The Abuse of Internet Anonymity – Part One – Treatment of the Opposite Sex

Posted: 22/02/2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How you doin’?

 In the first of two posts I want to discuss how internet anonymity, whilst a good thing in my opinion is being damaged thanks to a rowdy minority.

I) Treatment of the Opposite Sex

 When I used to play on-line games such as Wolfenstein : Enemy Territory you didn’t really notice this but since my World of Warcraft days it’s quite clear that some people have no respect for others. A prime example of that is how the opposite sex tend to treat each others and from my experience I must admit that it’s not entirely one way traffic either.

 One evening we were about to raid Karazhan and we had recruited this mage earlier in the day after he submitted an outstanding application. All was well and good for the day and he seemed to be blending in perfectly with the atmosphere of the guild. This was until raid time came and one of the officers spoke on Ventrilo. I should point out that at the time in this guild, we had a perfect 50/50 male to female split in the officer rank, it wasn’t planned that way but that’s how it worked out. Anyway when one of the female officers spoke, immediately in raid chat this mage turned around and said…

She has a sexy voice, I bet she has big breasts too!

 I’ve always carried a zero tolerance attitude to people like that, but on the urging of this female officer I gave him the benefit of the doubt. An hour into the raid he again pipped up.

What a voice! She must be awesome at bouncing too!

Well that was it. I issued an immediate guild kick. When he came back and demanded why I had done so, I simply replied

Because you didn’t follow one of our most important rules, which is you must treat all players with respect, regardless of gender, and after a warning you failed to do this.

His reply?

I will say whatever I want, whenever I want.

All in all, I was pretty glad that I got rid of him. It’s not good having someone who only thinks like that in your “team”, as it’s just going to cause friction, tension and in some cases will force people to join in less. I’ve seen it before in WoW, where females, some who are some of the best players or officers that I have ever played with, have taken a more back seat role because they feel they aren’t being treated as equals as others. Now I know this isn’t caused by the majority of players, but it’s still true that the minority knows how to spoil it for the majority.

 As I said at the beginning of this post. I realise it’s not all one way traffic. I remember a story at the beginning of The Burning Crusade where a woman posted on the WoW forums, that if someone would give her 5,000 gold for her epic flying mount that she would sleep with that person and sure enough that happened. I’ve heard stories about how members of the opposite sex have, well “shown themselves” to the guild master so that they can get favours, loot priority and stuff like that. In the same way that people should focus on other people’s gender, so shouldn’t someone use their gender to their advantage.

 It goes further than World of Warcraft as well, and both sides of this coin is pretty rampant in the world of the internet. Here are two prime examples of who I think are two very good video podcasts from pretty high-profile websites who have to defend themselves.

Ashley EsquedaMobile Nations Monday Brief

 The Mobile Nations Monday Brief is in my opinion a very good video podcast if you want a short, sharp round-up about what’s been going on in the mobile world over the last seven days. It’s not meant to be detailed, it just a round-up. Now I think that Ashley presents this really well with a friendly and humorous approach. You may notice though, that the message on YouTube states that “all comments have been disabled for this video”, and there is a very good reason why. Whenever she posts a video, the comments are filled with “I didn’t hear a word she was saying I was looking elsewhere”, “well there’s my porn sorted for the day”. These comments would go on and on, page after page, totally ignoring her obvious talent at presenting. She’s had to defend herself on more than one occasion telling people that she wears on the video cast what she normally wears.

 PicoCurse Weekly Roundup

 Pico is someone who is new to video podcasting, and if you have a look at some of her earlier Curse round up’s you will see that she is improving week after week. Unfortunately some people don’t seem willing to give her a chance with this with comments such as “Oh you’re only on there because you’re cute”, “Curse only use her because she’s hot and will get more 14-year-old fanboy viewers”. Whilst there might be a tiny slither of truth to that, I personally think the main reason for her being put there is because she knows her gaming stuff, and is good at talking about. On the occasions where she does seem a bit “uncomfortable”, I think that’s probably more to do with the fact that she is in front of a lens, and not an indictment on her natural ability.

Saying all this though there are some people who post video’s just to grab the attention of the opposite sex and they are just as bad as the ones commenting. I won’t post any links here as personally I don’t believe that they deserve the time of day, but there are some video bloggers on YouTube who angle the camera down towards their chest, wear the lowest cut top they can find and then start “hi there, errrrm, what do I think of ermmmm”. They have no natural talent, the know this and are just using their physique to grab attention. People like this do not help those who have genuine talent and who have to put up with comments that quite frankly they shouldn’t have to put up with. I follow some on Twitter who have exceptional video presenting talent and I just would hate to see any of them put off due to others who just use the internet for one thing, and no, I’m not talking about a game of Monopoly.

Users of the internet already have a stigma that is incredibly hard to shake off. The stigma of “oh they all live in the basement, never seeing the outside world and wouldn’t know how to interact with another human in person if the situation occurred”. Now I know as well you do, that this isn’t true, however, making comments or performing actions as stated in the above post really do not help the cause. 

 At the end of the day, everyone should be treated with the same respect, but it’s a two-way, maybe even a three-way sword. For the community to earn respect than respect must be given but they must also respect themselves at the same time. I can’t see this attitude changing any time soon, but it’s something I wanted to get out there for a while, so here it is. Sorry for rambling but thank you for reading.

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Comments
  1. Alethiar says:

    Very well stated, and I’m glad someone is doing so.

    Like you, I have been witness to this sort of behaviour in guilds before, and find it completely unacceptable. Gender and appearance should never be an advantage or a disadvantage, regardless of the situation, yet it always seems to come down to that.

    I’m not familiar with the first vodcast you link, but I am painfully aware of the Curse vodcast. I watch Pico regularly, and agree that she seems to have a genuine enthusiasm for what she is speaking about. As you wrote, she is also growing as a presenter, after a very nervous start. I do try to watch the videos embedded in the mmo-champion page though, as every time I view the Youtube comments I feel angry and sickened. What her appearance and physical attributes have to do with what she is discussing, I don’t know.

    We live in an increasingly shallow and judgemental world, and I have no idea how to fix it, nor if it can be fixed. It just feels like the boors are winning 😦

  2. Morrigu says:

    As a girl playing WoW I’ve had my fair share of sexist bullshit. One guild I was in I was the only girl other than the GM’s wife. I talked on vent once, and one of the officers decided he found my voice and my English accent sexy and would not leave me alone, bugging me to talk so he could ‘enjoy’ my voice. Needless to say I didn’t stay in that guild long.

    But I have witnessed first hand girls use their gender to get things and play nasty games with male players. Not only is it a horrible thing to do it then enforces the stereotype some guys believe about girl gamers.

  3. […] A blog I liked to read posted an interesting take on sexism in games and over the internet.  It’s well worth a read, and I pretty much agree with so head over to Lashing of Liam and read The Abuse of Internet Anonymity – Part One – Treatment of the Opposite Sex. […]

  4. shoryl says:

    I’ve been the GM of two of the WoW guilds I’ve been a member of; and so I’ve seen a lot of both sides of the coin. I once even had a guild member who had a player (who is happily married) so riled up because she wouldn’t leave him alone that he got his wife on vent to tell her to get off his back – this was after he’d done all but report her to Blizzard (put her on his ignore list, etc).
    When I learned that his wife had had to step in, the troublesome player got g-kicked, but the damage had been done. Several of the younger male players in the guild thought I’d gone too far and left with her. I was sad that they felt they needed to go, but she was causing rifts in the guild, and would totally ignore any female player who didn’t support her “right to act like a girl”.

    I think the guys who left the guild were just as much of the problem, essentially supporting her actions and saying she was okay to do what she was doing.

  5. sony says:

    sony…

    […]The Abuse of Internet Anonymity – Part One – Treatment of the Opposite Sex « Lashings of Liam[…]…

  6. […] I wrote about how internet anonymity is being abused to the lack of respect that some show to the opposite sex. Today I would like to talk about the general abuse I see in two of the games that I have played […]

  7. riftzam says:

    riftzam…

    […]The Abuse of Internet Anonymity – Part One – Treatment of the Opposite Sex « Lashings of Liam[…]…

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