eSport gets a dose of Equality by segregating the community

Hey guys, what’s up? Today, I have taken the liberty to talk to you about something that caught my eye when I was going through Eurogamer. I came across this article and after I was finished reading it, I came to the conclusion that, Gaming community could face another GamerGate-type movement.

If you don’t know what I am talking about, the article can be found on Eurogamer with the headline, ‘First women-only esports car racing competition announced‘.

You can read the article at Eurogamer but I will be touching on a few points that I found to be…interesting.

The time-limited competition, which launches on Steam this autumn, will donate a percentage of its revenue to female-focused charities and “aims to provide a supportive, female-friendly environment that encourages more women to play esports while drawing attention to the often hidden role of women in racing and automotive history”.

Female Friendly environment? In other words, a safe space akin to those that have been cropping up on university campuses in the west where the greatest threat known to women are not allowed to enter – MEN.

This sort of approach creates segregation in a community and in this case, its gaming. Gaming has always been inclusive with only the best making their way in esports and professional gaming. Creating a women-only esport event means that women will be allowed to enter the competition based on their gender and not on their merit and performance (something I think any self-respecting woman would disagree with) and stronger candidates may not be allowed to enter the tournament if they have a penis.

Now, picture this for a moment: imaging there was a men-only esport event that prohibited women from entering just so they will not be bullied and harassed by men? First off, feminists all around the globe would lose their temper and will actively participate to push the sponsors to boycott the event. Second, you are trying to take care of the issue here by isolating the problem to protect the potential victims. The problem of harassment will still be there. You are simply removing the fraction of victims.

Yes, I said a fraction of victims.

Everybody faces some sort of harassment and bullying and when it comes to online and gaming – everyone gets harassed. It’s not a gender-based issue as some people say. Men suffer harassment as well and in some cases, it’s worse than what women face online.

And now, this is where I will list problems I have with this approach.

  • You are making the assumption that all harassment is done by men which is not true. If you see the drama unfold sometimes on Twitter between female gamers (or e-girls, as some like to call themselves that), you will realise that women harass other women too. Occasionally, women harass men too.

    And if you do believe that men are ones that harass women, then I am sorry but you are sexist and please, take your misandrist attitude off my site.
  • Taking women out of the equation is not going to solve anything. For the sake of argument, if I (reluctantly) believe that male gamers harass female gamers – opening doors to female-only esports would mean that more women would go for such events. If they want to, it’s their decision. However, that means that those harassers are still there in the community and if they won’t be harassing women, they will harass other male gamers with their attitude and conduct. Instead of creating a women-only esport event, developers and game publishers need to work closely with esport organisers to offer more security to gamers who attend and participate while employing strict measures in tackling such abusive behaviour.

    There have been instances in the past where professional gamers lost sponsorships because they ended up saying something on their live-streams that was culturally or racially offensive. So, it’s not like people are not getting banned. They are. Such rules are in place to make esports more fun by getting rid of potential problem-makers.
  • How would you define harassment and bulling? Some people define harassment as threats while others define harassment and bullying as simply disagreeing with their opinions. Take a look at Anita Sarkeesian and Sargon of Akkad incident that took place at VidCon. Anita called Sargon a ‘garbage human being’ while she was addressing the crowd as a panellist.

    One may argue that Sargon should not have attended her panel in the first place considering in the past, he made videos on debunking feminism and Anita Sarkeesian’s view of videogames and pop-culture.

    But that is also a prime example of a woman, Anita Sarkeesian, stepping out of her protective shell, out of her safe space, in a public environment where there is a high possibility that she might have to rub shoulders with her critics, fans and haters. And how does she respond? She completely flips out. It’s pretty much the same thing. Instead of offering a level playing field, you are creating segregation in the community by offering a different platform to women. So, what do you will happen when these female gamers will try to enter a normal ‘open to all genders’ esport competition? They will be out of their safe spaces and will be in a place that they might consider hostile to them. It is not fair on these women, nor its fair on men who would have to put up with their ‘entitled’ attitude.

  • In the article, it says that around 5% of esport participants are women. Do you not think that creating a women-only esport event is disrespectful to women that enter these events and not only put up with the so-called harassment but combat it by displaying their superior gaming skills? Of course, it is.
  • Another interesting point in the article was the paragraph, ‘Despite being able to compete on an equal playing field with men, only five per cent of esports players are women. This is often chalked down to the major earning gaps between men and women as well as the online bullying women in games often endure.’

    Call me a sceptic (or a misogynist prick), but this sounds a lot like the Feminist narrative that seems to play on a regular basis on Tumblr and YouTube nowadays. I am going to go through the entire paragraph piece by piece to debunk it.

    “Despite being able to compete on an equal playing field with men, only five per cent of esports players are women.”

    This, right here, is misrepresentation of information at its finest. According to Christina Hoff Sommers, a Factual Feminist who proved that videogames do not cause violence and misogyny, said in her videos that the ratio of male gamers to female gamers is 7:1. When you take that number into account, women only making five percent of esport players seems to make sense, especially when you take into account that not everyone breaks into esport and it’s a very competitive industry.

    “This is often chalked down to the major earning gaps between men and women as well as the online bullying women in games often endure.”

    A lot of people don’t realise it but women, on average, make more money via Twitch donations when compared to men. This is why we have seen the rise of so-called ‘Boob Streamers’. And as far as the actual tournament money is concerned, this point here is completely rubbish.

    I have not seen a tournament winner to win less money just because she is a woman. If an individual wins the tournament, they get the prize. I have never seen any event go, ‘hey, you are a woman. You only get $5000 instead of $10,000’.

    Many esport players do not go in as individuals but rather as clans. So, when the pot money is won by a clan, the money gets split. Whether the money is split unevenly among the players is something that is down to the clan itself, not the awarding bodies.

    Another thing which I would like to mention here is that many esports are covered widely by media over Internet and often sees endorsements by brands like energy drinks, gaming setups, etc. If such gender pay disparity existed, do you think those companies would continue to endorse such events? Take a moment to think about the answer.

    And as far as online bullying is concerned, that is also a misconception that is widely spread. Gaming is the only industry that does not reward you for your skin colour or gender identity. As long as you are good in a game and has a decent Internet connection, nobody cares who you are.

    The article spews more feminist-propaganda at you as it goes on by claiming how misogynistic gaming community is and all, but gamers know how inclusive this industry really is.

    I am proud to be a gamer. I do not condone violence, bullying or harassment on any level. And I am also proud to know that the majority of gamers out there feel the same way.