This might not be traditionally feelgood Friday news, but it's important.
Feelgood Friday: Male Valorant Players Experience Shocking Reality of the Lives of Female Gamers
Imagining the experiences of a particular demographic can be difficult if you've never been through them yourself. Which is why Women in Games Argentina decided to break that barrier with a particularly eye-opening experiment, designed to raise awareness about the experiences of female gamers.
Switching on voice chat in an online game is a daunting task if you're painfully shy. But for women, revealing your voice to a lobby of strangers carries its own risk. Something that a willing group of male participants found out first hand as Women in Games Argentina used the power of modern technology to show what having a higher-pitched voice can lead to.
The participants comprised a group of professional male Valorant players whose voices were altered to sound female with a voice modulator. Alfredito, Lucius and Tasher were then thrown into matches, where they quickly discovered that their perceived gender was enough to draw the ire of teammates and opponents alike.
Being interrupted while strategizing with teammates, receiving abuse instead of aid when in a tight spot, and being told to leave the game entirely were just some of the experiences that the three pros were subjected to, simply for having a female-sounding voice.
Their kill to death ratios were also worse due to being targeted by, well, everyone. Which throws into question why some toxic gamers consider female gamers to be worse at the games they play.
And that is, of course, part of the point of the experiment. We hate to see any facet of the gaming community being ostracized for something beyond their control. And while it's unpleasant to see toxicity on full display, we're thankful for organizations like Women in Games Argentina for shining a light on the experiences of 48% of the gaming community.
We hope that what this experiment could achieve is a shift in certain behaviors, whether by convincing toxic gamers to curb their antagonism, or encouraging others to fight against it when they see it. And that's a good thing, in our books.