I have great fun taking part in it, and I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way.But I’ve also heard from people of all genders who have chosen to skip out on multiplayer entirely because of the bad behavior of others. I myself always feel anxious about outing myself as a woman when playing with strangers, and I’ll often listen to in-game banter for a little while before I decide if the social atmosphere is one I feel comfortable joining.
In addition, the female voice received more queries and more messages from other gamers than the male voice or no voice.
But the use of gendered insults and the tripled rate of negative comments, regardless of skill level or win percentage, indicates that something more than just a proclivity for trash-talk is at the core of this particular problem.
Now, it’s important to remember that this study is reflective of isolated gaming environment, not of video games as a whole.
One of the common counter-responses in discussions about harassment is that it isn’t that big of a deal, or that men suffer plenty of trash-talking as well.
That latter point is true, and there are guys out there who avoid voice chat or multiplayer because they, too, are sick of the toxic social environment.