had to guess, these same guys that are making these chauvanistic statements are, in their next breath, calling some Asian kid a fish-head eating "srant eye" and making fun of the guy with bleach-blonde hair for being a faggot. So in essence, it isn't woman hating, it is just that these guys are pricks that are enabled by the "anonymous" nature of online-anything.

  15. nb  •  Aug 9, 2011 @11:20 am

    Those sites are magnificent. Just a +1 for reporting this sort of thing in-game. I don't know about XBL, but the company I mod for doesn't accept reports that don't come from the system tools. Text logs and screen shots are too easy to manipulate, and don't provide the wealth of additional data that reporting systems can.

  16. nb  •  Aug 9, 2011 @11:25 am

    In case I wasn't clear, I'm all for public shaming in addition to in-game reporting. Also, I'm not accusing FUS of faking screen shots! The day they can't find enough real examples of this stuff in the wild and have to fake it will be a glorious day.

  17. John David Galt  •  Aug 9, 2011 @3:12 pm

    Ken says: I don’t see it as a matter of “political correctness” to refrain from asking strangers online to suck one’s dick just because they beat you at a game.

    I don't either. But I do see it as PC to smear an entire gender with the rudeness of a few very clueless teenagers.

  18. Ken  •  Aug 9, 2011 @3:15 pm

    But I do see it as PC to smear an entire gender with the rudeness of a few very clueless teenagers.

    The site isn't called "Men Suck." It doesn't claim (nor could it, credibly) that all the messages come from men.

    Even if it did — does pointing out specific instances of bad behavior by members of a group really constitute "smearing" the entire group? That sounds suspiciously politically correct to me.