A new study has linked dudes who suck at video games to being more hostile towards women, when playing online. I can’t say I’m surprised by the findings below, as dudes who suck at video games generally suck at life. The only thing I am surprised at is that the researchers conducting the study were able to find ready, willing, and able women to play Halo 3, because I’ve never been able to find one myself.
Participants in the study all played the Halo 3 deathmatch, and those conducting the study found that low-performing male players were more likely to lash out in a hostile manner at other players with ‘female sounding voices’. These were the findings of the study that tested the following hypothesis, according to the paper published in PLOS one:
We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate.
As Jezebel notes, men in the study were pretty good adept at discerning the gender of a player based on her/his voice, and the hostility arises because men simply don’t want to lose to women under any circumstances. Which while I agree with their assessment, I think it’s a bit shortsighted. It’s not that men don’t want to lose to women, men just don’t want to lose at all, ever. When men and competition are involved losing begets hostility, and given that video games are online and there’s no accountability for acting like a complete dick then these dudes who are getting whooped in Halo 3 are likely going to act like raging a$$holes, because they suck AND losing sucks. At least that’s my two cents. For more analysis follow the link above!