I’ve been attacking this attendance problem that we’ve been having from multiple angles. The past several weeks we have been consistently short by about 3 or 4 people to do the super hard part of the game. I even spent a couple hours compiling a list of other guilds that we could possibly merge with based on their schedule and their progress in game. And so tonight I started going down the list reaching out to see if anyone would talk to me about possibly teaming up. I talked to a couple different guilds, some didn’t seem to be a good fit due to a difference in schedules and some had different goals in the game. Most felt that they couldn’t accommodate so many people and wanted to continue on their current path.
One guild that I talked to stuck out in my mind in a big way. It was a great example of harassment that we women players encounter from time to time. First impressions do matter and this one sucked. I started the conversation in chat and they asked me to hop on their voice chat server. I joined their channel which had 5 other guys and said “hello” with my distinctly female voice. I was responded to by a some sort of joke about male genitalia, for which I will not repeat followed by snickers and my silence. My first thought was ‘they’re guy gamers, whatever. I’m familiar with this type of talk.‘ What I should have done was said “oh sorry I got to go” or made up some other excuse and left. Instead, I talked logistics with this group, the guild leader who just tried to mess with me. In the moment I felt like I was in control of the situation but after setting up a time to play together this week and left the chat I had some serious regret for even continuing the conversation.
It took me all of 10 minutes to come to my senses. The more that I thought about it the more sketched out I became. The first words out of this guild leader’s mouth after he heard me speak was something sexist and gross. That stuff doesn’t usually bother me but I’m probably be putting myself in a bad position if I were to continue playing with the dirtbag. I quickly messaged the scummy guild leader and canceled the plans for our guild to play together. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t going to be a group that I would be happy playing with. I felt stupid for putting myself in a position like that with guys who took pleasure in pushing my buttons. I’ve dealt with people that don’t show me any sort of respect before and it’s not something I would want to willingly be a part of.
It’s taking time, but I’m adjusting my thinking about what types of behaviors are acceptable to me when I’m playing video games. I have, on occasion, used poor judgement and gotten myself into some uncomfortable situations. And this all is part of life and part of growing up and learning. I’m still educating myself and adjusting to a higher standard that I want for myself and those that I play with. Life’s too short to play games with people that treat you poorly.