For the current series, Code word, we seek to know if – and how – technology can protect individuals from sexual assault and harassment, and how it can help and support survivors.
While the stereotypes of society make you believe that the gaming industry is a male-only arena of masculinity, women are actually nearly half of video game players. But despite their numbers, women are not treated equally and are often victims of online abuse and sexual harassment by male gamblers.
The subreddit / r / GirlGamerscurrently has more than 80,000 members, but aims to remedy this situation. To do this, it provides an online community space allowing people of all genres and all identities of the game industry to connect, play together, discuss the realities of being a woman or not to be binary in the industry, and to share the sure m that every non-binary player and woman can relate to.
For example, the comical illustration of a woman using an online voice chat and immediately hearing something like, "Hey, eGirl! I want to eat you and suck your toes.
Or the classic reaction of a man who realizes that he could play a video game with a … girl. As he plunges into the depths of confusion and despair, he asks, "Wait a second, are you a girl?" Follow-up of the inevitable: "You must be a big ugly bitch, are you Pmsing?"
These memes, also known as live experiences of women online, provide an unprecedented pleasure to the daily harassment of women in the world of video games. But they also raise awareness of the realities of abuse while unifying a community of women who might consider leaving the sector once and for all.
GirlGamers members use this space to question others about how sexual harassment is a constant threat. A player asked in the category "Venting": "Why can not I leave my microphone on and play a game ?!" After receiving frightening comments from men or without being taken seriously by other players.
Other members of the group discussed this problem by comparing the default response of "simply turning off the microphone" to the equivalent of "wearing more conservative clothing" to avoid attracting harassment.
Having a microphone running during the game not only improves the gaming experience, it is also an opportunity for players to connect to each other. With so many women choosing to mute their voices, this still perpetuates the stereotype that the game is reserved for men.
Other questions include women's questions that would probably have been downgraded to any other predominantly male forum. For example, one member asked what was the best gaming headset to use with her double lobe ear piercing, which had just healed.
Jamie Klouse, who helped create the forum, said Contour: "If it had been posted on / r / gaming or another large male-dominated community, it would have been forgotten because it did not fit with their interests and because of the relatively small percentage of women in the community versus men, Thread would probably never have been seen by other women who might find the subject interesting. "
But how serious is sexual harassment in the video game industry?
A lot women players completely avoid online games while others choose to remain anonymous to avoid inevitable harassment. A study published by Bryter Last year, a third of women who play video games regularly suffer abuse or discrimination from other male players online. More than half of them were victims of verbal abuse and 10% were even threatened with rape.
But women are pushing back. Earlier this month, KaceyTron, a long-time game streamer with nearly half a million fans on Twitch, has raised awareness of sexual harassment online organize a "SlutStream"Where the players came together to find the meaning of" slut "- an insult often overlooked against the players.
However, the problem is not just about players. Last month, the brand Razer gaming equipment announced would not renew Gabriela Cattuzzo's contract, a popular Brazilian video game streamer with nearly 90k followers on Twitch. The decision was made after Cattuzzo released a series of suppressed tweets saying "men are rubbish" in response to the online sexual harassment she regularly faces – which Razer Brazil sees as "extremism."
In this particular case, Cattuzzo's "extremist" A Twitter user commenting on a Cattuzzo photo riding a mechanical bull with "you can ride me as much as you want" in Portuguese.
While campaigns like KaceyTron and subgroups such as GirlGamers offer women and non-binary players a secure space to unite, it's finally up to the big platforms, including Razer, to take firmer action against those who use the platform to harass and denigrate women.
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