Sigh. Yes, I’m heartbroken. It’s the Year of the Maker 2010, and us girlgamers still face the same clichés as ever. Besides, us GAMERS, guys and gals alike, should not be the ones to prolong the stereotype of “immature, silly gamers” who can only get close to the opposite sex in virtual worlds.
Two recent infuriating examples on which I have commented are:
“Five bloody new video games for guys” on CNN, where Mr. Steinberg seems to think that only guys like violent games. So if I like those games, I must be pretty confused about my own gender to pick the nick “glamgeekGIRL”, eh?
Now get this quote from his article:
“Here are five testosterone-drenched games that rub us the right way. Try not to drool as you shoo the wife out the door or tuck the kids in to sleep and race back to whipping up on the bad guys all in your man cave.”
Excuse me? You can’t be serious! If his testosterone-drenched ramblings rub you the wrong way, please click the above link and give him a piece of your opinion! (Sometimes I can’t see my comment below the article, sometimes I can, don’t know why. I posted as glamgeekgirl and threatened to beat him with a frying pan, alluding to his “shoo your wife” remark. And the original credit for me making any kind of “frying pan remark” should go to my HS arts teacher, who was a really funny guy…)
The other article that bugged me yesterday was “The top five leading men in this console generation“:
For one thing, there doesn’t seem to be a list for the Top Leading Ladies – which is a problem in itself, because there still aren’t that many great heroines.
Secondly, MaleShep from the Mass Effect universe takes the #1 spot, for, among other reasons, his ability to “bang Tali like a snare drum” and “bone her silly” until she considers him a god!
Yes, both Shepards can have sex with some of the NPCs. But thanks to BioWare’s writing skills, the romances are done in a very respectful and charming way – quite unlike some in The Witcher or Alpha Protocol (the latter of which I haven’t played, but I read the great article “Women aren’t Vending Machines“; it even has a valid, critical point about the romances in ME that hadn’t ocurred to me before). I haven’t played either gender of Shepard as a pure renegade, so I don’t know how the romances play out then, but I can’t wrap my brains around Shepard using sex to influence his or her crewmates. (Please comment, with spoiler warning, if you know more. I’m curious!)
So we’re talking actual game content with a “sexist wishful thinking” interpretation on that gamer’s part. And for protesting against the sexism in the post, I was called a gamer-basher (thanks Damon for backing me up! [I’d link to you if I knew where!]). I then replied with this comment (excerpt): “I know it’s fun to explore your moral options especially in RPGs – being the nice guy/gal, or the arse, or something in between. But the bad behavior shouldn’t resonate in our real lives, like it has here. I wish you could leave those fantasies of “a girl considering you a god for banging her” behind when you exit the game. With that attitude, it may not happen in reality, y’know?”
I usually tell people outside the fandom that games are an exciting medium that is adult and mature, and gamers are great, funny people. Yet sometimes, like right now, I grow so tired of defending my beloved game community, because we’re proving our critics right! We’re hurting our own cause of being taken seriously!
[Funny sidenote on gripe #2: The post’s author misspelled “crewmates”, so it read “former cremates compare him to a god”, which instantly made me picture a game revolving around “Shepard the Mortician”. After all, as Davidsfunstuff pointed out later on Twitter, you CAN incinerate your enemies… 🙂 ]