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Demographics of these forums.


BruceVC

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Hi All

 

I really enjoy these Obsidian forums, I find most people intelligent and they offer thoughtful and insightful comments on topics. I also believed that these forums were balanced in the way of male\female contributions. As I mentioned numerous times I am a liberal and I recently read the excellent article on RPS about sexism

 

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/06/misogyny-sexism-and-why-rps-isnt-shutting-up/

 

In that article they mention that 50 % of gamers are female, and that struck me. Where are all the female gamers on these forums? I know about LadyC but how come we don't see more ladies commenting. I assume they play RPG and its not like these forums are in any way immature or sexist so whats happening? Any insight to this would be appreciated.

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Why don't we see more women here? Probably because they don't come to post here. A bunch came in with you and all the PE people, I think, I guess they stay in that subforum or just lurk.

 

Wait, it's supposed to be the misogynist culture that permeates this place, right ?

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Why don't we see more women here? Probably because they don't come to post here. A bunch came in with you and all the PE people, I think, I guess they stay in that subforum or just lurk.

 

Wait, it's supposed to be the misogynist culture that permeates this place, right ?

 

Your comment isn't helpful, I know they don't post here and thats why I am asking the question. No need to be so defensive, I know these forums aren't sexist or misogynist but we should be asking "why we don't have many female members"

 

Or does this not concern you at all?

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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To be fair, we have a lot of Scandinavians, and that makes up for the lack of women.   :dancing:

 

:biggrin: " lot of Scandinavians, and that makes up for the lack of women"

 

You funny

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Your comment isn't helpful, I know they don't post here and thats why I am asking the question. No need to be so defensive, I know these forums aren't sexist or misogynist but we should be asking "why we don't have many female members"

 

Or does this not concern you at all?

 

They probably don't post for a variety of reasons. The main one being they don't play Obsidian games. Also where does the article get the 50% of gamers are female? Are they talking games on FB? If that's the case, then they're probably spending time on FB.

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Your comment isn't helpful, I know they don't post here and thats why I am asking the question. No need to be so defensive, I know these forums aren't sexist or misogynist but we should be asking "why we don't have many female members"

 

Or does this not concern you at all?

Was more of a joke at what I suspect you're getting at, especially with the RPS article. Not really seeing this as a question we must ask, but eh. Just looking at a simple answer to it rather than anything more grandiose. I guess you'd need to get some numbers on how many active posters we actually have out of the ~ 40,000 registered ones.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Your comment isn't helpful, I know they don't post here and thats why I am asking the question. No need to be so defensive, I know these forums aren't sexist or misogynist but we should be asking "why we don't have many female members"

 

Or does this not concern you at all?

 

They probably don't post for a variety of reasons. The main one being they don't play Obsidian games. Also where does the article get the 50% of gamers are female? Are they talking games on FB? If that's the case, then they're probably spending time on FB.

Interesting, I agree it may be that  lady gamers just don't really play Obsidian games. That would make sense

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Your comment isn't helpful, I know they don't post here and thats why I am asking the question. No need to be so defensive, I know these forums aren't sexist or misogynist but we should be asking "why we don't have many female members"

 

Or does this not concern you at all?

Was more of a joke at what I suspect you're getting at, especially with the RPS article. Not really seeing this as a question we must ask, but eh. Just looking at a simple answer to it rather than anything more grandiose. I guess you'd need to get some numbers on how many active posters we actually have out of the ~ 40,000 registered ones.

 

I think you misunderstand me, I like the opinion of women and I enjoy interaction with them. Ladies tend to give a certain perspective to debates that men may miss. But I also enjoy these forums and the level of debate we have, yet we seem to have very few female members. So where do they post? I am not trying to imply anything but it does seem strange to me. I may be missing something

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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First, there are probably more women here than you think. I've been called "he" several times here, when I am most definitely not a he. There's a lot of people who, even subconsciously, still believe in the old "there are no women on the Internet" adage, and just assume all posters are male.

 

Secondly, it IS in fact an unfortunate truth that many online gamer communities that are male dominated ARE unfriendly to women. This is slowly changing, but early online cultures tended to be especially abusive toward (openly) female members so they left and don't bother with communities like this. Many female gamers just don't bother testing the waters to see if a place is friendly or not, they just stay away from it. The unfortunate side effect of this is these online communities remain male dominated, regardless of the actual demographics of people playing video games.

 

Also, as a female gamer who does play Obsidian and all kinds of other games, it really really is irritating to hear "oh, well the female gamers must be playing facebook games" whenever the ESA stats are quoted (that's where the statistics come from, the Electronic Software Association, who survey gamers every year and assemble such stats. Technically I believe it is that we are 48% of video gamers). I'm sure there are a lot of women--and men, for that matter--who play games on Facebook, but this, "but they can't possibly be one of us" attitude is precisely... well, why a lot of women decide not to make themselves known in gamer communities. If you're told you constantly don't exist, better to just go off and play New Vegas or whatever than waste your time trying to convince some idiot on the Internet that you are in fact real.

 

Also if you want to see a healthy contribution of female gamers to an Obsidian game discussion group... IIRC the Neverwinter Nights 2 community at least used to have a large number of vocal female members. I only say "used to" because I don't post there anymore (I lost my login when Bioware was bought out by EA and didn't feel like setting new stuff up). That's not on this board, but it is an Obsidian game.

Edited by DeathQuaker
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I think most female cRPG fans would end up on the Bioware or Bethesda forums and linger there as they may be fans of the new Fallout or TES or DA, etc. rather than a fan of New Vegas. So while they may create an account here, it'll be just for NV and then when that fades they take off.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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First, there are probably more women here than you think. I've been called "he" several times here, when I am most definitely not a he. There's a lot of people who, even subconsciously, still believe in the old "there are no women on the Internet" adage, and just assume all posters are male.

 

Secondly, it IS in fact an unfortunate truth that many online gamer communities that are male dominated ARE unfriendly to women. This is slowly changing, but early online cultures tended to be especially abusive toward (openly) female members so they left and don't bother with communities like this. Many female gamers just don't bother testing the waters to see if a place is friendly or not, they just stay away from it. The unfortunate side effect of this is these online communities remain male dominated, regardless of the actual demographics of people playing video games.

 

Also, as a female gamer who does play Obsidian and all kinds of other games, it really really is irritating to hear "oh, well the female gamers must be playing facebook games" whenever the ESA stats are quoted (that's where the statistics come from, the Electronic Software Association, who survey gamers every year and assemble such stats. Technically I believe it is that we are 48% of video gamers). I'm sure there are a lot of women--and men, for that matter--who play games on Facebook, but this, "but they can't possibly be one of us" attitude is precisely... well, why a lot of women decide not to make themselves known in gamer communities. If you're told you constantly don't exist, better to just go off and play New Vegas or whatever than waste your time trying to convince some idiot on the Internet that you are in fact real.

 

 

Thats a really insightful post, thanks for commenting. This was the type of feedback I was looking for and you have confirmed some of the issues I was thinking about. Can I ask you a general question, how do  you find these forums in regard to other forums where  ladies are treated rudely or with irrelevance?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Thats a really insightful post, thanks for commenting. This was the type of feedback I was looking for and you have confirmed some of the issues I was thinking about. Can I ask you a general question, how do  you find these forums in regard to other forums where  ladies are treated rudely or with irrelevance?

 

I'm fairly new here (joined a few months ago) and so far I've had I guess a neutral to good experience. I haven't seen or experienced any overt abuse--but again, I've noticed a lot of people assume I'm a guy (despite my profile noting otherwise). Sure I have a fairly gender-neutral username, but that shouldn't necessarily invite presumption (and given I've seen guys with "feminine" usernames, determining gender by username isn't reliable anyway). So am I treated well because I'm just one of the members here, or am I treated well because people think I am a guy? Honestly I assume the former rather than the latter, but it's still food for thought.

 

I have seen some disturbing comments made in a Project Eternity thread regarding how female vs male PCs should be treated, and of course there was a thread discussing Anita Sarkeesian's "Feminist Frequency" series that had some disturbing comments, which was sadly unsurprising.  (Now, I don't think everything Anita Sarkeesian has to say is gold or even good, but it is possible to disagree, agree, and discuss the points she brings up in her video series without either taking a mention of feminism as a personal attack--which many people do for some reason--or getting unpleasant, and unfortunately the mention of her name--which I realize I risk even doing so here--invites the wrath of those inexplicably frightened by her). But at the same time, the comments in those threads I've found disturbing were not outright abusive or hateful, and it was possible to carry on a fairly reasonable conversation. We can't and shouldn't necessarily censor or drive out opinions some find disturbing on that alone, especially if we can use it to build a more productive dialogue later. I've also seen similar subjects broached at other message boards and having gotten MUCH more messy and out of hand than they were here.  So I'd say so far, for a gamer board, this is one of the more welcoming ones. 

 

And then of course there's Hiro Protagonist's post above, with the inevitable "female gamers must be playing browser games only" which, again, reflects an attitude I find extraordinarily irritating and non productive to encouraging women to both be gamers and publicly "come out" as gamers. And everytime I see female gamer demographics discussed, I see that alienating attitude flaunted by someone, and it just doesn't help at all.

 

All that said, I think the community is more welcoming than others, and that it tends toward discussion and exploration rather than fighting and alienating, and that is a very good thing. You're not going to avoid discussing issues of gender and sexism and related issues, so the community having the potential of keeping it as a discussion and not turning into a flamewar is a good thing.

 

I'm just one person though; others' experiences may vary. I would hope, however, the majority are good.

Edited by DeathQuaker
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There used to be a number of prominent women posters on the old Black Isle site who just never transitioned to Obs boards (or who did but never posted much).  Tess, Quixotic, GM, Aurora, and...um...the woman who ran her own irc channel and had multiple handles that for whatever reason I can't remember any of).  That said, I seem to remember a few women from that time who took gender neutral handles and never really advertised they were women too, so as not to garner negative attention.*

 

Mind you there are a lot of guys from that period (Onkel, Rayt, slowtrain, that young guy who was the first community mod whose handle I'm blanking on) who didn't come over or don't post any more either. 

 

I had a point when I started this, and I think the thing is that maybe there are more women posters here who either lurk or who don't advertise they're women because they don't want the extra (unwanted?) attention they feel they might get?

 

*when we first got avatars on Obsidian and I picked an avatar with a woman on it, people assumed I was a woman and started hitting on me in PMs - strange but true!

Edited by Amentep
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I assume there are a lot more women here than we think that we just tend to assume are men due to gender neutral user names like the good lady up there. Most women gamers I know don't advertise their gender (nor do they have to) because it often leads to unwanted attention. Even if it's not harassment (of which there is a lot) but I assume it's also annoying to have the same conversation every time someone realizes you're a woman.

 

This place is pretty good about it most of the time, at worst displaying apathy and at best being entirely accepting. There's other places that aren't nearly as forgiving, ranging from horrible harassment (see the website fat ugly or slutty that documents some of this) but also just as annoying are white knights - the worst kind of sexists, they who might as well be writing "come here women, I'll protect you because I know you can't" on their t-shirts.

 

Also INB4Volo screaming "Misandry!"

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I had two female friends that played WoW with me, and both found that when it became known that they were female they'd either get snide comments, or be inundated with offers of support and gifts.  Neither of these actions were particularly flattering for them, unfortunately, so they tended to lay low.

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"Secondly, it IS in fact an unfortunate truth that many online gamer communities that are male dominated ARE unfriendly to women. This is slowly changing, but early online cultures tended to be especially abusive toward (openly) female members so they left and don't bother with communities like this."
 

Eh. The internet is rather an unfriendly place whether one is male or female.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Seems to be an eminently nice place on these boards, i've yet to experience any behaviour I would regard as overtly aggressive or confrontational, but then again for me it's only a virtual reality and hardly something to be taken seriously. It's nice that there's less parroting of the latest popular memes and other internet obsessions, such as that childrens cartoon about equines or the massive preponderance of smilies that inundate the less articulate of writers prose.

 

The other half admits that it seems a little too high brow for her taste, but she's a yorkshirewoman of extremely grounded sensibilities.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Eh. The internet is rather an unfriendly place whether one is male or female.

Yep. But I suppose in a way it is nice to see people in a natural state, although up to a point.

I have seen some disturbing comments made in a Project Eternity thread regarding how female vs male PCs should be treated, and of course there was a thread discussing Anita Sarkeesian's "Feminist Frequency" series that had some disturbing comments, which was sadly unsurprising.  (Now, I don't think everything Anita Sarkeesian has to say is gold or even good, but it is possible to disagree, agree, and discuss the points she brings up in her video series without either taking a mention of feminism as a personal attack--which many people do for some reason--or getting unpleasant, and unfortunately the mention of her name--which I realize I risk even doing so here--invites the wrath of those inexplicably frightened by her).

You must be disturbed pretty easily :p As for inviting wrath over Sarkeesian, come on.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I assume there are a lot more women here than we think that we just tend to assume are men due to gender neutral user names like the good lady up there. Most women gamers I know don't advertise their gender (nor do they have to) because it often leads to unwanted attention. Even if it's not harassment (of which there is a lot) but I assume it's also annoying to have the same conversation every time someone realizes you're a woman.

I think this is really the crux of it. I mean your profile may say you're female, but I normally don't go into somebodies profile and instead just post back to their posts and know them by their Avatar. So I Hurlie as the Hocky dude, Enoch as a Muppet, and Bokoshi as a Hutt. I don't see why it's a terrible thing for gender to always shade online interactions.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Thats a really insightful post, thanks for commenting. This was the type of feedback I was looking for and you have confirmed some of the issues I was thinking about. Can I ask you a general question, how do  you find these forums in regard to other forums where  ladies are treated rudely or with irrelevance?

 

I'm fairly new here (joined a few months ago) and so far I've had I guess a neutral to good experience. I haven't seen or experienced any overt abuse--but again, I've noticed a lot of people assume I'm a guy (despite my profile noting otherwise). Sure I have a fairly gender-neutral username, but that shouldn't necessarily invite presumption (and given I've seen guys with "feminine" usernames, determining gender by username isn't reliable anyway). So am I treated well because I'm just one of the members here, or am I treated well because people think I am a guy? Honestly I assume the former rather than the latter, but it's still food for thought.

 

I have seen some disturbing comments made in a Project Eternity thread regarding how female vs male PCs should be treated, and of course there was a thread discussing Anita Sarkeesian's "Feminist Frequency" series that had some disturbing comments, which was sadly unsurprising.  (Now, I don't think everything Anita Sarkeesian has to say is gold or even good, but it is possible to disagree, agree, and discuss the points she brings up in her video series without either taking a mention of feminism as a personal attack--which many people do for some reason--or getting unpleasant, and unfortunately the mention of her name--which I realize I risk even doing so here--invites the wrath of those inexplicably frightened by her). But at the same time, the comments in those threads I've found disturbing were not outright abusive or hateful, and it was possible to carry on a fairly reasonable conversation. We can't and shouldn't necessarily censor or drive out opinions some find disturbing on that alone, especially if we can use it to build a more productive dialogue later. I've also seen similar subjects broached at other message boards and having gotten MUCH more messy and out of hand than they were here.  So I'd say so far, for a gamer board, this is one of the more welcoming ones. 

 

And then of course there's Hiro Protagonist's post above, with the inevitable "female gamers must be playing browser games only" which, again, reflects an attitude I find extraordinarily irritating and non productive to encouraging women to both be gamers and publicly "come out" as gamers. And everytime I see female gamer demographics discussed, I see that alienating attitude flaunted by someone, and it just doesn't help at all.

 

All that said, I think the community is more welcoming than others, and that it tends toward discussion and exploration rather than fighting and alienating, and that is a very good thing. You're not going to avoid discussing issues of gender and sexism and related issues, so the community having the potential of keeping it as a discussion and not turning into a flamewar is a good thing.

 

I'm just one person though; others' experiences may vary. I would hope, however, the majority are good.

Once again thanks for the detailed response on this topic

 

Several people have mentioned that they think our female members hide the fact that they are female to avoid uncalled attention or comments. Just this thought concerns me even though I realize  its a reality. To all male members on these forums imagine a world where you had to hide your sex to avoid people possibly being rude or dismissive. Seriously think about it for a while, you prefer to hide who you really are. That should never be the  case in life, it should be something we all reject  but I understand thats one of the realities of bigotry. I have always believed that most bigots are people who just don't understand whats its like to a victim of discrimination and until the tables are turned they never will

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Okay, done that. Now what ? :p

Edited by Malcador
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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Okay, done that. Now what ? :p

:biggrin: Okay that was funny, but you know what I mean

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I can't see what exactly i'm supposed to do about other peoples behaviour, that's their business. I have no desire to enforce my morality on anybody else, in fact i'd find that utterly distasteful.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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