A few years back, I was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops with my friend. We were just playing around, having no knowledge of what we were doing, as it was our first time playing. After about our 5th match, I get a message. Now I don't entirely remember what the message said, but it was something along the lines of You suck you fat ass why are you even playing this, and something about my lack of manhood. I was 14 at the time, and instead of ignoring it, I felt the need to write back, trying to patch up whatever I did to insult them. I mentioned I was a female and this was my first time playing the game. That was a big mistake. My inbox was full of sexist comments. I wasn't even sure how to respond to this. I'm not one to get offended by what a stranger has to say, but being a new to online gaming, I felt as if they were right. "I am terrible at this, why am I even trying." Besides, I've always been told girls can't play video games anyways. So I took a break from games. It was a boy's world - no place for a girl to be. Luckily, I realized that I was wrong.
From this experience, I decided to write my research topic on Misogyny in Video Games. This topic is very touchy, due to the large amounts of people who think women are just complaining and want sympathy. But after many hours of research, I unfortunately found out that many female gamers quit gaming, or identify themselves as males while playing, so they aren't completely ripped apart. A study in Ohio was done in 2012, where pre-recorded voices of males and females were played over the headset, during matches on Halo 3, on Xbox 360. After playing 245 multiplayer matches, it was found that, regardless of the skill level, the female received 3 times as many negative comments as the male did. (Here is the link to the article: http://www.themarysue.com/academic-study-game-harassment/) If you aren't convinced that there is a problem, check out http://fatuglyorslutty.com/, if you haven't already. I can guarantee you'll find some creative and insulting material there.
And this isn't just about females. It's all the negative comments being said or sent.
My point is, why are people STILL going about ridiculing others online? How are people suppose to improve if you don't even give them a chance? True, it's frustrating when you are playing with people who don't know what they are doing. But remember, you weren't always 15th prestige yourself. And you had no idea what you were doing at the beginning, too. Don't give people the impression that gaming is just a group of jerks insulting people who do not share the same skill level. Many people feel video games should be viewed as an art, like films or literature. But it's pretty difficult to defend something that attacks any attempt to make the industry more friendly to everyone, regardless of skill level or gender. So here's some quick tips: don't go out of your way to message people, telling them they suck. Don't swear at people because of their gender. We live in 2013. Men and women are equals whether you like it or not. And more people are playing video games every year. There will be new gamers. Let's make gaming a positive experience for everyone, and keep the negative comments to yourself.