Excluding Women From E-Sports Does Not Legitimize It

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Excluding Women From E-Sports Does Not Legitimize It

Forcing women out of e-sports tournaments puts us back into the blue/pink entertainment segregation, and it does not legitimize e-sports as a true sport.

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Really? I just mean...really? This feels like segregation, pure and simple.

I'm hoping stuff like this makes it so "e-sports" can finally be policed more so shit like the cross assault incident never happens again.

If it were up to me, I'd have it all of "e-sports" removed. But that's wishful thinking.

How I imagine the author of this is at the moment =P

image

Couldn't agree more with pretty much everything that's been said here.

Jeezus. And I think it's bad enough that real sports are gender-segregated, but at least those have the excuse of not wanting men and women together in the locker rooms. What the fuck is these people's excuse, seriously? No. I don't want to hear it. They're fucking assholes. Every last one of them, without qualification. If any of them object to me calling them a fucking asshole, they have two options: Demand this be changed, or quit. Period. I'm just... I want to hit people with something hard and loud right now.

However, IeSF set up the rules for the World Championship. IeSF controls the requirements, and in its hands, it has decided to exclude half of its potential players.

It's easy to point the finger at IeSF here, but there is another silent party just as culpable. The game publishers could very easily adjust their terms of use to prevent this from happening by inserting a clause that prohibits use of IP in for-profit tournaments that segregate based on gender.

Is this going to happen? Nope. Too much money on the line to risk by doing the right thing.

They wanted to make it more "legitimate," presumably because the MLB was tired of being known as the sport with the fattest players.

Honestly several aspects of the pro gamer world have always irked me, or maybe it's just the mindset that it seems to foster, which is of the uber competitive, absolutely no fun, (Fox only) variety.
And now they're just fostering more of the exclusionary, closed off, boys only attitude that we should be phasing out of in gaming too. It's like a horrible chimera of smugness and bile.

And they're kinda missing the point of gender exclusion in other sports, those ones actually involve physical activity and hard, brute force collisions. It makes sense that you don't see too many women linebackers in the NFL, but there's absolutely no physical qualifications outside of functioning hands and fingers to play video games, and even then we've seen plenty of one handed players kick ass with the right setups.

So I agree with Carly. You're not legitimizing your sport. You're only telling more and more girls that they're not welcome among us gamers, and you're making your whole organization just look worse in the process.

I mean, I already think the concept of calling pro gaming a "sport" is dubious. Sure, I had some irks with pro gaming, but I at least respected it for what it was. Calling it "e-sports" just sounds kinda sad. And while the organization behind these "e-sports" desperately tries to prove that sitting in a chair and pressing buttons is totally a sport you guys! It's probably not the wisest move to do something as blatantly stupid and sexist like this. Not when the games industry as a whole is currently having all of its undesirable actions towards women currently being thrown under a super powered microscope.

So, sorry IeSF. You're probably not gettin' that Gatorade sponsorship anytime soon. Looks like your "pro-athletes" will still be stuck with Cheetos and MTN Dew.

SurfKansas:

However, IeSF set up the rules for the World Championship. IeSF controls the requirements, and in its hands, it has decided to exclude half of its potential players.

It's easy to point the finger at IeSF here, but there is another silent party just as culpable. The game publishers could very easily adjust their terms of use to prevent this from happening by inserting a clause that prohibits use of IP in for-profit tournaments that segregate based on gender.

Is this going to happen? Nope. Too much money on the line to risk by doing the right thing.

I see what you're saying, but this is kind of unrealistic. For all their pandering to a white male audience, most game publishers would not explicitly prevent women from playing their games, and would most likely not anticipate that others would do so.

Insisting that games can only be used in tournaments which do not segregate men and women might still be a good solution. I just disagree that publishers are "just as culpable", in the same way that I don't think any producer of hot beverages could have anticipated the need for a 'Warning: Hot Liquid' label. There are some things that are just too stupid to foresee.

I'm confused: There is a "female chess league"? Championship, some extra titles, sure, but league...? I thought there was only one international ranking in chess. Also, IeSF do know that there is no age restriction either? Ranking (aka skill) is the only limiting factor.

Ah yes.. traditional asian mysoginy at its best... that happens when you let a organisation from a culture thats still to this day traditionaly sexist run the show on an international level.

Also:

Women only tournaments are okay because... reasons... but male only tournaments are BS (*hinthint* both are BS). Equality much? Either we have limited tournaments or we have free for alls. You cant rip into people for having male only tournaments while at the same time standing there proclaiming that women only tournaments are fine. Makes you look like a hypocrit.

Karadalis:
Ah yes.. traditional asian mysoginy at its best... that happens when you let a organisation from a culture thats still to this day traditionaly sexist run the show on an international level.

Also:

Women only tournaments are okay because... reasons... but male only tournaments are BS (*hinthint* both are BS). Equality much? Either we have limited tournaments or we have free for alls. You cant rip into people for having male only tournaments while at the same time standing there proclaiming that women only tournaments are fine. Makes you look like a hypocrit.

Since women are often actively hindered in participating in things by misogynist words-i-am-not-allowed-to-say-here, a womens only league is perfectly allright. Of course it sounds strange and illogical to rage about the one thing but not the other, but our reality makes such things a necessity. Maybe one day we won't need them anymore.

OT
If I were Blizzard I would at least state the company position on this, who would have more influence on an e-sports league than the company who made the most popular esports games? And IF they would make that statement, they could only gain. Nobody would say "I wont buy their games because they support women" but a lot of people in the gaming world would remember that positively!

Karadalis:

Women only tournaments are okay because... reasons... but male only tournaments are BS (*hinthint* both are BS). Equality much? Either we have limited tournaments or we have free for alls. You cant rip into people for having male only tournaments while at the same time standing there proclaiming that women only tournaments are fine. Makes you look like a hypocrit.

Women-only leagues are a response to the sexist bullshit that is men-only leagues. It's either womens leagues or nothing. Maybe if you had actually read the article you might have figured that little detail out, hmmm?

As if we needed more reasons for gaming to be considered sexist and/or misogynist. Good show.

The funny part about this is for all of the flak that gets thrown in the direction of the fighting game community (some of it deserved), they are a competitive scene that has no issue with females actually competing right alongside the males. Evo, the biggest fighting game tournament of the year (and with probably the biggest pots overall ever in the fgc), is right around the corner and it's open to anyone and everyone.

The IeSF? I've been involved in e-sports for many many years and this is the first time I've ever heard of them.

tl;dr

It's, (from my understanding) a private thing; Meaning they can do whatever they damn well please. That said, if you're going to complain about this complain about the, for example purposes only, Boyscouts. That's stuff a girl could do, but they can't. Why? Because it's a private organization that along with women bans homosexuals.

You can believe what you want about it, but they don't need to change for you. You can make your own tournament if you want to put your own rules or lack there of on it.

Tl:dr: All I hear is "wah". They can do what they want. Make your own to set your own rules/regulations.

Toastngravy:
tl;dr

It's, (from my understanding) a private thing; Meaning they can do whatever they damn well please. That said, if you're going to complain about this complain about the, for example purposes only, Boyscouts. That's stuff a girl could do, but they can't. Why? Because it's a private organization that along with women bans homosexuals.

You can believe what you want about it, but they don't need to change for you. You can make your own tournament if you want to put your own rules or lack there of on it.

Tl:dr: All I hear is "wah". They can do what they want. Make your own to set your own rules/regulations.

Someone else has pointed out this tournament policy on women participants conflicts with Blizzard's EULA agreement.

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/eula.html

Game and Service Features.
ii.Game Features:
2. Community Tournaments: In order to support local e-sports tournament activities, Blizzard hereby grants you a limited, revocable license and right to organize and host small, community tournaments, or a series of tournaments utilizing certain Games ("Community Tournaments") subject to your compliance with the following conditions:
f.The rules of the Community Tournament must promote fairness such that skill in playing the Game is what determines who will win or lose a match in the Community Tournament.

Steve the Pocket:
Jeezus. And I think it's bad enough that real sports are gender-segregated, but at least those have the excuse of not wanting men and women together in the locker rooms.

Actually it's because male and female bodies are different. For example, men are typically stronger while women are typically more flexible.
The gender segregation has it's reasons in physical sports but doing the same thing with video games is silly. Sure, someone might say that there are different chemical reactions in the brains of men and women but I'm pretty sure that the people at the International e-Sports Federation weren't basing their decisions on such things.

HardkorSB:

Steve the Pocket:
Jeezus. And I think it's bad enough that real sports are gender-segregated, but at least those have the excuse of not wanting men and women together in the locker rooms.

Actually it's because male and female bodies are different. For example, men are typically stronger while women are typically more flexible.
The gender segregation has it's reasons in physical sports but doing the same thing with video games is silly. Sure, someone might say that there are different chemical reactions in the brains of men and women but I'm pretty sure that the people at the International e-Sports Federation weren't basing their decisions on such things.

And if they were it is just as bad, because the end result is the same.

Pogilrup:
And if they were it is just as bad, because the end result is the same.

If it was studied and confirmed that the differences between genders are indeed too big to put them against each other then no, it wouldn't be just as bad because it wouldn't be sexism but adjusting the tournament to human biology.

*EDIT*

Well it seems they have reversed this policy so that's good. I'm removing my frankly somewhat insulting analogy as it no longer applies, and throw my apologies into the nebulous ether of the internet.
They still messed up in the first place but all's well that ends well I guess.

What I got out of this: too many fake chess girls.

>.>

<.<

Okay,. my sense of humour sucks.

SurfKansas:

It's easy to point the finger at IeSF here, but there is another silent party just as culpable. The game publishers could very easily adjust their terms of use to prevent this from happening by inserting a clause that prohibits use of IP in for-profit tournaments that segregate based on gender.

Is this going to happen? Nope. Too much money on the line to risk by doing the right thing.

I wouldn't say "just as culpable." They do have the capacity to alter such things, but it's not exactly the normal state of affairs to be that intrusive. The concept comes off as overreach, regardless of how I feel about the issue specifically.

RatRace123:
They wanted to make it more "legitimate," presumably because the MLB was tired of being known as the sport with the fattest players.

*rimshot*

But seriously, I get why they want to be seen as legitimate. I bet the idea of a "pro gamer" is still a mid-thirties man-child in his mom's basement as far as the public goes. I've never been a fan of calling competitive gaming sport (or even e-sport), but I get why they do it.

What I don't get is why that leads to the exclusion of women. As you point out, there are physiological arguments for sports. Those don't carry over.

StriderShinryu:
As if we needed more reasons for gaming to be considered sexist and/or misogynist. Good show.

Sexism is, evidently, like Jell-O. There's always room for more.

Time and again, I've been baffled by how many 'manly' things women can be really good at. Every time, I'm filled with shame at the realization that I've been made to believe by society that women are inferior; it's not true now, and it never has been, but in the back of my mind I have these hard-coded predispositions that keep trying to push me ever closer to misogyny. And I really think it has to do with this kind of thing. It's not just women who are negatively affected by this kind of segregation; our whole race suffers when one group is excluded.
All I can really say is that this kind of thing can't last. After all, we're starting to accept different definitions for what it means to be male and female; I could say tomorrow that I was a woman, and most people would just have to go with it. In such a world where people get to choose who and what they are, who can tell the difference enough to exclude anyone?

Oh for crying out loud this is ridiculous. I get it that they are a private organization and can set whatever parameters they choose, but pretending like men and women need to be separated for a video game competition so it seems more like a "real sport" is just insane.

In actual physically competitive sports the separation makes sense, but let's be blunt here: trying to pretend that a video game competition requires the same level of athletic ability as football, basketball, hockey etc. is just ridiculous. You could be the best StarCraft 2 or CoD player in the world and be a paraplegic.

From what I read, the IeSF is based in South Korea (Asia). Now I completely understand this behaviour.
In my country, my neighbour Singapore, and I dare say many if not all countries in Asia, there exists this very traditional, misogynistic and sexist way of thinking, mostly possessed by the "old guard" or older generation.

I won't delve into what caused this, where it originated from, religion in play or politics, but what I will say is, women who play video games are often heavily looked down upon, this IeSF is probably just conforming to the cultural norms here.

I am by no means condoning such behaviour, it makes me very sick. In South East Asia there are tournaments for Dota 2 exclusively for women, I am not sure about the selection criteria, but from the entire team roster you can see that only "pleasant" looking teams have a chance to participate, and then you get the casters saying stuff like "oh come on really? She missed that? I guess this is what happens when you put a woman behind the mouse and keyboard"

I've had enough of this, the only way this is going to change is if we somehow manage to change this draconic mindset.

Pogilrup:

Toastngravy:
tl;dr

It's, (from my understanding) a private thing; Meaning they can do whatever they damn well please. That said, if you're going to complain about this complain about the, for example purposes only, Boyscouts. That's stuff a girl could do, but they can't. Why? Because it's a private organization that along with women bans homosexuals.

You can believe what you want about it, but they don't need to change for you. You can make your own tournament if you want to put your own rules or lack there of on it.

Tl:dr: All I hear is "wah". They can do what they want. Make your own to set your own rules/regulations.

Someone else has pointed out this tournament policy on women participants conflicts with Blizzard's EULA agreement.

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/eula.html

Game and Service Features.
ii.Game Features:
2. Community Tournaments: In order to support local e-sports tournament activities, Blizzard hereby grants you a limited, revocable license and right to organize and host small, community tournaments, or a series of tournaments utilizing certain Games ("Community Tournaments") subject to your compliance with the following conditions:
f.The rules of the Community Tournament must promote fairness such that skill in playing the Game is what determines who will win or lose a match in the Community Tournament.

I'm not so sure that clause actually helps in this situation, because that refers to winning or losing specific matches.

In this case, it's not that the rules are set up in a way that women are more likely to lose matches-- it's that they can't compete in the first place, so they can't win or lose.

Blizzard can (and probably should) take a stand on this, though. They might also want to update that EULA.

I must say this is incredibly worrying, so my main question is: what can we as the average gamer do about it? I suppose the most obvious option would be to deny personal recognition to this IeSF as a legitimate esports body, however I don't see how else we could change this attitude since, as has been mentioned, they are a private institution.

Also, a point of order, western culture is just as sexist, even today. And it was only through decades (technically centuries cause french revolution spawned the movement) of effort that we've come to /begin/ dismantling archaic social values. and even then its still not perfect, we still have vast degrees of sexism in places where it really counts e.g. the workplace. So it is poor philosophical practice to exclaim how sexist these Asian cultures are compared to our own from a "traditional" standpoint when we too are at fault.

*Edit*

I have emailed (opened a support ticket under account issues) Blizzard and requested they consider adding a gender based discrimination clause to their EULA. I suggest we all do the same

Most hilarious excuse I've ever seen.

Segregating actual sports (and nothing anybody says will ever convince me that eSports are sports, in the same way that Darts, Poker, Pool, Association Football, American Football, Golf, and a whole bunch of other shit, aren't real sports as far as I'm concerned) happens because if you had mixed (for example) 100 metre sprinting, then there'd just be no women competing in 100 metre sprinting - not because they didn't want to, but because the fastest ever woman on earth at 100m (Florence Griffith-Joyner, holds the womens 100m record 10.49 seconds) would not have made it out of the heats at a mens Olympic event.

That's not sexism, that's pure and simple fairness - let them compete in their own events so that they actually get to win something.

You can't claim the same thing with video games.

Ok but do we really need 2 different threads about the exact same thing?

RaikuFA:

If it were up to me, I'd have it all of "e-sports" removed. But that's wishful thinking.

Is there a reason for this? I'm curious because yours doesn't seem to be the only post with this sentiment.

Update:

The gender restriction rule has been removed, we thank everyone who took part in this process.

http://tournaments.peliliiga.fi/summer14/tournaments/view/asms14-hsquali
IeSF stepped back quite fast!

A culture that finds this acceptable but not the respectful competition between men, women, and people of all genders should never be seen as legitimate.

Agreed, besides, are they afraid to be beaten by a girl? I'm not. When i play against the best i expect them to be the best. Not the best guy or girl, the best. I don't care if they're lvl 12 gender fluid dragon bunny of the 9th dimension. If they are the best i want to play against them (or watch them play at least)

but the flaw here is you're treating these aberrations as the norm. Picking a few examples and calling it a culture reeks of petty generalization.

Maleness exists as a default in gaming. When you look at the wall of games in a brick-and-mortar store or a digital storefront, the protagonists staring back at you are overwhelmingly in that same male 18- to 34-year-old demographic. When the only chance for women to compete is in women-only competitions, it's the equivalent of forcing women to shop only in "the pink section" of entertainment.

Sure, clearly you've looked at google play or xbla or steam. I'm beginning to sense this as a personal rant rather then an actual commentary. Also you're mistaking anti consumer marketing for abject sexism. Then blaming it on men.

So thanks for taking an article that could have been a wake up call about how women are treated in e-sports and turning it into a soap box that all professional gamers are evil. /s

Seriously, it's shit like this that sets back any actual solution or even dialogue upon actual problems.

And on a personal note, i always get the sense that these "equality crusaders" don't actually care about gaming. Because in the end, that's what i'm worried about.... Gaming.

Is this going to happen? Nope. Too much money on the line to risk by doing the right thing.

Blizzard has been in contact with the organization about the segregation imposed upon tournaments of its card game Hearthstone and understood that it updated the rules "to make it clear that their Hearthstone tournament will be open to all players."

"One of our goals with eSports is to ensure that there's a vibrant and also inclusive community around our games," Blizzard said in a statement provided to Polygon. "We do not allow the use of our games in tournaments that do not support this, and are working with our partners to ensure they share the same goal."

Toastngravy:
tl;dr

It's, (from my understanding) a private thing; Meaning they can do whatever they damn well please. That said, if you're going to complain about this complain about the, for example purposes only, Boyscouts. That's stuff a girl could do, but they can't. Why? Because it's a private organization that along with women bans homosexuals.

You can believe what you want about it, but they don't need to change for you. You can make your own tournament if you want to put your own rules or lack there of on it.

Tl:dr: All I hear is "wah". They can do what they want. Make your own to set your own rules/regulations.

Grow up. It's not 'wah'. It's called feedback and constructive criticism. A private organization doesn't exist in a vacuum, it needs to take into consideration of the society surrounding it. And it looks like IeSF thinks as much too, seeing them peddling back.

Karadalis:
Also:

Women only tournaments are okay because... reasons... but male only tournaments are BS (*hinthint* both are BS). Equality much? Either we have limited tournaments or we have free for alls. You cant rip into people for having male only tournaments while at the same time standing there proclaiming that women only tournaments are fine. Makes you look like a hypocrit.

Those "reasons" you speak of were clearly articulated in the article and are perfectly reasonable. By all means argue against those reasons if you disagree, but don't just ignore them for the sake of hearing your own voice.

OT: Great article, though you quote-mined Kim "Eve" Shee-Yoon's manager to prove your point. The article you linked seemed to imply that many, if not most players - male players included - are selected for their "skills and looks." Pro gamers are marketed as rockstars more than athletes, where style and finesse is just as important as raw skill. They also stated their intentions for picking Eve as a protege was to encourage more women to play the game. So while her manager did say that, your article seems to imply that having something pretty to look at was a primary reason for her inclusion in the team. And that doesn't appear to be the case.

Deadcyde:
Sure, clearly you've looked at google play or xbla or steam. I'm beginning to sense this as a personal rant rather then an actual commentary. Also you're mistaking anti consumer marketing for abject sexism. Then blaming it on men.

So thanks for taking an article that could have been a wake up call about how women are treated in e-sports and turning it into a soap box that all professional gamers are evil. /s

Seriously, it's shit like this that sets back any actual solution or even dialogue upon actual problems.

And on a personal note, i always get the sense that these "equality crusaders" don't actually care about gaming. Because in the end, that's what i'm worried about.... Gaming.

Serious questions here: what part of the article gave you the impression that she was blaming the state of game marketing on "men"? When did she espouse that all professional gamers are evil? You're obviously seeing something that I'm not.

Steve the Pocket:
Jeezus. And I think it's bad enough that real sports are gender-segregated, but at least those have the excuse of not wanting men and women together in the locker rooms. What the fuck is these people's excuse, seriously? No. I don't want to hear it. They're fucking assholes. Every last one of them, without qualification. If any of them object to me calling them a fucking asshole, they have two options: Demand this be changed, or quit. Period. I'm just... I want to hit people with something hard and loud right now.

No the reason physical sports like rugby and football are segregated is because men have a physical advantage over women in strength and speed???
I mean seriously don't even try and and call that segregation for the sake of it, it's common sense.

However when it comes to E-sports that goes out the window and the playing field is even so any segregation is bullshit.

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