@conmulligan: I'm not going to draw general opinions on her just from that, but it's definitely an example of how awkward things can be when personalities are mismatched. You just get the feeling that it's everyone in the room versus her in both instances, and that division also happens to fall straight down gender lines. It makes me super uncomfortable. I've also never heard Ryan so openly put-off towards someone before that Nazi fashion conversation (and you know it's gone bad when Ryan is tetchy).
This is a case of a person who's outgoing in personality and not being intimidated by the group obviously, but it just goes so wrong... I guess you could say this is kind of my worst fear about throwing a female in the mix. As a lifelong tomboy, trying to join in with the boys doesn't always work out well. There's a certain type of male-to-male interaction that you're just invisibly barricaded from.
This to me hits the nail on the head; it's rare for a female to mix in perfectly with an all boys-club. In my own experience, when I'm hanging out with male friends and a female is introduced - the mood changes. Things get a little more tense and people watch what they say a little more. This isn't the say there is something wrong with the opposite sex; I'm sure a similar thing happens when a male enters an all-female space. I imagine women choose to hang out with only other women sometimes so they can be a little less guarded than they would be with men present. There are some women (and presumably some men) who can enter these spaces without changing the dynamic - but it's rare. I think it's even more unlikely at giantbomb given the reason's you've outlined. I'm open to it; but I wouldn't expect it.
I don't agree with people that say diversity needs to be injected into this place; I'm personally employed in a female dominated industry and I don't see the lack of men as a problem that needs to be fixed. I don't see any sane reason there needs to be equal gender representation across every industry and in every workplace; some places will have more men and others will have more women. That's okay. The only diversity this place needs is with respect to what types of games/interests the new employee brings to the table. Drew for example brings diversity to the site because he plays a lot of simulation type games while the others don't - also eurovision. If they hire another dude I won't be surprised and I won't be upset - yes, even if it's another straight white dude (the horror). I also won't be upset if it's a female; Jeff is well aware that giantbomb is a personality driven website and I'm sure whoever he picks will be based on who meshes well in terms of conversation.
I agree with you that Leigh Alexander isn't a good fit. I've been a fan of her writing for years; but I prefer reading her work to watching/listening to her. The time she was on the bombcast was terrible; it doesn't make me dislike her as a person I just don't think she fits in. I remember liking Karen Chu and Jenn Frank on 1up podcasts and the 1up Show back in the day.
I understand not liking the taste but wanting to find something that works; drinking is an expected part of socializing.
I would try and find something you tolerate and drink it slowly throughout the night; as long as you have a drink in your hand you'll seem like everyone else. I'm not a heavy drinker, over the course of an entire evening at a bar I might drink 2-4 beers total. I don't see the appeal in sick and harming yourself. My preference is a light-tasting beer like a corona with a lime in it. I used to hate the taste of beer when I first started but now I'll drink one beer at a dinner party just for the taste. It grows on you.
I would like to watch video reviews; but it seems like giantbomb has decided it doesn't fit their raw sense of style - much like how they changed I Love Mondays from a produced video in front of a green screen to yelling at a handycam for ten minutes. I think they see video reviews as more of a bigger site sort of thing - like gamespot, ign or gametrailers.