You probably thinking what does sexism have to do with video games, as video games are a virtual world of entertainment where prejudice does not exist.

Allow me to ask the question again- how are your video gaming skills? Are you a ‘noob’, average or a pro?

According to a new study conducted at the University of New South Wales and Miami University there is a link between men’s gaming ability and sexism. The more sexist gamers could also be the worst in terms of skill.

163 people were recruited and they observed how men interacted with women whilst playing the video game ‘Halo 3’. Michael Kasumovic and Jeffery Kuznekoff, lead researchers, found that men who were on the verge of defeat would most likely harass female gamers.

Their findings were published in the PLOS One journal, “When male players were good, they even tended to be complimentary toward both their fellow male and female players. If a man was worse at the game than his peers, he was more likely to make mean-spirited comments toward female gamers.”

They believe that video games can reveal structures that apply to real-life behaviour. ‘Halo 3’, was especially favourable for figuring out real life harassment for three reasons: Players can remain anonymous, players seldom encounter each other more than once, which means that rude comments can be passed without having to see the person . Lastly, the ratio of female to male gamers is majorly fixed on the side of men.

However, Kuznekoff says: “That dynamic seems to be changing. A recent increase in female players has just challenged the system male players were previously used to”.

As men doing well within the game, do not mind, it’s the men who are not faring as well as they thought they would , who are feel threatened. They rely on aggression and hostile tactics in order to gain their withering virtual dominance.

The increase in hostility toward a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance and suppress her disturbance on the hierarchy to retain their social rank,” Kasumovic said.

Sexism is definitely rearing its ugly head in the world of gaming, instead of chastising females because you feel a bit threatened, applaud them for being interested in the vast world of virtual gaming and kicking ass.

Sources: Medical Daily

Alice Paulse