Women have it tough in games. While I've rabbled on in the past about taking responsibility for unnecessary comments and not moaning (Which I'll stand by, just by the way) this particular blog entry made me swell with pride for my gender in a way women may actually appreciate.
The entry begins with the writer speaking about how good he got at Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, and how he logged onto his wife's gamer profile to unlock some perks packs for her as she was struggling to do so. He may have been tooting his own horn a little untruthfully. That, however, was not the point and may have been the gospel truth. I'll not go into that thanks. Unlock some things he did, but little did he know that would also bring out some pimple-nosed trolls from their bridges. There's a surprise at the end too.
See, reading that particular post led me to think that women have it particularly hard in gaming. There seems to be a stigma epidemic among many of my own gender. I'll call it Maninism. It's the opponent of Feminism, and very often it leads to stupid comments about women deserving only to clean the house and stay in the kitchen, and well, other sexual in-appropriations. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have man haters who always have time to put men down (mentioning incorrect definitions of Patriarchy for start) and call them pigs, dogs and other animals. Both of these misled polar opposites tend to annoy me.
Now, let's go back to our hero in disguise. The game started with other guys talking about kicking the girl gamer because of it being a gold game (highest difficulty), others showing surprise at *shock horror* a girl playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. The match continued, and our hero started playing. It was of course assumed that on Gold difficulty that the poor girl playing wouldn't have anything of worth to contribute in such a high level game. Comments flew around, some of the players mocked and insulted, bringing out the usual dredgery of sexual statements - some told the "girl" playing to just quit. The game continued.
After the first round our hero was in the lead (using tactics shown to him by his wife). This led to the trolls bringing out more verbal clubs and sticks. At that point the writer decided not to assist said trolls, and only help the other remaining player who never said anything in the process. He basically left them in the dirt when they needed to be revived and the two players racked up scores higher than the remaining two maninists. At the end of the game, the player who said nothing spoke up, and it turned out to be a girl. That was the clincher right there, insults flew from the two cavemen and that's where The Man logged off.
What can we learn here? First, assumptions are stupid most times. Second, if you get beaten have the grace to say well done. In a co-operative environment like in Mass Effect 3, teamplay is rewarded where good players can help others be greater. Assuming that anyone is a rubbish player based on their avatar or gamertag is possibly one of the most development arresting moves any gamer can make.
Being a husband to a great wife who not only possesses better skills at certain things than I do, but also is far greater at empathy and motherhood than I ever was I'm reminded that we work together for a reason. That reason is to succeed. Ultimately in gaming as in life, accepting those with skills in areas better than our own we gain allies. Gaining an unlikely ally is often the reason we succeed. What better a situation to gain an unlikely ally than in a place where the one person you underestimated turned out to be the one better than you? We've seen it. There are great people out there, people who are actually willing to see things from a wider, more beautiful angle than others. I'm reminded once again that real people know patience and awareness, and exercise it in the worst times to get the best results.
Oh as for the two men who decided to mock based on gamertag: Discriminating by gender is not only unfair but also self-defeating. The sooner we realise this the sooner we're able to progress as a people. Let's spread the word and let the world know we won't tolerate this nonsense.
What are your thoughts? Bring out the comments!
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