[DigCult] Quick Example of Gender Performance Online

by Thom Kiraly

This is my contribution to the examples of gender issues online we were supposed to find for our DigCult class. I wanted to show something most people in my class had probably not seen so I went with the website Fat, Ugly or Slutty. FUS is a kind of picture blog featuring screendumps submitted to the site by female video game players. The pictures show abusive (to say the least) comments and direct messages from male players. The most common type of hater here are the screamers, releasing torrents of profanity and general gobbledygook, but there is also the occasional “well-meaning” douche [NB! my term for them] using online gaming to try to work on their pick up lines, not realizing that maybe, just maybe, the person they’re talking to was not created with the sole purpose of listening to his ramblings (however romantic he may consider them). Both of these types are part of a regulatory discourse about gender in online gaming, playing the role of the regulators keeping others in check as to prevent them from stepping out of line. Some seem to reflexively react without thinking as soon as they see (or get their asses kicked by) a female gamer. Just look at these examples:

Finally, a “well-meaning” guy putting his foot in his mouth.