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Female gamers admit they often hide their gender to avoid harassment online

Richard Lee Breslin

Published 
| Last updated 

Female gamers admit they often hide their gender to avoid harassment online

Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Video games have always been for everyone to enjoy. Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, at least.

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For the most part, playing video games is a wonderful hobby for every gaming enthusiast. It does'nt matter whether it's to unwind for a few hours after work or school, kick back and enjoy long sessions over the weekend or escape from our worldly woes offering even brief moments of escapism. Sadly, that is not always the case for everyone.

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“Do many other women still hide their gender when gaming?” asked Redditor Mori-Me-Joey. “Some player bases are especially bad for sexism and harassment, but for women who are open about their gender, is the experience positive or negative? Do you get harassed often, or do people very rarely care at all?” they continued.

“I play as male characters in every single game where I have the choice, and always use gender-neutral names, as do most of the girls I know who are into gaming as well. I’ve had tons of abuse before when people found out my gender, so I try to hide who I am now, whenever possible. I wish the situation was different, but it’s just easier & safer this way.”

“I don't go out of my way to correct someone if they say 'help him beat the monster', [or] 'Hey man can you help?' or something along those lines since we're in the middle of trying to beat up s**t, but if asked if I'm a girl, I don't bother to hide it. Most of the time, I run into people that aren't creepy and just want to have a nice chat and enjoy the game,” replied TheSkeletalSorceress.

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“If someone turns out to be a creep, I just block, report and move on enjoying my time. I don't want to hide from and fear some little scum trying to flirt and ask for pics or tell me to go make him a sandwich, I'll just report it,” the Reddit user continued. “But I understand other girls that'd prefer not to say that they are a girl and I fully understand and support their decisions.”

“This is how I feel. I won't correct anyone for assuming I'm male but won't particularly hide the fact I'm female either,” JezraCF adds. “TBH, gender has nothing to do with playing the game so I just don't care about correcting people. However, I am quite hesitant about using voice chat unless it's with players that I know fairly well first.”

“It's a game, we tryna get stuff done. I'm a firm believer in leaving IRL BS out of the gaming world. It's a hobby and an escape for many of us. We try to accomplish a goal in the game,” said Nick_Lanky in support. Sadly, many gamers shared their negative experiences, but thankfully, at least in this Reddit thread, there appears to be a lot of positive support.

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In December 2022, male gamers posed as women online in a study and were abused beyond belief, and in May 2023, one out of ten female gamers admitted to feeling suicidal over abuse received when gaming online. Let that sink in for a moment.

If you want information and support, Safe in Our World is a wonderful charity that advocates the positive impact that video games can have on our mental health.

Topics: Real Life

Richard Lee Breslin
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