Dear Female Gamers,
Over the past weekend, it may have come to your attention that Destructoid writer PissedOffRyno said some very negative things about Felicia Day. I learned of this through Will Wheaton’s Twitter feed (see image he reposted from another Twitter feed). Now, while such actions only make internet news waves when a celebrity comes under attack, I know, as I am certain that you know, these kinds of ignorant, offensive statements occur regularly. And I would like to apologize to you on behalf of my gender.
We complain regularly about a lack of female gamers. We complain regularly that the females in our lives do not understand our love of video games, tabletop RPGs, and MMOs. We complain about these things, but when we find females who do share our interests, instead of being happy – even if such a person only becomes a friend and gaming partner – we turn into the cavemanish, jocky douche-bags who have given us a hard time. We treat you like objects. We degrade you, because “girls suck at video games.” When you outplay us, instead of praising you for a good game, we either make excuses, accuse you of cheating, or resort to throwing tantrums laced with profanity, insults, and degrading comments (often sexual in nature). And for that, I apologize
Why do we do this? I don’t have a great answer for you. Some of us are just arrogant assholes. Some of us are misogynist jerks. Many of us, I would venture a guess, are afraid. For some (if not many), gaming is one sphere of life where male gamers can feel powerful, can feel in control, can feel important. And while your interest and skill in no way diminish that for us, many of us have unfounded fears that your presence and skill (although we repeatedly profess to desire your presence and skill in gaming) will undermine our position of power. Such fear is stupid and unfounded. But it exists. And for that, I apologize.
Resorting to such behaviors is childish. It reproduces the torment that many of us faced at the hands of other individuals for our interest in video games. We hated it when it was done to us, but we have chosen to violate the Golden Rule and do unto you what we detested being done to us. We gamers claim to be intelligent. Therefore, we should see that we are reproducing the negative behaviors that we despise. Yet we willfully choose to behave ignorantly and stupidly in this regard. We have no excuse. We have no justification. We are wrong. And for that, I apologize.
I can make no apology worthy of the repeated offenses we have committed as a group. Even those of us who do not act this way rarely chastise those who do – and when we do chastise them, we do not do so strongly enough. Regardless, I do hope that none of you will let such ignorant jackasses cause you to quit playing and enjoying video games. We can tell you how great they are. We can tell you how much fun they are to play. But you can only know this through playing them. And that love can easily be snuffed out by some douchebag who cannot move past traditional gender-based divisions of labor, of interest, and of lifestyle. You ladies can play video games. You ladies do play video games. You ladies do play video games well. You ladies to participate and contribute to gamer culture in meaningful ways. Perhaps one day, we males will recognize and appreciate that. Perhaps one day, we will treat you as you deserve. But until that day arrives, I will continue to apologize for the actions of my gender.