I don’t usually link to letters I’ve written to Salon, but they recently ran a broadsheet post about women gamers, with the usual storyline about how difficult it is to get women to play games, how in online environments women get hassled, sexually harassed, hit on, and the rest. I couldn’t help myself, I wrote this:
The names aren’t doing them any favours…
While I’m in favour of attempts to get more women playing games, I can’t help but wonder if any other women out there, like me, are turned off by all this official announcement of gender, as illustrated by the GamerchiX and PMS Clan.
What’s wrong with creating a character (male or female), giving it a funny or interesting name, and then either role playing the character you created or just exploring and getting on with the game?
As with any web environment you’re always going to come across dicks and cool people you get on with. I don’t see how a manifesta (again, that name just bugs me) is going to attract anything but sensitive women with political agendas.
My guess is that there are heaps of easy-going gamers who just want to have a good time and get on with it, who also happen to be female, who aren’t out waving their arms around going “OMG I’m a girl, be nice to me.”
Just a thought?
Maybe it’s because I’ve always played games that I don’t have a problem with being a “female gamer”. In my opinion, going on and on about how you’re a female and whatever special needs you may have doesn’t endear you to other gamers, be they male or female.
Call me a post-feminist or what ever the hell else, but for me feminism’s all about equality, not about getting special treatment.