Two people play on-line to the Call of Duty, one of the great video games today. They wear headphones to talk with members of their team. At 20 seconds a complaining voice is heard in English, "ok, we have two girls in the team, good game guys."
It is an offensive comment, but less than this other for example: "All the girls are garbage in lol[[League of Legends]", another famous game on-line.
The fragment is from a new Movistar campaign promoted under the motto MyNameMyGame by the international organization Wonder Woman Tech. In the week of March 8, they aspire to denounce once again one of the most impenetrable gender barriers: esports. "Aunts are very bad, stay in the kitchen" or "shut up bitch, go mop" are other examples recorded by the Movistar campaign.
The anonymity of the nicknames of the players and the traditional masculine cliché of the videojuegos takes this phenomenon to terrible limits between a group of people Mostly young. Each game has its own community with different levels of toxicity, but rancid topics are well distributed. And the worst: year after year, campaign after campaign, the change is imperceptible.
Is it something so frequent? "Yes, in every game it's just as bad."
Is it something so frequent? "Yes, in every game it's just as bad," says Eric Devil Murillo, consultant with more than 15 years dedicated to esports. "Although now at least there are social networks to complain about, 18 years ago not even that," he adds.
There are things that do not change at the moment. "Before, we were all geeks. I was the one who paid 12 euros to play World of Warcraft Instead of going to the disco, "he says," above all, boys played. "Over the years, he does not seem to change:" In my village it was normal to play ball ", even for boys, says Nicolás Colocho Nixerino, player of the Movistar Riders of 20 years.
"Video games are a highly stereotyped profession in which the prevailing idea is that of an introverted man and nerd, which is little incentive especially for girls, which are expected to be female and communicative ", says the White Paper of Women in the Technological Scope, that the Government presented this Monday. The consequences are not only that fewer women play, but that fewer women are programming videogames: in 2017, they occupied 22% of the jobs in the videogame industry around the world; in Spain they were 17%. In the 2016-17 academic year the number of students enrolled in the double degree of Computer Engineering and Development of Video Games was 12%.
The games on-line they are a sport where men and women could compete in mixed teams. The skills of manual agility and visual and mental speed are not characteristic of men. "Until now, a professional girls team has never won one of boys," says Murillo. But his theory is that until today more boys play and forcefully the percentage of good male players is going to be higher.
44% of players in Spain are women, a similar figure since 2012
According to data from 2018 of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, 44% of players in Spain are women, a similar figure since 2012. The figure is somewhat biased because the statistics include all types of games: from apps on the mobile as the Candy Crush to online games like Counter Strike or Fortnite. "Men play action adventure or role games and typically on console devices and women are mostly users of the so-called party games mostly in mobiles or tablets, "says the White book.
"Shooting games have a more masculine audience and harassment is more frequent. League of Legends It is more toxic in general and there the girls are expected to play in support roles or with female characters ", says Laura Nogales Molda, host of Movistar Riders. 27% of the outstanding players of League of Legends in the United States, he would be uncomfortable or nervous about having to play with women, according to a 2017 poll by ESPN.
The largest industry
It is even more serious than it already seems for two reasons: video games are today the entertainment industry that more money moves and it keeps growing. Two, players are usually very young. Hearing how exactly they repeat the worst clichés of their parents and grandparents is painful. "There are not that many girls, but I do not think it's because of lack of interest, there are many girls who leave because they feel terrible," says Samuel Mateos Sammy, player of Call of Duty of the Movistar Riders and who has participated in the campaign. The solution of many girls goes through a nickname masculine or neutral.
The discomfort to play is not only affected by insults. Also for attempts to flirt. The key is to disparage a person because of their gender, be it with insults, harassment or contempt for their abilities. "In the games I play, I've only met with a rock that tries things in the Overwatch. They ask me where I am from, how old I am. But I always take it with humor and I tell them that I am not a girl but a 10-year-old boy and normally, if they are not very young children, they understand the joke and keep playing without this nonsense, "says Durjaneeya, who prefers to use only her nickname: Your experience in other games, he says, is not bad, but you should also have to put up with these comments.
The promoters of the proposal have also been amazed: "I was shocked to see it, I thought something would come out, but it was brutal, a surprise, the second to play," says Elena Valderrábano, director of Corporate Ethics and Sustainability at Telefónica.
Be it with insults, harassment or the result is the same: women who play are intrusive. Access to the type of entertainment that everyone chooses is still defined by gender stereotypes for a whole generation of players. "It was a boy thing in 2000. It was not well seen and they called me tomboy at school if they saw me with my Gameboy," says Ainhoa Campos "Noa", videogame narrator. In 2019 it does not seem to have changed.