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atillo

Let's all play nice (men only)

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Good article by David Hollingworth on the stupidity of the casual homophobic insult and why it should stop. However the credibility of Atomic as preacher of inclusive gaming is a little tarnished by the all male line up of contributors and editorial staff. Despite the shifting overall gender balance in gaming it is still a fact that any player that is discovered to be female on many public servers is harassed incessantly. Any that dare to complain in public are then bombarded with false equivalencies along the lines of "I was once called a camper, that's exactly the same, HTFU feminazi". The lack of any ongoing female voice in a major magazine like Atomic only perpetuates that boys club mentality.

 

If you can dedicate 8 pages to defending the gay community from idiots maybe we can get back at least one page a month for 50% of both the world's population and its gaming subset.

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Atillo, I completely understand your position. In fact, we had a female columnist for many issues - you may remember Zara who wrote 'Geek Chic'. She talked about issues such as you mention, before her duties at PCA became increased.

 

The all-male lineup is not intentional; there are not as many female tech journos, and the few that are in the industry aren't necessarily interested in gaming and computer hardware.

 

We're more than happy to publish content by female writers, it's finding the writers that is our biggest challenge :) If a person believes strongly in any issue (as it's clear you do) and feel they can write a feature-length piece on it, please send either me or David an email explaining subject and required artwork. Some donate the features to us for free, others negotiate payment with David.

 

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Page/Contact.aspx

 

But like I've already said, we're more than happy to cover both sexes.

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we're more than happy to cover both sexes.

So, you bigot, you ADMIT you are biased against us transgenders!

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you may remember Zara who wrote 'Geek Chic'.

..and Kate Inabinet before her.

 

I reckon the current ratio has more to do with the pool of available writers than any imaginary bias towards men.

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On the one hand, I agree that there is at least a perception of numeric gender inequality in IT/gaming/geek circles. Speaking from personal experience only, I've been a personal geek since I was a kid and a professional geek for about 10 years or so, and I've always been noticably outnumbered by males (to the extent that I've never worked with a female in IT).

 

But this isn't new to me - I grew up as the tomboy daughter of an electrician and as such, I grew up learning how to tinker with electronics. In my circle of friends, I was the only girl who knew anything about electronics, soldering or power tools. Fast forward to a career in IT and I'm still the minority in the circles I travel in (systems administration).

 

On the other hand, however, I'd have to say that my experience of IT isn't all that different from that of a male. I've had the odd remark here and there but nobody really treats me any differently because I'm a female.

 

In fact, personally I tend to be somewhat bemused by the fuss over gender in IT because it's never been much of an issue for me (I've never made it an issue). As far as writers/contributors to Atomic go, I'd be skeptical, even perhaps a little stand-offish, about female-centric articles and whatnot. However, a female writer or contributor to Atomic probably wouldn't hurt if one were available.

 

Given that David has, in the past, been silly enough to let me contribute something to the magazine, I feel confident that he holds no gender bias. So it seems to me that the issue might be more one of availability or application, rather than a bias. And in that regard, I personally think that a female contributor just for the sake of having a female contributor would be... I don't know, it seems kinda pointless to me.

 

Fffffffff... I use a lot of words to say not much at all.

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What would you know, your just a women. Back to the kitchen with ya. :P

 

/runs.

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Well, as Elven has said, she's written for us, and our prime World of Warcraft correspondent, who I recently sent over to the US for a preview, is another female writer, Liz Skuthorpe.

 

And while it's maybe not quite the voice you're looking for, our Advertising Manager is a woman, as are our two Production Managers, and a number of other staff, all who do have a voice in the direction of the magazine. And we've even hosted all-female games nights, which the aforementioned Kate hosted, though that was a few years ago now.

 

That said, I would and always have welcomed more female writers :) In fact, atillo, if you've taken the time to post, perhaps you're keen...

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Ummm, atillo perhaps wouldn't be the kind of voice he's posting about given he is male.

 

Elven, I have also been in IT for over a decade and I too have rarely worked with other women in IT (there was only 1 I can think of off the top of my head and that was a very long time ago). I have been hit with the discrimination, even losing jobs because of it so I know first hand that it does happen.

 

But I don't believe that is what atillo is talking about.

 

One of the things that was mentioned in the homophobia article was the use of "that's ghey" over voice chat on servers. I agree it's a perjorative term and against gay people. In fact, I don't disagree with any of David's article.

 

What is being pointed out here is that women are equally (actually more so) badly treated on many gaming servers. For them, it's not just a comment or a "name" here and there, some are actually hounded off the server by constant abuse as soon as it becomes known they are female.

 

There is no regular contributions in atomic by a female writer. While it's great that Elven has written a bit, and the WOW person is female, that's not exactly a regular piece such as the 3 or 4 different men (Ash, Dan etc etc) and 1 (generally considered :P) male editor all have each and every month.

 

While I agree it's hard to get women writers, you have said that they are there and you know of some.

 

So how about giving them a regular spot?

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Is tokenism really worth reaching for?

 

Or, more importantly, what did that 'whore write that got into the mag? : o

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I should pay attention more!

 

I also forgot Ewa, who did production, wrote for the site, and the mag. She's so gonna kill me...

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This is why it's an interesting subject to me - on the one hand, yes of course I agree there is/can be a problem with gender in gaming circle (the odd comment "here and there" I referred to earlier was in a professional capacity, to illustrate why I find tokenism a little off-putting; my apologies for being unclear).

 

Awareness is one of the first steps towards effecting change... so in that light, it seems logical that articles, writers, contributors, or other miscellany that can raise the profile of females (particularly in gaming) could help. But then...

Is tokenism really worth reaching for?

... I keep bumping up against this and it gives me pause, because tokenism really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And I find myself questioning the relevance and usefulness of token gestures and I end up back at the start, with no answers.

 

So I'm in two minds about this. I tend to err on the side of, well, if a contributor happens to be female, then great. But female/s as a token gesture? mmm, initially that idea is a bit off-putting to me, even if it's for a long-term good cause. I don't quite know how to go about addressing the issues surrounding gender inequality in gaming.

 

Or, more importantly, what did that 'whore write that got into the mag? : o

Getting down and dirty with Geralt in a Witcher review, of course :-) Geez, someone hasn't been paying attention to my fantasies ramblings of late :-p

 

edit: spelling

Edited by elvenwhore

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Personally I think anyone who says a woman should get a job over a man because she's a woman, is just as bad as a man denying work to a woman for the same reason.

 

Perhaps the reason there are very few woman tech (or even game) writers, is because there are very few interested enough in the subject matter to pursue it as a career. I think it would be a safe bet to say that the majority of female gamers play on a console or portable device, it's just not our audience. Though, I for one, can not see David or anyone else here at Haymarket turning down a female contributor for any other reason than them asking for too much money for the article, or their content was not right for the magazine - the very same reasons a man would be denied work.

 

The folks over here are awfully accepting and friendly, I'm a newby in the office and everyone is very gracious and courteous. I can't see David or anyone else having a bigoted attitude.

 

As for harassment in games, I can't say I've seen much more than "shouldn't you be in the kitchen?" on the odd occasion. Not sure I've seen it escalate much past that, what games are you playing out of interest?

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Sorry, I really REALLY disagree that most women play on consoles.

 

The reason you don't see them on servers is because of what they cop when it becomes known they are female.

 

The kinds of games I'm talking about are the ones that are in the "male genre". Battlefield, CS, COD etc. Manly gun games. Games overrun by testosterone laden adrenalin.

 

Sure, women in WOW are accepted. Women in some games are reasonably commonplace. Just not when boys are playing with what they consider to be THEIR toys. And men continue to see these games as the "soft option".

 

They aren't REAL gamers.

Edited by Chaos.Lady

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Sorry, I guess I have no idea (sincere apology). From my experience it just seems like most people I end up communicating with online are male, while any female friends of mine I talk to about gaming would only play their Game Boy DS, Nintendo Wii, Xbox or single player PC games like The Sims. Could just be I have a very out-of-touch group of female friends who play games at least once a month (I'm only talking 4 or 5 girls here), but I always assumed that most of the players on games like CSS, COD and Battlefield were male from 14-20, while games like WoW were pretty much 50-50 with ages from 9-90.

 

Hell, don't get me wrong, I have no beef with female gamers. My Girlfriend is a gamer and we met 5 years ago online playing WoW (in before judgmental comments). More power to female gamers and all that, but I honestly didn't think the problem was this big, from my experience the few times I've seen anything mentioned is little more than "go back to the kitchen". I've had much more hateful shit spoken to me, and I'm sure many women have experienced much worse still, but there is a reason many developers have added an /ignore or /mute function in their games. I have over 500 people ignored on Heroes of Newerth, It's the only way you can play that game, by ignoring the ragers, and communicating with the human beings.

 

At risk of sounding ignorant, is this issue really that big? Perhaps a lot of female gamers just let it get to them a little more than they should? After all, the other end of this abuse is likely a 15 year old, sexually frustrated virgin (if you are playing online FPS/DoTA clones), perhaps that should be remember before logging off in tears? As mentioned, if someone starts harassing me because I did something they didn't like in game (kill them, get them killed, steal their kill etc) I just /ignore. if they talk about what happened I'm more than happy to interact with them as a civil human being, but it's really not all that hard to simply ignore someone online.

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At risk of sounding ignorant, is this issue really that big? Perhaps a lot of female gamers just let it get to them a little more than they should? After all, the other end of this abuse is likely a 13 year old virgin (if you are playing online FPS/DoTA clones), perhaps that should be remember before logging off in tears? As mentioned, if someone starts harassing me because I did something they didn't like in game (kill them, get them killed, steal their kill etc) I just /ignore. if they talk about what happened I'm more than happy to interact with them as a civil human being, but it's really not all that hard to simply ignore someone online.

But here is exactly the point.

 

Hawkeye's article (which I again say I agree with wholeheartedly) isn't about a "big" issue if this is the case. So, people toss around the word "gay" sometimes. Should it get to gay people? Being called "ya big girl" on a server. Should it get to women playing?

 

The fact that a. many people don't know that articles are written by women b. they aren't actually trying to put across a woman POV is part of the issue. It seems like women are "staying quiet". Stay with the "soft" not quite really real games and pretend they don't play with guns. And then pretend that it doesn't get to them that many (if not most) male gamers believe that women don't play games.

 

Is that what the gay people should do too?

 

Tell me MR straight white male - do sticks and stones break your bones and not dull your enjoyment of a past-time too?

 

 

I am backing the hell away from Unco...

Wow, smart smart man... :D

Edited by Chaos.Lady

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Seriously though, it's an issue of perspective.

 

From one side, it may appear to be a minor problem, but for a female gamer it can be just one more avenue for copping flack. Taken as part of an at times shitty whole, issues of gender inequality, like my own feelings about perceived homophobia, are all the more hurtful and impactful coming via an avenue where one might normally be looking for a timeout.

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Well, 10 years ago I could routinely be found playing in Telstra ladders in my Battlefield clan (Clan Valhalla). I used to play vanilla beef, Vietnam and MC online, as well as attending LAN functions a couple of times a year. Consoles, schmonsoles :-p Chaos is right, some people don't like girls playing with what they see as boys toys. I was heckled but the question is, was I heckled because of my gender, or was it simply a convenient identifier that was used to heckle? I'll never know :-)

 

I copped gender heckling just as much as the next person copped it for being young, or living at home, or being a virgin, or for fucking someone's mother, or for being a QLDer, or... but that said, I didn't always join random general servers so I freely admit my perspective could be well skewed. s/sledging/taunting/heckling as you wish.

 

So yeah, I guess we need to be clear on what the actual problem is, first, before a solution can come. Chaos and atillo assert that there is definitely a problem, and I and it seems unco_tomato seem to be unclear on how deep the problem actually runs. I'm happy to defer to others on this because it's been a few years since I routinely played games online (4-5 times per week).

 

I'll have to get me to some gaming servers, methinks :-) For research purposes, of course :-)

Edited by elvenwhore

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I still can't believe the blood, sweat and tears involved in getting that fracking lock to sit right.

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Tell me MR straight white male - do sticks and stones break your bones and not dull your enjoyment of a past-time too?

I can see why constant harassment would become tiresome and ruin gaming for women, but my question wasn't meant to get you into a fit of rage, it was a genuine question. I didn't know the issue was that prevalent.

 

 

Sorry, I'll stay out of the discussion now as I clearly have no idea what the online community is like on whatever game it is you are playing.

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