Being a woman when playing video games can be very unpleasant. Sexist insults, sexual harassment, derogatory comments… This is what gamers face when playing with other people online. Despite speaking out on the subject, especially since #MeToo, some still seem oblivious to the fate reserved for women behind their video game controllers. To raise awareness in his community, Norwegian eSports club Apeks hosted an experience with one of its players, Joakim Myrbostad, better known as jkaem. We can say that the result has opened the eyes of those who until then did not want to see sexism in this entertainment industry.
What happens when one of the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players from a Norwegian club plays the popular online shooter with a female alias? “It doesn’t have to be that different than when you’re a man”Based on Joakim Myrbostad aka jkaem† To be sure, the Norwegian professional player will take the alias of Julie Stårvik, a player who uses the alias “juliestar”. To remain incognito, Joakim Myrbostad’s voice will also be digitally transformed so that these opponents or teammates think that it is indeed a gamer.
And we can say that the players with or against whom jkaem is fighting are trapped. “Is it a girl?”, one of them exclaims as he hears the professional player’s altered voice. It is then the beginning of a torrent of comments about jkaem’s voice, his way of playing, the ability girls may or may not have to play video games †
“Your voice is cute, I like it”† “girls can’t play”† “You don’t need body armor, just use your boobs”† “girls suck, seriously”†
Other comments can be characterized as: sexist defamation, harassment or sexual harassment † “Pis in a bottle and send it to me”† “You shouldn’t be sucking a dick, bitch”† “big ugly whore full of pimples”† “I will rape you”†
Change the game
Faced with these insults, Joakim Myrbostad loses his good humor and his smile. “It’s pretty crazy”he responds by taking off his helmet. “I do not know what to say…”he adds to Julie Stårvik. “I wouldn’t be able to play if I got this kind of feedback”he then admits.
The Norwegian club then recalls that the majority of female gamers (59%) use a male alias to avoid online harassment. Apeks then ends his spot with this command: ‘Don’t change your name. Change the game”†
Discover this experience in its entirety: