There’s been a lot of toxicity online of late, disturbing headlines of truly atrocious verbal/written attacks by ‘gamers’ against female journalists. This is deplorable of course and makes me rethink my answer to the recent gaming questionnaire where I answered yes to identifying as a gamer. Who in their right mind would want to be lumped in the same group with the neanderthals spouting this hate? Syl has an excellent post explaining a rather deep, plausible motivation behind some of these attacks.
But then its nothing new. I’ve turned off general chat in a dozen MMOs because in most of them it is usually too toxic for my personal standards. I just do not accept ‘gamer bro‘ style dialogue as being something I want to see on my screen during an average session.
There’s little I can personally add to this debate, but when developers pander to this demography I find myself questioning my desire to play their game. Example one would be Tera as a whole, the ‘candyfloss’ armour really is a step too far for my tastes even if there are equally sexualised male armours as well and that doesn’t even begin to address the whole Elin fetish talk you’d see randomly in chat (or in guild chat even).
Then I saw this during the recent FFXIV anniversary festival…
This quest had you putting out pillars of fire by having a lizard spit gouts of water at them. All of the pillars had three identical scantilly-clad female Miqo’te (cat-women) stood nearby who upon being splashed announced phrases about getting wet. Honestly the quest made me feel rather queasy with such blatant misogyny and this was before the recent controversy broke. It’s frickin’ 2014, why is this stuff even in a supposedly broad-audience MMO?