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higgyC responded to Elfbarf's comment in
2 Years ago
How the deck is stacked against women in e-sportsHow the deck is stacked against women in e-sports
Elfbarf Avatar
I don't think you can really claim that sexism/discrimination is a huge factor in competitive games without first looking at the population data for them.

According to this info-graphic, the League of Legends playerbase is 90% male, and only 10% female. While this data was taken from 2012, I doubt it has changed significantly, though I can't find a more recent source with such information.

Dota 2 is even worse, with the playerbase being *96%* male and only 4% female.

Even SC2, which has had a few famous female players over the years is still 94% male. Of those female players, only Scarlett and ToSsGirL have ever defeated male opponents in competition (to my knowledge).

Professional players are an incredibly small minority in games like Dota, CS, and League, given that millions of people actively play the games, yet only a few hundred (realistically even less) will ever really become known at all in the competitive scene.

As far as harassment goes, it's definitely an issue, though to claim it exclusively targets women (or even targets them significantly more) just isn't accurate. Like many of my friends, I've been playing online games for the majority of the time that they've really existed. Trash talking has always existed, and if you do anything to stand out (and sometimes even if you don't), chances are you'll be a target at some point. Doing well in a game? Poorly skilled ragers will give you crap. Someone is dominating you? There's a good chance they'll be a cocky asshole. Developers have tried time and time again to find a solution to it, but ultimately, I just don't think it's possible without seriously limiting communication in games. No matter how much effort is put into improving an online gaming community, it will never become even remotely close to a "safe space" without putting up serious barriers to entry/having extremely strict moderation (which isn't realistic, reasonable, or possible).

Realistically, the easiest (and really, the only way) to overcome harassment in online games is to simply learn to ignore it. Some random asshole on CoD describing what they want to do to your mother just can't bother you, or you're simply letting them win. Your best bet is to either not let it get to you (and ignore it), or to simply mute/block them and move on.

The "fake geek girl" stereotype is an issue, though it's something that is fading and will continue to over time. Historically, video games have been a hobby that have catered primarily to men and boys as they have been (and continue to be) the majority of core video game players. Sure, you can point to statistics that show roughly equal gender representation of gamers, but those statistics include my mother as a gamer because she solves crosswords on her iPhone. In the past, many people viewed video games (outside of say, sports games and GTA) as something for lonely nerds, and while that stigma has definitely faded significantly in recent years, a lot of guys are (understandably) a bit resentful due to the harassment they've received in real life for their hobbies. When you're used to women dismissing you for your hobby, it's very easy to want to dismiss them for wanting to enter it. Is it wrong? Definitely, but once again, this is something that you can't simply fix overnight.Reply
higgyC Avatar

You raise some of the important points in this discussion, but I don't feel like the data upholds your conclusions.

The data taken from each of the games in that list that could be considered an eSport (with the exception of Riot's in-house monitoring of the LoL community) is taken from surveys of a small sample size with major flaws in their methodology. The LoL one, as you pointed out, is a dated source, and yes, though the female community isn't likely to have superceded the male in the past 3 years, it has grown massively.

Female representation, both on-screen at events and in the pro scene, should be aspirational, not reactionary. Meaning that it shouldn't only be justifiable to ask these questions once populations are approaching 50/50 splits.

Also, it's true that harassment is a constant online, and it's reasonable to expect flaming when you make a mistake. But the baseless and often far more abusive nature of it whenever a female name/voice is the target is way beyond reasonable. And yes, the solution isn't restricting comms, it should be fostering respect or some shred of empathy.

You're right that this isn't something to be fixed overnight, but no-one decided not to start building Rome because it would take more than a day.

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