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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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pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

I avoid savage worlds myself, nothing wrong with the system but exploding dice systems and me do not get along. It’s not uncommon for me to end up in the high twenties rolling a d4 and then people start to get cranky at me after the fourth or fifth time that happens in a session.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@Belladonna993

I actually started playing juuuust before Cata; I was able to get through the original Forsaken starter zone before I had to take a hiatus. And I have so many alts I haven’t even gotten my main a high enough level to get to Pandaria, so, I mean, I didn’t forget the garden part on purpose.

@pendraegon

There’s actually different levels and loot you get for either going their physically or going through the multiple levels of Dungeon Finder.

Have I mentioned dungeons and raids have different levels now with a bunch of different loot?

Falconer
Falconer
6 years ago

@maistrechat Oh Fate is a lot of fun too, I’m currently running a space fantasy setting based off Arthurian legend where the players ride dragons that can fly through hyperspace between planets to defend them from the cyborg communists of the Earth Sphere Hegemony.

Wow. I am in awe. That sounds terrific.

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

@Pandapool I don’t really have much time for MMO’s in general anymore. These days Monster Hunter is about as close as I get to one.

@Falconer Thank you very much, it was difficult coming up with a new campaign after I finished my Scion one and the players survived Ragnarok (mostly) to become the new gods.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

Robjec | July 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm
So no, trying to take hostility and anger out of games isn’t a gender issue.

It actually is a gender issue. The study proves just that.

No one is saying that men don’t get their unfair share of “shittalking”, but the fact that women get it worse does make it a gendered issue in a sense.

Kakanian | July 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm
The folks on AgainstMensRights pointed out that the study hardly deserves the name as the people running it were basically just looking for something to confirm the bias of their evopsycho bias about genders and didn’t even bother to at least make the experiment a clean one.

It’s really more of an opinion piece dressed in a lab coat.

Okay, so I just looked over the study itself, and I’ll bite: How was the experiment not “clean”?

As far as I could tell, they did try to control the variables as much as possible. One control account that didn’t use voice to see how much abuse that one got, one male account, and one female account. They used one game, on one console, and used a script for their female and male “voices”.

Hardly any variation there.

Also, I’m not sure they know how the Scientific Theory works. It’s some basic shit though.

Observation > Hypothesis > Experiment > Results

Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, but what they’re describing is a legitimate hypothesis based on observations.

Observation: “Hey, we’ve noticed that women get a lot more flak in online gaming when they identify as female.” > Hypothesis: “Maybe it’s because men don’t like losing online games to women?” > Experiment: “Let’s test that theory by playing games on XBox live with a control profile, a male profile with a male voice, and a female profile with a female voice.” > Results: “Men were more aggressive towards women they lost to, and more submissive to men they lost to.”

Sounds sound to me.

Lordcrowstaff
Lordcrowstaff
6 years ago

As someone who was part of a really cool guild (with two female leads) and stopped playing right at the end of Cata, I wanted to ask: how IS WoW these days? I’m always thinking of returning, you know, Hotel California-like

maistrechat
6 years ago
Reply to  Lordcrowstaff

@pendraegon

Is MH4 worth getting if I’m not going to do any multiplayer? I’ve considered getting it a couple of times but the multiplayer emphasis on what I’ve read makes me wonder if it’s worthwhile.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

I’m not much of a video game person. I tried halo once and ran into walls the entire time. My friends at one point started saying things like “Hm, I need one more hit to level up. Where’s [contrapangloss]?”

I actually was thanking them for shooting me, though, because it got me away from the blasted wall I was stuck in for… um… 5 seconds.

I’m in love with minesweeper and had way too much fun with oregon trail and odell down under in elementary school! And I’m trying to figure out Dwarf Fortress, but it’s super confusing.

I finally figured out how to set tasks, but I haven’t figured out how to assign tasks to anyone but the one dwarf. I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t exploded from being the only one doing anything with a group full of lazy dwarves who drink all his beer, yet, honestly.

Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Though I have been banned from playing Betrayal anymore. There was a dynamite incident.

I’m banned from our local quarry for the same reason.

Ellesar
Ellesar
6 years ago

Hey Futrelle, don’t knock Enter Sandman!

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

@maistrechat Depends on how much you like the gameplay I’d say, you can progress pretty far solo but after a point yeah you need to team if you want HR gear or better.I’d say get a used copy before a new one if you don’t intend to group.

@Alan Robertshaw Seriously one landslide and everyone gets all up in arms. Probably just SJW’s limiting your right to dynamite. This is why I prefer social justice barbarians and rangers. Better class features too.

Some sort of username
Some sort of username
6 years ago

Online gaming is a terrifying place. I mainly just stick to single player nowadays, never going online unless I’m with a friend.

Though, suffice to say, everyone does indeed suffer from abuse online. I remember back when I was a wee 12 year old when Halo 3 just launched (yeah, i’m pretty young) and I would get constantly dog piled in lobbies if I ever used a mic. A) I was a “squeaker” because I sounded young and B) I am British. In a game space basically dominated by white American dudes Halo 3 was not a safe place for anyone that isn’t that. This study has apparently confirmed that is still the case. How times change. Or don’t.

Still, I’m somewhat grateful that I grew up as a male (I identify as a transgirl nowdays) because it means i got to avoid a lot of the bullshit females put up with in games. The abusive assholes, the creepy, suggestive assholes and the overall “lower status” that I’d have been given due to being equipped with the “wrong” sexual organs. As much as I’d have loved to have been born in a different body, I still dread the life I would have lead if that had been the case.

It all leads up to the point where, all things considered, online gaming sucks. People on the web and the net in general suck. The chances of meeting over-competitive assholes that say SHIT TALKING IS JUST HOW THINGS ARE are too high for me to enjoy it. Any time someone says that I just look at sports. Do athletes in the Olympics hurl insults at each other after the hundred meter sprint? They don’t? But they’re competitive, isn’t that “just how things are”?

Why do angry white dudes suck so much.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@contrapangloss

Halo sucks, tho. Most first person shooters do. You might like something like Civilization or Sim City (not Sim City 5) or an RTS.

childrenofthebroccoli
childrenofthebroccoli
6 years ago

Wow’s pretty fun right now; they overhauled the heirloom system; when you but them, they’re put into an album, mount-style, and you right click them to put a copy in your inventory, so you can level up two plate wearers at the same time without having to mail the pieces back and forth. Max level content is pretty good, too; I still haven’t gotten bored of Tanaan Jungle, and the raids are pretty cool. I love the gold-for-game time system, it’s about 25k per month on my server, which is fairly easy to make if you know where the good money-makers are.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

@pandapool, I’ll have to give Civilization a try. Sim’s just fells a little weird to me, because I had a friend who played it and talked about it all the time, and apparently you can remove your sim’s free will if you want to and that’s a little…

Strange feeling. With Dwarf fortress I can at least pretend to be an evil mastermind without feeling like one?

@SomeSortofUsername,

Nice to meet another new face! Well, blue geometric pattern… Feel free to pull up a chair.

I’m a cis-woman (I think… I’ve been asked a few times if I’m really a girl/woman/person of the female sort, so sometimes I wonder), and it wasn’t all that bad growing up. At least I was allowed to like horses with only some mocking for being “That girl who likes horses”. I mean, even if there was some other not cool stuff, like being picked on for trying to do ‘the boy stuff’ and for being completely incompetent at makeup, at least I got horses in relative peace?

I’m glad you’re getting a chance to find yourself!

Falconer
Falconer
6 years ago

@contrapangloss: Oh no, you don’t assign tasks to dwarves. You give the dwarves a list of things you think ought to be done, and if a dwarf feels like doing something on that list, he does it, until he gets thirsty or sleepy.

If you’re having trouble getting your dwarfs to do something, have you checked that the labor for that task is turned on for at least one dwarf?

Falconer
Falconer
6 years ago

Hey, Some sort of user name, welcome to the Mammoth! What’s your favorite game?

contrapangloss
6 years ago

…falconer, you’re a genius.

Excuse me for a bit while I go poke around my fortress. I paused it, because it had been six months and only one dwarf was working and supplies were starting to get a little low.

Some sort of username
Some sort of username
6 years ago

@contrapangloss

Heh, I suppose there’s always gonna be variance between people’s lives. I tend to be a rather… I dunno, panicky person? Pessimistic I guess, so yeah. And it’s pretty good about the likin’ horses thing, horses are great animals. I’ve also witnessed a girl on my college course get mocking for her liking of horses too, trying my best to put a stop to it, so I know how un-fun that can be, to an extent. Everyone should be allowed to like horses in peace!

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@contrapangloss

Sim City is different from The Sims. Sim City, you build a city from the ground up while The Sims you control a household at a time. Two totally different games, both with the ability to be very sadistic.

Some sort of username
Some sort of username
6 years ago

@Falconer

This is what I get for not refreshing before posting, double post! AH!

I find it hard to pick “a favourite game” really. I have an ever lasting love for Half-Life, as in, the first one, but then I feel as if that’s only my favourite /shooter/. My favourite RPG would be Fable, my favourite RTS would be Age of Empires III, the one no one likes, etc…

I dunno, I just like games. For instance, I recently finished Fallout 2 then immediately went on to replay the Dead Space series (currently half way through DS 2).

AllisonW
AllisonW
6 years ago

@maistrechat

Depends. There’s a reasonable-length offline (“Caravan”) mode, though I didn’t stop there. I don’t play exclusively alone–I team up sometimes for tough missions–but I do most of my missions solo, even the ostensibly online ones balanced for two players. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to master the game and learn the monsters’ patterns and how to exploit them, and to make new weapon and armour sets when your current loadout is simply too poorly adapted to a monster that you can’t get past, you can get to a level of play where you’re able to do most of the “online” missions alone.

That said, there are some I wouldn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole alone, like the quest where you have to fight two Deviljho at once in the arena, without armour. (You don’t actually have to do that quest, unless you want Ceadeus weapons.) Or the one where you have to fight two Furious Rajang in the Primal Forest; Furious Rajang is basically my kryptonite. (You don’t actually have to do that one either.) Or some of the event quests, which just get ridiculous. Yada yada. You can play most of the game alone, but I’d still make a point of getting a few friends you can ask for help with the really tough missions.

Failing that, randoms in MH4U aren’t necessarily so bad. The game doesn’t have any voice chat, and the only way to text chat is using the touch-screen keyboard, so the chatter tends not to be too excessive in general.

Just be mindful that Monster Hunter is a *very* skill-intensive game. Low-rank eases you in fairly gently, and most of high-rank is at least somewhat forgiving, but G-rank and some of the high-rank challenge missions will simply not take any shit if you’re trying to solo them. There’s no shame in getting a partner to help you with the really tough ones, and remember that no one was born good at this game. I struggled with it too, but in the end, it was worth it.

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

@AllisonW Fuck that Devijho fight! In the eye! With fire!

I’m not bitter about that one at all. That said I’ll freely admit you are apparently better than me, about halfway through the HR missions I just hit a wall that said no more solo for you.

Gipsz Jakab
Gipsz Jakab
6 years ago

Pandapool:

Halo sucks, tho. Most first person shooters do.

Now that’s a little bit unfair. There’s nothing inherently wrong with shooters themselves, the problem is more that the dumbass kind of gamers who’re trying to be way too edgy treat them like the only real games and thus infest them. Halo, to keep using that specific example, has a surprisingly intricate storyline, for example (especially if you dig into the supplemental materials).

…er, if you were specifically referring to their online community, ignore me.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
6 years ago

So clearly, Anita Sarkeesian’s been ruining the world for decades now. I mean, that her/i> on the left of that photo, isn’t it?

And now, to bring together the comment about classical music, women, and video games, here is a classical orchestra comprised entirely of women playing video game music: https://angeledubeau.bandcamp.com/album/game-music

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