Everyone knows that when conversing with people online, the veil of anonymity can make people say all sorts of things they wouldn't utter in real life. Blogs, news sites, and other online mediums have been dealing with this problem for years within the comment sections and forums on a website. This extends to the realm of video games, when playing them online through Xbox Live, Playstation Network, or on the PC. If you're a woman, many times you're met with a whole separate experience which can include some extremely sexist behavior.
Jenny Haniver, has started a website titled: Not in the Kitchen Anymore. The premise is simple, she records and documents her experiences playing first person shooters, specifically Call of Duty, and posts these experiences on the website. What you find on her website is pretty shocking, with a lot of it being so extreme it borders on the hilarious.
I found this site a few days ago, and was completely taken by it. Once you start listening to some of these recordings, you can't stop. You'll laugh, be amazed, and scared there are people like this who walk among us.
I actually got to speak with Haniver about her website, to gain a bit more insight concerning the project.
My Recorded Discussion With Jenny Haniver (NSFW: Language)
After talking with Jenny, it's obvious she's not looking for pity or to say that everyone acts in the same way as the people in her recordings. She simply wants to shed light on the problem, and show just how bad it can get for ladies on Xbox Live or any other online gaming platform.
Here's what Jenny had to say about the site, "And that's essentially the focus of my blog- the dated, hostile, and sometimes downright weird reactions men, and occasionally even other women, have to interacting with females in an anonymous setting that is considered to be male dominated (online video games, specifically first person shooters). Obviously sexism isn't the only problem prevalent in online gaming, it's just the one I've chosen to focus on.
This behavior is something that most female gamers will have to face at some point if they choose to game online. The aim of my project is education; some people genuinely have no idea this is going on. By exposing this type of behavior, I'm hoping to raise awareness- and possibly push people to remember that it's a real live person on the other side of that microphone."
To give you an idea of how a recording will go, here's a transcript from one of the more tame samples:
RMP = random male player
RMP2: Can’t end it like that.
RMP1: And we got beat by a girl.[laughter]
RMP3: Wisconsin, what’s up!
Me: You say that like that’s a bad thing.
RMP2: Nah it’s cool. As long- as long as you’re skinny.[laughter]
RMP1: Her avatar is pretty hot.
RMP2: So are you skinny?
RMP3: Who is?
The website spun out of an art project she did for a college course, highlighting many of the quotes she recorded for the project.
She also set up an audio booth, represented by a blue controller and a pink controller. They doubled as MP3 players, with the blue controller playing sound bites from a male vantage point, with the pink playing what women hear while playing.
The website is a humorous, albeit sad look at what many people resort to when provided an anonymous shield. The only way you can combat this kind of nonsense is to call it out, and let other people know what's happening. Haniver is just doing that in a creative, and funny way.