The worse you are at games, the more likely you are to be hostile to women, says one study

counter strike global offensive intel extreme masters

If you're a man who is crap at games, like me, then you are significantly more likely to be a dick to any women who rock up and start playing games alongside you. That's according to a study published on PLOS ONE that sought to test the hypothesis that "female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status."

By monitoring player behaviour in Halo 3, the study finds that low performing players responded aggressively towards female-voiced teammates, while reacting submissively towards male-voiced teammates in identical scenarios.

The study aims to understand better the sexist behaviour that arises when women enter typically male-dominated arenas, such as most online videogames.

Specifically, it wants a clearer understanding of why only a subset of men respond aggressively towards women in these situations. By tracking positive and negative comments towards teammates, as well as the performance of those who were doing the commenting, the study shows that the worst players were more likely to be the biggest assholes.

Here's the critical part of their findings.

"We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena."

The authors also propose an argument as to why the higher-skilled players are behaving nicely to women. Besides perhaps just being decent, normal people.

"As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player’s attention."

You can read the full text of the study here.

War Thunder
Sign in to Commentlogin to comment
st33d avatar*sigh* avatarKinth! avatarTsunamiWombat avatarDog Pants avatarCordovan Splotch avatar+2
st33d Avatar
5
1 Year ago

Whilst this is amusing news, a bit of caution: I couldn't find mention of a control group to contrast their findings - they started with this hypothesis and set out to prove it. And they only tested one game, Halo 3.

I pretty sure that boys can be utter choads online, I'm a bit disappointed they didn't come up with a more airtight argument.

5
*sigh* Avatar
231
1 Year ago

Xbox, well theres your problem. 12yr olds getting stomped by someone with girl cooties.

4
TsunamiWombat Avatar
594
1 Year ago

I want this to be true so, so hard.

3
Kinth! Avatar
192
1 Year ago

"The more likely you are to be hostile anyone online"

Fixed that for you. The idea that it only makes you more hostile to women is daft. Go spend an hour or two in the bottom brackets of LoL and you will soon find that these people are hostile to everyone unless they are winning.

2
memnarch Avatar
56
1 Year ago

While it's true that bads gonna bad;

"In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario."

Hostility happens everywhere, it's true, but happens overridingly to women to the point where they need to avoid using voice in multiplayer at all to stop the deluge.

1
Dog Pants Avatar
1388
1 Year ago

I'm crap at games. I demanded my wife tell me if I'm hostile towards women and she insisted I wasn't.

.

Ahem. I think there's maybe a caveat to that, in that it's poor players who think they're better than they are. I know lots of crap players (myself included - the first part of my opening paragraph is true, obviously the second isn't) and most are self-deprecating and friendly because they have a relaxed approach. Having said that, I don't associate with players who get angry and abusive, so that's not surprising.

1
memnarch Avatar
56
1 Year ago

it's more that "if you treat women like shit online, you are more likely to suck" rather than "if you suck you are more likely to treat women like shit"

1
Dog Pants Avatar
1388
1 Year ago

Okay yeah, I see the distinction. There's a certain irony to that.

1
Cordovan Splotch Avatar
2
1 Year ago

This comment has been deleted by a moderator.

1
Cordovan Splotch Avatar
2
1 Year ago

"...given that there is a general bias in game preferences between the sexes [39], first-person shooters largely remain male-biased communities not unlike some male dominated work and study environments (e.g., the technology sector, engineering, the mining industry) where women experience greater frequencies of sexist behaviour. The idea that videogames may be reinforcing such gender segregation as the norm for many teenagers is troubling given the fact that a significant proportion of them are gamers. Such ideas have the potential to spill over in real-life interactions [40] and promote socially unacceptable behaviours such as sexism."

Hoooooooo boy.

"It's problematic that kids of different genders choose to spend their time on different things."

I wonder how they'd be most likely to continue that particular argument.

By saying girls should be made to partake in more masculine activities, that bays should be made to partake in more feminine activities, or a combination of both.

Since doing nothing would be tantamount to promoting "socially unacceptable behaviors".

As far as I could tell from reading through the study, the people tasked with judging whether a comment was positive, negative or neutral all knew whether the experimental player was presented as male or female, which can easily colour their perception of the comments to be judged.

But yeah, that little bit at the end about games enforcing gender segregation shows me pretty clearly that there was an ideological underpinning agenda informing the study.

1
memnarch Avatar
56
1 Year ago

Actually friend the idea that a given game can be masculine or feminine is largely based on it's marketing, which until relatively recently in the history of games was gender neutral.

Now given that an increasing number of women ARE playing first person shooters in spite of the fact they are targeted solely at a subset of men is interesting enough in itself (and reinforces the idea that games don't have a gender preference regardless of how they are marketed).

No-one is suggesting anyone be 'made' to do anything other than not make assumptions based on gender.

"It's problematic that kids of different genders choose to spend their time on different things."

No it's problematic that segregation by gender is encouraged and in some cases enforced even when an increasing amount of scientific consensus on the topic suggests this isn't an in-born behavior but social conditioning as a result of years of being told certain things are for certain genders.

1
Flappers Avatar
289
1 Year ago

And what age group was this?

I don't see the players age in their data sheet.... this is quite a massive variable.

1