So the #GamerGaters are mad about a new study that suggests that some of the most dickishly misogynistic male gamers are quite literally losers. That is, men playing video games like Halo and Call of Duty online tend to lash out at women players when they’re doing their worst.
Looking at the behavior of a number of men and women over the course of 163 games of Halo 3, researchers Michael Kasumovic and Jeffrey Kuznekoff from the University of New South Wales and Miami University found that
lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance.
In other words, the more of a video game loser they were, the more of a misogynistic loser they became.
We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena.
In other words, they hate losing … to a girl.
The researchers argue that the entrance of larger numbers of women into the dude-heavy world of video games is especially threatening to “[l]ow-status and low-performing males,” who
have the most to lose as a consequence of the hierarchical reconfiguration due to the entry of a competitive woman. As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status, the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank.
If this all sounds to you like a plausible explanation for a lot of the anger driving #GamerGaters, you’re not the only one to see the connection.
A recent article on the study on Yahoo News suggests that,
[a]s gaming has traditionally been a male-dominated pastime, these findings could go some way to explain 2014′s Gamergate furore. Several high profile female game developers were targeted with a torrent of misogynistic abuse, including rape and death threats, coordinated by factions of male gamers using sites like 4Chan and Reddit.
And this is what has the #GamerGaters on Reddit’s KotakuInAction subreddit pig-biting mad. In a thread complaining about the Yahoo News piece, the regulars show just what losers they really are by lashing out at … women.
Evidently forgetting that the study in question was conducted by two men, a Redditor called Katastic_Voyage won more than 130 upvotes with a lovely rant declaring that
There’s a huge freaking difference between shit talking, and bullying.
But most of these articles and “papers” are written by women, who live in a woman’s world, and don’t understand the first thing about what it’s really like to be a man. The others are by men who are basically women but doesn’t realize it–they were likely forced to grow up in a woman dominated, catty, passive-aggressive world.
Ok, my bad. The researchers might appear to be men, but are probably “men who are basically women but doesn’t realize it.”
And somehow this all has something to do with metal music:
Woman call all men “dumb” because that’s what they call anything they don’t understand. It’d be like someone who likes classical music calling metal dumb. Even if they’re actually related. Even though there’s plenty of beauty and complexity in metal… they don’t ever dive into it so they deride and dismiss it.
It IS real music, mom! (Sound of bedroom door slamming, followed by the muffled intro to “Enter Sandman.”)
So they take things like:
The need to compete? They think it’s violence.
The need to shit talk? They think it’s bullying.
The fact that men can look at other women and not cheat? It blows their minds that men can actually feel pleasure just seeing a woman of beauty… and that’s it.
Uh, I thought we were talking about video games. Did some mean lady just break up with you?
A fellow called Zakamaru, replying to Katastic_Voyage, decided to show how not mad he was about women invading “male spaces” by getting mad about women invading “male spaces.”
It’s what happens when a bunch of women get into male spaces and some fail to understand it.
Gaming has always been competitive. I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I was called various names and derogatory remarks, but it doesn’t fucking matter. You get insulted all the time, and it takes a special type of person to actually take offense to that. …
It’s not that we hate women. With gaming being a predominantly male hobby, it’s going to have elements of masculinity, competitiveness, and testosterone floating about. When people shit talk, they will use any sort of “weakness” that you have and attack it. If you’re unskilled, you’re a noob/scrub. If you’re an obvious underaged child, you get called a kid. If someone needs a quick all-purpose insult, you’re now a faggot.
When some women see this, they immediately think that it needs to change to fit their worldview. To them, these insults are simply unacceptable, and are “x-phobic” or whatever tumblr buzzword they feel like using today. Never mind the fact that gaming was born from a bunch of socially awkward men who carved out their own space with their own culture and lingo. No, now you have to cater to ME, because I’m a GIRL.
Boy, you guys really put those dumb lady researchers (who aren’t ladies, but who maybe sort of really are) in their place.
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