Third of Iran’s Gamers Are Women, Yet They Still Face Gaming Bans

Third of Iran’s Gamers Are Women, Yet They Still Face Gaming Bans

September 2, 2019 0 By Brian Crecente

About 35 percent of Iran’s estimated video game players are women, but they still face bans from gaming centers and official tournaments, according to Aljazeera.

Iranian gaming centers face fines or closure if they serve female gamers, according to the story by reporter Maziar Motamedi.

Motamedi spoke with a number of women who game in the country. They told him how they contend with the challenges they face in the country, challenges layered on top of the already existing, well-known issues of sexism and misogyny in video games.

“I grew up in a largely male environment with my cousins, and I first went to a video game center with them in Tehran when I was around 11 and had short hair,” one woman told Al Jazeera. “But the owner found out when we were playing and said he can’t allow girls in.”

She said she eventually found another game center that let her in, but the owner eventually turned her away because he didn’t want to risk being shut down.

Motamedi also notes that the majority of video game tournaments in the country don’t allow women to participate. Those that do, he writes, often don’t draw enough competitors because they’re not seen as taking place in an environment welcoming to women.