eSports and Sexism, When Competition and Anonymity Collide
I was watching an old pro-Starcraft 2 match between Scarlett and Bomber, which was absolutely phenomenal. Starcraft 2 is probably one of the most demanding games you can play competitively. Not many make it to the upper echelons of the game, and if you do, it can be turned into a full time job, with some people making six figures a year.
I actually didn’t know who Scarlett was until I watched that replay. A Canadian zerg player who specializes in mutas, lings, and banelings, and is an amazing macro player. Scarlett mainly just bowls over opponents with sheer force, which is so exciting to watch.
She also happens to be a woman, and for many people, she’s an inspiration. We don’t get to see many women turn pro, let alone be considered “Korean Kryptonite,” meaning she’s beaten many Korean players who are widely known as the best players in the world. Non Koreans are considered “foreigners” in the SC2 community. She’s understandably gained many fans who are super encouraging and supportive, just check out the comments in this match.
With all the positive support and encouraging comments, there’s still many people that are compelled to comment about her appearance, question her gender, and, for some reason, her performance. For a lot of people, being a woman in a male dominated field seem to think that women can only get there if men let them. It’s not even about the individual, it’s more just a projection of how they feel about women in general.
The comments in the first video I linked are typical when young men see a woman performing well in a male dominated field. My theory is that they’re scared that a woman could absolutely wreck them in something that they feel they’re good at. eSports comments can be used as a microcosm that’s representative of our culture as a whole. Think before you post. Lift people up, don’t knock people down because of their gender, appearance, race, or anything else. Judge people on their actions and their values, not how they were born.