Pretending To Be A Girl In DOTA 2

Greetings reader! This is my 3rd blog. I’m going to recreate a scenario that has been talked about in class. It has been mentioned in class that video gaming in general or is generally accepted by society as an activity for men. Videos in class were viewed. These showcased how women are treated differently by men.

According to an article by the Guardian, women have always played video games, and in the past years the growth of the mobile game industry in particular has been driven by a female consumer base. This has altered my perspective. I was caught unawares. This new information has broken my point of view. Looking at it closely, this is plausible since there are more women in the world than men as seen in the video below It reaffirms the  point that the impetus and driving force of some video games, in this case, the mobile gaming industry would be female players. It is common to assume that the target market is for men but the video begs to differ.

We have talked about myths in class. It deals with the production of ideology. Ideology is a body of ideas that protect the structure of power by promoting the dominant groups of society. In the case of gaming, the dominant group would be a patriarchal society. Patriarchy is a social structural phenomenon in which males have the privilege of dominance over females, both visibly and subliminally. This phenomenon is manifested in the values, attitudes, customs, expectations, and institutions of the society, and it is maintained through the process of socialization.

Another thing I learned in class is that women are treated differently in games. Some are treated as if they are objects. These women are harassed. It is somehow acceptable to society that it is okay to treat them with contempt. This is alarming because I don’t think that men actually do this in real life. They might be just doing this in the virtual world because it is deemed acceptable by the patriarchal society in which we live. The bright side here is that women in games are also treated nicely. In some games, people would die for them. They would literally take a bullet for your character if you know you are a girl. The video below would showcase how it would be like if girl gamers do what guy gamers do.

As I go deeper in to this phenomenon, I’ve looked around forums. I found one in gamespot.com. Although it is dated 2009, which is actually pretty recent, the comments found would still sexualize the females. A user called OreoMilkShake says and I quote “The feminine body screws with a boy’s mind. Even if they can’t see it.” What we can get from this statement is that males, most if not all, think with their penis. This is something that people will mostly not share. It is deemed to be part of the norms that this is not acceptable. I have done some research and it led me to this website. It’s a university website and in there it says that sexual harassment is when there is an unreasonable impact on an individual’s employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University community. To summarize it is when we create an atmosphere that is hostile. It includes unwanted sexual statements, unwanted personal attention, and unwanted physical or sexual advances. This is also applicable even in the online sense. The common example of this is people in the games I played, once they know there’s a girl, they immediately use their respective microphones and say “Suck my d*ck!” I find it funny to be honest. But in deeper reflection, it is actually hurting someone. This is sexual harassment.

After learning these things from class, I asked my professor if it is possible to escape an ideology? Is it possible to escape this sphere of influence dominated by the society in power? He answered “It is possible as long as you address that there is an ideology.” In an effort to affirm my teacher’s answer, I developed an experiment. I want to cure myself with this ideology. I need to admit that I am part of these people that do despicable acts to women in online gaming. I had to experience what they experience first hand. I made an account in which I emulate a female player. The game I chose is DOTA 2. If you want to learn more about this game click this link.

Step 1: Modify your account to look like a girl. Garnish with symbols and hearts . I used these as gender signifiers. I used an image from Google by typing the words “pinay”. It surprised me that when you do this the pictures are most if not all, bikini pictures. I chose a “decent” photo.

Evidence - fake profile page.png

Step 2: Play a game.

play a game.png

Optional Step: Chat with the channels and say you are a girl and you need a party. Get ready for nasty comments

Evidence 1

You will be defended by some people while some would just laugh it out.

evidence 2.png

Step 3: Quit DOTA 2.

zquits

Step 4: Wait for friend requests. People do this a lot. I waited for about 5 minutes.

Evidence 4

Step 5: Accept and hope for a decent chat. This next step shocked me. I predicted mild abuse but this is messed up.

evidence 5.png

Step 6: Analysis and Reflection

The experiment I did above is a clear manifestation of gender struggle. Abusive behavior has been exhibited. In the hour I spent emulating a girl player, I have been sexually harassed. People deemed it funny. I got added by a person that I played with and was offered cash to spend the night with him. It is alarming how this is part of the culture of DOTA 2, in this case, Philippine DOTA 2. This might just be one instance but think about the other gamers who are really female. Do they take this on a daily basis? They might have just gone with it. Some find it incurable so they just accept it while some are afraid to take action. I urge the people who are abused, not just in DOTA 2, to rise and speak up. Defend yourselves and do not allow this indecency to occur as if it was normal.

The problem here is the people are either unaware that this is happening or they really do not give a damn and just continue being a pervert. Technically, the repercussions of their actions are punishable in game. You can send a report to Steam. What this does is suspend or ban an account. The problem here is that people can still make new accounts.

As I have finished with the experiment, I now have a perspective in which I share with female gamers. There is indeed sexual harassment. This has reformed me. I have not been flaming or cursing people online. It is a changing experience and I wished I have done this sooner. We all just want to have a good time and play a decent video game. Let us keep it classy and stray away from the corrupted path of perversion and indecency.

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Pretending To Be A Girl In DOTA 2