Is The Overwatch Community A Toxic Place For Female Players?

There are many sad truths when it comes to online gaming, one being that female gamers are often given a hard time simply based on their gender. Not to...
Overwatch

There are many sad truths when it comes to online gaming, one being that female gamers are often given a hard time simply based on their gender. Not to say that Overwatch is the biggest culprit of this kind of behavior, but given it’s large player base with a mixed bag of characters both male and female, its managed to attract many a fan from both sexes.

What we’ve seen as of late is female members of the Overwatch community tell their stories of the abuse they receive when playing online. You see many reports of players being blamed on a team losing because of their sexuality, as opposed to their level of skill. So much so that members such as Hexrgon would stray from entering voice chat whilst in competitive mode, with reactions varying from “calling me horrible names to reducing me to a sexual object.” Whilst Hexrgon has reported the players guilty of doing so, she feels that it has sadly fallen on deaf ears.

It has to be stressed, as Nekokoa rightfully puts it, that this is a problem with people, not with Overwatch. Trolling on the internet in all forms is something that has been an issue for many for as long as it has existed, in which people can hide behind anonymity to say exactly as they place, regardless of who it affects.

In an ongoing debate on Battle.net, there are many sides being offered to the discussion, so its definitely worth checking out if you want to join in with the conversation. To suggest that those who are getting verbally attacked for whatever reason to toughen up or grow thicker skin would wrongfully imply that toxicity is OK. The best thing you can do is mute and report these people. As much as players may call on Blizzard to tackle the issue themselves, its hard to see how exactly it would be policed. Perhaps banning players for such an offense would be a start in some people’s eyes, but ultimately it’s something that spans across the entire realm of online gaming, which has, unfortunately (and inevitably) made its way into Overwatch.

Have you experienced these issues in Overwatch? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ham is a video games journalist, musician and a rookie Twitch streamer. Playing everything from 2D platformers to MMORPGs, Ham enjoys bringing news from all forms of games to the masses. Favourite game series' include Dark Souls, Diablo, Grand Theft Auto and Borderlands.
10 Comments on this post.
  • Aaron
    19 April 2017 at 4:06 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Maybe woman just need to play better. Maybe they should expect some people to be jerks. Maybe they should understand that equality between the sexes exists so expect vulgar language and swearing because that’s what guys do. Don’t let SJWS destroy our gaming community.

  • Yorgi
    19 April 2017 at 4:56 pm
    Leave a Reply

    This just in: the internet has assholes.
    If you want equality so bad, stop asking for special treatment. Guys are assholes to eachother too, but it only matters if a woman gets her feelings hurt.

  • medman
    19 April 2017 at 5:11 pm
    Leave a Reply

    See the two tiny penis, tiny mind posters above, Yorgi and Aaron, and realize just how pathetic most boys are. Internet toughguys, cowards in reality. Typical.

    • Jack
      19 April 2017 at 8:32 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Lol. If you think only women have it hard online you’re deluding yourself.pick torbjorn a few games in a row in competitive and pretend like it has something to do with gender.

  • Thinkingclass
    19 April 2017 at 5:43 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Be like Dark Souls, don’t let dumb cunts like Aaron or yorgi talk to other players online unless it’s specific phrases the game allows you to use. Then you can’t be “toxic” or a troll :-).

    Btw it’s 2:1 probability they are both straight single males. Emphasis on SINGLE :-p

    Oh and btw treating everyone equally would mean being nice to everyone or being a dick to everyone. So I guess you’re just a dick to everyone you know?

  • Valerie
    19 April 2017 at 8:58 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Lol I’ve never had that happen to me, it’s more like “OH SHIT YOU’RE A GIRL” in which I proceed to ignore the statement and focus on the game. Like just do that and do good and they’ll shut the hell up.

  • Hicken
    20 April 2017 at 4:09 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Stop trying to make this a thing.

    Women get targeted just like men do, except their insults are tailored for their gender. When it’s guy versus guy, insults to sexuality, or family members, or race are more prevalent. Female gamers don’t get treated any worse than their male counterparts; if anything, they’re just not as used to it as male gamers are.

    As for “toxic,” that’s getting old, too. It’s online. That’s what online IS. Do people not pay attention to the internet’s communities in general? It’s actually rare to find civility within communities online. Nobody considers the rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics “toxic.” Or the Saints and Falcons. Actual fights break out and people go to jail… but that’s what competition and passion engender. Yet you want to view the people who do the very same in a video game as “toxic?”

    Why?

  • Stacey Willams
    20 April 2017 at 5:30 pm
    Leave a Reply

    Ya know as a “girl” I’m tired of people making this a thing. I can handle myself. Screw you assholes bring it on. I usually play better than you jerks anyway and that’s where the “insults” come from…

  • Meib
    22 April 2017 at 6:10 pm
    Leave a Reply

    I’ve never told anyone I’m a girl when I play, and honestly I don’t get shitted at either, and the friends I make doesn’t think I’m bad because I’m a girl or anything like that. It’s more of me getting pissed at all these trolls that are smurfs or trying to de-rank. So either people need to stop taking everything so seriously or just get better at the game. It has nothing to do with the gender.

  • Matt
    23 April 2017 at 3:09 am
    Leave a Reply

    Seriously sick of this shit. Stop segregating people by giving everything a label and convincing everyone that the world is mean to them. Nobody cares you’re a girl. Nobody cares that you’re gay. Nobody cares that you’re a minority. Just shut the fuck up and the world will forget that it matters, because it doesn’t.

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