USF_MA_U_P
California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

Turf
Filler ad

Game Cave or Man Cave?

A+group+of+students+playing+video+games+in+the+Game+Cave+on+campus%2C+located+in+the+Old+University+Union
Joey Gorman-Chamness
A group of students playing video games in the Game Cave on campus, located in the Old University Union

In the Student Union Building between the Game Room and the P.O.D Market, there is a place where video gamers can go to relax and unwind in between classes. It is called the Game Cave. In view of being carpeted in dim lighting, various neon signs along the walls, rocking gamer chairs, and even bean bags, it is definitely set up for comfort.

Games for various consoles including different generations of Xbox and Playstation, and sometimes even retro games are available. But who is this room for? Who is the target audience?

Video Games have been popular since the 1980’s, but generally have been stereotyped throughout the years as a male dominated hobby. Because of this, there have been many accounts of bullying, sexual harassment and even violent threats to female players as well as players from the LGBTQIA+ community.

According to Dr. David W. Wahl in his article, “Do Video Games Promote Sexual Harassment?”, he mentions that a study done in 2021 found that almost 50% of female video gamers reported having dealt with some kind of harassment that year, and that due to this, many female gamers choose to hide their identity when playing. This is just a small chunk of harassment claims, the actual number is presumed to be much higher.

That data however is only related to online gaming harassment. What about in person? When one hears the name “Game Cave”, the term “Man Cave” might come to mind. Was this an innocent play on words without any connection to the term? Or is there something that drives us to continue the stereotype of video games being a masculine hobby without the intention to cause harm?

Joey Gorman-Chamness

These problems do not only exist within the player community unfortunately. In some cases, the video games themselves have been known to breed toxic masculinity. A prime example is Zelda from the 37 year old well-known game The Legend of Zelda. The game is named after her and yet her only role throughout the game is to be saved from various dangerous situations by the main male character, Link.

Eric Truong, a business and marketing major who works in the Game Cave commented, “Women don’t seem to feel as inclined to come here as guys, I do think it’s a male dominated hobby.” He concluded by mentioning that when they do come, they play games like Overcooked, a co-op cooking game, or Smash Brothers, a crossover fighting game with characters from Super Nintendo World such as Mario, and Princess Peach. So the many different shooter games that are available in the Cave are not usually what they go for.

Nathan Phillips, a former recruiter for a video game company called Crystal Dynamics stated, “It’s unfortunate that most of the people I recruited for video game testing are male, and it’s not due to women not playing. In fact I would feel confident in saying that it’s not nearly as far apart in numbers as it used to be. It might even be close to 50/50 as far as how many women vs men play games. But the stigma sticks around and women might still feel like this isn’t their place or they don’t belong, regardless of skill level.”

This doesn’t mean that women who do want to utilize the Game Cave on campus are getting harassed for doing so. That being said, there must be something that can be done about the atmosphere or adding more of a variety of games that could draw a more diverse crowd.

More to Discover