I read an article a couple days ago about a fifth-grader playing Minecraft where she met this “12-year-old boy” The mother saw the messages sent by this “12-year-old boy” which were sexual in nature. The mother went to the police and they are currently trying to track down this creep. It’s sad that predators use gaming to lure kids. Harassment exists prominently in gaming.
I have certainly been harassed extensively when I first started gaming. As a young 13-year-old awkward girl in middle school, I received an Xbox 360 in Christmas 2007. That Christmas I played Halo 3 for probably the entire day; those were the good days. That’s when I first saw the ugly side of gaming. Me being a naive 13-year-old girl, I made my gamer tag an obvious somewhat girly tag: Iceskater101. It’s still my gamer tag, but I would get messages from guys trying to flirt with me. I would be in a match and people would say my gamer tag and say I was probably ugly, fat, and a bitch. Those were the PG comments that I got. I had a lot of sexual comments from guys saying what they would do to me. Yet, I’m just a 13-year-old girl trying to enjoy her favorite game.
To prove my point about the ugly side of gaming, it’s important to mention gamergate. The basics of gamergate are that a former boyfriend of a girl game designer wrote a post about how awful she was and threatened to rape and kill her. This game designer was threatened by others as well. This whole controversy just shows the ugly side of gaming: how some men are misogynistic and have this hatred of women gaming.
I’m rather fortunate as my boyfriend really likes that I game and we play together. Sometimes I end up hogging his Xbox One because I still haven’t upgraded yet. Battlefront DLC was released and I can’t wait to play it.
I handle harassment by just reporting it and hopefully, that fixes the issue. In the past, I would have reacted defensively, but that leads to the comments becoming worse with more threatening language. I wish the gaming industry wasn’t this way, and I won’t let it stop me from enjoying something I love. However, it shows me how sexism & misogyny are still prevalent in today’s society.
On the bright side, there is this website that exposes gamer tags and their ruthless behavior. Sometimes I read it and laugh, but then I realize that it’s sad that men react this way. Take a look for yourself: Fat, Ugly or Slutty