Came across a fascinating blog entry that features comments from female gamers in WoW. The source of the comments comes from a survey that the author of this post held at an all-women’s WoW LJ community.
The topic of the comments range from general opinions on gender in-game, to harrassment, to feminism and oppression.
Here are some examples:
I am disappointed that Blizzard is very shallow and predictable with the design of the female characters. It’s all of the character choices really. If they really want people to be able to customize how their character looks, they need to offer more choices besides superhero and barbie.
If I go “Away from keyboard” my character sits in a kneeling position. I have often come back to find male characters with their crotches in my character’s face making blowjob comments to their friends or other passers-by. That is the most frequent occurance.
Yes, I have. There was one instance a group invited me to quest with them. I was en route to join them and had to travel through an area full of high level mobs. I died on numerous occasions and was told by my group that the ’stupid girl’ better ‘hurry up’ because I was ‘too slow’ and ‘didn’t know what to do’. One of the other members of the group happened to be the same level as me and was male. The group never made one negative comment about him.
In-game, while playing female characters, I’ve received comments that in real life could be construed as sexual harrassment. To paraphrase one male character, “Hey baby, can I lift up your skirt and do you?”
It seems to be easier to get help from the male players as a woman. If someone assumes I’m a guy, I sometimes don’t tell that I am a woman so that I will be treated as an equal. I’ve seen guys pretend to be women to get help from other male players. Not all players treat you differently when they know you’re female, but there’s just enough out there to make it annoying to me.
There are many, many, many more, and I encourage everyone to go over and read them because it’s a fascinating look at the female gamer experience in MMORPGs.
As a female gamer who loves WoW and MMOs, I can relate to many of these stories. For the most part, when I play, I tend to play with people I already know, because I’ve found that too many people end up pissing me off and it’s hard to strangle someone virtually (probably a good thing, too).
I spent some time on the WoW forums during the whole “GLBT Guild” upheaval just to see what people were saying, and some of the most common comments I found on the boards were “it’s just a game” or “leave real life out of it, it’s just fantasy” or “you’re just doing this for attention.” I grew very annoyed by all of these inane comments.
It’s very easy to say things like that when you’re not the ones being harrassed or the ones being alienated in what you want to think is “just a game.” Many people play games so they can get away from “real life” but when this fantasy that is supposed to be fun starts sounding so much like what you’re trying to get away from in the first place, it’s hard to ignore.
Why would women want to be part of an all women’s guild? And why would gay people want to be part of a gay-friendly guild? Is it to call attention to themselves and to the fact that they’re female and/or gay? I don’t think so.
If anything, they’re doing it to make it less of an issue. It’s because they’re tired of being surrounded by people that are ruining their game play experience, by hitting on them, or saying ‘that’s so gai’ after every little thing. When you’re in-game, you don’t want to be distracted by the fact that your fellow party member is being an asshole. You want to just play the damn game.
Anyway, go read the post, for it is interesting and not all negative like this post may lead you to believe. :)
I’ll close with this quote, cause I like it:
It’s absolutely amazing to see so many women play World of Warcraft, and it’s just as amazing to see how many men are still sexist assholes in-game. (”LOLZ WOMEN DON’T EXIST ON THE INTERNET,” and “I don’t group with women because they don’t play the game well,” anyone?) When those boys can beat me in HKs, fewest deaths, and killing blows in a single Arathi Basin or Warsong Gulch game, then maybe I’ll start to believe them.