Male gamers pose as women online in new study, are abused beyond belief
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Featured Image Credit: Women in Games Argentina via YouTube, Alena Darmel via Pexels
Women in Games Argentina conducted a study where professional male Valorant players entered matches while using a voice modulator to sound like women. The result? A shocking severity of verbal abuse, death threats and frustration purely based on their "gender."
Unfortunately, this is something that every female gamer could tell you without the necessity for a study. However, it is very difficult to express to people who have never experienced discrimination like this, and the study from the organisation acts to shine a light on this despicable behaviour as well as show there is a need for a much more inclusive space in games.
Working with BBDO ARGENTINA, the video begins with testimonies from female streamers and gamers describing what they undergo every time that they switch on their microphone. Streamer Aiko said that she is flooded with feelings of panic before she engages with the game's voice chat, and another anonymous woman shared that male gamers often don't take her skill seriously, or stop her from playing altogether.
The study set up Alfredito, Lucius and Tasher with a voice modulator so that their comms sounded higher-pitched. Whenever Alfredito tried to strategise with his team, he was interrupted. If he asked for help, he was told, "be better at the game, f*cking b*tch." Lucius encouraged him team to work together and win and was told to get out of the game because this is a game for men only. A lot of the comments made by the men were censored due to the intensity of the language used against the women.
If these examples weren't enough, the three streamers had their kill to death ratios calculated before and after the voice modulators were active. When they were switched on, the players performed significantly worse because they were being targeted by teammates and enemies.
"Honestly, it makes you not want to play," said Alfredito. "I don't even want to imagine having to deal with this every day." Tasher became extremely aggravated after being killed time and time again, stating: "you want to play your best but there's nothing you can do."
We'll be awaiting the full results from the study from Women in Games Argentina when it is released.