Maybelline Campaign Sheds Light On Sexism In Online Games

The brand ran an experiment to see how male gamers would be treated when their voices and player profiles were modified to appear more feminine.

A new campaign by Maybelline New York is targeting gender-based harassment in video game, by running a social experiment to see how male gamers would be treated in an online match if they appeared to be female, GamesHub reports.

The video is part of Maybelline's Brave Together mental health initiative, and is titled Through Their Eyes. The video talks to female gaming influencers Luminumn and PaladinAmber about their experiences playing online with voice chat, before getting male gamers JoelBergs and DrewD0g to experience it for themselves by playing with voice modulation and female-presenting player profiles.

From the start, Joel and Drew have a different experience to what they're used to, with multiple players simply leaving the match as soon as they hear them speak. Once loaded into a new game, it doesn't take long for another player to say "bitch shut your mouth," with other harassment levelled at the two influencers including a suggestion to "get back to the sink" and "call me daddy." The two players also receive a number of sexual "suggestions" that have been almost entirely bleeped out for Maybelline's video.

Maybelline cites a recent study that shows 83% of female-identifying gamers have "directly experienced and/or observed offensive behaviour or language while online gaming." The video ends with a call-out for all gamers to "speak up and help each other out" when experiencing this kind of harassment.

Maybelline isn't unique in trying to draw attention to this issue in online gaming. Recently, Twitch streamer SteffyEvans called out gendered harassment in online gaming by setting herself a challenge to make sandwiches every time someone tells her to in game--and pointing out how much the sexist comment is still thrown around in online matches.

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