And After a Long Hi-Atus

Hey all,

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Work has been pretty busy, I'm thinking about taking the blog down to a post a week. We'll see. After last week's "worth reading" and all the runoff from E3, gender equality in gaming has been on my mind. I think the issue is a deep seated thing, and is informed by the way women are portrayed and treated in society at large. That said, gaming can be a subculture that progresses gender relations rather than hinders it. Right now, it still comes off as a boy's club. Now I want to make it clear that I disagree with the notion that the ESA should outlaw booth babes, because I don't think some sort of governing body is in a position to quell the issue. Instead I think the solution lies with the gaming community, developers, publishers, and press. The press, first of all, can stop engaging positively with sexist behavior. I shouldn't see pictures of editors with booth babes in Game Informer, models reading from teleprompters on G4, or similar models telling athletes that they are "so hardcore" because they play Call of Duty on Spike. The burden, of course, partially lies on the consumer, because by consuming that media we only encourage this kind of behavior. Next, developers need to stop type casting women so much. Why is it that practically every female video game character is under dressed and under written? And why aren't there more female Master Chiefs, Marcus Fenixs and Nathan Drakes? This isn't to say that the occasional DOA or Lollypop Chainsaw shouldn't exist. There's a time and place for T&A, but we need it in much more moderation.

Next, publishers could stop pandering. Yes, games often have polygonal boobs in them, but how about showing me what makes the game good. I play DOA because I like the fighting system. If all I cared about was scantily clad women then there's an entire Internet of swimsuit photos and porn out there. Publishers could also stand to push for more realistic, strong female leads.

Finally, and most importantly, the community needs to be more accepting and friendly in general. This goes beyond the sexism issue. I can't tell you how many times I've been called a faggy dickweed by some stoned-out-of-his-mind teenager, or the times I've heard some 12 year old telling his mom to "fuck off bitch," during a game on XBLA. Usually people just stay quiet, but enough is enough. We, as adult, mature, well adjusted consumers of gaming media need to start speaking up on these services and make our voiced be heard as loud as them. There's nothing wrong with some language, but when it becomes derogatory, something needs to change.

3 Comments
4 Comments
Posted by JesterPC238

Hey all,

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Work has been pretty busy, I'm thinking about taking the blog down to a post a week. We'll see. After last week's "worth reading" and all the runoff from E3, gender equality in gaming has been on my mind. I think the issue is a deep seated thing, and is informed by the way women are portrayed and treated in society at large. That said, gaming can be a subculture that progresses gender relations rather than hinders it. Right now, it still comes off as a boy's club. Now I want to make it clear that I disagree with the notion that the ESA should outlaw booth babes, because I don't think some sort of governing body is in a position to quell the issue. Instead I think the solution lies with the gaming community, developers, publishers, and press. The press, first of all, can stop engaging positively with sexist behavior. I shouldn't see pictures of editors with booth babes in Game Informer, models reading from teleprompters on G4, or similar models telling athletes that they are "so hardcore" because they play Call of Duty on Spike. The burden, of course, partially lies on the consumer, because by consuming that media we only encourage this kind of behavior. Next, developers need to stop type casting women so much. Why is it that practically every female video game character is under dressed and under written? And why aren't there more female Master Chiefs, Marcus Fenixs and Nathan Drakes? This isn't to say that the occasional DOA or Lollypop Chainsaw shouldn't exist. There's a time and place for T&A, but we need it in much more moderation.

Next, publishers could stop pandering. Yes, games often have polygonal boobs in them, but how about showing me what makes the game good. I play DOA because I like the fighting system. If all I cared about was scantily clad women then there's an entire Internet of swimsuit photos and porn out there. Publishers could also stand to push for more realistic, strong female leads.

Finally, and most importantly, the community needs to be more accepting and friendly in general. This goes beyond the sexism issue. I can't tell you how many times I've been called a faggy dickweed by some stoned-out-of-his-mind teenager, or the times I've heard some 12 year old telling his mom to "fuck off bitch," during a game on XBLA. Usually people just stay quiet, but enough is enough. We, as adult, mature, well adjusted consumers of gaming media need to start speaking up on these services and make our voiced be heard as loud as them. There's nothing wrong with some language, but when it becomes derogatory, something needs to change.

Posted by DoctorDanger99

fuck off bitch!

all kidding aside. i miss the days of arcade. people wouldnt dare say some of that shit lest a beat down of panty wetting proportions took place. ahhhh,violence.good to have you back man!

Posted by laserbolts

I don't care what sex the characters in the games I play are. I don't think there should be more or less of either because it seriously makes no difference to me. Also sex sells so I don't have an issue with companies using that to sell their games. I like your avatar though.

Posted by JesterPC238

I totally agree, when I was in middle school I used to hang out at a LAN party place and play Battlefield, language was allowed and the management didn't really moderate it, but because you were in the same room with other people (mostly strangers) things rarely got out of hand.

Personally, I don't entirely disagree with you. When I boot up a game I don't think "great, another male character," but there are people that do, and since it makes very little difference to me, I tend to support their feelings. I'd rather everyone be happy. Furthermore, sex typically sells to men, not as much to women. Also, it comes off as very shallow, often belying the depth of the product (such as with fighting games). You and I may be able to see past it, but a lot of consumers don't. Your argument is perfectly valid though, and the "sex sells" thing is one of the greater issues facing society, I'd like to see gaming act as a force for change in that arena. Thanks for the shout out about the avatar! One among the fence!