Behavior Within the Video Game Culture. | Teen Ink

Behavior Within the Video Game Culture.

May 10, 2022
By laurenjez BRONZE, Manchester, Connecticut
laurenjez BRONZE, Manchester, Connecticut
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Behavior Within the Video Game Culture.

Harassment, disrespect, humiliation, shame. These are only a few words that can be used to describe the discrimination and persecution that women and girls of all ages face while playing video games. It seems silly. It almost seems like a ridiculous issue. But with the video game culture growing rapidly, especially this last decade or so, girls who decide to play video games are faced with tremendous bigotry just because they are women, and in men's eyes- we are subpar. The gaming world is absolutely sexist. Companies need to make big changes in how their games enable sexism. Because they have not done enough to acknowledge or protect women and girls. Nor do they care enough to do so.

Sexism is everywhere, and we have been faced with it for decades upon decades. But now children, teenagers, and adults have uncovered a new way to express their prejudice and discrimination. But just how common is it? In an article written by Zenerations write, “Women are more likely to receive harassment while playing games online. Marketing research company Bryter released a report that suggests around 40% of female gamers have experienced some form of abuse from male gamers while playing online and 28% have experienced sexual harassment from male or other gamers in the form of objectifying comments or death and rape threats” (Zenerations). With the difference between the number of girl gamers versus male gamers, there is no doubt that at least one girl has faced these types of comments and harassment. Based on experience, I knew it would be certain that I would be told a degrading comment out of anger and toxic masculinity, and almost always I brushed it off. Because from experience, the last thing I want to do is try to fight back. Boys who make these types of comments will only come back more degrading, more disrespectful, and more intolerable. That is why it is absolutely clear that video games are sexist, and there is nearly not enough proof to dispute that. In August 2021, a complaint was made that women were being discriminated against in the workplace, Activision Blizzard, Jorge G. Garcia details. In this complaint, female employees argue,  “The scenes described by the lawsuit include women being kicked out of breastfeeding rooms so that men could hold meetings, and “cube crawls,”...and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees” If this is the behavior of male employees in the gaming industry, one could only imagine what they let male gamers get away with.

It is one thing to share a quote from an article to try and prove that video gamers are sexist, but there are other ways we can see this behavior, and hear it. A TikTok made by a video gamer, Noel Miller catches young boys ridiculing her, even when she is not provoking her teammates… yes, her own teammates. One moment in the video, you hear the boy say, “Go make me a sandwich… you’re trash… yo how are we letting a female get ahead of us.”  I wish I could say I was surprised about them being her own teammates, but this has also happened to me, and plenty of my own friends. It is extremely disappointing to see that women and girls are being left out of the prime social experience. Video games are the big thing, and women are being pushed away out of discomfort. Who wants to play with a person like that? 

What can we do to fix this? How can we stop this loathsome, repulsive, and shameful behavior coming from boys? One idea could be that video game companies themselves can set up roadblocks, to where if they say discriminatory behavior, you will be banned. Currently, there are no negative reinforcements here. It only gets worse as time goes on because video game companies are enabling the behavior and actions, which they see and hear- and maybe have done themselves. Personally, this is why I do not talk to my teammates, except if they are my friends. I know what I will face if I make the mistake of un-muting myself and letting them get a chance to ridicule me. I believe that the video game industry allows this type of behavior to happen, and it will not stop until proper consequences are doled out to the male gamers who act like this. 









Works Cited

Garcia, Jorge G. “The video game industry faces another reckoning over sexism.” EL PAÍS English Edition, 27 August 2021, Accessed 25 April 2022.

“Sexism in Gaming Communities – ZENERATIONS.” ZENERATIONS, 21 July 2021, Accessed 21 April 2022.

What it's like to play valorant as a woman I guess. Gamer girl. 2 04 2022. TikTok, snowynoeyy, Accessed 19 04 2022.

The author's comments:

I was always seen as the tomboy who wasn't the most feminine. But as I grew up, I changed. Another thing that is changing is the behavior within video games, where there is an absurd amount of sexism and discrimination. This type of behavior can be extremely detrimental to the growth of young boys and teenagers, and the video game industry, as well as our country needs to do more to protect the women and young girls who are exiled from the video game culture.

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