Recently I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled more than ever for articles talking about gaming culture and its effects on its members, in addition to its effects on the people that supply us with our drug of choice (i.e.: game devs). This may come as a shock to some people, but apparently when you keep your eyes open, you actually find things. Today’s Web Crush hits a spot very close to my heart and combines two of my favorite things: Xbox Live and laughing at stupid people. What? I never said I was nice.
Not in the Kitchen Anymore is a site that documents fellow girl gamer Jenny Haniver’s day-to-day experiences as she plays games over Xbox Live. This doesn’t sound all that interesting from my description, but it’s the simplest way to explain the layout of her posts. On a deeper level, she’s exploring the misogyny that’s so rampant within the community. Or, well, I wouldn’t say exploring—it’s “exploring” if the temples Indiana Jones “explored” came up and knocked on his door. What’s happening here is more like watching Cops.
Most of the posts are audio recordings of player interactions, whether in the game lobby or during actual gameplay, where some dude thinks he’s being clever in that oh-so-charming misogynistic way. Whether they’re taking the attack plan of “mmm girl, you’re so hot. I’m gonna fuck you so hard” or “make me a sandwich, bitch”, they never come off as anything less than stupid and ridiculous for their actions. Some people argue that fighting back against misogyny, or any form of oppressors, by making fun of them is no better than what the oppressors have committed against the oppressed.
And in some cases, that’s true, but honestly, sometimes these people need to be called out in less than polite terms, and Haniver showcases their idiocy and makes an example of them. If we can strike a little bit of righteous fear into them—in this case, sexist male gamers—by making fun of them on a platform where they’ll live on in infamy forever because of what they themselves chose to say, then that’s good. That’s holding them accountable for their actions. As we all know, all actions have their consequences and it’s about time more misogynists in the gaming community see said consequences.
I really have to give Haniver props for keeping such a cool head with some of these morons, in addition to never giving them the benefit of seeing her shrink back from their name-calling. While I look up to her for these things particularly, I want to thank her as a woman and as a gamer for working to improve the gaming environment for all people who are harassed over Xbox Live. In July of last year, Haniver came into contact with the asshole who would make one of the grossest threats you can make: threats of sexual assault. Through this post, she goes through the process of reporting the asshole and, more saddening, the lack of response from the game company as well as Xbox themselves. For all they’ve touted their new, stricter regulations on harassment, Xbox sure isn’t doing much to keep that promise. Hopefully with this embarrassment on their part it’ll help them get their collective asses in gear at least a little bit.
In any case, if you enjoy laughing at the stupidity of others or developing your sense of schadenfreude, I’d highly recommend checking this site out. It’s painful at times, yes, but ultimately hilarious—as well as being an excellent display of some of the harassment in the gaming community.