I initially posted on this topic some time ago, and focused largely on the hostility or poor behavior of men (and/or boys) toward women (and/or girls) in relation to video games, particularly online gaming. Now I'd like to address the other side — the things that female gamers have done to entrench this behavior and, in effect, establish that it is acceptable and perfectly okay.
Now, I'm a woman, and a gamer, and this is something I've thought about a great deal. It's hard for me to blame other females for causing some of this, but the other night while browsing a website that features a gallery of (supposedly) real pictures of real gamers, i.e., the faces behind the characters, I was dismayed by the number of (again, supposed) female players who posted pictures in their underwear, often in a revealing pose. And even those who did not go so far as to pose semi-nude often posted pictures wherein the focus was obviously on their breasts.
One, which particularly caught my eye, featured a very pretty and slightly overweight girl of, I'd guess, about 20. The picture was pretty close up, from the waist up, and she was wearing a tank top. The central focus was definitely on her breasts; they were the first thing one would notice in the picture. She was standing in such a way as to hide as much of her arms as possible, and her (quite beautiful) curly brown hair was pulled over one shoulder so as to hide as much of her actual skin as possible (and, of course, any extra flesh that might creep into the picture).
It struck me as desperate and rather sad. She was a pretty girl and yet she was trying so hard to cleave to that near impossible standard of beauty in America by trying to play up what she obviously saw as her best feature — her breasts. Why can't we just be damned good players and look exactly as we do? When did the object become: get as many 15-year-old boys to post "omg ur hott i'm jerkin" below your picture as possible?
What happened to us? It seems to me that gaming girls take two steps back for every one step forward. We might get more respect if we learned to respect ourselves, ladies. And respecting ourselves means respecting our natural beauty, our natural talents, and not taking that sort of abuse — because that's exactly what comments like that are. They're not flattery. They're not compliments. They're abuse.