Female players get the boot from sexist males?
by Pappy-R and The Gang
As tempting as it was for April first, this week's RnR isn't a joke. This is a real letter from a real reader that we took very seriously.
Out rant this week comes from Slof, a female gamer who has some issues with how females are treated on the servers, and by the big tournaments. This is a subject close to the heart around here as you'll soon see. Let's start right in now with "Female Gamers" by Slof.
What annoys me is how I sometimes get treated by male players when they find out I'm a girl, and quite old too! I have had 'I'm not gonna get beat by a girl' from people I have been beating - they then leave the game before the end. I have had abuse hurled at me when I've fragged guys who don't like girl players. Most of the time I don't let on I am female, but if friends are on the server, it does sometimes become obvious by their innocent comments! I have even been booted off servers because some people don't want to risk losing to a girl. I don't use an obviously female nick either. 'Slof' could be anything, and I also use 'Klesk' as my player model - that too could be anything! I think the game refers to me as 'it' anyway! 'Slof blew itself up' !
Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't leaving a game because I'm beating him still a win to me? If male players don't like me fragging them, but they still get fragged by me, isn't that too, a victory to me? Kicking me off a server, isn't this too a victory for me if they are too afraid to play me?! I am well known in the English Quaking community, and often I end up having to use an alias in order to be left alone to play without comments or kicks. Why am I being treated like this? What is wrong with being a female Quake player? I am not even remotely interested in games aimed at female gamers. I am a first-person shooter fan, always have been since Doom, I like intense fragging action against people as good as, or better than me.
Another facet of this bias, that I object to, is these 'female only' tournaments. Isn't this sexist the other way? Isn't this like saying we are not good enough to compete with men? I would not play in one of these on principal. Someone once asked me if I would consider starting an all-female clan - I said no way. I like playing with the lads, most of my best friends are male, I have more in common with the lads anyway, than women. I much prefer clan vs clan tourneys, with whatever mix of players they have. After all, there are no strength requirements or particular intelligence requirements needed to play Quake - isn't everybody equal on a human level at least? Ping, skill and experience are the deciding factors that I have seen, not what sex someone happens to be. I have beaten, and been beaten by male and female players - hasn't stopped the game being fun for me.
I'd be interested to know your views on this, and whether your two female players have had any of this.
Now let's crank this one up amongst the crew around here, and since it's a female topic, we'll do a turn around and start off with Ash. He's probably not had the same problems as Slof, but he does shave his legs on those special occassions. Take it away bud.
Sexism is always an issue, the Internet and video games is probably just the most absurd place for it to take place. And while sexism in real life is stupid as well, at least there are some actual differences between the sexes that makes it arguable at times... for instance I highly doubt a woman could ever win the "World's Strongest Man" competition. Just like Slof mentioned there really are no differences between men and women in on or offline video gaming. Maybe some differences in attitude or outlook, but that's really just a generalization anyway.
I have never ran into any sexist slander or sexist client kicks during my gameplay, but from the discription of it... that's just lame as hell. I personally have always encouraged female gamers, because I've always found female gamers to be a total blast to hang out at LAN parties, events, and online. There's plenty of testosterone filled teenage boys in the online community, I think it's awesome to get the fresh perspectives, opinions, and attitudes that female gamers bring to the community.
When it comes to all female tournaments and the like... I dunno. I think they're kind of neat, and I like watching some of the really talented female players in the community duke it out, knowing full well that if I was in there... I'd be toast. On the other side of the coin, I don't know how positive it is for the female gamers to be viewed at a tournament as "neat". It kind of makes the tournament more of a novelty, rather than a competitive event. I figure those tournaments should be held if they are desired by the female section of the community. If you women out there want to have a tourney of your own, I'd be happy to watch, if you'd rather play with the boys... then I'll be in there with ya.
Did he just say he'd like to watch? Oh geez, I hope it wasn't meant like that! Just ribbing the boy for a bit. Well I don't think we have to worry about Ash insulting female players on the servers, which is a damn good thing. Now let's go to the mind of Love2Play who has been dealing with the issue at hand for quite some time.
Slof you have a lot of interesting points that I personally had a good chuckle at because a lot of your points are true in real life as well. The fact that some males will forfeit or turn away from a competition against a female "in case" they may lose is all too common. We probably should have gotten Kornelia in on this one as well! Talk about a virtually un-stoppable female player! OMG.
I have been a Quaker since 1996. I have seen a lot of changes but as in real life, there are always frogs amongst the Princes. I think Hellchick would agree that one advantage we have when playing a random public game or even a planned event is our names are recognized from PQ. That lends a little different attitude. I also started my personal website for tweaking Quake in 1997 and since then am frequently "recognized" on servers. I get "Are you THE Love2Play?!" And very often a thanks for the tweaks. That is a good feeling :) So perhaps it happens less because of that. But none the less ridiculous when one of the frogs has his say with disgusting remarks.
What irritates me actually are males that use a female skin or model because they think it gives them some advantage. I don't know what their thought is, but it doesn't make me back off any. And I enjoy knowing if my opponent is male or female in reality and hope their skin reflects something about them. And as for female only clans, I think one of the good things about them is that you are much less likely to be called the "C" word by a group of females in a poor sportsmanlike fashion. Although my good friend Cobby and I call each other a bitch throughout our battles ;-) It's all in good fun though. But I don't find female clans to be contradictory, the plain fact is that men and women ARE different. Neither is the lesser for it. And lets face it, it's much more fun to go to lunch with a group of "the girls" then to have equal amounts of men and women at the table. You can't let your hair down with a guy at the table!
Now that's an interesting angle on the female clan issue, and I wish all servers instantly banned for use of the "C" word. I hate that damned word. Now let's swing it over to another female gamer, Hellchick has seen quite a bit of this herself since her game name obviously puts her in the female ranks on any server. She was waiting for this topic to make it's way into the RnR, and now's her chance to rant. Go for it HC.
Next up, more PQ opinions, including Pappy himself...