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
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