It is questioned on rather or not an online gaming community can be considered a ‘real community.’ The answer to this question is yes; an online gaming community can have similar friendships and closeness as a physical community. An example of this can be seen in this article by the Chico Enterprise Record. It tells the story of a woman named Charlanne Corbin who had recently passed away and her two seperate lives both as a beloved bus driver named ‘Popcorn’ and as an avid online gamer. She was deeply loved by both communities.
While Charlanne was greatly accepted by her online gaming community, most female online gamers don’t get the same treatment. While insults and trash talking are fairly normal for an online gaming community and ‘trolls,’ or internet bullies, are everywhere and can be easily ignored, the treatment that female gamers get goes far beyond that. In fact, they are verbally and sexually harassed daily because they are female and like to play games.
For whatever reason, there is still this silly notion that females don’t like to play video games when, in fact, there are more female gamers than ever. This article from the New York Times entitled “In Virtual Play, Sex Harassment Is All Too Real,” states that 47 percent of gamers are female. the article goes on to talk about women who have experienced sexual harassment and how it is just now getting attention. One of the women in the article named Miranda Pakozdi was repeatedly asked about her love life, her bra size, and was even asked to take her shirt off.
A reason why this harassment happens is because it goes with the stereotype that was stated before. That girls don’t like to play videos and the one that are playing online are only doing it for attention. This one of the reasons why female gamers are repeatedly asked for sex and even stalked not only online, but also in person.
And, if you think that this harassment only happens once in awhile, think again. If you look at this blog called Fat, Ugly, or Slutty, you can see that this is a daily thing and it happens to many online female gamers.
To conclude, there needs to be more awareness that this does happen and that it’s not just harmless taunts that you see in everyday. It is plain harassment and it needs to stop. Online male gamers need to know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. But, the question is, how do you get through to them when the fact is that most of them are immature and won’t listen to anyone? Maybe more awareness will help or maybe it should go as far as arresting them because this can be considered a crime. Whatever needs to be done, it needs to be done!