Game thinking from Adam Clare

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Study: Female Voices In Online Games Get Less Respect

To anybody who’s played an online game with voice chat it should come to now surprise that a female voice gets negative attention. This is sad. A study that looked at gamers in their environment (opposed to sitting in a lab) playing online games. Titled, Communication in multiplayer gaming: Examining player responses to gender cues, the results are clear: when people’s gender is exposed it garners a reaction not necessarily to the content but to the speaker’s gender.

From the paper’s abstract (emphasis mine):

The researchers played against 1,660 unique gamers and broadcasted pre-recorded audio clips of either a man or a woman speaking. Gamers’ reactions were digitally recorded, capturing what was said and heard during the game. Independent coders were used to conduct a quantitative content analysis of game data. Findings indicate that, on average, the female voice received three times as many negative comments as the male voice or no voice. In addition, the female voice received more queries and more messages from other gamers than the male voice or no voice.

At the Mary Sue they snipped this part from the paper which I also thought was worth sharing:

On several occasions the female condition was exposed to derogatory gendered language. For example, in one particular game nearly every utterance made by the female condition was met with a negative response by a particular gamer. When the female condition said ‘hi everybody’, the other gamer responded with ‘shut up you whore’ followed a few seconds later with ‘she is a nigger lover’. When the female condition said, ‘alright team let’s do this’, the other gamer replied, ‘fuck you, you stupid slut.’

Sure this study was done for one game and the particular culture around it, but it is telling as to why some women are reluctant to participate via voice in games.

This Forbes piece on how to stop sexual harassment in online games is good to read in regards to the above.

Play Dune II Online – Classic RTS

Somebody has built the classic real time strategy (RTS) game Dune II so it can be played online! I thought today was going to be a productive one – not anymore!

I played this as a kid and I have fond memories of the game, little did I know at the time that it was the quintessential RTS that all RTS games would stem from. Wikipedia’s Dune II page has this nice list of elements from Dune II that first appeared in the game which have since gone on to be included in later RTS games:

  • A world map from which the next mission is chosen
  • Resource-gathering to fund unit construction
  • Simple base and unit construction
  • Building construction dependencies (technology tree)
  • Mobile units that can be deployed as buildings
  • Different sides/factions (the Houses), each with unique unit-types and super weapons
  • A context-sensitive mouse cursor to issue commands (introduced in the Mega Drive/Genesis version)

The online version uses OpenDUNE which is an open sourced version of the game.

So if you haven’t yet done so, go play Dune 2 online now!

Via Reddit.

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