While I think the editorial on Gamergate makes some very valuable points, I think the editorial ignores more important and critical issues within the movement. As a girl gamer myself (I play mostly Dota 2), I experience sexism on a nearly daily basis. Thus, I felt the need to comment and hopefully give some more insight on the issue.
First, the article states that the Gamergate problem is mainly due to gamers not accepting criticism, which I have a hard time believing. Criticizing games is a relatively common thing to do – if the story sucks or the characters aren’t believable, that’s usually commented upon, the same way that movies are criticized for those things.
Second, the article states that games aren’t accommodating to women – which I think is true, but I think it’s a secondary issue that we can lump with the first criticism. That is to say, I think both of these are due to something deeper, mainly, that men don’t view women as people when playing these games. When I have issues with guys in the games I play, it’s because they literally don’t know how to talk to women without being demeaning. They’ll call me “honey” or “sweetie” (and much worse things if they feel like it) because I’m not the same as them. Anita Sarkeesian has a very good video on women being consistently treated as objects within games, and I think that’s a reflection of this. Women aren’t people when it comes to video games – they’re an “other” that just happens to be there, and so, don’t get treated as they should.
To solve the Gamergate problem, I think we need to say yes, games should be more accommodating, but also, players to need to see us [women] as other players, not some foreign species.
Senior, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences