I just happened upon this website thanks to Patrick Klepek's tweet. Sexism is definitely a concept I take for granted, as I'm certain I am frequently sexist in ways of which I am innocently unaware; however, as I grow older and continue to foster a love for video games, the immature culture of video games has become more apparent to me. Feminist Frequency aims to refine video games in a way I think is necessary for my favorite medium to taken seriously as entertainment and, more importantly, as art. While I realize the "games as art" discussion is a long and arduous one with two very dominant opposing forces, I think that the existence of a predominantly masculine, at times misogynistic, culture within the world of gaming is obvious and undeniable.
I am sure that I am not the only gamer whose has had his enjoyment of multiplayer sessions destroyed due to others' disparaging comments, sexist, racist, offensive comments. Granted, I have become callous to this behavior and have learned to ignore it, but it is certain that when individuals start behaving offensively I choose not to participate voice chat. When I should be jumping into a Team Deathmatch game in Max Payne 3 ready to coordinate with my teammates and share vital information, instead I am playing without a headset listening to muffled words of other players in the background. I realize that when groups of friends are playing together, it's easy to fall into a comfort zone and just let the words fly; but when the game is public and others are subject to offensive remarks, it at the very least deters gamers like me from adding anything vocally. That's just me, and I am thick skinned! My wife would certainly never jump into a multiplayer game ready to trash talk and call out obscenities. I realize that this could be construed as arrogant, but I sincerely mean to speak honestly. I know that offense is subjective and that not everyone is bothered in the slightest by comments made online, but I think that if more players demonstrated a bit more tact in public, it would greatly strengthen the integrity and appearance of our gaming community.
Of course, I call game developers to task in this as well. Though I am not against the sexualization of women and of men entirely, a lot of work can be done here to strengthen the integrity of games. For instance, I think there is a place for the sexualized character Juliet Starling in Lollipop Chainsaw. I personally think the depiction of that character is justifiable within the context of the tone and style of that game; however, other female characters in games that take themselves more seriously, like Tomb Raider, are often sexualized for seemingly no artistic purpose. I think that Bonnie McFarlane from Red Dead Redemption is a good example of a character who breaks the sexist standard of females in video games. In other words, I think that developers oftentimes sexualize female characters unknowingly, and Feminist Frequency will help to bring a little more awareness.
The work Feminist Frequency is conducting will greatly improve gaming culture. I think this is a worthy cause and will ultimately bring games one step closer to becoming immediately recognized as art. Thank you to those of you who took the time to read my inspired message.