Video games have this innate ability to reach out to anyone and anywhere. We are able to play with the young kids that make us loose faith in the ESRB rating system, and the older parents that just want to escape for a short time. Video games are all inclusive and share a common goal; to escape the real, if only for a little while. To be a hero and save the day, even if you are just a child.
Though this medium allows all to join, this does mean that some of the worst are among us.
Recently, I stumbled across this story of a fellow gamer who is letting her story be known. She is a streamer of a channel called Spawntaneous Gaming and she has been cataloging some of the worst in the gaming community.
I have to admit that I have been ignorant to the fact that women play games on the same levels that men do. I have personally written college papers on the subject, which all the research points to the fact that women are a growing demographic in the gaming community. Eventually, if the numbers continue to rise, they may actually surpass males. However, this point has always seemed odd to me.
I am one of the few people in this world who will actually use their microphone when gaming online, especially when it comes to multiplayer shooters. I am a true believer in communication when it comes to tactical shooters. The reason I have been ignorant to the growing number of female players is because I have talked to a woman online maybe twice. It is so rare that it often catches me off guard and it takes me a second to get back into the rhythm. Although I did the research, I always felt like they were inflated numbers and never gave it a second thought.
All of this changed when I watched Spawntaneous Gaming’s videos and I saw some the most repugnant garbage being spewed. The cowardly actions of anonymous players made me cringe as I listened to one person in particular threaten to rape and kill her because he felt like she was the cause of them loosing the match. If he wasn’t committing verbal crimes, he was badgering her incessantly about her Snap Chat and wanting her to give out her information so that he could follow her.
If you watch these videos, which I recommend everyone do in order to just get a better understanding of what is happening, you will see the eventual frustration and lack of enthusiasm just wash over her after putting up with this ridiculousness. She starts off by being supportive and funny, and eventually becomes silent and irritated, of which I completely understand.
Perhaps my own ignorance of women in the community are based on these repugnant people causing women to turn off their mics. I know that these are only words, but it’s still not an excuse. As fans of video games and the community that it brings, no one should have to put up with threats and bigotry. Everyone deserves to have fun and enjoy their place in the video games we play.
I know that things won’t change over night. It will take getting rid of the stupid people in order to make things better and reporting vile people online needs to be better. Simply sharing the video of what these people are going through might open someone else’s eyes, but it could also cause people to start throwing around false claims in order to make themselves feel like they aren’t the problem.
When I heard of Spawntaneous Gaming, I shared her video to Facebook mainly out of disbelief and I ended up getting comments that I never expected.
This is the reason that I can’t be hopeful for any change any time soon. My wife loves to play games, but she only use the chat when playing with me or people she knows because she doesn’t trust other people. I had known this about her for the past 10 years, but it only recently dawned on me that it could be because she doesn’t want to be heckled by some low IQ waste of space.
We are so afraid to actually take a look at ourselves. We are terrified of the notion that we might actually be hurting others and we are unwilling to change anything about ourselves. I’m in no way a saint, but I am trying to at least take a step back and think before I act. One day, when I have children, I would love for them to be as involved in gaming as I am, but I just pray that this stupidity ends and we can just take on the virtual monsters together.
I am going to leave all of the links to her various channels highlighted in her name on this post. I recommend that everyone watch her videos and support gamers like her that just want to communicate and have fun like the rest of us.
Please be respectful, even in defeat.
And as always…thanks for reading!