Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Video Game Glass Ceiling

So, I was looking on for a good article to blog on, and my nerdy half jumped a little inside when I saw the article, The Glass Console Ceiling. I opened it thinking I would read all about videogames and how women are now breaking the “console glass ceiling,” but unfortunately the article was on how to assemble a glass table. Nevertheless, it brought up video games and, therefore, I will be venting about them and you all get to sit back and enjoy the show.

So, I occasionally play Xbox360 video games online, and it has gotten to the point that I no longer feel comfortable playing and hearing other gamers, predominantly men talk. When playing video games people say thing that are completely sexist, racist, and homophobic with no filter or remorse for who is listening. One particularly alarming example of this offensive
language takes place when one player is winning by a large margin, or one player has lost in an exceptional manner. The winner often uses the phrases “I raped you,” or “you just got raped.” rape quotes are some of the most popular and frequent. Many people say this without thinking about what they are equating rape to.

When using it in the settings listed, gamers, mostly men, are saying that rape is comparable to winning. It accentuates the dynamics of powe rand dominance in rape and takes away from the seriousness by applying it to mundane games. Personally, I could not handle this phrase knowing the impact of rape and the disproportionate number of women affected by it each year, so to hear men using these sayings was unacceptable in my mind. I have been turned off by such language and I can only image that others feel the same sense of outrage that I do.

So, for me, breaking the video game glass ceiling involves muting the misogynistic language so that I can participate in a field of male dominated and male-centered culture. I hope that eventually, just as we are critical of such bigotry in modern society, I hope that we can one day be critical of what goes on in video games as well and that everyone can participate without hearing racial, homophobic or sexist slurs.

No comments:

Post a Comment