Sexism and online video games has been a hot topic recently. Bloggers like parklena, grrir, ensenyme, and anncoulpable have written about this issue on Shout Out! in the past. They, among others, have done a wonderful job outlining not only the sexist behavior of people on these games, but also the inherent masculinity projected in many popular games, such as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.
Well, I’m here to tell you that change is happening! Our demands are currently being met! YES! YES! YES!
New York State is taking the lead in the forefront of combating the problem of sexual harassment on video games. This harassment in online video games is pretty similar to how street harassment occurs; hooting, hollering, name calling, and sometimes even worse types of public shaming.
More than 3,500 registered sex offenders have had their online gaming accounts canceled and/or restricted. Now, sex offenders are required to give all online identities and email addresses. This information is being made accessible to the online game operators, who can they decide how to act. A particularly large video game corporation that has taken advantage of this information is Blizzard Entertainment, which monitors games like World of Warcraft and Diablo, two huge gaming markets. So, props to them!
Additionally, on the gaming front, a recent Huffington Post article on “Electronic Arts, Video Game Producer: Opposing Gay-Inclusive Games is “Political Harassment,” talks about how the gaming industry, EA in particular, is now fighting back against right wing conservatism and homophobic reaction to their inclusion of LGBT content in their games.
Like the Sims:
EA’s Vice President of Corporate Communications Jeff Brown has stated that, “EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games,” he said. “However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don’t tolerate hate speech on our forums.”
I think this is great, even though many conservative organizations are trying to backlash against this change, EA is publicly defending LGBT rights in the gaming industry. They are opting to take a drop in popularity with conservative groups in favor of protecting rights and defense against sexual harassment on their online forums. I don’t know about you all, but I think that’s pretty freaking sweet.
This just goes to show, when we demand change, OUR VOICES CAN AND WILL BE HEARD! SO SHOUT OUT!