Anecdotal evidence suggests that women who play League of Legends have been regular targets of harassment

Not another day could pass without SJWs attacking a video game for sexism. This time it’s Kotaku (anyone surprised?) and League of Legends. The title is a literal quote from the article.

Let’s ignore that “anecdotal evidence suggests” is archaic English for “fake news” and just focus on the statement. Anyone who ever played that game can testify that this is completely and utterly untrue.

The truth is that “women, men, children, cyborgs, lizardmen or Russian election-rigging-bots who play League of Legends have been regular targets of harassment”. Not muting everyone at the beginning of every game is self-harming behavior. The only message the chat ever conveyed to anyone in that game is that he is a horrible person who should kill himself. Never-ever I’ve seen anything that can’t be summarized as above.

Sure, it’s absolutely not good, but has nothing to do with sexism. They don’t hate you for being woman, they hate you because the alternative of hating you is accepting that they lost due to their own fault and you clearly can’t expect it from a fellow “hardcore gamer”.

Now we can contemplate why this game draws “hardcore gamers” and why Riot is attracting these kind of people creatures from Hell. The reason is that this is the unique selling point, this gets the money. The players don’t run around on the same map again and again, spending hours on lasthitting whack-a-mole because it’s fun. Nor because 99% genuinely want to compete in this. Sure, there is the top 1% who really has nothing better to do with his life than perfecting his hand-eye coordination on the World-changing skill of last hitting a low polygon wizard. But most people aren’t like this.

League of Legends isn’t a niche game. It’s literally the most popular game out there. This means that it’s also the most casual game, as “most people” are casuals by definition. It’s also casual by design: short sessions, free-to-play, simple rules, few maps, straightforward task. I could sit my never-gamer mother front of it and after 15 minutes she would understand it completely. Sure, she’d fail in lasthitting and would eat every “skillshot”, but she would be fully aware what she was supposed to do. Also – most importantly – if we would implement time-slow-down in the game, where all movement and attack happen 10x slower, my elderly mum would play exactly as well as the World champion. The game is a glorified whack-a-mole, nothing more. This is why it’s so popular among … everybody.

But programming a whack-a-mole isn’t hard and there is a reason why Riot gets most of the buck: because they created an illusion of hardcoreness around League of Legends. The players don’t pay for the privilege of lasthitting, they pay for the belief that they are now seen as badass hardcore PvP-ers. When the evidence proves that they aren’t that hardcore, they get buttmad and flame on chat.

So dear women, men, children, cyborgs, lizardmen or Russian election-rigging-bots, stop whining over the game being toxic, just avoid the damn thing. It’s toxic by design and if toxic people would be removed, 99% of the playerbase would go.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

9 thoughts on “Anecdotal evidence suggests that women who play League of Legends have been regular targets of harassment”

  1. Did we read the same article? This article isn’t about in-game sexism, it’s about sexism in Riot offices and work culture, and it’s pretty justified. The title you chose is a single sentence they threw in there, and it doesn’t invalidate the rest of the article. And they didn’t say men or reptiles or doggos weren’t target of harassment either, they just stated women are, because this is an article about how women are treated at Riot, and this ties into it.

    This isn’t an article about in-game harassment, but they simply noted that the in-game harassment toward (everyone) made women (part of everyone) quit because they don’t want to be subjected to it. Now it could be argued that they should grow a thicker skin, or mute, or whatever, but I’m not going there. But this ties in with the article, which is about women’s treatment at Riot, seeping into the game.

    And regaring the article, if that’s really the office politics and the work culture at Riot, it’s pretty fair to say that the behaviours described in there are shitty behaviours, in my opinion.

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  2. >The truth is that “women, men, children, cyborgs, lizardmen or Russian election-rigging-bots who play League of Legends have been regular targets of harassment”.

    The article’s mention of sexism applied mainly to out-of-game behavior. The main interview involved a woman, and she was *not* complaining about toxic chat. She was talking about organizing or attending events (such as tournaments) where Internet anonymity doesn’t apply. She pointed out that women were more comfortable attending an event organized by a woman – but that such events also attract sexist disparagement from male gatekeepers. To summarize: if the LoL community had prominent female leaders then it would be more appealing to female followers … but male followers are toxic to the female leaders, so they tend to quit.

    The article is extremely light on detail. NYTimes readers aren’t expected to know anything about video games; the editor doesn’t expect them to read through 100 pages of undercover reporting and Twitch drama; the reporter barely understood the game’s genre or mechanics; it was published in the newspaper’s “Fashion” section. We shouldn’t expect the article to revolutionize our understanding of gender dynamics or MOBA design.

    It’s quite possible that the nature of the harassment was misunderstood. The offenders *might* simply be garden-variety trolls who are seizing upon *any* identifiable trait as the basis for insults (e.g. if you’re female then they’ll make a sandwich joke; if you’re Korean then they’ll use an ethnic slur; if you’re a teenaged white guy then they’ll call you a gay virgin loser).

    The interviewee complained that non-expert male players would criticize her expert gameplay. She classified that as mansplaining, but it’s a weak accusation because backseat gaming happens to *everyone*. It might be true that backseat gaming happens more often to female streamers (with some +/- uncertainty due to white knights in chat). But the sexism hypothesis would need to be tested via an in-depth study (which NYTimes and Kotaku didn’t provide).

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  3. @Edwardqjones: great. Now please tell me what you are disagreeing with in my post. Because nothing you write implies that you disagree with anything.

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  4. So dear women, men, children, cyborgs, lizardmen or Russian election-rigging-bots, stop whining over the game being toxic, just avoid the damn thing. It’s toxic by design and if toxic people would be removed, 99% of the playerbase would go.

    there are no victims only volunteers. – let that sink in for a minute, not just for games, for really anything one thinks to stick a victim card onto their head.

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  5. @Anon: it’s not that simple. People are not properly informed about toxic environments. Riot doesn’t advertise League of Legends as “get called nigger faggot every minute”. Sure, at some point people should realize the situation and run. But feminists, antiracist and other SJWs feed them the false narrative that it’s not the situation what is toxic, but the World and they have nowhere to run.

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  6. @Anon: it’s not that simple. People are not properly informed about toxic environments. Riot doesn’t advertise League of Legends as “get called nigger faggot every minute”. Sure, at some point people should realize the situation and run. But feminists, antiracist and other SJWs feed them the false narrative that it’s not the situation what is toxic, but the World and they have nowhere to run.
    It isn’t simple but doesn’t change the principle. If they get pushed by life nothing stops them from using rational and research stuff until they are satisfied enough and be prepared for the next “same kind of shit” life throws at one. and “patriarchy” isn’t the coockycutter answer. The laziness and willingness to basically let others decide their lives is their own decision … exactly the wrong decision that keeps one awake at night. So they should Quit the bullshit use the gift of self-awareness and sophisticated doctrine to their advantage. don’t play victim. youtube.com/watch?v=PUSz0ZRdEHE

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  7. Is there any doubt that the majority of men have been made aware that sexism exists in the world, either through training or other mechanisms? If you care to look around, game development is not the only business to be affected by these claims. I find it offensive that claims of ” a narrative” are flung around when it’s more than clear that women are under-represented in positions of power in a majority of businesses. It doesn’t take a SJW to point this out, and “feminism” will most certainly not be the social mechanism that will provide a remedy for the obvious ills that women face in today’s job market. Having said that, I am most certainly -for- merit based systems. If someone brings knowledge and skill to the table and displays proper command of those attributes and benefits a company’s bottom line, then any company would be foolish to not hire or promote those individuals regardless of sex, creed, religion or otherwise. This tit for tat mentality that’s in place right now simply needs to be abandoned, as it serves no one in the long run.

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  8. @Noguff: what you wrote is feminist narrative itself. The reality is that women usually don’t ambition positions of power. I don’t blame them, I don’t ambition them either. I consider those who work 80 hours a week for being called “director” crazy.

    Why mostly men ambition it? For the same reason why humans have smelly armpits: evolutionary remain. Back in the day the lead ape had access to all females so ambition was rewarded. This drive exists in some men and make them do stupid stuff.

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