For a female gamer, it is common to face up with other gamers and get gendered insults from them for no more than just existing. A lot of evidence about this continuous harassment has been shown. Spawntaneous, a Twitch streamer published a series with eight parts showing how she is treated by male players in the multiplayer games. The series is quite bothering to watch. And more sadly, this issue happens very often in every multiplayer game that many females choose to play incognito instead. At the end of the day, GamerGate, a controversy campaign made it clear for every woman playing games that: “You are not welcome here.”

1Female gamers usually have to face gender discrimination

Gaming companies are trying to clean up the harmful groups of players which plague all of their online game titles. Their efforts bring back various results. However, women are still confronted with harassment thick and fast when online. Among those companies, Respawn Entertainment offers Apex Legends with a specific communication system called the robust pinging system to make it more suitable for women.

Multiplayer games usually have a kind of primary communication system so that you can communicate with your teammates on that platform. Nevertheless, the available choices are too inefficient for players. Most of the systems require a microphone to talk to others. What Apex Legends is providing is the context-sensitive pinging system that helps to eliminate all the frustrations caused by other systems.

In this system, players can mark ammo and weapons, give suggestion on where to go and alert their teammates to the possible enemies. "I love Apex's ping system! It's a great combo of feeling like I'm contributing to the team to the point where I don't even feel guilty not being on the mic, like I do with Overwatch." A freelancer journalist named Haley MacLean acclaimed.

The ping system allows users to temporarily add a marker on the map, which makes it reasonable for them to communicate with their teammates. "You can definitely win a match without ever communicating via mic with your team. In games like Overwatch, teams who use the mic and agree on a strategy, coordinate their attacks etc definitely have an advantage against a team who uses no mic at all. This is absolutely not the case in Apex and it's so refreshing I can play an online game and have a decent chance of winning without feeling pressured to use a mic." Said a female player.

If you need a specific item, it's easy to hop into your inventory wheels and ping it to let your teammates know.

Without the use of headset and microphone, every player can be unhesitating to play and communicate inside the games, not worrying about any headset. Not a single spoken word is needed throughout the whole match. Players can also record voice to text or type out phrases. This ability helps back up for the pinging system in case it may miss anything.

The principle of the pinging system in protecting women towards discrimination from other players is to eliminate the one method used to identify the gender of a person – his/her voice. “When I'm uncomfortable outing myself as a woman over voice out of fear of facing sexual harassment, the ping system lets me hide my identity and communicate thoroughly and efficiently with my other players. People don't really treat me awfully if I ping weapons or drop sites or whatever, they just acknowledge the ping or decide not to." Ana Valens, a sex columnist and a trans, explained at the Daily Dot.

For transgender women, the matter is quite important as they worry about misgendering and offense on their trans, along with other common gendered insults every normal woman may have to deal with. "Being able to squad up and actually work together efficiently without worrying if people are going to give me a hard time about my voice or misgender me has been amazing," Emily Dare, a writer, said. "I refuse to use mic because I don't want to be seen as a dude. A combo of the ping system plus being able to use the voice-to-text, if imperfect, makes me believe a lot more in my teammates' ability to communicate." Hannah Dwan, a full-stack developer, explained.

3Apex Legends’ attempt to help women communicate without being discriminated is appreciated.

The voiceless option seems to a practical and profound solution for female players who prefer hiding their voices to avoid harassment from toxic players. However, it is still a stop-gap for a bigger problem. "I shouldn't have to hide my identity to communicate with my teammates without facing harassment. There's still more work to be done to make sure men behave themselves in-game, and I think simply letting women avoid talking over mic by using the ping system isn't so much a solution as it is one step toward trying to figure out how to prevent harassment from affecting gameplay." Valens said.

Even though the choice is great, it should be focused that the root problem of this issue is from the toxicity of the gaming world in general. Pinging system offers women to avoid using their voices to communicate. But after all, don’t forget that women don’t have to hide their identities actually. And the act of hiding behind the anonymity of the game character doesn’t solve the crux of the matter.

Best healer Lifeline can only safe good players only

But for all that, it should be noticed that this battle royale has a community that is becoming much friendlier than those from others. According to Lauren Aitken, a guide writer at VG247, "There's less abuse through Apex in my case - even if they know you're on a mic or silent. Occasionally a wanker appears but overall [they're] much kinder, even if you're god awful (like me)."

To some extent, Apex Legends has put a step forward to create a more equal gaming community for women. Its proper communication system has made it more comfortable for everyone to play online.