Thursday, December 6, 2012

Interestng YouTube video series on gaming and gender

I was speaking on video games and gender with a couple of friends this weekend.  The topic came up after I was telling them about this class and some of the topics we covered.  They (all male except for one who was dating of the guys present) felt that gaming now is pushing toward a female oriented space and wonder why this considering that while women make up almost 47% of gamers now, the vast majority of them are what are called "casual" gamers (the vast majority of casual gamers are female).  One mentioned Halo 4 as an example. 
As some of you may know, Halo 4 will monitor communications for the game and ban people for sexist speech.  Sounds good right?  The problem with this is that this action has not be implementeed for ther "offensive" communcations in gaming.  There are two things everyone who has played online (or gone to any online communication with random people I suppose) have been called.  In second place we have the "fag" or some form of it.  In first, we have "nigger" or some form of it.  This is rather true of Halo and has been for years.  Why are they NOW implementing bans for offensive speech...and focusing on sexist speech?  The vast majority of Halo players are male (and this has been true from the very beginning).  Their argument was not that sexist comments are fine, but that terms that offend race and sexual orientation have been a problem much longer in gaming, and effect more of the game's user base. 
Other see gaming as space where guys could be guys, so to say.  Gaming was what it was.  It is werid to them that some women (not all, there have been women there from the beginning that were into gaming just as much as men and loved the culture and hobby for what it was without trying to change it) claim to love gaming, yet want to change it for their personal needs.  They veiw it as female hypoagency - something that we have seen in many fields and continue to do so for some reason, yet there is no male hypoagency into female dominated areana (why is that I wonder...).
We ended up chatting for about 2 hours about stuff like this (I wish I could have recorded it, it was pretty interesting).  After the chat, my friend Sam linked me to the two videos above that his girlfriend (she games and was in the chat with us) found.  I wanted to hear the classes thoughts on these videos.  Personally, I agree with them.  He touches on quite a few topics and brings up solid points, though some may not agree.  What about you guys?  Why?

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