In the face of an increasing number of social-oriented games, I find myself preferring an insular experience and – unfortunately – increasingly shying away from playing certain games altogether. Something that used to be enjoyable now looms as a potentially stressful and threatening part of the culture because, despite the fact that women over the age of 25 are now the largest group of gamers in the U.S., we’re still subjected to an alarming amount of harassment and sexism by our male counterparts.
Sexism in the videogame industry is by no means a new topic. It’s been the subject of numerous articles, blog posts and even websites devoted to posting the lewd, mean and even downright disturbing messages female gamers are subject to get when playing online. This week, the conversation has flared up again, fueled by an incident on “Cross Assault,” a Capcom-sponsored reality show in which teams of Street Fighter X Tekken players compete for prizes.