Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Women Gamers

Just to make this clear: I am against sexism. And racism and virtually every other "ism" out there.

That said, The Escapist has been getting more and more yellow every week. Even their dwindling supply of good essays is tainted with a corrosive one-sided view. For example, their essay on women monsters was thought provoking indeed. My "favorite" monster list has a disproportionately high number of women in it, starting from SHODAN and working down to the spider queen in Doom III. But the "rules" of women monsters are the exact same rules as for male monsters. And don't get me started on the idiot way men are portrayed, which is every inch as infantile as the way women are portrayed, if more flattering.

We need to drop sexism, I agree. "We" meaning "all those people I don't know who keep making sexist games". Actually, "we" meaning "all the multi-billion dollar corporations who insist we put sex on the cover of our games".

But let me ask a simple question that nobody seems to be asking:

Is there any genre in any media which is equally appreciated by both sexes?

Books, movies, even comics: there are boy comics and girl comics. Boy movies and chick flicks. Action-adventure and soap opera romance.

What, are we supposed to come up with the magic equality pill? There will always be games for boys, and nothing will change that. Action flicks feature scantily clad women as sexual objects. Romance flicks do not. We can expect the same for games.

In theory, we could make a game which appeals to both. PAC would support it. But it would essentially be two games in one package. Fundamentally, there is simply a difference in preference.

Of course, there are girls that like action movies and boys that like romance novels. I'm just talking about the majority, here.


Patrick Dugan said...

Its true The Escapist hasn't been batting perfect innings the past month or so, I intend to do something about it by submitting stuff. Ruberg's article on the womanly mosnter/other was quite good. I hear what you're saying about appealing to women as being the flip side of prior appeals to the male audience. I started a blog last weekend: kingludic.blogspot.com my latest post addresses the transgender appeal issue. I plan on posting on my theory of "challenge calculus integral as perfect pattern" later today, you should scope that out too.

Craig Perko said...

Feel free to post links to specific posts you have made which apply, but a generic link to your blog borders on spam.

Patrick Dugan said...

Sorry, still getting the hand of netiquette.

http://kingludic.blogspot.com/2005/11/what-women-want.html is my take on the matter. Also an interesting dialogue involving Ruberg and Crawford can be found on Heroine Sheik, http://www.heroine-sheik.com/2005/11/01/lady-zombies-and-the-horrifying-truth-about-gendered-monsters/#comments

Craig Perko said...

Interesting. I'm more concerned about the yellow science than the actual debate: my contribution is that I try not to be sexist.