Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let's All Play the Gender Game

Women have come a long way in the world. We fought to vote, struggle for respect, and still lack equal wages. I know that video games are nothing compared to these problems, but seriously, can a sister get a break ?

Every night I get online and have the privilege of listening to guys verbally berate me and other females once our gender is known. This seems really silly to me since we are reaching a point in society where almost everyone, male and female, under the age of 30 grew up with video games in one way or another. So why is it such a shock to guys that women like to get online too ? With females making up at least 30% of the market, finding girls online should be old news. Still, I receive the same remarks every day. I am accused of being fat, ugly, and told to make a sandwich. Alternatively, I get sexually charged picture, voice and text message.

So other than my ranting and complaining, what can I do to help fix the problem ? Well first is education. Lindsey and I both take pride in our ability to let people know just how game savvy we are. And with such high female numbers, it's not like we are entering a "man's world". It is our world too and I am all too happy to remind late-night players of that fact.

Another solution would be better video game characters. All the prominent females have the genetically impossible waist and bust line (I'm looking at you Dead or Alive). It's nice to see women kicking ass, but it is hardly a welcoming environment for the player not looking to be seduced. Samus Aran is a female lead that I can definitely get behind. She kicks ass without flaunting her sexuality or making excuses for it.

I think the last solution lies on us, the women. Don't bring your cat fight to the server. And for the love of God, don't use video games as a way to meet guys. Girls who send sexy images and messages make it harder for the serious gamers to get the respect they deserve. And if you are not one of these girls, don't mute your mic for fear of a sexist comment. Talk, engage, strategize, and be yourself.

The gaming landscape is not totally a man's world, but they definitely have the majority. It is up to us to claim what is rightfully ours and that includes simple respect. I am writing a letter to a magazine later this month about their lack of female writers and editors. I'm sure I will post it on here because that's just how I roll.


Linz said...

i don't understand why boys (and it is the boys, the men can hang with female gamers) have to be so horrible and rude to women that game. clearly we are threatening them with our awesome.

and it is strange to me that there are so few "realistic" female game characters. i think FF has been good about having 'normal' women in the main character lineup. samus of course is amazing. lara croft is a good balance of sexy and powerful. bikini samurai squad? not so much. lol

Jordan said...

I honestly think that peeople that cant handdle the fact that there are female gamers in the world need some serious sense knocked into them. I think that Linz and Debbie are the people to do the job if anyone can knock sense into morons it's those two :D