The other day while I was enjoying a game of COD Black-Ops 3, I received several messages in my inbox for a young man. Now, I did not immediately respond because I was in the middle of playing a game. He proceeds to blow up my inbox leading me to unfriend and block him on X-Box Live. Now, I’ve been playing COD and Battlefield online for a few years now and there is a trend which was highlighted during Gamer Gate. Online sexual harassment, this annoys me to no end. If you don’t know what Gamer Gate is, please click on the link to get a more detailed description of the controversy. In short, my problem is men or boys trying to hook up or make love connections while playing a game where my primary and only objective is to kill everyone and enjoy myself.
My main goal when playing these type of first person shooter games online, well any game online really is not to make a love connection. I am there to escape or procrastinate and talk shit with random people. Growing up, my brothers introduced me to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation.When we played together it was some of the most shit talking and joking we’d do together as a family. Now, when I’m online playing with X-Box friends it is all about talking shit and cracking jokes. It is simply to have fun, but because of the type of sexual harassment I’ve experienced and the vast majority of the women I play with ALL have experienced the uncomfortable advances of random strangers in a place meant for fun. After dealing with this harassment yet again on Monday, I felt the need to go ahead and write a blog addressing the issue.
One of the ways hyper-masculinity is encouraged in our society is the lack of punishment or consequences when these men or boys make threats to rape or stalk women. The online abuse has even fewer consequences. For example, some parents feel that well since little Billy is upstairs in his room and not in the streets getting into trouble, he’s fine and don’t need to check on him or monitor his behaviour. But little Billy is in a COD chat room and he just said he wanted to attack a female gamer because she rejected his romantic overtures. All that happens to little Billy if he’s reported is his account is deactivated. What kind of punishment is that? Little Billy verbally assaulted a young lady, and he is not shown the dire consequences of his actions. Microsoft or Sony should include in their terms of agreements that if caught sexually harassing a fellow gamer they will be prosecuted. This lets everyone of all ages in the online gaming community know that there are consequences for your inappropriate actions towards women.
ONLINE GAMING IS FOR FUN! That’s it.
This means I’m not here for your:
- Sexist comments ( yes, girls know how to play video games)
- Racist ass jokes
- Cat calling ( literal cat noises)
- Online Stalking ( How did you find my real name)
- Bad Ass Kids (Its 3am why is your kid up talking shit)
- Unsolicited Party and Game invites (I’m already in a party and no I don’t have a mic)
- Rape threats once I reject yo ass (this has happened)
Gaming is supposed to be enjoyable instead if you’re a woman this is yet another place where you made to feel unsafe. The Gamer Gate situation has not changed anything and I’d like to challenge Microsoft and Sony to make a more concerted effort to handle these types of situations. I pay to play, not pay to be harassed.
I’d love to hear from you everyone and love for you to share your experience in the comment section.