Harassment in gaming
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  1. #1
    Dusty Dragon
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    Harassment in gaming

    It is with a heavy heart I post this link.

    http://latining.tumblr.com/post/1415...rorism-problem

    I don't think that the gaming community is somehow immune to the ills of society at large. I don't have any real solution (except doing my part not to be part of the problem) but I think it's something we have to talk about.
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  2. #2
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    Wow. That's brutal. Not totally shocking, but brutal. Heck, even in somewhere as open minded as En World, all you have to do is start up a "chainmail bikinis" thread and you'll see all sorts of this kind of misogyny.
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  3. #3
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    I've been very fortunate. I'm a black guy in the hobby since '77, and I've only personally encountered one other gamer I'm pretty sure was racist, and AFAIK, I don't think the others in the game group realized it.

    OTOH, I've seen some of the behavior women get subjected to in comic and hobby shops. In one, I remember a woman mistakenly walking into the game store- it was right next door to a salon- and @5' into the place, she realized her error as the store went dead quiet and every guy (that I could see) in the store was staring at her. (I generated a similar reaction walking into a C&W bar, once.)

  4. #4
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    I was sorely tempted to post this link, so I'm glad someone did.

    Nerd culture is going through a social upheaval right now, with these sorts of things going on in the videogame fandoms (Gamergate), the SF/F writing community (Rabid/Sad puppies), this degree of aggressive, polarized social war going on. I'm sad to see it in the gaming community.

    Tabletop has always been a super niche fringe community. For gaming to continue, we can't afford to let such unpleasant behavior turn people away. And this sort of thing will snowball. One person saying they have this problem will contribute to someoen who hears about it deciding not to play. Gaing is one of those hobbies that seems to get sacrificed for ANY sort of RL reason (I call it the "activity of least commitment"); adding this to the list of things pushing people away hurts the game. And we all know how "no game is better than a bad game", with people who have Bad habits.

    If you see/hear people in your group, or around you in a public nerd space being toxic, you gotta say something. Don't invite those people back. The mere suggestion that "hey that kind of stuff isn't welcome here" is often all it takes to halt it in its tracks.
    Last edited by Rechan; Monday, 4th April, 2016 at 12:45 PM.

  5. #5
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    I saw this on Facebook in several places and while it generate some good discussion a lot was drowned out by the old " I have never seen it so it does not exist" that and the "where is the evidence".

    Even when several female gamer spoke up they were ignored. I will admit that the title can be a bit provocative and I understand that a lot of cis white guys are getting upset because they think all men are being blamed but that is not true.

    I have been in gaming and other geek fandoms since 1975. Here is my experience. At the 1976 Worldcon when I was 18 I was in an elevator in the Fountinblue hotel. A famous writer got on he had been drinking he started coming on to me and then he grabbed my crotch. I was shocked and didn't know how to respond. I told con security about it and was told yeah he gets like that after a few drinks just try and avoid him. During the 80s there was a few well known writers and editors that we knew were leeches they harassed female writers, editors and fans. Basically how the con staff handled it was to warn us to watch out for it. Basically these guys were allowed to get away with it and the onus for protecting ourselves was placed on us.

    I have to say now many cons are finally taking a stance against harassment of any kind and it has been openly acknowledged as a problem at least with many literary cons run by fans. I understand both Comic Con and Dragoncon claim to have anti harassment policies but good luck getting them enforced. A friend of mine two years ago took her 13 year old daughter to a large run for profit con in Miami she is a comic geek and so his her daughter. Her daughter dressed up as Supergirl not the micro mini crop top of the comic but the version from the older comics. When she bent over to take a drink some creep fondled her. Her mom complained to security and it was dismissed two things were said one that it was all the cosplaying girls dressing like sluts who were getting the guys riled up and secondly that her daughter should have been more careful. I guess the message is if you dare to bend over to take a drink you are asking for it. They have not been back to any con since.

    In the 1980s I stopped playing DnD one reason because the games I was finding was filled with socially maladjusted guys. My one experience playing in a game store turned me off that. The DM had us captured and since I was the only female PC he had my character raped and he went into graphic descriptions of what was happening to my character. I asked him to stop that it was making me uncomfortable. We had words and I started to cry which I do when I get really angry he stated mocking me. Several of the other players were very uncomfortable and got up and left. A couple of the other players took the DM side and said I was being over sensitive it was only game. The game broke up and the DM complained to the store owner that I had caused drama and disrupted his game so I was one that was banned.

    There was so much subtle sexism from DMs enforcing strength caps on female PCs to coming up with some off the wall house rules to handle realism of having a female PC. I remember one DM who had kept track of female PCs cycles because it was important to know if they were menstruating because that made them have minuses to will saves but hey we were allowed to rage.

    If you tried to speak out about it then you were told you were over sensitive or causing drama. So as a busy mom of a young child I dropped gaming for my other geek hobbies. I did start playing again in the late 80s but DnD I played Hero or Vampire the Masquerade. When I started playing DnD again with some trepidation I found a group that still has member I play with today that was in mid 90s.

    Since I don't play in stores or cons I can't speak about what happens there from personal experience but I have read other women gamers saying that harassment sometimes still happens.

    I have played with a lot of great guys since the 90s. My son's gaming group has female players in it. So I know that not all male gamers are sexist jerks. I also don't have any trouble walking into a game store now but then I am also 58 and over weight so I am not really a target for it. It would be like harassing your mother.

    I do think that all of us should do what we can to make our hobby inviting to anyone who wants to play.

  6. #6
    The things she describes are horrible, and anyone who was there for those incidents who knowingly allowed them, ignored them, or refused to back her up are to blame, too.

    I have a problem with this one statement, though:

    >Men can shout all they like that #notallmen
    >harass women, but as long as gamers defend
    >their bigoted behaviour as a “sense of humour”
    >(implying that women who don’t like being groped
    >are somehow at fault), #allmen are complicit
    >in the harassment.

    All men are not gamers. Not all gamers defend the type of behavior she talks about, even when the bad guy in the scenario tries to claim it was a joke. Therefore, not all men are complicit in the harrassment. I hope she just worded that poorly.
    Last edited by pickin_grinnin; Monday, 4th April, 2016 at 12:55 PM.
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  7. #7
    Dusty Dragon
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    By saying "not all men" you're acting defensively, and trying to shift the conversation away from the problem. It doesn't help.
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  8. #8
    No, I was just pointing out the inherent problem with making a sweeping generalization about an entire gender in an article which is pointing out the serious effects of sexism and gender discrimination. That's the type of thing that can weaken a strong article. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt by assuming that it was just poor wording on her part.
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  9. #9
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    Her approach to the issue of "not all men" is flawed. That is largely beside the point, but perhaps we should quickly address it so we can move on.

    The defensive "not all men" stance is understandable - when someone says, "men do this" it does seem a pretty sweeping statement. It *reads* like stereotyping, and nobody likes to be stereotyped. Unfortunately, the defensive reaction does redirect the conversation to the innocence of some men, rather than on the actual problem.

    So, there's a bit of a flaw on both sides - the generalized statement of, "men do this," is not as well-formed as it might be, and the response misses the actual point. The most constructive form of the conversation (at least the most that we can usually hope for) should go like this:

    "Men harass women."
    "Well, not *all* men harass women..."
    "Okay, that is true. But *enough* men do it that there's a serious problem. Can we discuss that serious problem, please? I'm hoping you can be part of the solution."

    Because, ultimately, that *is* the point. Men who *don't* harass women are in a position to apply peer pressure to help stop this behavior.

    So, having noted this typical flaw in the argument, can we talk about the serious problem, please?
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  10. #10
    Dusty Dragon
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    Thank you @Umbran

    So... what can we do, as individual gamers? Well... I know this part:

    1: don't be a creep/harasser/rapist

    2: Try to let go of sexist ideas, and specifically the notion that RPGs is a "guy thing". When I was young I just assumed that RPGs were a guy thing, same way GI-JOEs were a guy things and dolls a girl thing. (And yes, GI-JOEs *are* little dolls...). There is absolutely no reason why women shouldn't be about 50% of pen and paper RPG gamers. None.

    3: Listen to women. If a woman tells you "I feel this art is demeaning" don't argue with her. If you don't get it, ask her why (and TONE of voice is important here people). As a white guy, I don't get to decide if using the N word is offensive, and I don't get to decide if a piece of art is offensive to women. And if a woman tells you she's been harassed or worse, for the love of god do something.

    4: If another guy does or says something creepy, call them out on it, EVEN if there are no women present. When a rapist makes a rape joke around other guys, he's gauging the audience.

    But appart from that... I don't know?
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