July 25, 2007

When does it pay to be female in WoW?

Filed under:Videogames — Lake Desire @ 6:53 am

An insightful new blog recently linked to a few posts of mine called Lost in Azeroth: Being a Female Gamer in WoW. Blogger Liz (a linguistics grad student) doesn’t stick strictly to talking gender and games, but her posts so far cover at least one or the other. I found especially interesting Being a Female Gamer for Profit….or why do I get so many presents? She writes about the attention players get for playing female avatars in World of Warcraft:

If you are supposedly a true female AND a sexy race (Night Elf or Blood Elf in particular) the attention you may receive can be insane. Being offered 5G (which when you are lower levels can be a small fortune) to “talk dirty” to a male character or a purported male player, isn’t all that uncommon.

I think that this really reflects on the role of women as gamers and players in World of Warcraft. In a seemingly equal environment, where the female characters have exactly the same abilities and traits as the male characters, from Strength to Spells, there is still inequality in the way players are treated. Although some female gamers might see the extra gold they can get as being beneficial (and trust me, gold and presents are usually not a bad thing), the fact that you can’t even find equality in a place where your character is the face you present really speaks volumes on the reality of being a female gamer.

Making the stats equal between males and females doesn’t stop a sexist hierarchy in an online game’s culture. Women may get more treats if we don’t hide our gender, but that is just a consolation prize for the rest of the shit we get to deal with.

No wonder female characters sell at a discount price when folks sell their accounts. Players pay more to be the favored gender in MMORPGs.


July 22, 2007

Don’t spoil HP7 Plz

Filed under:Personal — Lake Desire @ 10:01 am

I really need to stay offline. It seems like half my internet friends are done with Harry Potter already, and I haven’t even opened my copy yet. (I accidently shipped it to my house because I forgot I had a bike race out of town this weekend and was going to stay with my parents.) I’m not an especially fast reader, so it’ll probably take me at least half a week to finish the book, so don’t tell me what happens, OK? In the mean time, I really am going to try and keep away from people.

Edit 7/24/2007: If you haven’t finished the book yet, don’t read the comments to this thread. (I haven’t yet. Sorry, I really am being careful with the internet.) My mom said someone posted a spoiler. She wasn’t sure if it was fake or not, but I asked her to delete it for me.


July 17, 2007

Feminist SF Carnival & My Current Gaming

Filed under:News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 6:52 am

For your reading pleasure: 15th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy, by carnival organizer Ragnell, hosted at Feminist SF – The Blog! This issue is making me really want to get my butt over to WisCon next year.

And! Don’t forget the Cerise call for submissions. Three more days to get into the August issue.

In other news, I’m bidding my beloved Gombella and Yoshi kid goodbye. I beat Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door this weekend. I really enjoyed it, but I’m going to go ahead and sell my copy because I don’t think it’s a game I’ll play again. Then again, six or seven years ago I deleted my Chrono Cross save file because I thought I’d never want to play that game again, and I tried to start it up again this weekend. Too bad my PSX memory card is at my parents’ house in my old modded Playstation.


July 15, 2007

Yay Internet Reminders

Filed under:News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 9:09 am

The first People of Color Science Fiction Carnival is out on willow_dot_com’s LiveJournal.

Also, the submission deadline for the next issue of Cerise is only five days away. The theme is the social gamer and the communities that form around gaming.


July 6, 2007

Cerise July Issue & Call for Submissions

Filed under:Videogames — Lake Desire @ 6:49 am

The July 2007 issue of Cerise Magazine is out! The issue’s theme is gender-inclusive game design. My own contribution to the issue is The Women of Twilight Princess. I wanted to write a post on just about every character in that game for my Characters Done Right series, so I wrote a whole article instead.

Check out the call for submissions for the next issue:

Theme: The Social Gamer

Women gamers are often dismissed as “casual” or “just social” gamers, regardless of the hours they put into play or the attitude with which they approach their games. Of course, the reality is that the vast majority of games are social, in one way or another. Many require social interaction of some kind in order to be played at all, and even games which are designed exclusively for single players have their social components – bragging about high scores, anyone?

What are some of the social communities and structures that surround games, both online and off, and how do they intersect and interact? What role do they play in the gaming experience? Is it important to have membership in more than one community? Are “special interest” communities necessary? How does one go about finding or creating a community for oneself? And where does the media specter of the “antisocial,” dangerous gamer fit in? If you’re fascinated by these questions, and others pertaining to the social aspects of games, this is the issue you’ve been waiting for.

I encourage you all to submit. Doesn’t have to follow the theme, and you can even turn in something as easy as a review or personal as a gamer story. The submission deadline is August 20, 2007.


July 3, 2007

Sexism and Animal Cruelty for God of War II

Filed under:Videogames — Lake Desire @ 6:55 am

I was oblivious a few months ago when this story came out, but Sony sure exhibits how animal cruelty and sexism aren’t two isolated phenomenon at the God of War II release party. There, an apparently freshly slaughtered goat with its decapitated head dripping blood on the floor and topless female waiters feeding grapes into the mouths of (male?) guests. Hm. Naked women (or girls, as the Daily Mail article calls them—the models don’t even get to be consenting grownups with this language) and animal cruelty to promote sales.

While it was alive, I doubt the goat underwent any more cruelty than the commercially slaughtered animals regularly consumed as a part of the standard American diet. Displaying its partly eviscerated corpse besides women stripped of their shirts and dignity is a blatant display of the contempt and financial exploitation of both women and animals.

Via One Hundred Little Dolls.