Everytime we talk about gaming at work (and not just at my current job) the question of why I’m not playing online pops up.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said “because I don’t like people” instead of saying “because I don’t feel safe playing with men”. It’s actually the latter which holds the deepest truth for me.

Check out the middle-aged woman with a fear of playing with men online! W00t. But it’s true. I am afraid of playing with men, because there always seem to be that one dude that asks me for anal sex (Yup. In a chat. Very classy.) or the guy who thinks that it’s okay to flirt heavily even though I’m answering in a monotone with “yes”, more frequently “no” and most frequently “please leave me alone, or I’ll block you”. It’s not like I’m alone in this, but it has led me to think that – just like Greta Garbo – I vant to be left alone.

It’s actually getting harder and harder though. More and more games go multiplayer and you actually need to interact with other players to get anywhere. I hope – for my sake and for other Garbo-esque women out there – that there will be single player games enough to keep us playing. Anyway. Just a reflection, considering stuff like Pokémon GO! where the creepy attitude is slowly establishing itself not only online but in meat space. Since Pokémon GO! launched I’ve heard about 5 – 10 stories about women being harassed by other players. Men. Harassing women. As per usual. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because they want us to leave or because they want to dominate us, or heaven forbid, because they’re so fundamentally stupid that they think they can talk to women any way they want. I wish there was a “woman only” Pokémon GO!, or that the app designers had thought to include a way to report other players with a bad attitude. But no. Safety isn’t a big thing among game devs.

Vhich is vhy I vant to be left alone.