Well, That’s One Way To Combat Misogyny In Gaming

Well, That’s One Way To Combat Misogyny In Gaming

Enthusiasts of military-style first-person shooters are not well known for their progressive thoughts on the matter of gender. The organisers of a large LAN party in Texas, scheduled to celebrate the launch of Battlefield 3, have decided the best way to deal with any slurs hurled at female gamers is to simply forbid them from attending.

“Nothing ruins a good LAN party like uncomfortable guests or lots of tension, both of which can result from mixing immature, misogynistic male-gamers with female counterparts,” the organisers originally wrote in an event FAQ. “Though we’ve done our best to avoid these situations in years past, we’ve certainly had our share of problems. As a result, we no longer allow women to attend this event.

This paragraph has since been removed, as the stink over the exclusion went viral, and replaced with: “This event is a ‘gentlemen’s retreat’; as such we do not allow women to attend.”

Later, they clarified that with:

“We actively discourage gamers from being the kind of mysogynistic jackwagons seen in the Reddit post, and such behaviour should not be tolerated. Frankly, we don’t like that kind of player either. So far as this event goes, it is an special event designed specifically for male gamers. Further, it is meant as a getaway designed to help said male contingent become better men both for themselves and for those who love us.”

This is a large, private event and its organisers certainly have the right to associate with whomever they please. But given what I usually hear over my headset in military shooters like Battlefield, I wonder if this party would so outwardly ban any black gamers from registering. Because it would be so, you know, uncomfortable to hear them being insulted.

Or maybe the answer here is to forbid that kind of obnoxious behaviour, and kick out anyone who breaks the rule, $US49 registration be damned. Or maybe this event is more about the comfort of the organisers than the participants.

Battlefied 3 Launch Party Information [PowersGaming, h/t Some Random Female Gamer]


  • “Or maybe this event is more about the comfort of the organisers than the participants.”

    Hit the nail on the head.

    Why ban potential targets, just on the off chance that they’re targeted, rather than the perpetrators after the fact?

    It’s a lot easier to kick out jerks when they’re being jerks than it is to kick out female gamers and then say you’re doing it for their benefit.

  • Baffling. If you want to combat misogynism and not seem like a massive hypocrite in the process, why not do as this article suggests and allow women to attend while actually dealing with the cumrags who are the whole problem in the first place?

  • Remove the people making the slurs you god damned tools, not the women. It’s not their fault. This is just..I mean..what is this I don’t even

  • It’s moments like this that make me embarassed to be a gamer. Fortunately, those moments really are uncommon. 😉

    • Sadly, when it comes to computer games, I haven’t really found these moments to be uncommon at all, at least online.

  • What the fuck? o.O How about not allowing immature, misogynistic male gamers to attend the event? Or ejecting people for being asshats?

    This is just so mind bogglingly wrong.

    • I would if the game was good and didn’t mainly appeal to, y’know, immature, misogynistic male-gamers…

    • Your doubts are completely unfounded. I’ve been to many FPS lans, including Battlefield. And I’m a woman. And I’m not an isolated example.

      Rationalisation fail!

  • Extremely terribly super-duper romping stomping bad form on their part. This kind of behaviour needs to be discouraged, not catered to.

  • This is ridiculous. If immature gamers can’t control themselves then they should be kicked out and not get to go to these kind of events. Great way for gamers to show once again how immature they are.

  • “We’d like to reiterate that this is a private event held on private property. It’s sad that a website like Kotaku picked this up and turned it into some race-baiting issue. As MadMax pointed out, “there are black, latino, and asian gamers at this event. Even though this is the case these guys are still trying to play a race card. Says a lot about Kotaku.”

    Hate to admit it, but this kind of makes Kotaku look worse than these guys. Every Friday night I have ‘guys night’, where only my male friends come over to play poker, no girlfriends, no female friends allowed. How is this any different?

    • Mainly because this is a public event and bare bones they are restricting the right of women or anyone to gather in a public place. Really if women want to go they legally cannot stop them, god knows why any would aside from making a statement about how backwards the behaviour of the organizers is.

      And the race card was played because it is interchangeable with the gay card and female card. Why is one(race) completely ridiculous and impossible but the other (women) not? Short answer, it isn’t, why these guys think it is shows ignorance and immaturity.

      • Except it’s not a public event. It’s a private event, privately organised and being held on private property. Therefore they are within their rights to restrict the invite list to whoever they want. If they want to do it as a “guys night out” thing, they are within their rights to do that, just as a lot of places do private parties for females only. Discrimination works both ways, you can’t say it’s alright for one group but not for the other, and then call that “fairness” or “justice”

    • Keep in mind, with the exact same rationisation you could have a “White Gamers Only” or “Strait Gamers Only”, just so you can not help the poor women/non-white/LGBT people from feeling hurt.

      The issue is that by doing this they’re not only suggesting that they feel the appropriate way to combat these kinds of attitudes is to remove the victim (protip: It’s not) but they’re also fostering the idea that this kind of behavior is acceptable.

      If someone wants to threaten to rape a player or throw racial slurs, they should be removed from the LAN.

    • Well, you’re not running an event open to the public, for starters…

      …or making money from it…

      …or implementing that discrimination to avoid having to confront idiots who can’t show basic civility to women…

    • To a significant extent, I have to agree.

      The simple fact is that sometimes, people prefer to be social with members of one sex only.

      Sometimes, men exclusively want the social company of other men. Just like sometimes, women exclusively want the social company of other women.

      This is more or less natural. People like socializing with those they identify with, i.e. people that are ‘like them.’ Gender is not an insignificant factor here; ceteris paribus, a person will find it easier to identify with someone of the same sex than someone of the opposite sex (note the ‘ceteris paribus’).

      I don’t think that this is necessarily a sexist thing.

      Would someone accuse a set of female gamers that wished to hold a women’s only LAN party to be sexist? Probably not.

      Now, do I think that gender separation is/single sex environments are an effective way to combat misogyny (or misandry for that matter)? No, I don’t. But I don’t think that voluntary institutions have an obligation to be designed for the purpose of reforming the character of the individuals within them.

      That said, obviously I think those immature comments made by some FPS players are, well, immature and certainly not reflective of rational, informed attitudes. But that should go without saying.

    • you know what, after going over to the site and having a read, I agree. Kotaku has made this out to be more than it is. Private Function means Private rules. I too have been to ‘guys night’ events, and I’m pretty sure a lot of women have been to ‘women only’ nights too

    • That’s utter crap. This is a large event to launch a video game. It’s misogynistic and discriminatory. It’s the equivalent of banning women from attending a movie premier or a concert.

      I’m predicting the developers and publishers will both be condemn this and possibly make moves to have the whole thing cancelled. It’s deplorable.

      • It’s not an event to launch a video game. It’s an unofficial event to celebrate the launch of a videogame.

        Anyone who finds the way the event is organised to be “sexist” or “wrong” is too full of PC culture crap. This is not the first time, nor the last, that an event will specifically cater to a single gender.

        The fact that Mark and Co. brought this article to KotakuAU is also a sad sign of KotakaAU falling to the sensationalist tabloid crap that KotakuUS has been for some time.

    • There is a pretty big difference in intent though. From the sounds of it your “guy’s night” events are gatherings of old friends, and that is perfectly understandable.

      What do you think would happen if instead you explained to your girlfriend that she couldn’t come because you didn’t want to take the chance that one of your friends might decide to abuse her?

  • Because gaming’s almost always guys’ night? Because there’s basically no LAN parties that women can go to and feel comfortable?

  • Ahhh, that bastion of progressive political thought and equality…. Texas…

    Seriously they progress further into the abyss. Even more amusing is the weak attempt at a justification for their in-equality. *Slow Clap* Well done…

  • Their house, their rules. I’d run it differently, but it’s not my place to tell them how to run their event. If they want to do a “guy’s night out” style party, that’s their choice. Gods know there are enough female-only events held in this day and age, what’s so wrong about guys holding one for a change

  • “Or maybe this event is more about the comfort of the organisers than the participants.”

    is this even being held by the Catholic church?

  • If they had of stated that it was men only without giving a reason no one would have cared. The organizers are stupid for trying to justify it. “Ask for forgiveness, not permission” the event should have been marketed correctly and this dung heap would never have happened. Still, I don’t care for sensationalist media. If Kotaku are going to publish this sort of rubbish, at least throw in some screens for us 😉

  • All of my hate.

    Maybe I don’t have any female friends.

    Maybe when I play games, I like to play them with males.

    Maybe I want to play Battlefield 3 on launch with males.

    This is like, as if blizzard said “oh, and no women at blizzcon please – except those in skimpy outfits, I guess they’re ok I guess, but no girls who actually like our products!”

    I suppose I’m just mad. But seriously – these guys are the reason I had an awkward and self-absorbed childhood.

    ALL of my hate.

  • Well, my wife and I are gamers. We lived in the US for 5 years.
    My wife used to play FPS’s all the time- and she was excelllent. She dominated the map- almost always on top of the leaderboard.
    We used to go to lan’s and play- until 1 day one of these bozo’s hassled her and called her a cheat because she killed him repeatedly. He got in her face and was threatening.

    While I understand what they’re doing, they’re being very selfish. Selfish? Guys are passionate and competitive, to have a woman beat them at it is frustrating. They overract and become jackasses. The problem is, when they explode things go horribly wrong. A “normal” dude becomes a violent mistake. You could put in places methods to try and clean up afterwards, or avoid it happening in the first place.
    For example, dont allow co-location, or put strict rules in with financial penalties eg. a bond that you lose on mis-behaviour, or lots of security.
    They are all expensive and dont necessarily work with so many people under one building.
    Short of an id card that must be adorned to get into the building that is used for all lans, blow it and lose your ability to attend another one- few other things would work.
    Its a shame, as my wife no longer goes to lans, and most likely never will as a result of her, our experience.
    Being the husband when some guy goes off his nut is a horrible experience. I wanted to deck the ass- but instead all I could do was try to intervene and cool down the situation. Still makes me feel weak though- even to this day.
    Men are prats and seriously need to calm the f#*k down.

  • IMHO in this case you can have your cake and eat it too: organisers of a private gathering should be able to state whatever limitations and rules they wish. However if those conditions are made public there’s nothing wrong with discussing the results or implications of those conditions and how they are justified.

    In my view, excluding female gamers is within their rights but the event will be poorer for it. Bad call, but we’ll see how it pans out in the end.

  • But if there aren’t any women attending, how will I know who to embarass myself in front of?

  • …aaaand all the usual derailing bullshit comes into play.

    @Tezz – Why would women possibly want to organise a women-only LAN event? I mean, it’s not like they’re trying to play in an environment dominated by men, with far too many of them (an outspoken minority, I hope) being rabidly misogynistic.

    What excuse do men have to demand their own event?

    None what-so-fucking-ever. If a female gaming group wanted to hold a girls-only event, I’d be all for it, because there’s a reason for it to exist. A guys-only event is simply a product of whiny little girl-haters trying to make a boys-only club so they aren’t forced to act like decent human beings.

    If female gamers would like, if it’s not too much trouble, to not be treated like shit at gaming events, telling them not to bother showing up is pretty much the most wrong a solution could be.

    I hope the female gamers of Texas show up en masse and demand to be let in. Would serve the idiots organising this event right.

    • Oh, so women never ever make misandrist comments in female-only environments?


      Or do you think its okay for women to be sexist against men whilst evil for men to be sexist against women?

  • Haha DexX, you’re the type of guy who gets absolutely trodden upon by females. I think it’s absolutely hilarious you think women have any more rights than males. It’s a privately run event, not public, the laws & our rights state that what is going on here is allowed. If you don’t like it, please fly the fuck away from all civilisation at your earliest convenience.


    P.S And with kind regards, go fuck yourself mate.

    • Geeze, he got you awful butthurt. Nobody’s questioning the legality of it – it’s a private event, we get it, cool. But that doesn’t make it any less of a dick move. It shows an unwillingness to deal with a problem in a productive way, and as has been said above, there’s not much difference to making this a white-only event because of “tension and discomfort” or a straight only event because “I’m a closet-cased fuckwad.”

  • @Anonymous – Why on earth would I want to run away from civilisation? The further I get from civilised people, the more likely I am to run into people like you.

    (Being nice to people is generally regarded as civilised behaviour. Just a quick FYI.)

    It’s not illegal to be an idiot, of course, but equally so it’s not illegal for me to say that I think you you’re an idiot.

    @StudiodeKadent – Oh no! Women at women-focused events sometimes say mean things to each other about men! The horror! Maybe they say things like, “Did you hear about those wankers in Texas who made a LAN gaming event women-only, supposedly to protect women? What a bunch of backward thinking morons!”

    • DexX,

      You’re greatly underestimating the female capacity for misandry.

      Women can be just as misandrist as men can be misogynist. I’ve heard some women say things that are FAR more sexist against men than “Did you hear about those wankers in Texas who made a LAN gaming event women-only, supposedly to protect women? What a bunch of backward thinking morons!” (Such a statement would, in fact, not be sexist because it is a statement about some specific men rather than men in general).

      Just because women in general have had it worse, historically speaking, doesn’t give all present-day women a free pass to be sexist against all present-day men. Sexism is bad, irrespective of who does it.

      Your blatant double standard combined with a view of women-in-general ripped straight from a Lifetime Movie Of The Week is, to put it gently, unfortunate.

      I could go into how your argument also is clearly based on the kind of methodological collectivism (class analysis, with genders as the relevant classes) which is a hallmark of the misandristic subtypes of feminist theory, but this isn’t the place for an argument on proper methodology in the social sciences.

  • Oh Jesus Christ, the MRAs have found us.

    It’s not that women have been worse off historically – they are worse off right now, today, all over the world. If you deny that then you deny reality.

    • “MRA’s” huh? You mean Men’s Rights Advocates, I assume?

      Sorry, I’m not a Men’s Rights Advocate. I’m an Individual Rights Advocate. Both men and women happen to be individual human beings.

      Again, your entire statement is riddled with Class Analysis. You apparently believe that all men are collectively responsible for the oppression of all women. Well, sorry, but “collective responsibility” makes absolutely no sense. Groups are concepts; they are abstractions formed by the human mind’s analysis of reality. They do not exist in and of themselves. Only particular entities exist. There are individual men and there are individual women, but “men as a class” and “women as a class” only exist as abstractions.

      “Responsibility” can only apply to an entity with the capacity to make choices. Since a group is merely a concept and not even an actual entity, a group cannot be held responsible. Individuals, on the other hand, are entities and they do have the capacity to make choices. Indeed, they are the only entity that can do so.

      Your methodology leads to two utterly perverse conclusions. First is that it more or less burdens men with a secularized version of Original Sin. And secondly, it actually excuses the evils of individual sexists and even rapists. After all, the ‘system of patriarchy’ is to blame because it ‘socially constructs’ each and every one of us (thus rendering us incapable of rational choice), and thus a rapist is merely a product of the system. As are all women that don’t agree with Carol Gilligan or Catherine MacKinnon.

      In short, this kind of reasoning makes all individual men responsible for something that they didn’t actually do, as well as (perversely) absolving certain men (rapists, sexists etc) from individual responsibility for things they DID do.

      Additionally, your methodology treats abstractions as more real than particular entities (i.e. treats classes as more real than members of said classes). This is Platonism, or Reification.

      I could go on about the epistemological shortcomings of your position, but I don’t see any real reason to.

      And just for the record, I am not a defender of ‘traditional’ concepts of gender. I consider those ideas to be just as Platonistic, methodologically collectivistic, and utterly boneheaded, as the misandrist subtypes of feminist theory.

      And no, I never denied the fact that many (probably most) women in most parts of the world must deal with sexism. So I am not ‘denying reality.’

      If you want a real example of denying reality, look at the Platonistic methodology you use, which treats abstractions as ‘more real’ than matter.

  • The fact that it’s a private event doesn’t necessarily make it legal.

    A restaurant, for example, is clearly private property, but generally speaking they couldn’t legally refuse to serve black people.

  • Oh, good gravy! Yes, it’s a private party, they can enforce whatever rules they want. But the REASON for disallowing women was not because it was intended to be a men-only shindig. It was so that all the asswipes could continue being asswipes without the lazy organizers actually having to control peoples’ behavior, or the asswipes learning to control themselves (which they should do no matter who is present).

    Honestly, as a woman, I’d rather everyone just be themselves and have fun instead of feeling like they have to behave a certain way around us (so long as they’re not being asswipes, of course). I prefer hanging out with guys anyway.

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