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Misogyny in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I was trying to relax the other day and joined a game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. We're all playing along doing well as a team. I'm trying to complete a mission where I have to win 16 rounds on the Black Gold map. If you aren't familiar with CS:GO (as it's called), you play as either Terrorist or Counter-Terrorist. The Terrorists either have to bomb designated areas or protect their hostages. The Counter-Terrorists are supposed to stop the bombing or rescue the hostages. There are other modes, but these are the two main modes. In the game, you can text or voice chat the entire time. Ostensibly, it's about allowing the team to communicate with one another, mostly like a real-world team. In reality, it's about half coordination with each other and half trash-talk about the other team. When you get into the Competitive Match mode, the players generally take it more seriously and try to meet the objective at hand. When you are "killed", you are allowed to watch the "living" players as if you are playing alongside them. Meaning, you get to see everything they do from the first or third person perspectives.

Midway through the match, a player with the nickname OMGPEWPEWMEW joins. This player starts to play, does pretty well, and then says something in voice chat. Something innocent like "ugh, can't believe I missed that shot." What catches my ear, and clearly everyone else, is the distinctly female voice. In a match full of people either not talking or the few talking, the lone female voice stands out. Immediately, the text chats and voice comms change. It's no longer about coordination and basic trash talk. They all politely ask her how she's doing, if she's enjoying the game, and make her feel welcome as a valued team member, not as a female, per se. Ok, that didn't happen.

As soon as she spoke, she was immediately asked to "get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich", asked her "age, sex, do-ability factors", told she sucked, propositioned for sex multiple times, and further degraded by her female anatomy. Amazingly, she ignored it all, continued to play, and as she started to rise up the rankings, trash talk the now-obviously-young-teenage boys. This infuriated the little boys, clearly. They started changing their nicknames to insult her. They started ramping up the threats and insults in text and voice chats. And started a real-time streaming of criticisms of everything she did in the game. Within a minute, the crescendo of this rose to a point where no one could hear anything going on in the game, other than endless threats and attacks on her. It was like a pack of rabid dogs attacking a single bunny rabbit. It was sickening.

I don't have a microphone and therefore don't have voice chat. So I simply typed "ok, let's leave her alone and get back to winning". "F*ck you pussy" was the voice response, and then one of my own teammates killed me from behind. Sigh. She responded by voice "thank you". And then someone else, on the other team, voice chatted "seriously, have you never heard a girl before?" The rabid boys jumped all over him with various, well-thought out insults like, "pussy" and "how small is your penis anyway?" and so forth. And then she said "last round, try not to die too much."

One of the leading players on her team changed his name to OMFGSTFUPEWPEWPUSSY, and blasted his voice into the game "SHUT THE F*CK UP MOTHERF*CKING C*NT". It was loud, and outstripped all of the other voices at the time. And then there was silence. I text chatted "what an asshole". Suddenly the rabid boys regained their line of thought and started laughing and/or repeating the statement.

She quit. I quit. Disgusting. Video game tropes vs. women is as accurate as ever.

This article was updated on 2020/03/14 15:54:19