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  • Originally posted by PMárk View Post
    Okay, honest question: "YOU'RE A GIRL, THOU SHALL NOT PASS OUR BASEMENT'S ENTRY TO DESCEND TO OUR HOLY PLAYING DEN FOR BOYZ!" Is really-really a widespread thing? I just can't believe it is. It's not masculinity, not even the really toxic kind, it's just... 8 years old kids at the playground. Are big crowds of otherwise well-educated grown-ups are that emotionally and personally regressed over there????

    It's just hard to believe, really.
    So, I have an interesting perspective as someone who grew up as a geek boy with a lot of unexamined misoginy and is now a woman who often ends up on the receiving end of such misogyny. I at one time genuinely believed “fake gamer girls” who pretended to be into geeky things in order to hurt geeky boys were a real thing that existed.

    It all stems from self-hate. These boys see themselves as awkward, unlikable outcasts. Many of them have been the subject of bullying, or perceived bullying, sometimes by women. For many of these boys, gaming was a refuge, and it appealed to many like-minded boys with similar experiences.

    Now, if you view yourself as awkward and unlikable, and everyone you play games with thinks similarly of themselves, it’s easy to come to the faulty conclusion that gaming only appeals to awkward, unlikable people. Now, many of these boys - I would say probably most of them - like women. So when they encounter a woman who is interested in the same hobbies, this challenges their assumptions. If gaming only appeals to unlikable people, and I like this person, then gaming must not appeal to them. It is easier for many of these boys to assume that the woman must not actually be interested in the game, and is therefore faking it for some reason, rather than re-examine their underlying assumptions about the appeal of the hobby and/or about themselves. And since many of these boys have had negative experiences revolving around social interaction with women they like, they tend to assume malicious intent behind the presupposed deception.

    This gets worse the more attractive the boy finds the woman. Awkward, unpopular, or not-traditionally-attractive women are easier to fit within the “gaming is for unlikable people” worldview, and so are sometimes accepted by boys like this. But if they think you’re hot, then their first assumption is that you must not be into gaming, therefore you must be faking it so you can humiliate them. And they’re going to bombard you with tests on useless trivia about the game until they find something they know anout it and you don’t to prove it to themselves.

    Of course, all of this is absolute nonsense. But from someone who used to think that way: this is where it comes from. The people who try to gatekeep women from gaming do it mostly because they hate themselves and are afraid of women they find attractive. Don’t be like young Wil, kiddos.
    Last edited by Charlaquin; 01-25-2018, 03:33 AM.


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    • Originally posted by haren View Post
      Or they're called a "filthy casual" (no matter how hardcore or pro they are) for being a woman or girl.
      I get called a "filthy casual" even though I am a guy and have been an avid gamer for decades (in both the video and table-top senses of the word).

      It's just closed-minded people assigning everyone to teams, and like usually happens with teams treating everyone not specifically on their team as being the enemy.


      Not so noble anymore.

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      • Casual's a common insult in fandoms (comics, gaming, video and tabletop, general franchise stuff). 'You're not a real fan, like myself,' kind of thing.

        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
        And they’re going to bombard you with tests on useless trivia about the game until they find something they know anout it and you don’t to prove it to themselves.
        Is this what Mearls meant by gatekeeping?

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        • And the notion becomes equally hilarious and unrealistic considering the many, many stories people finding their significant other via tabletop gaming.

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          • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
            So, I have an interesting perspective as someone who grew up as a geek boy with a lot of unexamined misoginy and is now a woman who often ends up on the receiving end of such misogyny. I at one time genuinely believed “fake gamer girls” who pretended to be into geeky things in order to hurt geeky boys were a real thing that existed.

            It all stems from self-hate. These boys see themselves as awkward, unlikable outcasts. Many of them have been the subject of bullying, or perceived bullying, sometimes by women. For many of these boys, gaming was a refuge, and it appealed to many like-minded boys with similar experiences.

            Now, if you view yourself as awkward and unlikable, and everyone you play games with thinks similarly of themselves, it’s easy to come to the faulty conclusion that gaming only appeals to awkward, unlikable people. Now, many of these boys - I would say probably most of them - like women. So when they encounter a woman who is interested in the same hobbies, this challenges their assumptions. If gaming only appeals to unlikable people, and I like this person, then gaming must not appeal to them. It is easier for many of these boys to assume that the woman must not actually be interested in the game, and is therefore faking it for some reason, rather than re-examine their underlying assumptions about the appeal of the hobby and/or about themselves. And since many of these boys have had negative experiences revolving around social interaction with women they like, they tend to assume malicious intent behind the presupposed deception.

            This gets worse the more attractive the boy finds the woman. Awkward, unpopular, or not-traditionally-attractive women are easier to fit within the “gaming is for unlikable people” worldview, and so are sometimes accepted by boys like this. But if they think you’re hot, then their first assumption is that you must not be into gaming, therefore you must be faking it so you can humiliate them. And they’re going to bombard you with tests on useless trivia about the game until they find something they know anout it and you don’t to prove it to themselves.

            Of course, all of this is absolute nonsense. But from someone who used to think that way: this is where it comes from. The people who try to gatekeep women from gaming do it mostly because they hate themselves and are afraid of women they find attractive. Don’t be like young Wil, kiddos.


            There is also no shortage of male players who pick a female character for perverted reasons. Women being treated as sex objects is still going strong in the gaming community across virtually every genre. Seriously, find me a female character who dresses even half as decently as the male characters!


            And 9 times out of 10, if there's a male player using a female avatar, they will inevitably make it into something sexual. I can think of at least two instances in D&D online where I asked guys why they played a female character, and their responses were so they could check out their character's ass while they ran around doing quests!
            Last edited by Nyrufa; 01-29-2018, 09:01 AM.

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            • Originally posted by nofather View Post
              Is this what Mearls meant by gatekeeping?
              I would assume so. That’s what is usually meant by gatekeeping in geek hobbies, particularly given that he said gatekeeping via rules complexity and lore density. Trying to use the complex rules and dense lore as a tool to keep others out of the hobby.

              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
              And 9 times out of 10, if there's a male player using a female avatar, they will inevitably make it into something sexual. I can think of at least two instances in D&D online where I asked guys why they played a female character, and their responses were so they could check out their character's ass while they ran around doing quests!
              I wouldn’t take the “I play a female character so I can check out her ass” answer at face value. I used to give that answer all the time, while the real reason was that I identified more with the female avatars than the male ones. It’s just that claiming one plays an avatar of a different gender for sexual reasons is seen as a more socially acceptable answer than to admit that they genuinely enjoy roleplaying as a woman, or that they find the female character model more aesthetically pleasing. Which is its own problem mostly rooted in toxic masculinity.

              See, many of these boys have a very fragile sense of masculinity, often due to having been bullied for not being masculine enough, or not being masculine in the right way. So questioning their choice to play with a female avatar is interpreted as a challenge to their masculinity. “Women sexy. Me like look at sexy video game character” is thought to be the most masculine answer, and therefore the safest one to give. Almost no one is actually getting off watching their WoW toon’s hips swing as they walk, but a toxically masculine culture, it’s safer to claim that you chose a female character model in order to sexually objectify it than to risk being accused of being unmanly.


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              • Originally posted by nofather View Post

                Is this what Mearls meant by gatekeeping?
                That's what I took from it. Gatekeeping is claiming that someone else isn't 'good enough' to be part of the hobby. In this case it's about knowing the history of the rules and the lore of D&D enough. And if someone doesn't pass the test then they should be 'fired' (in this case, it is a literal firing since it is someone they just hired that is the target of the gatekeeping.




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                • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post


                  Almost no one is actually getting off watching their WoW toon’s hips swing as they walk

                  Well, you say that... but somebody actually did create a nude mod for World of Warcraft that a bunch of people downloaded back in the day. They would then find somewhere private in game and role play cyber sex with each other through the whisper feature. If I remember correctly, the nude models weren't visible to anybody who didn't have the mod installed, but that didn't mean people weren't using them.

                  In fact, I've even seen WoW music videos that continue to implement the mod.


                  And one of those players who said the ass thing was my own father, who I know for a fact does not have doubts regarding his masculinity or gender identity.


                  While I will play a female avatar from time to time, or include female characters in my stories, I almost never role play as a female or make them a main character. The reason is simply because I have almost no experience doing so. The last time I tried role playing a female, I had absolutely no idea what to do with her, and it was just an uncomfortable feeling the whole time. So I stick to role playing males and using males to fill the main roles, which is something I'm actually familiar with.
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 01-25-2018, 12:00 PM.

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                  • Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                    Well, you say that... but somebody actually did create a nude mod for World of Warcraft that a bunch of people downloaded back in the day. They would then find somewhere private in game and role play cyber sex with each other through the whisper feature. If I remember correctly, the nude models weren't visible to anybody who didn't have the mod installed, but that didn't mean people weren't using them.]
                    Sounds like a feature to enhance the cybersex, moreso than sexual attraction to the models being the primary motivation.

                    Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                    And one of those players who said the ass thing was my own father, who I know for a fact does not have doubts regarding his masculinity or gender identity.
                    Not to psychoanalyze your father, I don’t know him. But in general, most men in the US culture have some degree of insecurity surrounding their masculinity. As in, they are overly worried about being viewed by others as not masculine. Usually, the more macho, the deeper that insecurity runs. I’ll take your word that this isn’t the case with your dad - after all, there are exceptions to every generality. Some people actually are just sexually attracted to their video game avatars. But more often than not, that answer is given because it’s the most socially acceptable one in gaming culture, not because it’s actually the person’s reason.


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                    • Originally posted by nofather View Post
                      Is this what Mearls meant by gatekeeping?
                      Yes, that's it. Lots of it is exactly as Charlaquin said, because of insecurity and self-hate. I've got a friend who's probably the kindest and most generous person I've ever known with those he cares about, but he's frequently quick to judge and hate those who approach the hobby and don't fit the standards he assumes a "geek" must have. We never spoke about this, but he's a little older than me and I get the idea that he's faced a lot of ridicule for his passions when geeky hobbies were not as accepted as they are today, which in turn makes him diffident and mistrustful at times.

                      Then he gets to know people and treats them as they deserve or, if you point out that someone that has done nothing wrong should not be judged, he grudgingly agrees, but some of his issues do translate into that sort of behavior.

                      Generally speaking, people like to feel like they belong and have earned their place in a fandom, meaning that insults towards those seen as "less skilled or passionate" are a pain that shows no sign of disappearing

                      EDIT: Perhaps it's worth to mention that I'm talking about the Italian perspective on things like comics, anime, RPGs, videogames and cosplays. While I would not dare to say that this is the worst country around when it comes to that and that we're not as remotely as backwards as some people online sometimes say (prejudices happen, still awful to read them), it's also true we're behind other first world countries when it comes to certain matters (yeah, trust me), including the general acceptance of geek interests


                      Speaking of women, female characters and toxic masculinity:

                      That's a widespread and baffling issue, as far as I'm concerned. Lost count of number of times I had to change a plan because I was aware that a couple of my players would not be able to handle a fake female character without behaving like the worst kind of 8-year old kids. Or when people seem to switch off a portion of their brain when they sit at a gaming table, showing a side of them you never expected. A player of mine likes to roleplay as a girl and there were many occasion where he regretted it because of other players. I even personally saw female players not being ok with certain behaviors deemed as "annoying" while those who said nothing silently becoming too uncomfortable to keep playing.
                      Last edited by Cinder; 01-25-2018, 01:28 PM.


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                      • Gatekeeping extends beyond just trying to make people prove that they are worthy to play the game in the first place. It's more prominent with D&D, but also happens with other games, that people will try their damnedest to convince people that are players of a game that they aren't capable of running the game - a thing which I have encountered a lot in conversations about games because I do not hesitate to express my opinion that any can run a game (and even be good at it, given that they enjoy doing it which never does, and are allowed the time to develop their skills - which too many players (by which I mean a number greater than 0) are not willing to give).

                        I've even seen people insist that I am an arrogant braggart that is acting like I am better than everyone else because I'm saying things like "I figured out how to DM AD&D entirely without help when I was like 12, and I'm nothing special, so any 12 year old that feels like trying it is capable of becoming a DM." Because somehow me saying anyone can do a thing just doesn't compute so all they see me saying is "I figured it out on my own" and assuming I'm saying that to talk myself up.


                        Not so noble anymore.

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                        • So, I've been reading my Dad's old copies of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition (and 1st Edition too) and I must say, it is rekindling an interest in AD&D. Second Edition is my Dad's favorite edition, and I can see why. It has good presentation, decent old-school mechanics and a plethora of published settings, including my favorite official one, Ravenloft.

                          I own the original 2E Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, and the anniversary reprint of the Monstrous Manual (the one with the green cover and the full-color artwork) as well as original copies of the 1E PHB and DMG, and if I were to DM a game of AD&D, I'd use 2E as the base and simply backport in the Monk and Assassin classes from 1E, as well as Demons & Devils.

                          I still love 3.5/Pathfinder and 5E is an awesome edition as well, but there's a certain charm to TSR-era D&D and its retro-clones, whether it be Original, Advanced, or Basic.

                          I'd really love to run a D&D play-by-post, but I am unsure if I would use Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or the more current Fifth Edition, as I like both variants of D&D fairly equally.

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                          • Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                            So, I've been reading my Dad's old copies of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition (and 1st Edition too) and I must say, it is rekindling an interest in AD&D. Second Edition is my Dad's favorite edition, and I can see why. It has good presentation, decent old-school mechanics and a plethora of published settings, including my favorite official one, Ravenloft.

                            I own the original 2E Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, and the anniversary reprint of the Monstrous Manual (the one with the green cover and the full-color artwork) as well as original copies of the 1E PHB and DMG, and if I were to DM a game of AD&D, I'd use 2E as the base and simply backport in the Monk and Assassin classes from 1E, as well as Demons & Devils.

                            I still love 3.5/Pathfinder and 5E is an awesome edition as well, but there's a certain charm to TSR-era D&D and its retro-clones, whether it be Original, Advanced, or Basic.

                            I'd really love to run a D&D play-by-post, but I am unsure if I would use Advanced Dungeons & Dragons or the more current Fifth Edition, as I like both variants of D&D fairly equally.
                            I'm no fan of 2e's rules or retroclones, but I have to admit that almost nothing since comes close to how beautiful and interesting those original runs of Dark Sun and Planescape stuff are.


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                            • I'd love to dig deeper into Planescape myself, but unfortunately, it'd have to stop at reading about it, as I can't stomach old-school D&D. Most of my contact with the setting comes from Planescape: Torment, as I imagine is the case for many people.
                              Last edited by Morty; 01-27-2018, 07:51 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by Morty View Post
                                I'd love to dig deeper into Planescape myself, but unfortunately, it'd have to stop at reading about it, as I can't stomach old-school D&D. Most of my contact with the setting comes from Planescape: Torment, as I imagine is the case for many people.

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