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Old 11-07-2005, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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OMG Girlz Don't Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1

Excellent article about one woman's interaction with people on the internet. In fact, the entire issue of the escapist this month is dedicated to women and gaming. Go read it. Now.

From the Escapist magazine: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/17/27

Quote:
OMG Girlz Don't Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1
by Whitney Butts

I am a girl on the internet. Yes, I said it. A girl on the internet. There really are quite a few of us. I can type. I can play games with the best of you. And you, my friend, are about to get owned by a girl.

I've been watching and observing the internet for quite some time now. It's like a science project with the usual control and variables. The control is: I am a girl. The variables are the medium through which this fact is expressed. The results all point to the same paradoxical conclusion: I am a girl, but girls do not exist on the internet.

Case 1: Adventures in IRC

[boy1] Teleios is a girl.
[boy2] omg, r u serious?
[boy1] yup, i heard her on vent.
[boy2] omg pics, now.
[Teleios] No.
[boy1] c'mon. you're not a girl if u don't show us pics.
[Teleios] I am a girl.
[boy2] then show us a pic.
[Teleios] no.
[boy1] teleios is probably a guy using a voice thing cuz she won't show a pic.
[boy2] ya, there are no girls on the intarweb.

The above is an actual log from an IRC channel I frequent. This isn't just a regular run of the mill IRC channel, this is the channel where a large number of the players from my World of Warcraft server spend their time when at work, or during weekly maintenance, or just to complain to the other faction when they are dealing with gankage.

This is the story of my internet life. (I'm not quite sure if it's a good or bad thing that I have an internet life, but internet life it is.) I'm a girl, I play games and I exist on the internet. Or so you think. Time after time, I get told I'm not a girl and that I don't exist. It's happened so much that I'm beginning to think that it's true.

So, I spend some time getting to know them. Who are these mysterious creatures called girls if they don't exist on the internet? What does this mean for the men of the internet?

[boy3] teleios you gurl, pix plz?
[boy3] kthxxb ai

It becomes more apparent to me that this is a real issue. Why is it I cannot be a girl if I don't show my picture? As time goes on, I get more confused. The idea of having guys obsess over the fact that a girl will not show her picture means one thing for men of the internet: They are desperate.

Case 2: In-Game Meanderings

I come home from work one night and I log into my drug of choice, World of Warcraft. It's late, and I want to kill. I try to maintain a low profile because sometimes being a girl on the internet gets a bit troublesome. The immature comments from the kids ("will u go out with me") and the "omg, she's an internet whore" from everyone else gets to be a bit too much. But having too many friends makes it impossible to keep the secret.

I receive an in-game tell. "Hey Teleios, would you like to run Stratholme with us, we need a priest." I reread it, scrutinizing every last detail. I'm a priest; I get a lot of group invites. Most of them get turned down. This guy, however, has proper grammar and asks nicely - well, he asked, period. It wasn't just a random group invite. I'm poor and could use a bit more coin, so I decided to give it a go. I respond to him, "Sure, why not?" We head to Stratholme.

Someone says something about Johnny Depp's character in Pirates of the Carribean, Captain Jack Sparrow, and I respond with "hehe Jack Sparrow is hot." The conversation in party chat follows:

[Warrior]: omg wtf dude are you gay or something?
[Rogue]: yeah dude, that's sick
[Teleios]: I'm a girl. I can think guys are hot.
[Nice Guy with Good Grammar]: Woah, you're a girl. That surprises me, you are actually a good priest. No one has died.
[Teleios]: Well yeah, girls can play games and be good you know.
[Shaman]: wow there's a girl playing horde. Most girls are so insecure they have to play alliance to make themselves pretty.
[Teleios]: Well obviously that's not a problem for me. I like my priest as she is.
[Rogue]: can I see ur pic plz?
[Teleios]: no.
[Warrior]: come on why not?
[Teleios]: I don't show my pic to random people.
[Rogue]: ur not a girl.
[Teleios]: That's right, girls don't exist on the internet, or play games.
[Warrior]: at least not hot ones, they are all fat and stupid
[Teleios]: That's not very nice.
[Shaman]: If you are a girl, you're probably not hot either.
[Rogue]: can we go, teleios isn't a girl they won't show pic
[Nice Guy with Good Grammar]: Yeah, I don't believe it either. Probably someone just fishing for free stuff.

Again, a girl who doesn't show her picture on the internet is not a girl and the only girls on the internet are actually guys who are just trying to get free stuff. Don't get me wrong, I have gotten free stuff before, but I don't solicit it. Not like those "girls" who sit around dancing for tips in game. You know who you are, and you know you're not a real girl. Real girls don't exist on the internet.

Case 3: The Instant Message

I have befriended boys. We really just play the game together. It's nice to have someone I can always do something with, or bug if another person is needed in game, or even just someone to talk to when I don't have anything else I can do. Boy 4 and I are chatting about random nonsensical things. We talk about people in game and whether they look like expected upon seeing real life pictures. I show him my picture. The following conversation occurs:

Teleios: *link to my picture*
Boy 4: omg wtf
Teleios: uh....
Boy 4: Is that you?
Teleios: Um, yeah.
Boy 4: wtf. Really?
Teleios: Yeah.

Once the pictures actually come out, the result is shock followed by denial and disbelief. The boys have a tendency to think it's really someone's sister or a random picture found on the internet, but not who I really am. Remember, girls don't exist on the internet.

Case 4: Teamspeak and Ventrilo

Here's where the real test comes in. Teamspeak and Ventrilo are commonly used voice communication programs. I'm not afraid to get on one, but for the longest time I was afraid to talk.

A few months back, I joined a rather large raiding guild in WoW. Ventrilo was required for raiding, to allow for better organization and quicker communication. I didn't have a problem with logging on and listening, but I was very nervous about talking. There is one other girl in the guild who refuses to talk, and I very quickly learned why. A girl talking on a voice communication program results in the same accusation every time: It's a big facade.

I made the mistake of speaking one day, out of the blue. I didn't give any warning to anyone, and this was in the middle of a boss fight during the raid. The main tank calls out, "Teleios, heal me," to which I responded, "Okay, I got you." I didn't even think about it, but what was to follow was perhaps one of the most comical online experiences I've ever had in my internet life.

"Who was that?"
"Was that Teleios?"
"No, it couldn't have been."
"Whose girlfriend was that?"
"Get your girlfriend off Vent!"

The voices were coming from all directions. People got loud, people were talking on top of each other, the channel got laggy from all the chaos. Raid members were dying because people stopped paying attention. No one was really sure who had spoken. I very suddenly got flooded with in game tells: "Was that you?" I didn't reply to any, I just kept my mouth shut, very quickly realizing my mistake. A few people took it to the next level, making some extremely harsh comments about girls, and girls playing the game. I didn't talk for the rest of the raid. It's not uncommon for guys to make their girlfriends speak when a lot of people are listening. I figured I could play it off, but I got confronted by the guild master.

"Was that you?" he asked.
"Yeah, it was," I replied.
"I'm really sorry everyone freaked out, I don't think they are very used to having a girl around."
"It's okay, I should have known better than to speak."
"Well, actually, I wanted to ask you something."
"Oh?" I asked with interest.
"Yeah, I was just wondering if you could speak on Ventrilo more often. I really think it would help everyone if they heard you talk more often. Then they could get used to the fact that you are a girl. Maybe then they will be a bit mature."
"I guess I can, but I'm not going to take any crap from anyone."
"It's okay, I understand."

I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to this request. The guild master was asking me to talk more so boys could get used to hearing a girl on Ventrilo. Since then, more "girls" have joined the guild, and I'm not the only girl that speaks anymore. The reactions still don't cease to amaze me, and whenever a new person joins and hears me speak, I can envision the double take they make, indicated by the long silence after I speak.

Of course, most "girls" on Ventrilo are simply just guys using voice translators or having their sisters and girlfriends speak for them. Girls don't exist on the internet.

Case 5: Meeting In Person

I've met a boy from the internet in person before. The only problem was I don't think he was able to actually verify that I was a girl. Reason being, he never looked at me. It really bothers me when people don't give me eye contact while talking to them, and he spent the entire adventure staring at the ground. I like to talk; I could talk for hours. But I can't talk to the top of someone's head. Am I really that scary? Or was the boy just afraid to face the truth that I am a girl? Maybe he was just trying to perpetuate the notion that girls don't exist on the internet, and as long as he stared at his shoes, his zealous beliefs were justified. Well, the proof that I am a girl on the internet is long gone now. His inability to scientifically evaluate the situation invariably means he'll return to his friends with the all-so-popular conclusion: Girls do not exist on the internet.

I also meet people at E3 and various other conferences. I go to these conferences and I enjoy myself, but I've noticed that very few people actually talk to me. It's almost as if there's a giant bubble around me or I'm completely invisible. Wherever I go, the crowd splits or I'm not seen at all, and someone comes running into me, knocking me over.

I'll try and wave at someone and get no recognition. I'll walk up to someone and say, "Hey, what's the PvP like in this game?" The presenter will look at me in shock for a minute, whisper to a friend and then attempt to explain to me what PVP is. I know what PVP is; otherwise I wouldn't have asked the question.

I live in a bubble where the internet does not exist and am invisible in places pertaining to the web. I do not know what PvP is and I've never touched a first person shooter before. Why must I be treated like I am ignorant to gaming and the internet? The answer is simply that girls do not exist on the internet.

The Summary

My adventures on the internet have led me to learn many things about myself. I'm not a girl and I do not exist on the internet. I do not play games and do not know how to turn on my computer. I did not build my own PC, nor did I buy a video game. I do not own a headset and do not play first person shooters and MMOGs. My life on the internet is an intricate, well planned lie.

When I look at myself, I see a girl on the internet and a girl with an internet life. I see a girl who loves to play games and kill the dirty Alliance faction in WoW. I see a girl who can bunny hop with the best of them and keep her kills higher than her deaths in Counter Strike. I can talk the talk and walk the walk. But I am not a girl on the internet, because as I've been told before, I do not exist.

Well, this is me telling you, I do exist. Owned.

Whitney Butts is the "woman behind the curtain" at The Escapist. Her existence revolves around the fact that Mathematics is the key to the universe, and that she alone is the square root of all evil.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
AHH! Custom Title!!
 
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LOL Now THAT is a great article. . . I happen to play WoW and there are several women in my guild, though to be honest I'm a Night Elf fan and haven't really played Horde so perhaps it's different, but I've seen the kinds of interactions that she describes I have to admit though, now I've got a craving to see her picture!
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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All I know is that any girl out there would mop the floor with me, since I have never played WoW.

Great article too.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Excellent article.

How many times a day am I asked "Are there really women in the Army?"

How frustrating it must be.


I still don't know what sex some of the TFP members are here, and I have to stop occasionally and check myself. It doesn't matter what gender you are, Ben, get over yourself.
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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wow. no pun intended. but I've been in the IT business for decades (well since the mid '80's anyways). I always thought that I had a healthy gaming attitude. But I must admit I am a total newbie with almost everything in this article. Hord? WoW?

So if I did meet up with this girl online, she would mop me up too. But it serves to re-inforce how big the interweb world is. There aren't enough hours in the day...
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidlight
I have to admit though, now I've got a craving to see her picture!
GIS Whitney Butts.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidlight
I have to admit though, now I've got a craving to see her picture!
Click on the escapist link to see her.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, statistically speaking, girls don't exist on the internet. In guilds of hundreds, when 2 members of the entire guild are female, that's just not statistically significant.

Really, though, I have seen this sort of reactions lots and lots of times, but the people that react this way are people who don't know how to interact with any humans at all, not just girls. They're pubescent boys addicted to computer games. For the record, they fall somewhere between Drunken Belligerent Homeless Dudes and Wolverines in the heirarchy of social skills.

I understand why girls would feel that there's an overwhelming majority of internet nerds who are simply unwilling to accept them, but they disregard the fact that a majority of people on the internet are total fuckwads. I have to sift through the same steaming pile of bullshit they do, just instead of a whore I get called a fag.

And as an aside, she's pretty hot.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lol, amusing schnizzle.

Where i'm standing, there are considerably more 12-15yr old boys on 'teh roxxor intarweb selekta' than any other demographic, and as we all know, girls don't yet exist to these things.

So, the moral of the story is, tell them your a girl once you've given them a sound pasting, that way their winging will be even better.

Or something.
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMan3000
a majority of people on the internet are total fuckwads.
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Old 11-07-2005, 04:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've got several female friends who play WoW -- I'll have to see their reactions to this article, and to telling them that they're figments of my imagination

That said, there's a lot of capacity for trickery on the internet - men pretending to be women, women pretending to be men, or even more complex relationships. A person's gender really doesn't matter when talking online, unless (I would imagine) you're trying to have a conversation on really gender-specific stuff (like how men aren't allowed in the Ladies' Lounge). And at that level, it should be easy to figure out who's a real woman and who's faking. In games, I highly doubt it's important.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Its good to see someone write an article on it, shed some light.
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Old 11-07-2005, 05:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Really, though, I have seen this sort of reactions lots and lots of times, but the people that react this way are people who don't know how to interact with any humans at all, not just girls. They're pubescent boys addicted to computer games. For the record, they fall somewhere between Drunken Belligerent Homeless Dudes and Wolverines in the heirarchy of social skills.

I understand why girls would feel that there's an overwhelming majority of internet nerds who are simply unwilling to accept them, but they disregard the fact that a majority of people on the internet are total fuckwads. I have to sift through the same steaming pile of bullshit they do, just instead of a whore I get called a fag.
Tell me about it.. I've pretty much given up on the majority of mainstream internet folk. They're either giggly 14 year old 'lol' girls or stuck up little adolescent boys, who say you're a "noob" if you have less kills than deaths in counterstrike. To which I say "Fuck you, at least I've got a job and own my computer, Bitch". Especially the really insultful ones. They're just insecure little nerds who couldn't do Jack if you confronted them in real life!! *deep breaths*

I'm a fan of the internet in general but the anonymity factor can really bring out the worst in people. As for girls in general... well, they kick my ass in for the most part.. I usually like to think I'm a pretty competitive in most things I attempt, but it doesn't matter; if i'm head to head with a girl, I'm screwed.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMan3000
Well, statistically speaking, girls don't exist on the internet. In guilds of hundreds, when 2 members of the entire guild are female, that's just not statistically significant.
Believe it or not, 43% of the gaming audience is female. Or so claims my local newspaper.
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Old 11-07-2005, 08:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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TFP is like the ultimate proof to that article. Out of the regulars (not TB lurkers or TB dwellers), I'd say that females are 40-50% of the population. Then again, I've never counted.
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Haha, excellent!!
Yes I believe this, I have a few female friends, will have to link them to this article xD
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Old 11-08-2005, 01:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Girls on the internet has always been something of a good and a bad thing. For example when it comes to message boards, having a vagina could lead to a ton of trouble. I come from 2 message boards that have had some problesm with this. Females comes out and shows herself off as a gaming girl, next thing you know she is called attention whore for posting pics or telling people she is a girl. Gaming wise, girls make a large portion of it, but we dont know it. Games like everquest and WOW have large porstions of females gamers,usually it turns out they are house wives who are into the whole fantasy theme.

I feel bad sometimes that these ladies of gaming are treated like a myth but sometimes I laugh at the fact they most of these girls could kick any male gamers ass in game and out.
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siege
Believe it or not, 43% of the gaming audience is female. Or so claims my local newspaper.
What kind of games though? If we're talking little games like Snood, I'd believe it, but otherwise I find it hard to believe.
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My wife gets that jazz ALL the time. She plays tons of games, from WoW to Battlefield, and its true, noone will believe she is a woman without the inevitable "Show us pics plz". Its been the same for YEARS, back to when we used to chat in IRC 9 years ago.

I have to groom my daughters to be Ubergamers to break geeky little boys hearts in counterstrike worldwide. That'll teach the bastards.
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
What kind of games though? If we're talking little games like Snood, I'd believe it, but otherwise I find it hard to believe.
Games are games are games. Genre dependant, of course, but most games are made for boys. When you consider that the best selling games of all time, like Myst, The Sims and Mario appeal to both sexes, it's not that hard to imagine.
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff
What kind of games though? If we're talking little games like Snood, I'd believe it, but otherwise I find it hard to believe.
They didn't say. However, the article had a testimony of a couple who played xbox games with each other. I assume from that, they meant video games.

However, either way, I don't really have too much trouble believing it. Maybe I just happen to be surrounded by females who like playing video games
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Old 11-08-2005, 09:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slyboots
Girls on the internet has always been something of a good and a bad thing. For example when it comes to message boards, having a vagina could lead to a ton of trouble. I come from 2 message boards that have had some problesm with this. Females comes out and shows herself off as a gaming girl, next thing you know she is called attention whore for posting pics or telling people she is a girl. Gaming wise, girls make a large portion of it, but we dont know it. Games like everquest and WOW have large porstions of females gamers,usually it turns out they are house wives who are into the whole fantasy theme.

I feel bad sometimes that these ladies of gaming are treated like a myth but sometimes I laugh at the fact they most of these girls could kick any male gamers ass in game and out.
If you're female, you just can't prove it in the gaming world. If you claim you're female, everyone just says that you're not. Or you get tons of messages saying to post a pic. Then when you do, you're either an attention whore, or posting pics of your sister.

Any girl that I know who takes a game she plays even semi seriously is an above average player. I remember playing with one of my lady friends at an Internet cafe with a bunch of my guy friends who considered themselves quite good at CS. She demolished them all
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Old 11-08-2005, 11:27 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Great, great article. I don't know the gender of 90% of the people I've talked to on the TFP, or any other website I frequent. Frankly, I don't care either, although by default I assume everyone else on here is a fat white guy It's more fun when that assumption is shot down.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:38 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Interesting article! Maybe it's because the sites I hang around tend to be obvious as to the poster's gender and such, but I haven't seen that kind of reaction to women online in a few years.

I remember back when I first got connected, though, it was always like that. Now days, however, most of the sites I'm on have very few "false" women or even that 13 year old reaction to women. It seems to me that those reactions seem to be most prevalent on sites in which a poster's identity is not "connected" to their online persona as opposed to sites like "myspace" in which a poster's picture is openly available.

I'm suprised, though, that these reactions are still so common in other areas of the web.

On a somewhat related note: I remember once seeing a flash video on this subject...it featured a female stick figure revealing that she was a woman to her online pals, then it showed their l33t 5p34k reactions (complete with humorous photos of the stereotypical dorky male virgin). Quite humorous, though I can't seem to find it anywhere. Anyone know what I'm talking about (and have a link)?
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majik_6
On a somewhat related note: I remember once seeing a flash video on this subject...it featured a female stick figure revealing that she was a woman to her online pals, then it showed their l33t 5p34k reactions (complete with humorous photos of the stereotypical dorky male virgin). Quite humorous, though I can't seem to find it anywhere. Anyone know what I'm talking about (and have a link)?
lol, i remember that!

i'll see if i can find it around...
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Old 11-08-2005, 03:36 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I have several females in my WoW guild. Real, actual, females.

I should know, too. I've *felt* one of them before!
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:23 AM   #27 (permalink)
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My GF has a shadow priest that melts faces.

She's also the opposite faction

Our guild has 184 accounts and we have at least 10 or so females. I'd say that's statistically significant enough to say that girls "exist on the intarweb"
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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My wife plays some and refuses to chat about anything non-game related (even then she makes me type/talk), for the reason she stated.

One of the guilds I was in had a couple of female members, and as soon as they logged on I got a kick out of how different most of the guys would act. One was married to a guy that rarely played, but it didn't matter they would go out of their way to try and "impress" her both in and out of the game. It didn't help that she ate up the attention, my eyes would hurt from the constant rolling...
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:17 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlux
Our guild has 184 accounts and we have at least 10 or so females. I'd say that's statistically significant enough to say that girls "exist on the intarweb"
See, that just proves my point. Only about 1 of 18 people in the guild is a girl, and that's in a genre that is typically noted as drawing more female participation. I'm not disregarding the fact that there are girls that play games. The fact is, however, that there are so few of them, that most of the time it's safe to assume you're talking to a guy.

It's like age. Most gamers are between 10 and 25. The numbers drop off significantly after that point. Yes, I'm sure that will change. As our generation of video game junkies ages, the proportion of older gamers to younger ones will increase. But at the moment, old people just don't play games.

Yes, there are exceptions. But they are the exceptions that prove the rule.
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:49 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Interesting article.

WoW is definately very sexist, but its certainly the least sexist multi-player game I've ever played on the web. I was very surprised that it took till about level 40 that I had a negative multiplayer experience, and it really made me realise how much when I was playing counterstrike I was having these negative experiences and just kinda shrugging them off as people getting into the spirit of the game. But they weren't in the spirit of anything they were just dicks being dicks and the game kinda brought that out. I think WoW does a good job of providing an atmosphere that people do co-operate (although a lot more could be done).

I have been thinking some kinda in-game shun system would be kinda neat although it obviously has potential to be abused. This kinda blatant sexism is pretty, well, lame. I play and my gf plays casually and I know quite a few girls who play. Certainly still only a fraction but I never knew any girls who played CS. heh.
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:14 AM   #31 (permalink)
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When I was playing WoW, I always assumed that everyone was male. And if they said they weren't, I would still assume it. Because honestly, it doesn't really matter if they are male or not. It has no bearing on gameplay.
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:28 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMan3000
Yes, there are exceptions. But they are the exceptions that prove the rule.
Had to jump in for a nitpick here, sorry. In this phrase, "prove" is an older meaning of the word, one which means "to test"; for example, the "proving grounds". An exception "tests" the rule, and finds it wanting. See the writeup at World Wide Words.
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:40 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMan3000
See, that just proves my point. Only about 1 of 18 people in the guild is a girl, and that's in a genre that is typically noted as drawing more female participation. I'm not disregarding the fact that there are girls that play games. The fact is, however, that there are so few of them, that most of the time it's safe to assume you're talking to a guy.

It's like age. Most gamers are between 10 and 25. The numbers drop off significantly after that point. Yes, I'm sure that will change. As our generation of video game junkies ages, the proportion of older gamers to younger ones will increase. But at the moment, old people just don't play games.

Yes, there are exceptions. But they are the exceptions that prove the rule.
Well, let's look at some facts, from here.

-35% of gamers are under 18
-43% are 18-49
-19% are over 50

Overall, 43% of game players are female. That's beaten by the statistic that 44% of online gamers are female.

Hardly a massive majority, either way. Perhaps you're looking at the wrong genres?
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:26 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulk
Well, let's look at some facts, from here.

-35% of gamers are under 18
-43% are 18-49
-19% are over 50

Overall, 43% of game players are female. That's beaten by the statistic that 44% of online gamers are female.

Hardly a massive majority, either way. Perhaps you're looking at the wrong genres?
Alright, a few things wrong with that study.

One, it's voluntary response. There's no reliable data for exactly who's buying the games, because it's based on polls that are voluntary to complete.

Two, it's all the people who buy the games, not the people who play them. Most people under 18 aren't buying their own games. They're getting them from parents. Thus the age of the person actually playing the game isn't reflected in the statistics.

Three, the age groups are divided into skewed categories. "Under 18" includes people below 13, who can't legally respond to these polls without parental consent. Who's going to see the poll and run to their parents to get them to sign a waiver allowing them to participate in a poll? Also, the group "18-49" includes 3 more years than the under 18 group. It may not seem like a lot, but when one of the key areas is the area right between the two categories, those extra 3 years can make a lot of difference. And the average age of a gamer is also skewed too high. It only takes a few 70 year old gamers (yes, there are some) to bring that average from 25 to 35. They're called outliers, but this report makes no mention of accounting for them, so I can only assume they're included in all the stats.

Four, that female gamer number. The article in the original post was speaking of "real" video games (I'm not arguing over what makes a game real, just stating what I saw). Essentially games you can buy in a box at a video game store. You pointed out that 44% of online gamers are female. Also, according to the report, 56.8% of the games played online are "Puzzle/Board/Game Show/Trivia/Card." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but everybody in the entire world has played Bejewelled. That hardly qualifies you as a "1337 ch1x0r g4m3r." But as far as the report is concerned, they're female gamers.

Five, I'm talking from experience. Yes, girls go to video game stores sometimes. Yes, every once in a while you get one who likes to play Unreal Tournament or Grand Theft Auto (fuck, I'm dating one, and it rules), but 9 out of 10 girls that go into that store are looking for that Sims expansion pack. The thing is, I'm not even joking.

Six, you all seem to be taking me wrong. I don't dislike female gamers. I think they're awesome. I wish there were more of them. My only point is that there are very few girls I would consider "gamers." You may think I'm an elitist for thinking so, but I don't believe that playing PopCap games makes you a gamer. That's my entire point. So stop trying to read some sexism, or whatever else, into my argument. It's not there.

Seven, statistics are easily manipulated. See points 1-5 above for a small portion of things that have been manipulated in this study to give numbers that look like they want them to.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlemon
Had to jump in for a nitpick here, sorry. In this phrase, "prove" is an older meaning of the word, one which means "to test"; for example, the "proving grounds". An exception "tests" the rule, and finds it wanting. See the writeup at World Wide Words.
That's how I was attempting to use the phrase, though perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Looking at the original article, she spoke of her WoW guild. She also spoke about how her guild was (without using the word specifically) an exception to the no girls exist on the intarweb rule. She said that because of specific actions, girls felt more comfortable joining that guild. That guild is the exception, the rule being that girls aren't comfortable joining guilds.

In the context I used it originally, the rule is that girls don't exist on the intarweb. The exceptions are the small, select areas where girls do exist. Bah. I wrote that at 8:17 AM. I wasn't hardly coherent as it is, let alone clear or concise. Sorry.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:09 PM   #35 (permalink)
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To be quite honest, the only thing that appears skewed is your impression of what constitutes a game WoW and similar games do mainly appeal to young men and as such they constitute it's largest audience. The Sims Online, on the other hand, is still an MMO yet is by quite a majority a female audience. Funnily enough, with the majority of females being, well, female, they tend to prefer games of a different genre. Expecting otherwise is silly.

(BTW, the ESA study was not just taken from polls but from data from nearly every main publisher in the US. As such, it wasn't a small poll of maybe 1000 people but information gathered over the year from basically every source available)
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:51 PM   #36 (permalink)
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compute...o_games#Genres

The article above cites that the average gamer age is 29, for what it is worth*:

Quote:
The popularity of computer and video games, as a whole, has been increasing steadily ever since the 1984-1987 dropoff caused by the video game crash of 1983, and the popularity appears to be continuing to increase. The average age of the video game player is now 29 [3], belying the myth that video games are largely a diversion for teenagers.
*actually, the article linked cites an article that states this.

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Old 11-09-2005, 07:59 PM   #37 (permalink)
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This article has the girls on the Ladies of WoW community over on LiveJournal in an uproar--mostly because while yes, sometimes guys are surprised that there are girl gamers, this chick makes it out to be that guys are surprised all the time and only want pics, etc etc.

I play WoW and I've only been asked for a picture once--after I'd talked to this guy for quite a while and he'd shared his picture with me. Most guys I talk to in-game are really nice and don't care about me being a girl--rather, they're pleasantly surprised and pleased that gasp! a girl is playing a game.

About stats, the fact is that there are a LOT of girls who play WoW especially. Why? A lot of us joined because boyfriends/guy friends were playing and we thought it looked cool. Normally I stick with RTS games but I decided to branch out into the MMO genre after seeing my friend play WoW in the open beta. Most of us are not hardcore gamers--though for some of us WoW has turned us into one.

Hopefully a female gamer perspective helps a bit--and as I do play more than World of Warcraft (Battlefield, Age of Mythology, Warcraft III, GTA...you get the picture) I do consider myself a gamer, though not always the best one.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:01 PM   #38 (permalink)
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WoW, bah! There was a chick who played CS in my old can. She was one of our best snipers and I always trusted her to cover my back. Now that was a real woman.

Rl is the best game for meeting girls though, they aways give out their pics
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:03 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Out of WoW,

most of the girls get pwn3d by me.

*chuckles* just kidding.

Amazing article, I dig chiqs who can frag.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:20 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Man I did a myspace search cause I am one of those guys who is like ya right your a girl whatever. Only because I had a someone who I thought was a girl end up being a guy. But anyways did the search and to my surprise found that a lot of girls do play WoW and that is very good to know. Now I get to combine to of my favorite things to do. HaHa
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