I’m just becoming sadder and sadder…

I used to be really proud to call myself a girl gamer.  It wasn’t about the individuality or this badge of honor type thing, it was just that is what I did.  I was a girl who gamed.  Yet, when I go to so many places I see more and more girl gamers not quite live up to what I see myself as.

I want to be a positive force for all gamers.  I want to show different sides, solutions, and characters.  I want to do well and feel good about myself, without my actions making another feel bad.  I don’t want to guilt trip people into anything.  I want there to be a respectable and varied view of women in gaming.  I want it to be inclusive and celebratory, not dismissive.

Yet, what I get when I read blog posts, take part in all female activities, or look at message board is this massive swing from one side to the other.  I don’t see people who want games to be fun for everyone, but instead this very angry set-up of people who can’t take a step back and evaluate their position.  I get the feeling of people who have issues with you if you don’t have the same view as them.

I get men are bad, boobs are evil, and so on.

No.  That isn’t what I want to see the gaming community develop.  What I want to see is an equal spot for all people who show any interest in games.  I want to see women treated respectfully, but still fit their character.  I want to see the human body that is depicted on that card or in those pixels to be equally enjoyed by all sexes and some of the characters to be incredibly relatable while others maybe not so much.

No, I’m not a feminist. I probably fall into an egalitarian category.  However, I am a female gamer who is incredibly proud of who I am and the fellow gamers I play with.

My view is that perhaps if we start trending towards a greater unified community, these other things will follow.  If we stop making this a gender war and start making this a cohesive effort towards a greater community we might start getting somewhere.  If we start looking past gender, sexuality, race, religion, whatever…imagine how many more people there would be to play with.

Then again, we are gamers.  Cohesive isn’t often our thing.  How ever, determination is, and I’m pretty damned determined.

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12 responses to “I’m just becoming sadder and sadder…

  1. Interesting perspective. From my viewpoint female gamers do seem to fit in, or are on equal footing as male gamers. Of course you get the children on Xbox Live who feel the need to harass any female gamer, and you get the people on message boards who are instantly obsessed with any female gamer, but in the ‘real’ world around ‘real’ people I think for the most part everyone is just a gamer, gender isn’t really involved.

    If that makes any sense..

    -avideogamelife.com

    • I think you are incredibly right, from your perspective. It all depends on how both parties act. There are lots of times where I’ll act completely normal around multiple people during one on one situations and each guy treats me differently and it becomes the difference between a fantastic experience to a horrid one. I try to continue to treat them the same, or use it as a moment to say, hey look, that isn’t acceptable, please don’t do it to me or any other female, I guarantee you most won’t give you a warning.

  2. Great post. It’s sad to hear statistics about how female representation in the games industry is at the lowest it’s been in a decade, but I see a glimmer of hope in that at least now there’s a real discussion going on about it. I think it’s important that everyone who wants to see games and their reputation evolve — regardless of gender, race, age, etc. — express his or her particular view on the subject in a personal, well thought-out way like you did here.

    And like you said, I really hope more people start to blog and express themselves without feeling the need to put down other people’s opinions. We can learn a lot from listening to each other, and a dialogue is almost always more interesting than a monologue.

    • Exactly. I just want to be around people having fun with games. While I’m not a designer of the video game variety, I do love giving feedback to developers of all kinds during play tests.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. And, for the record, I do identify myself as a feminist, and to me what you just described is feminism. It’s not about making women superior to men, or punishing men–it’s about balance between the two, and getting rid of all these stupid voices that tell us who we can and can’t be just because our genitals are a certain shape.

    • Perhaps. But it is certainly not what is being touted as feminism right now on these various places. I also want to push it beyond just gender as well. No reason my Hindu friend should feel shunned from playing a game because of comments made by others, or grossly overstated stereotypes displayed.

      • Agreed! I think verbal abuse in video games is a horrible thing which affects everyone and needs to be stamped out immediately. It doesn’t only apply to one gender or race or class–it happens to everybody. (Though I have noticed being a female gamer seems to be a lot like painting a bullseye on your back these days.)

        And obviously there are a lot of people who have a very different view of feminism. But I think taking on any label out of anger or hatred isn’t a really great idea. That’s not to say sometimes I don’t get really, really mad when I see the effects of sexism–but I don’t adopt the philosophy from a platform of anger. I think that’s a mistake a lot of people make. “Oh, __ really hurt me, and he’s a man, therefore all men are evil. Who thinks all men are evil? Feminists! I’ll join them and make women superior!” That pretty much only ever leads to trouble.

        And hey, the label isn’t really necessary in the first place. There are a lot of people that I would consider feminists who eschew the title, and that’s totally fine. Goodness knows I’ve gotten a lot of heat for taking it on. People feel very strongly about that word, and a lot of those strong feelings are…well, not so nice. But I’ve still learned a lot from my feminist friends and fellow bloggers, and I think that the philosophy behind the movement is more important than getting some hateful comments.

        But, again, that’s my choice. And I’ll quit banging on about it now–I feel kind of like I’m hijacking your post. ^_^;; Sorry. I mostly just wanted to let you know that not all feminists or female gamers are vitriol-spewing man-haters. 🙂

      • Oh yeah! And I fully appreciate that. I guess I just don’t want to be associated with the extremes at all, even though I automatically am because I have boobs.

      • I figure I’m going to be associated with an extreme no matter what I do. There are stereotypes (and douchebags) everywhere. Might as well try and have a positive influence on the things I’m passionate about, you know?

  4. Hey there,

    I just discovered your blog, based on a comment you left on GatheringMagic. I used to feel similar to you, in that I wanted to be a part of something that would bring about change and equality – but I wanted to stay away from any radical movements or extremes.

    I’ve been very fortunate since I started playing Magic again (I used to play World of Warcraft) that I have found a great group of people who feel the same way that I do and are open to discussion and disagreement and that has made me more inspired to jump in and help out.

    I would really consider getting involved with groups like the Lady Planeswalkers Society on FB and the groups that have splintered off from there (e.g. Planeswalkers for Diversity). The Magic community really does have a great group of people fighting the good fight. Hopefully you will get the opportunity to meet some of them, either in person or online, and feel the same.

    Otherwise, I enjoyed your blog and will check back often for updates. Keep up the good work!

    • I’ll look into that! Although, I will say that I’ve had bad experiences in the past with such gender only groups, so I do tend to tread lightly. I love the group I play with regularly and love that there are so many females around that don’t feel pressured to band together for the good of vaginas, but instead just talk every once in a while and go about with the game :D.

      I was also happy with SCGO Baltimore. Many of the guys were pleasant and welcoming, a few still have some stereotypes to combat(hated getting asked if my boyfriend got me into the game), but I can only change this by having civil conversations.

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