Jenny's Got a Gun
Posted on Saturday, August 24 @ 15:00:00 PST by Jessica_VazquezDon't Be a Dick... Especially if You Have One.
In 2007 Will Wheaton uttered a simple phrase while giving a keynote at PAX that turned into a universal motto in the gaming community: "Don't be a Dick." Six years later it seems as if that message may be fading under the high tide of the digital age. Being online hasn't just become a hobby for people; it's become a way of life. The more comfortable we get with being able to share our opinions instantly on a whim, the more likely it is for most of us to say something stupid or insensitive to another human being. Like this:
Would you ignore it? Would you shrug it off and continue to play games in the same vicinity as this ass-hat of a human being even if it was an online space? Well, that's the advice given to women who receive these kind of threatening messages while playing video games online. I'm aware that a certain amount of trash talk is warranted when playing competitive multiplayer games on any platform, but I think we need to admit that when the trash talking goes too far it's usually directed at a female, simply because of the fact that she is a female.
Jenny Haniver is one of those females, and her primary multiplayer game of choice at the moment is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. In 2010, she began recording in-game audio of her Call of Duty matches so that she could implement them into an art installation at her college. Banners lining the walls and floor displayed the worst quotes she collected from people who accosted her online. The centerpiece of the exhibit was a pedestal on which she placed two controllers with MP3 players built in and headphones attached to them so that people could interact with them. One controller was blue and played audio that men normally hear while playing video games online and one controller was pink, playing the audio that she normally hears online.
After putting together the art installation she decided that she wanted to keep documenting the harassment she was continuing to receive on a regular basis. That is when she created her website, Not in the Kitchen Anymore. It's where she posts transcripts, audio files, and screen grabs of the more horrific and obnoxious interactions she's had while playing multiplayer games. Jenny also goes a step further and has a section where she documents the reactions of commenters on articles that discuss the work she is doing on her website. Those comments can sometimes be worse than what she' hears in-game because there are many people who think she is just doing this for the attention, which she isn't. At her core she is an artist and this website she created is her form of expression.
Last weekend I had the honor of speaking with her via video chat and got a better insight into why she continues to document this cyber-harassment. One important fact is that she never provokes other players in a public lobby by announcing that she is a woman. Usually random players in a lobby will see her name in her Gamertag and start hounding her right away. This happens to her so often that she has a backlog of audio files ranging back two years that she hasn't gotten a chance to transcribe on her site yet. What you see on her website are excerpts from the worst cases.
Even as I was finishing up this article, she posted a transcript from a Black Ops match she played with a few friends this week. Some Random Male Players (RMPs) who sounded like they were in their late teens or early twenties, started harassing her. If you want to read the full transcript and listen to the audio recording, it's on her website. The following statement is an excerpt that truly shows the lack of intelligence they possessed:
The incident that caused her twitter storm campaign for retribution earlier this month occurred around July 27th. It began like most of the incidents, with the perpetrator singling out Jenny after realizing she was a woman. Phatdog was his name, and during the match he asked if she was on her period and began making bad jokes and saying she was ugly because she was a female gaming online. Standard idiot logic. Phatdog topped off his insults by sending Jenny a voice message after the match saying that he wanted to impregnate her and give her a "late-term abortion." You can listen to Prince Charming’s voice in this video, from Jenny's YouTube channel.
If you want to read the full documentation of the incident and all other things related to it getting resolved, you can read about it here. (continued on the next page)
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