Gender Disparity In Online Gaming

1545 Words 7 Pages
As a child I can remember sitting on the floor in my living room playing video games with my three best friends. Regardless of the game none of us cared whether we were “button smashing,” by pressing random buttons on the controller in hopes of getting a kill, or playing seriously. To us we were just having a good time. However, as we made the gradual shift towards online gaming, we became exposed to the toxicity that thrived there. The level of which the environment is unwelcoming, harmful, or poisonous is not something we had encountered before. Nor were the people that create this atmosphere who are often referred to as “toxic” players. These players use abusive and vulgar language which extend to their behavior (See Appendix 1). Upon my …show more content…
Gender disparity and stereotypes are only a small portion of toxicity while other factors include the platform of the game, toxic players, and the construction of the game. Scholars and gaming icons such as Ratan, Rosen, Dinwiddie, and Chen skirt around the idea of toxicity in their arguments. They discuss harassment, discrimination and disparity, yet they fail to mention that all these things are due to the toxicity in games. Today we are seeing outrageous occurrences and responses to the toxicity in gaming communities such as the documentary GTFO (Dinwiddie, Rosen) (See Appendix 2). The toxic atmosphere results to negative actions such as threats of rape, beatings, bombings, brain damage, and even suicide. However, we must remember that the whole community is not responsible for the actions or repercussions of toxic players. Toxicity has caused many negative factors in gaming: gender disparity, harassment, and discrimination. Yet, the scary part of it all is that it only takes one person to enable a toxic environment. Due to this phenomena, toxicity becomes a major predicament in gaming due to its effects, but also how easily it can be …show more content…
When I first started researching the topic, I thought the main cause was going to be the gender disparity found by many scholars and major icons. Assistant Professor Ratan, Huffington Post Writer Rosen, and Fangirl Writer Dinwiddie all mentioned the harassment in video games, the gender stereotypes, and the gender disparity. However, not once in any of their articles did I ever read the word toxicity. Ratan proved the gender disparity through two experiments which tested the qualitative and quantitative sides of gender disparity in League of Legends. He mentioned that most of the stereotypes and differences such as playing with a male counterpart, lower skill level, and other such theories became true through his results (Ratan). Ratan’s main belief was that the gap was caused by the Stereotype Threat Theory: a theory which states that when a specific group becomes exposed to negative stereotypes about themselves, they have an increased risk of fulfilling those stereotypes. However, what Ratan didn’t mention was that females were hearing these stereotypes because of the toxicity of the community. Rosen and Dinwiddie made the same mistake as they talked about female discrimination and its effects on the players, but never stated that the source of these comments and actions were from toxic

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