Are all male players sexist?

Games study: Sexist men are worse players

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Two researchers from the University of New South Wales have presented a new study on the behavior of video gamers. To this end, they followed a total of 163 games in the multiplayer shooter "Halo 3" and watched how men deal with their female opponents.

By analyzing the comments, they were able to work out some interesting aspects. One of them: sexists are the worse players, summarizes the Washington Post.

Unsuccessful men are noticed by sexism

Basically, it was observed that men were always relatively friendly with one another. Their "skill level", ie their ability and success, played only a minor role. Those at the top end of the ranking often complimented other players regardless of gender.

However, other men - those who were less successful - attracted attention with regular spiteful comments in the direction of female competition. This fits in with general observations on dealing with the Internet. According to a report by Pew Research, 40 percent of all Internet users have already seen themselves confronted with harassing behavior. In principle, meanness spills over to both sexes, but women are particularly often victims of sexual harassment and stalking.

Parallels

Study leader Michael Kasumovic explains that conclusions on other areas could also be drawn from the observations, since games like "Halo 3" would make excellent substitutes.

The participants in "Halo 3" move anonymously through the game world, tracking their individual behavior is hardly possible. Opponents rarely meet more than once, so very often people are insulted who you no longer meet in the game, and the vast majority of "Halo" gamers are male.

Fight for the order of precedence

Recently, the problematic behavior of numerous users on Reddit or Twitter also moved more into the media focus. Kasumovic explains that similar behavior was observed there by the fact that more women there are advancing into a previously established, almost exclusively male-dominated hierarchy.

Those who are at the top of the same see this calmly. However, those who find themselves in the hierarchy below see themselves and their status threatened. "Men are often prone to aggression in order to maintain their dominant social status," writes Kasumovic. The hostilities may be an attempt to suppress any shaking up of the hierarchy by women.

Solutions cannot be derived from these observations, but the researchers are continuing their work on the topic. Her previous discoveries can be read in her paper at PLOS One. (gpi, July 21, 2015)