May 23, 2007

Carnival Reminders

Filed under:Personal, Science Fiction, Site News — Lake Desire @ 9:49 am

Hello everyone! I’m still around, but I’ve been outside cycling and enjoying the nice weather instead of gaming and writing about it. (Maybe I need to finally get that ladies D&D group together so we can do something nerdy outside.) And I’m stuck on Pokemon Pearl, that doesn’t help much, either.

Hey bloggers and LJ folks: Don’t forget to submit to the 14th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans at Heroine Content by May 30 and the very first People of Color Science Fiction Carnival by June 15. As usual, I’d be happy to host your writing here if you’re not a blogger yourself.


May 8, 2007

More reasons for a magazine for gaming women

Filed under:Gamer Culture, Sexism, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 2:18 pm

I love it when folks write blog posts so I don’t have to, especially when men are calling other men on their sexist shit. Example: Kotaku Commenters Prove the Necessity of a Women’s Gaming Magazine on the blog Molten Boron. See, Kotaku linked the first issue of Cerise and the comments are among some of the most hateful things I’ve ever read. Zach calls them on their shit:

There aren’t a lot of defenders for Cerise in those comments, as of this writing, which isn’t at all surprising. Kotaku’s commenting environment is utterly toxic, as demonstrated in part by this very thread. Feminists and others who don’t believe that Women Need to Shut Up are quickly shouted down when they voice an opinion not in line with that of the average Kotaku commenter. Thus, Kotaku has become a place where everyone is free to comment, provided they don’t think that women need their own space to discuss video games. The dissonance is delightful. If you express feminist opinions at Kotaku, you are told to shut up and take your arguments elsewhere. If you build your own site to have those arguments, Kotaku links to the site and commenters tell you that you don’t need your own site and if you want to stop being second-class citizens you should be commenting at Kotaku. If you are a feminist, then, Kotaku commenters are not particularly pleased with you expressing your opinion anywhere. Which, I suppose, is the whole point of the endeavor.

Well put, eh?

The first comment on Kotaku is awful: “I’d mash.. with a paper bag over her head..” I hope that the Cerise cover model never stumbles upon the verbal rape waged against her. Talk about punishment for a woman daring to be nonwhite and un-skinny and allowing her picture to be on the internet.

Kotaku commenter IlliniJen does make a lovely point, however. I’ll post it here so you don’t have to wade through the misogyny (although I don’t care for the word douchebag ’cause I don’t think vaginas are dirty).

People wonder why some women may want a gaming mag for women. Most gaming mags/sites are targeted towards male readership, despite not being labeled as such. It’s just an industry habit, because it is their largest demographic.

While it would be great to get a site that gave all perspectives, without gender segmentation, women often have to put up with small-minded individuals who make gender a differentiating factor because of their insults and disrespect.

I suspect that most women would be happy to frag people in Halo, Counterstrike, et al. without being called out for being a girl as soon as they talk on the mic. But unfortunately the questions, harassment and insults usually start flying because of the untoward attention GIVEN TO THEM by members of the opposite sex.

So, if you don’t want women to separate themselves and feel the need for their own mags and sites, stop treating them like they’re different or that you have a right to harass them ingame.

Guys that LIKE playing games with girls and have an enlightened point of view: next time some douchebag makes a girl gamer’s ingame life hell, let him have it. The more guys like you who stand up to douchebags…whether said douchebags are sexist, racist or whatever…the bigger effect you can have on making games more fun for EVERYBODY.

Guys can call other guys on their shit so women will want to be around. Not a bad idea, eh?

And there you have it, folks, a few reasons that a magazine for gaming women is a worthwhile pursuit.


May 6, 2007

On being the token “girl gamer”

Filed under:Gamer Culture, Gender, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 9:38 am

Last month, my post What I Learned About Being a Woman from Final Fantasy XI was included in the Carnival of Gamers on a site called Gaming Nexus.

I wanted to write a blogpost on this a while ago, but I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for being included in the carnival. I didn’t want to discourage the blogger, Charles Husemann, from making a space to discuss gender, because I know he’s trying to do the right thing. But I really am unhappy with how I was called “the fairer sex,” and how my post and tekanji’s were set aside to be the representation from women (or girls, as we were called in the subheading). Or that Husemann’s apology made it look like it was men over there who were the problem, and the very gender rules he used to frame his apology:

Speaking of the fairer sex, New Game Plus has an post on what Final Fantasy XI taught her about being a woman. It’s such a shame that online gamers constantly prove the Penny-Arcade anonymity theory over and over again. On behalf of all civilized gentlemen everywhere I’d like to apologize for the total douchebags that seem to haunt the internet now.

I read this as the following: sexism in gaming culture is a problem, but it is a problem over there. The guys who aren’t the problem get to be the civilized and elevated to the esteemed (yet still confining) peak of high class masculinity: the gentleman. Those who are sexist are douchebags and compared to devices that clean out vaginas because they’re “dirty.”

It took me this long to speak up. I’d rather be included than not, and don’t want to upset that and be locked out from participating in future Carnival of Gamer posts. And I don’t want to attract flames from any men who might read this post and want to berate me for being uppity and unpleasant.

It’s one thing to talk about how women and people of color and queer folks and people with disabilities are cast as other than normal and occasionally allowed to be present in the mainstream as the diverse but well-behaved minority. But I’m not used to it being me who is “other than” the norm, who is so obviously filling that token role.


Blogging lull, but not a gaming lull

Filed under:Personal, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 9:08 am

Don’t fret, my lack of blogging lately isn’t a sign of a disinterest in video games. I’ve been busy working on Cerise and posting on the Iris Gaming Network Forums. I’m currently playing (and enjoying!) Pokemon Pearl, and trying to get back to finishing Twilight Princess and Final Fantasy III.


May 1, 2007

Cerise Magazine Released Today

Filed under:Gamer Culture, Gaming Women, News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 9:19 am

Happy May Day!

The first issue of Cerise Magazine was released today. The deadline for submissions for the June issue is May 15. Check the submissions page for details.

My own contribution: a review of Final Fantasy III on the DS.