I think it’s because on reflection, if I tally up the mean, hateful, things that have been done to me in my lifetime I’m coming up even on the male/female thing so my view is that it’s more a people problem. Let’s face it, us humans can be such jackasses to each other.
Tome makes reference to another article from Harpy’s Nest here. In short, a 15 yr old girl is told how as a girl she could never be a fighter pilot and that the military has no place for her. Is that right…of course not. But is it wrong for the reasons you are thinking? Perhaps not. Raise your hand if you instantly viewed the “wrongness” in that as “How dare that military man belittle a young woman in such a sexist manner. How dare he predetermine her place in the order of society and decide for her what she can or cannot do based on her gender.” Was that truly what was wrong?
Let’s change the scenario a bit…”Dad, you see how I draw all the time. I have a clear natural gift for art. Painting, pencils, ink, markers, crayons, chalk, charcoal, any medium. I love it all. I especially love comic books. I read them, copy them, draw my own. I want to be a professional comic book penciller one day Dad.” “No you don’t. That’s not a career son. What idiot would ever want to do something so childish and foolish for a job. No, you will go to college and take on a real major like Pre-Med and become a Doctor. A proper career.” This is male to male. Nothing sexist here. Its an economic judgment to be sure on what someone perceives as a valuable career certainly. Is this better? Worse?
The truth in both of these scenarios is that the “wrongness” is the same exact thing. Its a person in a position of influence, power, and authority telling someone else what they CAN NOT do. As opposed to ENCOURAGING them to pursue their dreams and passions. I am a father of 3 kids (1 daughter, 2 sons). I do not treat one differently than either of the others. My daughter is a head strong, take no prisoners, natural leader. My oldest son is very reserved and sensitive, he hides himself within his shelf most often to protect himself from being hurt, bullied, or taken advantage of. My youngest, well…err…God help us all. He’s a bit of a terror. I encourage all of them to be themselves; to be content with who they are…not trying to live up to someone’s standards – not even mine or their mom’s!
GET TO THE POINT….yeah yeah. So what does this have to do with Gamers. Well, we constantly judge one another, we pigeon-hole each other into gamer stereotypes: Gamer Guy vs Gamer Girl, Progression raider vs Casual raider, PvPer vs PvEer, on and on it goes. The only REAL classification that matters is Hunters vs ALL others in my book…but kidding aside perhaps Alliance vs Horde? I can live with that rather obvious difference within the game. Aside from that, even our class roles are not an us vs them scenario. We need one another. DPS needs tanks to hold threat. Tanks need healers to keep them alive. Healers need DPS to kill the boss faster than they run out of healing resources. Its a circle of support, that accentuates our differences to create something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s not about dividing us and separating us into stereotypes to be segregated and admonished.
I am not even going to get into the gender clashing we all see across the interwebs right now. My perspective is my own. Those close enough to me to truly know me accept my viewpoints and appreciate them. I’m fine with that. I’ve discussed the whole Hardcore vs Casual I feel ad-nauseum to this point. In my book, we are all casual because none of us play this as a career.
Its MY $15 a month. Its YOUR $15 a month. We all get to choose our game play on our own terms and with whom we choose to play alongside. More importantly none of us should be judged by others based on our decisions. I know the classic response to this is “But there are other players waiting on you!” Smart RL’s carry extra bodies or alts as needed to ensure a full raid compliment. Additionally, we’re not talking about the poor attendance raider who leaves folks in the lurch constantly due to their own selfishness. That’s not judgment, that’s agreed upon standards by both parties. We currently have raiders on our team whom we have depended upon who need time away from the game for health, school, family, etc. No one condemns them for making those decisions, we SUPPORT them.
So what is those truly about? Discussion and debate are always driven by a difference of opinion. Arguments are driven by the unwillingness to accept those differences. If you look closely at the comments on various blogs, at the forums, listen to podcasts, read articles….It’s not discussion, it’s arguing. It’s an entire community drawing battle lines as opposed to finding the common ground and discussing where the differences are. ALL sides are guilty…no one is innocent here (save for the folks who just log-in to play and never hear a word otherwise). Bad human behavior is bad. Game play doesn’t matter. Gender doesn’t matter. Your guild tag doesn’t matter. Your achievement points, titles, gear, progression don’t matter. Whether you have a blog or not, no matter how many hits you get, or no one ever reads it. It doesn’t matter what you do for RL work, how much you make. Your religion, race, creed, accent don’t matter. Whether you had a picture taken with Ghostcrawler or not doesn’t matter. And yes, honestly…even if you don’t play a hunter…it doesn’t matter.
We’re all human beings trying to just spend some time in a virtual world and relax. Perhaps make some friends. Perhaps have some accomplishments we can be proud of. None of the above matters…what matters is treat others as you would like to be treated. No one likes to be slammed for their opinion. No one likes to be flamed, called names, and verbally beaten up for not being perfect. RL is hard enough without the in-game life being just as hard.
Yes, this is MY DAD VOICE here…we’re in the car, I have one hand on the wheel, I am turning around and looking at ALL OF YOU in the back seat and saying…”KNOCK IT OFF”
You want to be treated like a mature intelligent human being, then act like a mature intelligent human being. THAT is what matters.