Games show how the presence of competent women generates hostile behavior in incompetent men


HAH my husband’s guild was getting worked in PVP by a clan of what appeared to be entirely women, judging by the screen names.’’

The last time I played online on XBL was a game of CATAN. Me and 3 guys. I rolled the first 7 of the game and moved the robber to the most logical spot. Well, unfortunately, Guy #1 had that hex locked down, so he didn’t like that. He started loudly swearing at me. Guys #2 and 3 thought this was hilarious, so every time THEY rolled a 7 they’d put the robber right back on his hex.

He continued swearing at me. Just me. In Spanish. Then he ragequit the game and rated me “unsportsmanlike.” The other two men said he did not give them a rating.


Reminds me of back when I would play Travian with my friends from high school. We actually had a decent size clan in the game. (Crazily, it still exists, “ATP”)

The game being very much about conquering other people and also diplomacy, we had one guy pick a fight with someone from a much larger clan. They really mopped the floor with us for a while. Eventually, some of our people made friends with some of their people. Turns out it was an entire sorority house from ASU.


Btw, if anyone here plays Overwatch and need a group of non-assholes to play with let me know :slight_smile: Can exchange info privately if need be


This would actually be an interesting study. Spitballing off the top of my head:

  • early xbox advertisements seemed to be more ‘rawr! hardcore! gamerz! fo’ life!’ focused
  • xbox’s higher market share in North America, the states in particular, compared to Sony


@beschizza is this your realm or is it @orenwolf?


Well in my example it was real world, so the outright toxicity, while I am sure is still there, is kept more to themselves.


It’s articles like this that keep me away from a lot of online multiplayer stuff and forever happy with the mods and behavior on the official TF2 servers. That shit isn’t tolerated there and actually using the mic too much is frowned upon. It is a lot of be nice and be quiet.


For my friend she experienced the outright toxicity in the real world. I’m sure her race also played a factor. Here’s some pretty tiny black girl shows up looking to play in a tournament for Guilty Gear or Street Fighter or Soul Caliber at the game’s launch… she must be with a real fan/player right?

A lot of the losers she dealt with had no social skills or filter.


As a modern, enlightened man I am always aware of the need to correct my gender biases. I make a conscious effort to try to get just as hostile about my incompetence around men as I do around women.



I’m not saying this can’t be a thing (the sanctity of the echochamber must remain inviolate and so on), but I reckon “female-voiced” happens to be a particularly accessible criterion. Can the same “triggering” occur with other vocal distinctions? What might occur if the study was repeated with someone with a strong foreign accent? Or someone who sounds unusually young?


You may be able to email the authors for transcripts. Since PLOS one is open access they may not mind sharing their data as much as others.


I’ll just leave this here:


Also I’ve heard people talk about the toxicity in fighting game communities in particular. It sounds like in those communities being openly hostile is socially acceptable.

I wonder about the foreign accent thing. My feeling is that it wouldn’t have as strong an impact because there are plenty of games where North America isn’t exactly the dominant region. If this is caused by people feeling that they are losing to someone they are “supposed to” beat, then I don’t think there’d be a lot of white guys from the US who would think, “But I’m supposed to beat Korean players!” (or even European players) But I guess it depends on the game and the culture around that game.


You’re getting a mid-page advert… At

I think you need to do a virus scan and get an adblocker and/or scriptblocker. That doesn’t sound right at all.


The fighting game community is among the worst as far as outright hostility toward women goes, or non-hetero males. There’s been big pushes within the last couple of years to clean up the community but not being a fan of the game genre i can’t give meaningful insight and if it’s changed any.

For foreign accents, again i can’t speak for other people but in the small gaming circles i run in we’ve had plenty of people with strong European and Spanish accents and i’ve never seen it brought up as a problem. It must happen i’m sure but i haven’t seen it myself. Also i’ve played with people with stutters, lisps, and other particular quirks and we’ve gone out of way to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted. It really upsets me when i hear of other communities or games treating individuals poorly, perhaps its the former game/community admin in me but i can’t help it.


I believe I would like that on a t-shirt.


Of course it depends a lot on the community. The speedrunning community is probably one of the most accepting communities in terms of gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc. that I’ve ever seen. And I don’t just mean compared to other gaming communities; speedrunners are super nice. Then again maybe I’m just seeing the phenomenon that this study describes. Of course the people I’m familiar with are people who are very, very good. Maybe there are far more toxic people who are not so “high status”.

The other side of that is that I think that people who easily become angry and blame other people for their failures probably don’t do a lot of speedrunning. It’s a grueling hobby.


I’m on my work laptop (as stated above). I do not need to get anything for it, that’s ITs job (and they lock these down)

thank you for the advice though.


My ex came with me to an MTG convention and got much the same reaction. “Oh, you’re a girl. Let me show you how to tap your mana. You know what mana is, right?” Their reactions were a delight to behold when she brutally mopped them up with a little red deck she built out of spare cards.


Well of course a girl would play mono-red. You could train a monkey to play that. /s