I follow a blog called Not In The Kitchen Anymore, this blog is dedicated to documenting the abuse one girl gamer, Jenny Hanniver, gets whilst playing video games on on-line video game services like Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network.
Most of the abuse could be considered just “trash talk”, in the gaming community this is what follows after you get a point over the other player or team (akin to “ha I just beat you”). But this trash talk can get really out of hand and inappropriate sometimes. For example, a common thing to say whilst trash talking is using the word rape in ways other than it’s literal sense. For example, you could be killed by an enemy player and then you would say “Oh man, did you see that? He just come out of nowhere and raped me.”
And as you can probably see, this could cause offence to a wide number of people male and female. But one of the most common things that appear on Jenny’s blog and another blog dedicated to the harassment of girl gamers (the whole community not just the tales of one person) called Fat, Ugly Or Slutty, is when this “trash talk” goes from offensive but not literal, to the ‘you better lock your door’ literal. Examples of this are messages where the girl gamers have received either voice messages or text messages over the internet along the lines of, “You’re a fucking bitch, I’m going to rape you then murder your family”.
We can all agree this crosses a line, it goes so far past the line no-one can even see the line any more. Well what can we as a community do? I understand a lot of you are writers and probably not into video games but every bit of support these blogs can get in any shape or form will help their cause and who knows, any female readers may find a new passion for video games!
The reason girl gamin was on my mind recently is because of a comment on a recent story draft I uploaded. In the story the main character Ella states that she can’t wait to go home and play video games and have a beer. I was called up on this by a commenter and she said “I don’t think Ella would want to go home and play video games…”
It just made me realise that there are still a lot of people out there who associate video games with just males when in America over 42% of gamers are female.
Jenny was also featured in a segment for the BBC World Service Programming entitled Assignment: Guns, Girls and Games, as was the creator of Fat, Ugly or Slutty. If you click that link you can go over and listen to segment and it offers a lot of insight into the whole girl gaming scene.