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  • Writer's pictureDemi Lynch

Sexism And Harassment In Gaming: "The second I spoke I was getting screamed at by gamer boys."



Despite the increase of female gamers, sexism in the world of gaming is only on the rise.

Cheer Gurl (also known as xocheergurlox) has been playing Call of Duty for two years and has already created a successful career in professional gaming.

However, like many women in the gaming industry she's experienced a level of sexism many would think couldn't possibly exist in 2023.

"The sexism is insane - from the day I started playing and the second I spoke I was getting screamed at; I don't know what it is, they hear a woman's voice and they just start screaming," says Cheer, "I wish I had an answer as to why but I think they believe it's their safe space to be able to do that."



Cheer isn't the only gamer to experience online harassment from gamer boys.

Aussie YouTuber and gamer who goes by iamfallfromgrace has been a streamer on Twitch for eight years.

Due to the "anonymity of the online gaming space," iamfallfromgrace receives hateful comments from gamer boys on a daily basis.

"I get comments saying that I only have viewers because they want to f*ck me, I wouldn’t have opportunities if I wasn’t a woman and that I shouldn’t be playing a certain game because it’s not a GIRLS GAME," she says, "as a woman in the Twitch space I'm harassed daily by men telling me I don't deserve my success or that I am only successful because I'm a 'token' woman."


Woman with long hair and headset gaming.
Image Source: Instagram / iamfallfromgrace

Although women make up 45% of online gamers worldwide, many are still harassed online whenever they turn on their mics and (god forbid) speak while gaming.

In fact, according to reports, more than 80% of female-identifying gamers in Australia have experienced offensive behaviour online.


Cheer uses her platform to encourage "women and queer people to stick up for themselves" by calling out the sexist gamer boys that waste their free time belittling others.

"They unmute their mics because I've helped them learn that they can do that," she says, "use my insults, like I say all the time - hot girls don't gatekeep, use the things I say to stick up for yourself."


"The men who scream at us they're not the majority but they are the loudest." - xocheergurlox

For any women new to the world of gaming, Cheer says there's many ways you can find your community.

"Hang out in other people's streams that's where I met majority of my friends," says Cheer, "join in on community days, Facebook groups for women gamers and Discords - there's so many niche communities that'll have a space for you."


 
Header Image Source: Instagram

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