November 29, 2006

Women in Games International Mentoring Survey

Filed under:Gaming Women, News — Lake Desire @ 1:37 pm

Via tekanji, you all should fill out the Women in Games International Mentoring Survey. The mission statement:

Women In Games International works to promote the inclusion and advancement of women in the global games industry. We believe diversifying the game development, media, academic and publishing workplace results in not only a more equitable space, but also better products!

Also from tekanji, a new series on The Gamer Beauty Myth


Lake Desire on the Radio

Filed under:Personal — Lake Desire @ 12:15 pm

I’m going to be on my university’s radio station, KUGS, next Wednesday, December 6, from 6 to 6:30 pm PDT. You can steam it live here. In my interview, I talked about virtual spaces, gender, posthumanism, and MMORPGs. We’ll see what wacky stuff makes it in the show.


November 28, 2006

Happy Birthday, New Game Plus!

Filed under:Personal, Site News — Lake Desire @ 11:59 pm

New Game Plus turns one today. Happy birthday, my beloved blog.

I was terrified when I began blogging. I wanted to do a project on feminism and video games for a women’s studies class, and wanted to work on something that would keep going after the class ended. I was so scared I’d be flamed and critiqued by both gamers and feminists alike, but things turned out quite the contrary.

I’ve made so many amazing friends through NG+. As those who know me offline can attest, your love and support has enriched my life in ways that extend beyond the internet.



November 22, 2006

Range of Wii-Motion

Filed under:Privilege, Videogames, Wii — Lake Desire @ 9:01 pm

There is an open letter to Nintendo on Kotaku, The Disabled and Wii, by a man named Samuel Kahn. He asks Nintendo and developers to be considerate of people with disabilities when designing the Wii. Kahn would like adjustable sensitivity for people with limited ranges of motion. A valid point, and something I hadn’t thought about.

Many of the Kotaku commentors are supportive of Kahn, but what is alarming is the attitudes of some less caring folks. HellaBAD wrote:

I don’t think that it is fair to, for lack of a better word, cripple our games and technology for an audience that isn’t the majority.

It might sound harsh, but I think this is something that disabled gamers will have to live with. As technology advances, new modes of play will and should become available.

And from La Sepultra:

Fortunately the majority of the population doesn’t have Muscular Dystrophy. I would appreciate it if the disabled would not try and gimp the future games for the Wii.

Making something accessible to a minority group does not mean the majority has to suffer. I haven’t played the Wii yet, but I imagine that sensitivity options would benefit everyone by giving all players more options.

I hope Nintendo becomes more considerate of people with disabilities. Video games are a good opportunity to allow people to experience things they can’t in real life.


November 20, 2006

Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans Today at Racy Thoughts

Filed under:News — Lake Desire @ 2:25 pm

It’s here! The Seventh Blog Carnival of
Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans
at Racy Thoughts. Featuring a whole smorgasbord of good gamey links.


November 18, 2006

Finally Saw a Wii Commercial

Filed under:Videogames, Wii — Lake Desire @ 1:15 pm

Because I don’t watch television or have reliable internet at home or even really pick up magazines for that matter, I’m always caught off guard by media because it startles me when I’m re-immersed in it. I walk around big stores with my mouth hanging open.

Like last night. My mom came into town to take me out to dinner for my birthday, and we stopped in at Fred Meyer. I finally saw a Wii advertisement somewhere other than a blog–it was blasted on the wall of televisions–and I walked towards it in a daze. In the lengthy commercial, a white woman was the narrator, and most of the scenes were families playing together. A group of young women played sports games. Cool, I could totally relate to the people in the advertisement. Then we got to the Twilight Princess bit, where it was a nerdy looking white guy sitting in the dark playing by himself. I was laughing too hard to find the stereotypes annoying. Switch the gender of the guy, and it could have been me.


November 17, 2006

Putting Your Family First and the PS3 Launch

Filed under:News, Playstation 3 — Lake Desire @ 12:34 pm

I’m not planning on getting a PS3 for a few years–waiting for a used one or the price drop–but I’m still amused by the coverage of the release.

Via Kotaku, I found this article on the PS2 launch. Check out this interview:

Nine months pregnant, Julie Mosley said she tried to ignore her contractions for the chance to score machines for her family, her daughter’s father and her younger brother.

“I’m going to hold out as long as I can,” Mosley said Thursday as she sat on a cooler in the 19th spot outside a Circuit City in Mount Laurel, N.J., joking about giving birth on the sidewalk.

I’m perplexed. I’m glad person interviewed is low-key about childbirth and all, but I’m disturbed that she is neglecting her health and comfort to get a PS3 not for herself but for her family.


November 16, 2006

Wii: Women Access Gaming Through Men

Filed under:Videogames — Lake Desire @ 4:39 pm

I love Bonnie Rueberg. In her recent Joystiq article, Playing Dirty: Women on the Wii, she points out something I hadn’t previously noticed–probably because I don’t have a TV so I’ve been oblivious to the advertisements. Rueberg writes:

[T]he Wii isn’t being given to women. It’s being given to men to give to women. In some sort of crazy, gender-based, gaming colonialism, Nintendo’s new system isn’t being marketed toward women themselves, but to their sons, boyfriends, fathers. Women, like other family members, are only then invited to play along.

I’m happy that the Wii is an entire console available to people who haven’t been traditionally encouraged to take up gaming. But men are being the gatekeepers, giving permission for women and old folks and children to play. Access to video games comes through men.

While some readers are supportive of Rueberg, some male gamers comment that she is reading into things too much, that (male?) geeks are marginalized people too, and, oh yeah, according reader Lorben:

From my experience the woman gamer that can play decently is incredibly rare.

What’s decently? Being good at gaming in a way that men decide is good? I always forget how hostile mainstream gamer environments are towards women.


November 14, 2006

Lake Desire’s Real Life: An Update

Filed under:Fatal Frame Series, Personal — Lake Desire @ 11:15 pm

Hey all. Seems like everyone is too busy to play video games, or at least blog about them.

Thankfully, Brinstar just loaned me Fatal Frame 2, so I actually am putting my dying PS2 to some use on its last days. Hopefully it will be getting some more use after my birthday, which is this Friday, November 17. I’m turning 22, and shamelessly posting a link to my Amazon wishlist. That’s right, you’re welcome to order me anything you’d like, beloved readers. It’s listed under if the link doesn’t work.


November 7, 2006

Double X-Factor

Filed under:Gaming Women, Gender, Online Communities — Lake Desire @ 11:51 pm

Erin Hoffman is a game journalist I was previously unfamiliar with, but I think I’m going to keep an eye on her work from now on. She wrote a piece for this week’s Escapist called The Double X-factor, that is pretty on point about how women are treated in gamer communities and why we are a minority in the game development industry. For example:

The reality, alongside the reality of the largely over-25, non-dyed, non-Jazzercised female population in the industry, is not glamorous. It involves a steady, patient, unflinching

process of slowly coaxing more young women into game development through direct mentorship – the same challenges faced in the even slower process of getting more women into boardrooms. This does not mean hiring someone of inferior talent simply because they are of a diverse group, as some automatically assume diversity to imply, it just means getting them in the doorway to begin with, and that means reaching out through game content and human resources. What some (white, male, 20-50-year-old) developers need to fully comprehend is that a larger talent pool is not scary.

I’m glad the Escapist is featuring articles about women and games actually written by women these days, but I’m unhappy with some of the images they chose to accompany the article. On the second page is the shot of a woman with a tiny tiny waist stipping before a white man. She had no face. A quote from Hoffman is laid over the image and reads:

God forbid a woman should want to play something to do with sex – someone call Nathaniel Hawthorne, stat.

This editorial choice makes it look like Hoffman is arguing women are only interested in sex to be sexy for men–from the gaze of the male gamer, we’re another console accessory. And I think it’s fair to say Hoffman is arguing something rather contrary, with quotes like:

The problem is that if your body type or personal style differs from the Hollywood femme-du-jour, you get called a dog – which, considering the source of these comments, is pretty damn ludicrous on its own – and if you’re attractive, it isn’t much better. Guys on the internet even seem to think they mean well in drooling over an attractive woman associated in any way with the industry, and it can be flattering at first, but in the end, it’s the same old debasement, the same old problem in a nicer wrapper: You can only be worth something as a woman if you are – scratch that, if your body is eye candy.

Yes, women have interests our own, be them sex or gaming, that don’t stem from entertaining men!