June 15 2024

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Wheaton: Women In Gaming

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Gaming is often seen as a male activity, but Wil Wheaton wants women to feel welcome too.

Wheaton is not a fan of online bullying in any form and encouraged both the gaming industry and players to accept and embrace women players.

“What’s happening to women just now online is just an extension of what happens to women all the time out in the world,” said Wheaton. “Every woman I know has at one point been menaced or felt threatened by a man.”

The actor is heartened by those who stand up against this type of behavior. “But I think one of the hopeful things that we’ve seen has been a clear, unambiguous, massive majority of people saying that this is unacceptable and it has to stop,” he said.

Game publishers also need to get on board with the fact that women are interested in gaming too. “Ten years ago there was an idea that women didn’t play games,” said Wheaton. “That’s clearly incorrect, but to some people there’s still an idea that if you make a game that isn’t exclusionary of women then you’re somehow threatening gaming – that’s super-childish.

“The industry needs to grow up and stop treating women as an anomaly.”

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9 thoughts on “Wheaton: Women In Gaming

  1. EVERY woman you know “has at one point been menaced or felt threatened by a man”.

    Okay, Wesley.

  2. Maybe or maybe not. I’m female and have been (including a stalker once; very scary). Once I talked to two of my neighborhood friends. We got into a discussion about abuse. Turns out both of them had been raped.

    So yeah, it’s out there. This is coming from a woman. Most women just don’t talk about it. I wouldn’t say *every* woman has felt menaced, but I wouldn’t be surprised if *most* hadn’t at some point.

  3. Today my wife pointed out a local YWCA and I said, “That’s been there forever.” I, and she, both knew that I did not mean that it had existed since the beginning of time, and far predates human habitation in this part of the world. Exaggerations for effect, such as Wheaton is using, are part of our language, and being a pedant does not make you smarter than anyone else — often quite the opposite.

  4. Every former child actor I know has at one point been a smug bearded douchebag with a messiah complex.

  5. Oh, these things are all too real. I’ve had women in my life who’ve experienced things from intimidation to threats to beatings, including a close friend of mine who endured rape and abuse from multiple men, one from within her own family.

    But Wheaton’s statement that every woman he knows has “been menaced or felt threatened” (whatever that means) by a man — all of them, one hundred percent — is a preposterously dumb thing to say; first, because no they haven’t, Wesley; second, because a statement like that is so ridiculous on its face that it trivializes real, actual violence against women, and third, because it promotes the meme that men are predators at their core. If what Wheaton said was true and every woman he knows in his life was subject to some degree of harassment from a man, that would mean that, statistically, 90+% of men in America would have to be sexual predators of one type or another and women should distrust nearly all of them.

    Nearly all, that is, except for the rare good man like Wil Wheaton. He’s okay.

  6. Wil Wheaton isn’t speaking out against violence against women. Wil Wheaton is using straw men to speak out against bullying of women during online gaming sessions, without providing any examples of such bullying or any evidence that it happens disproportionately to women at all. He then makes the leap from that to the incredibly stupid assertion that the bullying he claims is happening is an extension of what happens to women “all the time” and that one hundred percent of the women he knows have been victims at one time or another.

    Yes, I’d call that douchebaggery. The people who are loudest about handing out directives like “don’t be a dick” are usually trying to insulate themselves from criticism on such grounds.

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