So I read this article by Caitlin Dewey on the Washington Post (don’t worry, it’s an archive link, I’m not driving monetary traffic to that site for this garbage) and it quite literally made my blood pressure go up by the end. Not because it tries to paint male gamers as sexist based on a study of a very tiny segment of our community, people have been calling gamers names, and generally vilifying gamers for as long as I’ve been a gamer, especially the last year or so.
Of course the study itself, done by someone I have since come to remember, has a very specific agenda in mind and seems to have used the smallest sampling size possible to prove his conclusions. It’s relatively benign and at least honest enough to say there are more questions. It also admits some faults. The sample size is too small to really show much, except a snapshot of one community on one system. Us gamers (because I really doubt that the people who did the study, or Caitlin are avid gamers) know that each community that gathers around a game, console, PC, or franchise is different. Sometimes wildly different. It also did not have any interaction between their female test voice and other female players, so there is no way to conclude the behavior that the study highlights is a male only trait in gaming. At least I couldn’t find anything in the study that spouts off about all gamers being this way, so that’s a plus. I don’t understand all of the math, and hoping to have someone that does look into it and possibly give us their analysis for a follow up.
Anyway, I was so pissed off by this last paragraph that I had to get my thoughts down in a recording and share it with you…
Until then, ladies, Facebook and Pinterest are your friends! Those are, for better or worse, two of the online spaces where this type of sex-ratio imbalance isn’t much of a problem: Women on both sites solidly outnumber men.
I don’t know about you but the last time I checked telling women to ‘stay in their place’ is never all that cool. If a guy had written this article…well you can imagine the backlash. So anyway, here’s my thoughts. It’s rough, I recorded on the fly and just spoke my mind after reading both articles again. I ramble a bit, sorry for that, but the point, in the end, is the media needs to stop pushing this fear narrative when it comes to women in gaming. They need to stop pushing women out by making them think it’s dangerous, or harmful. So, here it is.
**Update** Alternate YouTube link for this podcast.
When I originally did this recording for this article, I had some concerns about the study cited in the Washington Post article but I didn’t have the knowledge to really break down and analyze the study. I said someone smarter than me would probably come along and break it down much better than I ever could, and several people have. One of the best ones I’ve found I wanted to share below, with the videographer’s permission of course. So for further analysis of the study it self, please take some time to listen to the ‘cast below.