I f*cking hate it when women play this game.
My character’s name in Elder Scrolls: Online is Vaytah. She’s a dark elf, level 12. She’s a siphoning duel wielder, and she makes her own armor in the Dunmer style.
I played World of Warcraft in the past, but this is the first MMO in a while that has really pulled me in. I’m not really sure why. The writing sucks in parts, I’m not playing with anyone, and the stories often feel rushed, but I keep playing.
Running around in Davon’s Watch one afternoon, I happen across a few guys deciding whether or not they want to run a dungeon. They need an additional person. Knowing I’m too low of a level, I hang around to listen in. After all, I don’t know any of the dungeon or group content. I wanted to learn.
A lone player is standing on a fountain next to them. The group of guys suddenly notice the player and asks if they want to play.
“Sure.” A girl’s voice comes out. I brighten a little. I haven’t heard many voices in the game, but it was the first girl’s voice I’d heard.
“Oh my god! A girl! SO RARE!” The guy players crowd around her. She hesitates after the small pack of men crowds her character and tells her to remove her helmet to show off her character’s face.
I laughed, mic muted, at the stereotypical scenario unfolding. It felt like they were making a parody of the stories girl gamers often lament about online.
Except one guy. One guy wasn’t having it.
“Ugh, we can’t play with a woman,”
The other guys, confused, and perhaps believing he was joking, ignored him and hounded her some more. They wandered off to buy some supplies after the girl agreed to run the dungeon with them. I followed.
“Seriously. I fucking hate it when women play this game.”
The seriousness in his tone struck a chord in my heart.
It’s been a while since I’ve played an online game. There is a single server on Counterstrike: Source that I play on frequently. Occasionally the guys on there will call me “sweetheart” or add me as a friend and start asking for “relationship advice.” Okay, sure.
But none of them hate me for being a woman. No one says, “wow girls suck,” when I have an off day.
When I played World of Warcraft, I was one of the top DPS in my guild on runs. Occasionally the fact that I was a girl was brought up, and they once asked a fellow guild member who knew me in real life how attractive I was.
But none of them said I sucked. None of them said they hated women gamers.
I’ve heard stories of guys online saying such things but had never witnessed it myself. It was both an enlightening and depressing moment.
But I’m still going to play.
It’s important to remember that assholes are just that – assholes. It sucks to hear that in a game. But if I limited what I do for fun based on a minor group of people being jerks, then I would never do anything at all.
It’s also important to recognize that occurrences like these happen. They ruin games for new and old women gamers alike. The loud minority reinforces the stereotypical separation between women and men in games.
Men – call out other male players for being jerks online. It’s okay, they don’t know you in real life. The worst that will happen is that they won’t play with you anymore.
Women – keep playing anyways. Roll your eyes, assert yourself, and pretend like that person and their opinions is of the littlest importance to you, even if you have a lump in your throat or anger is building in your chest.
And remember, he’s just being an asshole.