No I'm not. I'm saying that female and male critics who have played this game have mentioned it. Maddy Myers and Arthur Gies and more. I am happy to have this game be a fantastic and powerful use of sex in a positive way. I am not attacking it. I am attacking silence here. The sexual politics of the game exist, and in the modern age of video game criticism, it is irresponsible to not talk about them.
I listen to Rebel FM weekly and really like Arthur, but I am really glad everyone's not like him.
Still a subscriber, but I don't care about the premium vs non-premium ratio, except when it means I have trouble with the video player on premium content. I think of my subscription as a sponsorship, because the Bombcast is one of my favorite things. Metal Gear Scanlon is one of the only things I really get for my $50 and I don't mind that at all.
@foggen: Gender is a social construct, so Samantha Kalman is a woman and Scarlett is a woman. If you wish to look at one woman's success in a field as a gain for women as a whole in that field, then you absolutely have to look at their successes as an unqualified gain for women in video games. Speculating on the specifics of their childhood and gender identities and how that affected the skills they have now seems like a really strange, slightly creepy thing to do. So maybe we shouldn't do that.
Maybe it feels a bit invasive to talk about these specific people, but the experiences of trans people overall offer a fascinating opportunity to try and figure out what gender differences are related to biological sex and which are related to the social experience of growing up as a child with a certain gender. I'm sure a lot of trans people don't like being examined as a curiosity, but at the same time Kalman in particular has been very public about her transition and open about that experience. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to understand those experiences in the greater context of overall gender.
I don't think early testosterone plays much of role in getting into games, but it might determine what types of games people will at first get into. Getting into games is definitely more of a surroundings oriented thing. For instance my family raised me in a very gender-neutral way. They let me choose what I wanted to play with. As a result, I chose video games because my brother played them and they looked fun. The same sort of situation is what happened with most of my friends who were assigned female at birth and lived in gender-neutral households.
Note that I am a trans woman and have been on hormone therapy for 3 years now. Before I started, I did play more shooters and action games. Now I tend to play more RTS games, RPGs, and rogue-likes like Binding of Isaac.
That's interesting. The testosterone thought was in part due to Kalman talking fondly about playing tons of Street Fighter on the Bombcast, which I cannot recall hearing from any cis women on a gaming podcast.
Yesterday I discovered (probably late to the party) that Scarlett, the world-class female Starcraft player, is transgender. This is striking to me because this is the second time in recent memory (after Samantha Kalman's Bombcast appearance) where I came to admire a woman's proficiency in the highly technical aspects of video games (pro-level RTS gameplay in one case, strong programming chops in the other) only to discover that she grew up as a boy. So now I find myself wondering what that means in terms of women's roles in the video game culture and industry.
Are their successes counted as unqualified gains for women in video games, or do they represent some kind of test case for how boys are culturally offered opportunities to do things like programming or play competitively that girls usually don't? That is, that women can succeed as pro players and solo developers given the skills, but that it's much much easier to stumble upon the opportunity to develop those skills as a boy. Does early testosterone play a role, or is it all cultural?
This is not a well-formed idea and I'm not convinced in any direction on it. It's entirely possible that there is nothing to be derived from these two examples, or that they are statistically irrelevant. However I think it's an interesting question and I'm curious what other people think.
@flippyandnod: Just as a note, I didn't mention Brad (beyond his reckoning with Dan) because he's the most OG member of the Bombcast crew after Jeff, and I was generally talking about people coming and going. I probably should have mentioned Brad's hosting though, and I agree that it's great. He is more engaged, and while I wouldn't quite characterize his prior contributions in the same way you do I am glad to see more come out of him. It's also just structurally better to have a more grounded personality in the hosting position so that the madness (Jeff, Dan) can come in from the edges. That's why The Hotspot with host Rich Gallup and On the Spot with host Ryan Davis worked so well, and why things sometimes got a little flat when Jeff subbed in.
We have more and better Brad now, and it's making for better podcasts.