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GamerGaters attack study on video game losers lashing out at women … by lashing out at women

Women ruining the lives of men by invading the male space of gaming
Women ruining the lives of men by invading the male space of gaming

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. 

Please read the newly revised COMMENTS POLICY before commenting.

 

 

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ginnyn56
ginnyn56
6 years ago

I’m still offended that this guys believe women just started recently to like video games. Like, I’m a woman and I have liked video games for 25 years (Roughly, could be a little more), which is very probably more than most if this guys have been alive

xian
6 years ago

it’s getting too meta

Nop
Nop
6 years ago

@ginnyn56 Right? I knew girls who played video games in the late 70s, FFS. They were rare, but they certainly existed.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

I <3 how they fail at basic reading comprehension.

"We shit talk! That's what we do!" when the study specifically addressed gender-based differential treatment.

ginny – Same. I've been playing since I physically could , but fuck me for invading a male space, amirite?

opium4themasses
6 years ago

@ginnyn56 I bet a number of these guys are a lot older than you think, certainly old enough to know better.

Still funny to me how quickly they get up in arms about this, oftentimes even without GG being mentioned, as was the case with John Oliver. Defensive much?

Wonder how long before they agree with the study and use it to say the people doing the harassment aren’t really gamers because they aren’t winning.

Mercy
Mercy
6 years ago

Even if the abuse were the same across genders (which ofc it wasn’t, see point of study), I’m pretty sure it is, in fact, possible to be competitive without hurling abuse at your competitors. For men, too.

kupo
kupo
6 years ago

I hear you, @ginnyn56. I’m a woman and I’ve been playing video games since I could hold a controller, so something like 33 years.

Also, I really dislike this study because of how it tries to explain the bad behavior with evo-psych BS. Let’s not naturalize this behavior. They’re assholes because of our culture, not because of evolution.

Nitram
6 years ago

Angry gamer dudes failed to comprehend the part about how all the “harmless shit talking” is happening BECAUSE a woman is there. the men arent verbally abusing each other.

benfromcanada
6 years ago

I can’t believe these people are smart enough to remember to breathe. It’s like they’re trying to misunderstand what the study was about.

I-Over 42 Blast (@JoeKlemmer)

Ah, the irrational ranting of typical Gater babies. Just tweeted an article that describes the whole thing and the comments are virtually the same thing they’ve been saying for eleven months now.

http://m.nuvo.net/indianapolis/nuvopop-gamergate-101/Content?oid=3347211

Kereea
Kereea
6 years ago

@opium4themasses
The most liked/commented comment I have ever made on any site was about that exact topic, asking why they were so willing to call it an attack on them when they were not mentioned by name and claimed to have never attacked the people John was relating the attacks of. Sounded weirdly like an admission to me.

rationalleft
6 years ago

They seem to conveniently ignore that the study had controls; the entire conclusion of the study was that women received significantly more hostility directed at them than did their male counterparts. Even disregarding that, I’m continually amazed by the large number of people saying “but we’re equally horrible to everyone!” as if this were a good argument. Congrats, you demonstrated your community is completely toxic?

Also, leave metal out of this gators, we don’t want you.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

My Mom tells me this picture is me at a (super classy, I’m sure) wedding reception:

http://i.imgur.com/A4Bj1cn.jpg

As you might be able to tell, it was taken was quite awhile ago.

I’ve always gravitated towards any game in the room and got quite good at skimming coins from any willing adults.

As soon as Santa brought me an NES (in 86, I think), if I wasn’t doing chores, wandering around in the woods, or reading, I was playing it. (I lived on the end of a dirt road with, alas, no neighborhood kids.) Then came an SNES, then a Genesis, then a PS2. As an adult, I’ve had several PS3s, an XBox, and now a PS4 (which is, unfortunately, now getting a little neglected – I SHALL RETURN TO YOOOOUUUU!).

That’s not to say that anyone deserves to be harassed or asked to prove their cred (I mean, hell, I’m a console peasant 😉 ) – fuck anyone who thinks they deserve to be a gatekeeper – but to say, “Guess what, fucknuts – gaming is not your exclusive space. It’s never been and it sure as hell isn’t now that saying, ‘I’m a gamer,’ is about as edgy as saying, ‘I’m a movie buff’.”

What’s that, though?
You, personally, don’t run into many women in open/random-matched play?
That’s because many women don’t want to put up with your bullshit. We actively avoid you. Congrats on being big enough pustulent assholes that that’s true.

mockingbird
mockingbird
6 years ago

@kupo –

Also, I really dislike this study because of how it tries to explain the bad behavior with evo-psych BS.

I’m going to disagree with you here.
This is more sociological than evo-psych, no?

Seeking explanation/understanding isn’t the same as seeking excuses. If nothing else, perhaps a few can be embarrassed by the fact that their behavior mirrors that of other lower-status in-group individuals towards other out-group members.
They’re not special, they’re just pissing all over their turf.

katz
6 years ago

I notice that their notion of “everyone gets shit-talked” is “we’ll demean you for any perceived deviation from the Default Human Being, who is white, male, straight, thin, etc.” I think they honestly don’t see how that miiiiiiiight not actually be equal-opportunity.

level14boss
level14boss
6 years ago

The ‘Gaming has always been competitive’ thing really irritates the fuck out of me. Yeah some games are competitive but you have a very narrow few of games if that’s how you define all of them.

I used to have great fun with my brother or sister playing co-op Golden Axe or Chaos Engine to date me a little. Don’t play games as much now though do go back ot them on occasion and still enjoy them. Currently playing Pillars of Eternity on and off and enjoying it.

freemage
6 years ago

So. Painfully. Clueless. These twits really, really need to learn how to read a scientific study (and odds on the percentage of them who are totes convinced that they are more science-able than any woman because of biotroofs about their manly brains?).

Kereea
Kereea
6 years ago

I remember when Splatoon came out there was a bunch of people angrily asking “no voice chat?!?” because they needed it to super-coordinate or be hardcore.
…and a bunch more people excitedly asking “no voice chat?!?” because it meant no abuse being hurled at people and the maps were tiny with two commands to call teammates to your position already.
As someone who as angrily said things about teammates in the game out of frustration who probably wouldn’t deserve it and is therefore glad after the fact they couldn’t hear (though I rarely graduate above “what are you doing/what is wrong with you”), I kind of like not having voicechat. I would spend hours apologizing otherwise.

Chris
6 years ago

Yes, words like “misogynistic,” “homophobic,” and “sexist” are just “tumblr buzzwords.” No correspondence to the real life experiences of women and queers at all.

I wish these nice ignorant men would stop getting their sociology lessons from reddit.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

So, let me get this right. Their response to criticism that they bully women is to bully women? Amirite?

So pretty much their response to everything in the world, I guess, is bully women?

Is there weather outside? Bully women.
Did the goats who live in your livingroom eat your homework? Go online and threaten to rape some women.
Couldn’t afford to pay your cable bill this month? Death threats is the answer to that one.

And yet…, they don’t consider themselves MRAs.

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

I’m so tired of the whole shit talking is part of the game trope. You know who shit talks, people who don’t have the actual skill to win consistently. If winning is such a rare occurrence that you feel the need to tell everyone you’re winning, maybe you should try actually practicing and getting better so that winning becomes commonplace.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
6 years ago

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.

The only music I dismiss and deride is the “bitches and hos” type rap music, because fucking obviously. It also tends to have a chorus which is basically one line repeated five times and is just plain awful, musically speaking.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not dissing the whole genre. When a rap song is good it’s great.

jupitaur
6 years ago

“The need to compete? They think it’s violence.”

Uh, except that when women do show they want and like to compete, and compete successfully, these dipwads get upset and feel they have to threaten special man-on-woman violence to try to shut them down.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

I’ve been playing console games since the 80’s, with my two younger brothers. They were more dedicated to it than I was but still, I did play them and have a few old favorites i still like to get up to.

Gaming was never the sole province of guys. I knew plenty of girls back then, who played video games. I blame the corporate need to divide casual activities into boys and girls activities in order to skim more money from their parents..After all, why buy one of something, when you can get people to buy two or three of something becasue you have bothe boys and girls in your house?

We have become this society that has really tried very hard to separate playtime into boys and girls clubs, when things used to be more gender neutral. Gaming was, backthen pretty gender neutral and if you watched the commercials for the time period, boys and girls were featured in them.

Oh yeah, gaming has always been competitive but that’s no excuse for assholish behavior. Right there in the study, it shows that men who are winning at the games, seem okay in their behavior. The winners of the games aren’t acting like fools. Aren’t they being competitive, too?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

@Kereera

Indeed. The evolution of my thoughts after Splatoon was announced:

“Oh man, that looks awesome, but… Online multiplayer scares the fuckballs out of me. I dunno, maybe, eventually.”

“Ooh, there’s a one-player campaign? I’ll probably pick it up for that, then.”

“Wait. No voice chat? DAY-ONE PURCHASE. *hasn’t stopped playing it since*”

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