Sexism has always been a part of gaming, and not in a good way.
Video games started as a largely male dominated hobby, and as such, the culture of gaming grew to be.. well, a male dominated culture. Let’s be honest, while there have always been female gamers, it’s really only been recently that females have become prevalent in the video game world, and as such, this poses some problems.
Recently there has been a ton of controversy surrounding the comments made on a show called Cross Assault, which features fighting games via livestream. The show, sponsored by Capcom, featured a mostly male roster, with the exception of several female players. While the controversy did not really boil over until mid season, I watched some of the earlier “episodes”, and it was pretty apparent the sexist comments and whatnot were going on since day one. Now, if the gamers involved were 13 years old, it wouldn’t be an issue, because really that’s what the comments sounded like, but when you get into your twenties, there are obviously some things that you should keep to yourself.
The main “antagonist”, who I won’t mention because I try to at least keep some semblance of professionalism, was at one point trying to guess the bra size of a female teammate, and then went so far as to say sexism was an integral part of fighting games when called on his comments by a twitch.tv community manager. Messed up as it is, I agree with him, sexism IS an integral part of gaming, it’s terrible, but it’s true. Thing is, there is a difference between acknowledging an unsavory part of the culture, and embracing it. You can shift to blame to Capcom, because lets be honest, none of this should have been anywhere near an officially sponsored gaming event, but that’s not really the issue at hand.
There are a ton of female gamers out there, but when do you ever hear females on voice chat, on PSN/XBL, or even acknowledging their gender? Female gamers are treated the equivalent of a racial minority in the 1920′s, which is pretty messed up. We all know it, we all allow it, and it persists even though it’s 2012. You can argue that gaming in general has a pretty volatile culture, and it definitely does, especially in competitive gaming, but do we really have to stoop so low as to alienate such a large percentage of gamers?
So next time you hear a female voice on Xbox, do the right thing, instead of screaming to see her tits, just throw a grenade and gun her down, like a civilized person.