I play Halo 4 every Friday with friends and copious amounts of liquor. Before Halo 4 we played League of legends and before that, Halo: Reach. And before that Monday Night Combat…
Thing is, in all my gaming, I rarely –almost never–encounter the atmosphere of the persecuted girl gamer.
Oh, I’ve been the persecuted noob, feeder, and betrayer. But that’s founded in my opinion. I can be inventive kinds of shitty1.
Fortunately I’ve only have a few occasions where I needed to mute, report, or stop playing with someone for being overly sexist or blatantly racist.
I do my fair share of cursing but there’s nothing to take you out of a game like hearing some stranger calling other players Niggers like it’s a synonym for Assholes– especially as the sole black person in my group. At the end of the game it’s always one of my friends who says, “Let’s back out an drop these guys.” or a simple, “Reporting.” Awkward. Don’t want to seem overly sensitive but I’d rather not do that more than once or be the one starting the conversations about what we shouldn’t call everyone and everything a Nigger… (I think my stance should be clear on the matter)
But the female thing? It doesn’t come up for me.
Maybe because I’m cautious with the chat and mute buttons because I’ll hop on Xbox to play with friends but I’m not trying to make friends.
With Halo, and I’m not sure if this is the case with other games, you don’t really need to be a team player to with and therefore there’s no need (pressure) to have team chat on. I have no motivation to talk to you. In fact, I have all the motivation in the world NOT to talk to you.
When I do have chat on, I also put my thick skin and Big Girl pants on because I’m ready for anything. I’m ready for N-bombs and attacks on my femininity and suggestions of things I might do with dicks, but more often than not, it never comes2. Actually, I’ve encountered more random acts of chivalry in Halo games than shittyness.
Guys discover I’m a girl (and not always that good) and they’re more likely to be nice to me and help me out and cheer me on. It’s like, “Hey, grab this shotgun and I’ll meet you by the elevator.”
So, I think, in Halo people talking to strangers might be more cautious with what they say and who they say it to because if you’re genuinely looking to socialize you know it’s rare for find others who are also willing. Also, you probably know there’s an assumption that you’re a dick and Xbox makes it might easy to Block, Report, and generally Proclaim throughout all the land that Here Be a Dick. Then Xbox doesn’t hesitate to bounce ya punk ass.
One bad apple (or the overwhelming lore of poison apples) doesn’t spoil the bunch for me. But, 1) I’m not going to be friends with you just because we played a game together (maybe hit me up on Raptr and build a rapport) and 2) I expect bad apples so the bar for decency is actually a bit low; hell you’ll probably get a rep point from me for just being a decent human being in team chat.