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The Hags of Lag

Well? It’s an idea. I do play videogames and I do feel strongly that videogaming as both a method of relaxation and an artform can be improved by the inclusion of women into the game without treating the players (and characters on our screens) as eye candy or in a manner that is demeaning. This also extends into the whole “no racism, no transphobia and trying our level best to not discriminate against different groups of people”. It’s a hard thing to do in competitive games and I will hold my hand up as someone who has used the phrase “You are a fucking idiot” on more than one occassion to express frustration during a fairly competitive game.

The goal is to create a group of people who don’t care about gender, race or even how new you are to the game. A group of people whose shared value of “no sexism, no racism” produces a environment that encourages more women to play and thus create an environment where more game manufacturers and events have to protect the demography from the spectre of racism.

I understand the recent arguments in the atheist community and see the problem as the same thing. Any group dominated by a single gender is going to become misogynistic/andric. It just so happens that both the atheist and indeed the nerd communities have been dominated by men for pretty much their entire history thus creating vastly entrenched issues. Now atheism isn’t as bad as the videogame community, but it does need to change.

If we change the demography, we change the tropes by creating different demands. Different demands make gaming better because in all honesty? Games are stuck a rut and the only way to make massive changes to the way games are marketted and designed is by improving the market.

Games are art, no different from a movie or a book. So let’s see what we can do.

With this I declare The Hags of Lag open to anyone willing to try and be the change.

14 comments

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    intergalacticmedium

    Hey, I have really enjoyed your writing so far, great to get a perspective from somewhere other than the US and Europe. I have noticed that there is massive variation in civility depending on the game being played, have you experienced something similar and if so which games?

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    johnmarley

    Avi – do you often get spamwaves like the above?

    On topic – I was turned off from online gaming because of the agressively dudebro culture. I certainly support your suggestion, but I’d need something new and different to re-spark my willingness to invest the time to play online.

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    Wow, I just re-read my earlier comment. I could almost be a spambot myself. Sorry about that.

    I think John Gabriel’s Greater Internet F***wad Theory, combined with patriarchal cultural conditioning makes online games a hostile environment for women (and anyone else bothered by dudebro harshness). However, as we’ve seen in the atheist/skeptic community, attempts to fix the situation tend to lead to an invasion of trolls who seem to feel threatened and obsess over trying to ruin those attempts. Your safe-zone would probably have to be password protected or otherwise restrict access. Maybe give moderation privileges to certain members. That wouldn’t prevent the initial instance, though, so drive-by haters will still probably be an issue. It’s a good idea, and worth trying, though. Two cents worth from an ex-online-gamer.

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