Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Competitive Gaming: A Gender Divide?

Greetings friends!

I learned something today that I found most interesting.

Did you know that in South Korea there is an organisation who call themselves the International e-Sports League (or something like that) for now we'll call them the IeSL.

So this year they were organising the International Hearthstone Tournament; Hearthstone for those who don't know is a digital card game by Blizzard Entertainment and plays in a similar way to Magic: The Gathering.

Well, this wasn't the interesting thing, no what was interesting was that this tournament had two categories; Male and Female. The argument given was that it was to emulate 'real' sport where women are not pitched against men for a variety of reasons.

Well, as it turns out this was something that Joe Internet wasn't happy with and lobbied against this, the resulting change was that there was still two leagues, one mixed for both men and women, and one exclusive to women.

Now as most of you will know by now, I am quite passionate about equal rights for all, and by that I mean true equality.

What we see here is not true equality, but despite this there seems to be little to no objection, instead Joe Public thinks that not only is this acceptable, but it is the way it should be.

In a nut shell what we are looking at is simple:
- If a woman wants to play in a mixed league; she can. If she wants to play in a league with only her gender; she can.
- If a man wants to play in a mixed league; he can. If he wants to play in a league with only his gender; he can't.

Seeing this imbalance, and the acceptance of such an imbalance makes me wonder if I'm going insane, to quote Will Ferral, "Taking Crazy Pills!"

Now most arguments I have seen focus on a few points, and I will tackle them separately.

The first is that as these e-Sport games are non-physical then there is no gender divide and as such there is no reason not to mix the genders.

Ok, well first that is flat out wrong. It is a scientific fact that male brains (mostly) work differently to women's brains, having strengths in some ways with weaknesses in others, just like the rest of our bodies do. For this reason if one gender has the physical advantage over the other when playing a physical sport and that is why they are kept separate, then the same must be done for e-Sports.

After all, just as you have Strength, Agility and Speed, the same is true for the brain with Strength of Mind, Mental Agility and Speed of Thought.

If we are going to argue that these differences are so minuscule that they shouldn't be factored into e-Sport, then there is no reason not to have a single mixed league, there would be no reason to give women their own league while not giving one to men as well.

Which leads us on to the second reason: Choice.

What if a woman would rather play against only women?

Well why should that only apply to women? I can turn it around and ask "what if men only want to play against other men?" Should both genders not have the right to choose that? Speaking rhetorically; why should only women have the right to choose?

Which inevitably leads us on to the final point: Historical handling.

Essentially saying that men had their time before, that because men oppressed women and forbid them from taking part in certain sports etc, that women have the right to do the same now.

I'm sorry but that's just BS!

Explain to me in a coherent way why I should be opposed or oppressed by anyone because of what others who came before me chose to do? Have I oppressed or dominated women? Absolutely not! And oppressing and discriminating against potentially innocent men is no better than what those 'you' are fighting against.

This final point has nothing to do with equality and fair play and everything to do with revenge and as they say; when you seek revenge, prepare to dig two graves.


Look, I know this is a sore subject, there will be those who skim over my points, think I'm attacking feminism or whatever and miss what I'm trying to say.

There will be those who argue that by comparing e-Sports to physical sports is laughable and there will be those who think that I don't have a right to express myself because of an inherited gender bias, but all I'm asking for is true equality.

If we are to reach true equality, then there is only three ways of doing so within this situation:
- A Single Mixed Leage
- Two Leagues; 1 Male, 1 Female
Three Leagues; 1 Male, 1 Female, 1 Mixed.

Call it whatever you like, but any other form of system is gender biased one way or the other and frankly unacceptable in the modern world.


Until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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