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A Man To Man Talk With Guy Gamers

Posted on May 23, 2012 AT 02:53pm

(Author’s Note: This opinion piece contains potentially offensive material based on actual events that need to be spoken out against. Gamertags and foul language have been removed, but fill in the blanks. Check out the source site of the pictures listed within the article to see some of the incredibly horrible things being said.)

Hey Guys,

Seems it’s about time we have a bit of a chat because things are getting a bit tense, here. For the longest time (since the invention of a messaging system through online play, most likely), male gamers have been taking out their frustrations on the fairer sex. They do this by sending lewd, insulting messages that either make fun of a female’s appearance, weight, imagined sexual history or orientation.

Take the website, for instance. There is an entire website (and that set is probably not the only one) dedicated to proving that this stigma not only exists, but happens on a daily basis. Guys getting mad, making violent threats and lewd comments, just because there’s a woman on the other side of the Internet connection.

Now, based on the fact that this is through the Internet, the likely case is that male gamers have NO IDEA about any of these things. Not only that, it’s incredibly rude and distasteful to even insinuate any of these things. Guys, you have no idea if these women are overweight. You have no idea if these women are promiscuous. You have no clue about their physical appearance. You’re just angry because these women are better than you. It could be that you are just angry in general, and figure a good way to get that anger out is to insult people that want to do nothing but play video games.

I understand, it happens. Online games like Call Of Duty or Battlefield are intense. Skill is valued higher than any currency in the gaming world. A bad kill/death ratio is a sentence to the bottom of the barrel of gaming. This gives off the connotation that you’re terrible and should take up another hobby, leaving the gaming to those who can do well.

Here’s a news flash, though. Women feel that same pressure, and likely more, considering females aren’t known (through a completely untrue stereotype) as good, dedicated gamers. There are a lot of them, though. Some who put in more hours playing than you, or who are just better, based on their natural skill sets.

More so, it’s not even just that they’re better at games, sometimes. There are instances that the fact that they’re women is what causes all the problems. Some of the male gaming community has this idea stuck in their heads that women don’t belong. This simply isn’t true. They belong as much as anyone. They may not always be great at the game, or they might be middle of the pack, or better yet, even great at the game. When skill level isn’t a factor, or at least not as much as gender, it becomes a problem. If they’re no good, give them a hand, or if you have to trash talk, talk about how terrible at the game they are. But not because they’re a woman, but because the particular skill set they possess isn’t compatible with the game.

Here’s a question for those of you who think degrading a woman through the internet is a great way to prove how much better you are: How would you like it? Better yet, what if these things were being said to someone you loved? If someone was calling your sister a slut, or calling your wife/girlfriend “a fat, ugly bitch”? What if you found out that a frustrated gamer had messaged your mother (there are plenty of gamer moms out there) talking about the lewd or violent sexual things they were going to do to her? You’d be pretty pissed off, right?

That’s what many (not all, of course) members of the male gaming community are doing on a daily basis. So much so that there are entire websites dedicated to the logging of these messages, posted by the women who were so unnecessarily slighted just for being good at a game. Women who were slighted just for having breasts. Many female gamers are mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives. They don’t deserve this, and you’re not helping your case very much by trying to be the big man who can belittle a woman from up to thousands of miles away.

Enough is enough, guys. We’re (mostly) mature adults here, and even if not, a little respect is not an unfair request. Women are people, too. They’re gamers, too. They deserve better than the disgusting treatment many of us men give them online, and in real life. Maybe they’ll stop killing us seventeen times in Team Deathmatch if we show them a little respect. Probably not, but at least the time spent complaining could be spent getting better, and it won’t happen as much. Even if they’re not beating you in a game, maybe the time spent not making fun of them and doing something productive could lead to some new opportunities in life.

I’m glad we had this talk. Now stop it, for the sake of everyone.

Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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