Pharyngula

It could be worse, part II

We could be gamers. Oh, wait … some of us are! If you want to see the very worst of raging, testosterone-poisoned sexism, look to nerd-dominated gaming culture; I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a significant part of the current conflict in the skeptical movement comes from our large overlap with that segment of the tech-savvy, rather clueless collection of man-children who see all women as aliens who are fat, ugly, or slutty.

I’m not heavily into gaming, but I do play a little World of Warcraft, poorly (it’s easy, though, so my old-man reflexes can mostly cope). Mostly, I find the population of MMOs embarrassing. I’m on a server, Proudmoore, that has a reputation as gay-friendly, with several large guilds that combat gay stereotypes…but it is so common to get in a quick cross-server group and find myself labeled as the ‘fag’, and sometimes even getting kicked out on sight because of the name of my server (or more often, I leave as the gay slurs start to fly — I don’t play if it isn’t fun). Women players are very cautious about revealing their sex; some won’t speak on audio because they know as soon as their female voices are heard, the annoying comments will start to come in.

So, yes, skeptics/atheists are better than some cultures…but that’s not an excuse to avoid improvement.