Gaming has always been considered more of a male-centric section of the entertainment industry. This is primarily because of the existence of predetermined social roles for genders. Men are supposed to engage in more dangerous forms of entertainment whereas women were restricted to the home and often to more elegant, docile ways to lift their spirits. This has continued until this day, despite the many equality movements that have sought to give women their rights.
Spending prolonged time playing with other males in a male-dominated section means that most people playing video games have not come across females (at least within the games they play). This naturally invites unsavory responses when females try to get into gaming (or for that sake, any male-dominated area – including the workplace, though things are changing fast). Toxicity because of the gender gap is certainly something and prevents people from progressing normally. There is no bar on who should play a game (except maybe that youngsters shouldn’t touch games with too much violence or sexual themes – there’s a right age for everything), and doorkeepers enforcing society’s invisible norms shouldn’t exist.
This Valentine’s Day, let’s pledge to end all forms of toxicity based on gender. Gaming, or for that sake any channel of entertainment, is not meant only for males. Stop yelling at any girl trying to play a game “Go back to the kitchen!” (or other stereotypical sexist insults). Stop dropping creepy texts to a female player’s inbox, or trying to act desperate in-game. Let’s all stand together, hold hands, and maybe gift a token or two (in case you are looking for gifting options, Platinum Anniversary Gifts has a wide variety of choices available for all occasions for your significant other) – spread the love instead of hate (in a non-creepy way!).
Games are a getaway from the real world. There shouldn’t be a distinguishing line between the several players trying to play the game. Companies engaged in AAA development have got quite some contribution in this regard, but sadly, there’s only so many developers can do. It’s up to the players to shape their own and their teammate’s experiences.