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OMG Girlz Don't Exist On Teh Intarweb! 225

Posted by Zonk
from the yeah-they-do dept.
The Escapist has a brilliant article penned by a young woman who has to deal with blatant disbelief at her existence. Why? Because there are no women on the internet. From the article: "This is the story of my internet life. (I'm not quite sure if it's a good or bad thing that I have an internet life, but internet life it is.) I'm a girl, I play games and I exist on the internet. Or so you think. Time after time, I get told I'm not a girl and that I don't exist. It's happened so much that I'm beginning to think that it's true. So, I spend some time getting to know them. Who are these mysterious creatures called girls if they don't exist on the internet? What does this mean for the men of the internet?"
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OMG Girlz Don't Exist On Teh Intarweb!

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  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday November 04, 2005 @07:50PM (#13954502)
    or why he's pretending to be a chick, but everyone knows there are no girls on teh internets.
  • Who Cares (Score:4, Funny)

    by inio (26835) on Friday November 04, 2005 @07:55PM (#13954541) Homepage
    Women are made from sand, and would we want something made of sand on the internet? If you've ever taken a laptop to the beach you know - sand and computers don't mix.
  • Simple (Score:4, Funny)

    by Chrismith (911614) on Friday November 04, 2005 @07:55PM (#13954543)
    The problem is that the type of guy who spends most of his life on the Internet probably doesn't have much "female interaction" to begin with. So when this guy meets a girl online, his initial reaction will be disbelief.

    Note that this initial disbelief may soon be followed by, "OMG BOOBZ!!1!" so caution is advised.

  • Oh god... (Score:5, Funny)

    by aelbric (145391) on Friday November 04, 2005 @07:56PM (#13954551)
    "Men of the Internet"

    THERE'S a calendar I wouldn't want for Christmas.

  • by Julian Morrison (5575) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:02PM (#13954592)
    ...she gets her professionally taken pics plastered all over The Escapist.

    Way to prove you're a girl, I suppose. Still, so much for the "I don't show my pic to random people" thing. Couldn't get much more random than that!
    • she gets her professionally taken pics plastered all over The Escapist

      As if I minded that. Her hotness makes them professional. Wear your geek shirt with pride, Whitney Butts*, for you beautify our race.

      *That's just a horrible last name to be stuck with. I feel your agony from here.

  • Who cares? Actually I have some very good friends who play Wow that are female - of course I've known them for years from playing a mud we all frequented, But neither I or my close friends have any problems with girl gamers, after all we're all here for the same reason - to have fun.
    • by spineboy (22918) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:30PM (#13954795) Journal
      I've noticed that a fair amount of people on City of Heroes are women (stay at home moms) - maybe it has to do with the style of game it is - a cooperative type game. Men tend to like situations where you either compete against eachother, or have a definite leader (like the armed forces, football team etc.) Women tend to like situations where everyone works together. C.O.H. seems to appeal to this style of play.

      While it's difficult to get accurate stats on the real percentages of men and women playing games, I'm sure that different types/styles of games will tend to have a greater or lesser amount of the various sexes.

      I'm not surprised to see more women playing games , as the games evolve into more of a social type of situation. I, for one, like this development, as it seems to cut down on the amount of trash talking that young teenage boys tend to do, and also broadens the game strategies (men and women definetely think differently, not that one is better than the other).

      • I played City of Heroes for quite a while and found some surprises in my guild after going over the roster. Me and a friend were the youngest members at age 20, and about 1/3rd of the roster was female.

        Pretty damned odd. I'm pretty sure that this situation was the exception rather than the rule.
      • About half of my WoW guild (before I stopped playing) was female. Either stay at home moms, or wives/girlfriends of the guy players.
      • I've noticed that a fair amount of people on City of Heroes are women (stay at home moms) - maybe it has to do with the style of game it is - a cooperative type game.

        Men tend to like situations where you either compete against eachother, or have a definite leader (like the armed forces, football team etc.)

        Women tend to like situations where everyone works together. C.O.H. seems to appeal to this style of play.

        Gender stereotypes!

    • Bah, Coren ...
      You don't play MUDs anymore; heck you didn't play then! Sitting in the cairn complaining about how you can't leave isn't playing ;).

      *grins, sweeps, blasts, laughs*
  • My Wife (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NotMyNickName (922171) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:07PM (#13954632)
    My wife went through this recently. She plays WoW... a lot. She's a female, NE rogue and has been in a guild for about four months now. They talk all the time and she's said many times that she's a woman and all that. Well recently, on their guild website they were posting pictures of themselves and people were shocked that she was actually a she. I suppose they figured she was really role-playing it up or something.
  • by Alaren (682568) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:12PM (#13954670)

    Not a bad article, but do we have to post every Escapist article dealing with women and gaming? The entire current issue is about women and gaming.

    To the article specifically, I would ask why a girl is surprised that a bunch of teenaged geek boys (myself included, back when I was a teenager--that's not a troll!) don't know how to handle themselves around a girl. Here's a newsflash--they don't know how to handle themselves around girls in real life, either!

    Yeah, WoW and the IRC have a lot of adult users, too--those would be the polite people who didn't freak out. I can tell you, as a 25-year-old with 2 kids, I spend a lot less time on the IRC or playing MMORPG's than when I was 14 and had nothing better to do. The point is, most of those guys are not mature about the gender thing because, well, they haven't grown up yet, they're still children.

  • RA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cyanara (708075) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:22PM (#13954735)
    Hell, my mum is and always has been a heavy Red Alert gamer. Prior to Westwood selling up she played online all the time. The other day I stumbled across an old spreadsheet where she'd been collecting player stats.
  • by Gravedigger3 (888675) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:27PM (#13954770)
    My mom is 40 years old and she has a level 37 Warlock on WoW. I messaged her on MSN after reading this asking about her experience. She is not shy about the fact that she is a woman and she has used vent now and then and she hardly ever gets a reaction like this article describes.

    I dont know what server she is on or what internet she is using but I have been in many raids with women and have never heard anything quite to that extent that she is complaining about in this article.
    • pick one or both:

      - hyperbole
      - author plays primarily with 12 yr olds
    • by aafiske (243836) on Friday November 04, 2005 @09:04PM (#13955015)
      And I have a friend whom I play Halo 2 with, and no one ever believes she's a girl. Generally they accuse her of being a pre-teen boy. Or constantly talk to her, sometimes crudely, sometimes not crude, just annoying.

      • A few years back someone on my ICQ list changed his nickname to a female one. He's very active in online MMORPGs with that nick, and as far as I can tell, people generally believe him, or at least keep quiet when they don't. He even has two accounts registered on many sites, one for himself, and one for his female alter-ego. He discovered that people admire his programming skills 100x more when they think he's a girl.
        • An example of social adaptability in play. Having discovered a way to increase his social standing by pulling off a convincing display to make other members of his species belive he is of the female sex, he is able to procede to use his dominantly male skills to increase his status under the guise of being female.

          See this is why it pays to listen to that booring lecture :P
      • Do I know you? Sounds very familiar to someone I play with. ;)
    • Your mom is level 37, so she's not in an uberguild. There are lots of women in the "family guild" type scene, many mothers, many girlfriends or sisters...all sorts. It's one of the few good reasons for wanting to be in a family type guild: low stress friendlier people.

      Uberguilds tend to be teenagers (the only demographic that has the time to commit). They pride themselves on their "skillz" in the same way that a football team does, and assume girls wouldn't be able to keep up, because let's face it, what ho
  • by buffer-overflowed (588867) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:34PM (#13954816) Journal
    It doesn't really matter unless you're hitting someone up for something sexual. That's the nature of it, anonymous, with handles designed solely to put continuity into the communication. We're all just text, judged solely by what we say.

    But yea, there are girls on the internet, girls on slashdot, girls in WoW. There seems to be a minority of them that identify themselves as such, but hey, that goes for everything: gender, race, religion, etc.

    It rarely matters. I've been the only guy in guilds/clans, one of a handful, one of many, etc. Never find this out or really care until enough bonds have formed through the anonymity to actually give a rats ass about the other's actual real life personas.

    And of course, the internet is also populated mostly by people that use the anonymity to be jackasses. Post your pics! Mexican Jewlizard! yada yada. You get to see people as they are, socially, with basically no consequences or prejudgements.

    It's a wild, wild place, and we likes it like that.
  • by Trepalium (109107) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:39PM (#13954847)
    I think their version [penny-arcade.com] is far more amusing.
  • by wuie (884711) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:52PM (#13954931)
    When I first started playing online games (Descent 2, Quake 2 timeframe), I found that the reaction I would get for being a female gamer would be based on what group I was talking to.

    - Clan/Guild members would automatically believe me, and I rarely got any odd treatment for being a female.
    - Denizens in channels I'd frequent would be more reluctant to believe that I'm a female, and very often ask for pictures. When I would refuse these requests, I'd get the aforementioned flood of "U R a D00D lolololz"
    - While actually playing the game on servers, I'd almost never mention that I'm a female. I learned to do this because whenever I would mention my gender, I'd get the pix requests tenfold, and the excessive chatter (sometimes inquisitive, but most often crude) would deter me from the action and ruin the experience.

    This list, of course, has some exceptions. While part of a online gaming clan, I was once a ranking officer of a section of the guild responsible for playing a particular game. During a clan match, one of the members found that one of our other members was cheating, and brought the questionable screenshot to my attention. While I was in the process of bringing this to the clan leader, I was subject to a rather vicious attack, one that focused mainly around the fact that I'm female, and of course must be a "camwhore" or "extremely fat and stupid", of which I am neither. He still got ejected from the clan, but not without dealing the damage and attacking me in front of 100+ clan members.

    What has all of this taught me? There are times when I can be proud of being a female gamer, and other times when sticking my neck out like that will end up with my head rolling. I learned that it's far easier to just let my gender be a mystery while playing online, instead of letting my gaming experience being ruined by asshats.

    With the increasing popularity of MMORPGS, however, many female gamers are now playing games online. These female gamers are now encountering the same treatment that I've been used to for years, and are quite taken back by it. Hopefully this flood of female gamers will bring the fact to life that female gamers do exist, that we do play, and that we just want to play.

    We shouldn't need to provide a picture to prove who we are. :)

  • by TexTex (323298) * on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:56PM (#13954966)
    Just no girls on slashdot.

  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Friday November 04, 2005 @09:04PM (#13955014) Homepage Journal
    Mostly Men Online Role Playing Girls.
    • Mostly Men Online Role Playing Girls.

      [In my best Curly imitation]: Hey! I resemble that remark...nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk nyuk!

      Seriously, most of the time I prefer to play female characters in FFXI because they look nice and I feel like it brings some balance to the gender proportions of the game world, even if most of those females are males in real life.

      Most of the time the question of rl gender doesn't come up, but if it does I just tell the truth, that's just my style.
      • You should tell them to mind their own business. The purpose of a role playing game is to play a role. You don't see anyone saying "you're not really a cleric, are you?" because it is assumed that you're only playing the role of a cleric (or a warrior, or a barbarian, or whatever). The problem with WoW is that they've tried to throw out role playing and make it all about "fun" to which you really have to ask, why have a character you can personify? What purpose is there to it?
  • Of coarse.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Kyeetza (927172) on Friday November 04, 2005 @09:08PM (#13955043)
    There's women ALL over internet, it's just that they all live inside the porn sites that the men visit.
  • But no one really cares. I guess that is the advantage to being in a gaming community with an average age of around 25. We're a FPS community, we use TeamSpeak, but whe a woman gets on the channel, she is just another player as far as we're concerned.
  • by tolldog (1571) on Friday November 04, 2005 @09:47PM (#13955225) Homepage Journal
    I am surprised that the women haven't formed their own internet by now. Guys get stupid around girls enough as it is. Adding in the fact that many of the guys escape to games because they have problems relating with people, let alone females, it only gets worse.

    I, thankfully, haven't freaked out too much when the person on the other side revealed themselves to be female. On the other hand, there have been a few times where people were roll playing as a female and later revealed themselves to be a guy. It wasn't quite a crying game type of situation, but it was enough of a shock for me to still remember...

  • With a name like 'Whitney Butts' you just know thats a guy!
  • And this is news? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tvadakia (314991) <tvadakia.gmail@com> on Friday November 04, 2005 @10:02PM (#13955286) Homepage
    Simply put: This is an to-be disputed rant about a targeted audiience. It's far from all encompasing and can't even generalize on any experiences outside of the expamples she had given. She might as well have just ranted about immaturity in teenage kids.

    Move on.
  • Wow, I just realized that I have never been on the internet. I guess I never realized that the whole of the internet consisted of the World of Warcraft. How could I have missed this? I mean, what other explanation is there for why no girls on World of Warcraft could equal no girls on the internet. It's all so clear to me now.

    -> Fritz
  • ... she's really a bot.
  • Pffttt.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Donniedarkness (895066) <Donniedarkness@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @12:20AM (#13955899) Homepage
    EVERYONE knows that girls only exist on Xanga and MySpace...
  • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Saturday November 05, 2005 @12:30AM (#13955937) Homepage Journal
    We're posting stories about how a girl complains no one believes she's a girl...a girl with a really, really horrid looking website. Is it that slow a newsday? Didn't Microsoft do anything wrong today?
  • I have run into this on occassion. Although I rarely play games online with people I don't know, I find often that on IRC, for example, if I mention that I'm female in a room that I don't frequent I will often see people who seem suprised that I'm female. I find this happens most often if I stop into a Linux or programming room to ask for help on something.
    Of course, most people never take it beyond some sort of exclamation of suprise. I've found that people who message asking for pics, etc, are general
    • Of course, most people never take it beyond some sort of exclamation of suprise.

      For them to actually say they are surprised shows they have an issue.

      For you to feel the need to tell everyone your sex also shows you have an issue.

      Wityh regards to personal information on the web, I have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" approach. I'm the type that winces uncomfortably in a previously pristine online aquaintance is ruined when someone blurts out a totally superflous piece of information such as "I like cheese" or "I'm
  • ... Have you ever passed through Livejournal, Myspace, etc.? It's more than half, more likely 2/3 women (and girls.) Take a look at one of those pages that shows the last 50 images sent to livejournal. You're going to see lots and lots of women. Most of them taking pictures of themselves in the mirror.

    Do you think women don't game? Sure they do, check out the Pogo and Yahoo games. Quite a few women there too.

    How about AIM? Would instant messaging even exist if not for chatty teen girls?

    And then there
  • by Errandboy of Doom (917941) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:58AM (#13956545) Homepage
    ...and her name is John Romero [penny-arcade.com].
  • I'm a girl and I've been playing games online for six years. I've never had any problems with people "not believing" I'm a girl who plays video games. Perhaps it's because I don't spend any time worrying about whether or not anyone I meet online thinks I'm a girl or not, I just am who I am.

    I don't believe the author faces any serious questioning of her gender online.

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that there is a prominently feature picture of a girl on the first page of the article, when so much of i
  • The Internet:
    Where men are men, women are men, 13 year Old girls are FBI agents.
  • by Doctor Cat (676482) on Saturday November 05, 2005 @03:31PM (#13958678) Homepage
    That's the kind of reaction I guess you'll get in the genres that're still mostly played by male players - especially the combat oriented testosterone fueled games like first person shooters (or to a lesser extent, most MMORPGS). But half the users of the Internet are female, and in fact they're the best customers for a lot of the "casual game" genres. I doubt she'd get that kind of reaction in Spades and Hearts gamerooms, or in places like Puzzle Pirates or A Tale in the Desert. I know on my own Furcadia, 57% of the players are female, and half our company's staff are women. Of course if her favorite types of games are the male dominated ones, she's going to run into those kinds of players & reactions. It is a shame, but they're not universal all over the net and in all games.
  • Some chick takes a joke way too seriously and writes five pages of crap about it. Man, the reason why /. posts Escapist articles all the time is so clear to me now...

    Rob
  • I think a lot of guys don't think the girls would "stoop to their level". There's this inherent understanding among male gamer geeks that we're not necessarily popular and good with girls, so we expect them to not naturally hang out with us. Thus, when actually confronted with them on our home turf, it catches us off guard, some people to the point where its simply easier to deny their existence than accept that yes, there are girls who play games, and some may be even geekier than you.

    Personally, I would

  • I play FFXI (Final Fantasy MMORPG) and at least half of my friends list is female, and over half of the "linkshell" (like a guild thingy) must be female.

    79% of my MSN contact list is female.

    My MOTHER, who is an eBay queen and 'leet warez haxor' is, so I'm told, a female.

    My three best geek pals (web design guru, game master, anime queen) happen to be female.

    Not to mention my little sister, who has a veritable LEGION of friends who are constantly online.

    I wonder what internet this daft tart lives on? Or is sh
  • Are why men don't believe there are "real" girls on the internet. The few that are on the internet are usually completely socially maladjusted attention seekers.

    Just like the men secretly know themselves to be.

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