For starters, a confession/disclaimer: I used to play games online, and after rampant cheating, even on Valve's Steam service, I've given it up. Even when I did play, I didn't play much. I've played solo MUCH more, so I'm reasonably comfortable discussing video games and gaming culture in some detail, and with considerable confidence. I've distanced myself from video games a lot over the past two or three years, so while I am somewhat dated, the roots still run deep. Plus, real life can be far more awesome, but that's a discussion for another day.
At Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) 2012, a well-attended panel gathered together a group of female gamers to discuss the harassment that women undergo when they venture into the cesspool of human behavior that is X-Box Live specifically, but also internet gaming in general. These women paint a stark picture of the harassment and misogyny that female gamers experience when they play with others over the internet. As evidence, they've collected thousands of examples of sexually themed harassment at: ht tp://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com/ and ht tp://fatuglyorslutty.com/. (Links deliberately broken) Truly, the examples showcase some deeply disturbing behavior which cuts across all age levels and races, and sometimes even gender. A number of explanations have been offered for this phenomena. The anonymity of the internet, the immaturity of the average X-Box Live users, thirteen year old boys, institutionalized misogyny, rape culture etc.
In the same spirit, Anita Sarkeesian, feminist pop-culture critic recently launched a Kick-Starter campaign to fund a project which is going to examine the portrayal of women in video-games, and female video-game tropes. I haven't paid much attention, but this project was reportedly trolled mercilessly by the usual internet suspects. What I HAVE been paying attention to is the parade of feminists, white-knights and manginas who've come screaming out of the woodwork to "speak out" against this behavior. See:
for starters. Nothing to see here for the seasoned MRA. Or is there?
In all of these examples, the usual feminist suspects have been quick to denounce this behavior, though their explanations for this behavior have been utterly bereft of genuine incite or understanding. Nobody, except perhaps Bernard Chapin and possibly other MRA's have bothered to even speculate on why this issue is an issue at all. In other words, why this is happening is of no interest to the white-knight brigade, they only care insofar as ending this behavior. Given what Chapin has said, this seems like a pipe-dream, but never bother a white-knight while he's making an ass of himself.
So why is this happening? Does the internet naturally make people into misogynists? Not quite, but the culture of internet gaming is one of the few remaining spaces of safety for men, and men are reacting very negatively to again, being forced to yield yet another of their safe spaces to the politically correct feminist machine and their white-knight enablers. What's more astonishing on the surface, but understandable in detail is how feminists for all their eye-rolling pseudo-intellectual rhetoric have failed to understand the real reason for this, that being the invasion of yet another space that was safe for men and unabashed, untamed masculinity. I've witnessed this same raw, overt masculine behavior before in yet another safe male space "adult entertainment" clubs. Like the internet, a club where exotic dancers congregate is one of the few spaces where our misandric society is willing to tolerate overt masculinity. Within one of these spaces, both the internet, and a strip bar, a man is free to act out, be boisterous, cheer, to say and do things that he isn't permitted to do normally in modern western society. Indeed, there are few, if any of these safe male places remaining. As women began to penetrate previously male exclusive spaces, the percentage of spaces where a man could feel free to express himself became less and less, and I believe that the masculinity he desired to express became increasingly overt. As there were fewer and fewer places where a man could be a man, the few places that remained called for more hyper-masculine behavior, until the eventual result is the mess that is X-Box Live. Female gamers are a very recent phenomena, and their invasion of X-Box Live in particular and internet gaming in general has resulted in a considerable backlash. Some of the rampant misogyny is intended as simply the kind of trash-talk that the men share with each other even when