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Katherine Smith

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Cyberbullying: It’s Not All Fun And Games

Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:06 AM

Tags:

bad-cyberbully

Cyberbullying is all over the news lately, but one aspect that is largely overlooked by the media is the bullying of women who play online games. These women are subjected to blistering attacks, often by grown men, simply for being women in a male-dominated hobby.

This harassment often includes sexual harassment, not based on anything other than the fact that the gamer being harassed is a woman. Other gamers will assume that the “gamer chick” has to be fat, or ugly, or just looking for attention. They reject the idea that women could legitimately just want to play the game.

Bullying in online video games is often overlooked, or even considered a part of the game by many users, but it is still a problem. The attitude of “it’s just part of the game, and if you don’t like it, you should just leave,” is not the proper attitude. Everyone has the right to enjoy the game, and when they are forced to leave the game because of other players’ actions, that right is being taken away.

And the saddest part is that it’s not just the 13-year-old boys who are doing the bullying. Grown men, who should definitely know better, and who would think twice about saying any of this in real life, are regularly bullying others in online games. One woman tells of entering a gaming tournament where she played on a team. The coach of her team, a grown man, regularly harassed her, even on camera, until she quit the tournament because she didn’t feel it was worth it.

Bullying doesn’t end on the playground. For some people, they never grow out of bullying. And they’re teaching their children the same bad habits. Stop the nasty cycle of hurting others. Learn to be civil online, and teach your children to do the same. Consider monitoring their online habits to make sure that they’re not bullying anyone, be they female gamers or their own peers.


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