June 9, 2006

Humorless Feminists Ruining Gamer Fun Again

Filed under:Sexism, Writing — Lake Desire @ 8:23 am

I sometimes forget that with blogging on internet articles there is a great potential that the author will read what I have to say about her work. While I’ll call people of any gender on sexism, I want to be mindful I don’t discourage women from writing in male dominated fields like video game journalism. As I know too well from my own experiences, women who write editorials get enough hatred from misogynists. I don’t want to be another voice of discouragement when I critique. How can I help the author write a less sexist article in the future?

You know the How to transform your girl into a gamer article I blogged about the other day? The author has linked tekanji’s response and added this to her recap:

* A note from the author: if you are lucky enough to already have a tech savvy girl who dabbles in gaming from time to time, this article is not meant for you. This is not “how to transform your gamer girl into a hardcore gamer girl.” These helpful tips are for the ladies who have never held a console controller in their hands or who still think that Ms. Pac Man is the greatest game EVER. So before you flame me for being stereotypical or for suggesting that you “dumb it down” for the girls, I defy you to find me a chick who has never gamed before who could pick up an Xbox controller and play Halo out of the gate. …you won’t. Also, a pre-emptive strike for the militant femanist chicks who will flame me for being stereotypical….get a freaking sense of humor bitches!
Hugs and Kisses,

~HCG KPigl37

I think the author of the Transforming Your Girl article should try not to define gaming experiences from such an elite (male) perspective. Halo 2 is more hardcore and therefore a more accomplished game to enjoy, which negates the validity of enjoying old school games because they aren’t as serious by the guys’ standards. I think treating certain games as the ultimate goal may discourage your partner from gaming because other games she (I guess in this case we’re discussing women in heterosexual relationships) enjoys along the way might seem like they aren’t good enough.

Enough from me. I’ll leave the response to calling us militant and humorless bitches for you all. What do you make of it?



  1. I think the author should stop trying to be popular with the guys by adopting sexist thinking. If me objecting to the overall tone and method by which she instructs male gamers on how to coerce their SOs to game makes me a humourless bitch, then so be it. How can she possibly refer to herself and other women as “chicks” without irony? The ignorance baffles me, to be honest.

    Comment by Brinstar (27 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  2. “I defy you to find me a chick who has never gamed before who could pick up an Xbox controller and play Halo out of the gate. …you won’t.”

    Three, maybe four Super Bowl parties ago there I was around not one of these mythical but two.

    Not to mention that I’ve been around plenty of FPS newbies and most of the problems they run into are by no means gender specific. If anything, I find this defense to be evidence that the author is more bogged down by stereotypes than before.

    I was thinking about the whole Mario angle as well, trying to imagine just how I might react if someone suggested I would like a game, well just because it was really violent or the such (since I’m a guy). I think I would find it tre bizarre.

    Here’s the best piece of advice I can give to anyone who is a gamer and is dating a non-gamer: Find good coop games and try playing those together. The worst part of trying to share gaming with someone new is when they know they don’t stand a chance against you in a game.

    In lieu of that, find a decent adventure game which two people can think about and talk about at the same time. Gender shmender, it’s about endearing a decent experience that your SO will want to repeat.

    Comment by Josh (1) — June 9, 2006 @ 11:32 am

  3. I, too, have a problem with people who wilfully demean others in order to ingratiate themselves with a group. I suppose they believe that to be accepted as “one of the guys” you need to employ their brand of harmful speech. Funny — I managed to keep and gain the respect of “the guys” I know by sticking to my guns (literally and figuratively — paintball is fun!). It’s not necessary to denigrate women to be accepted by men. Well, not the kind of men that are worth being accepted by, anyway.

    Good point on the old-school vs. new games. In gamer communities, there is a tendency for people to try to prove their 1337ness by babbling on and on about the newest games and how much old games suck, thus alienating those who do not limit themselves only to the cutting edge (admittedly, I’m a bit of a technology neophile, though I’ve lapsed recently). I shouldn’t see why loving Marathon is inferior to loving Halo 2, or why preferring Final Fantasy VI in all its 16-bit glory to Final Fantasy X-2 means you just can’t handle the HARDCORENESS of REAL GAMING. Give me a break.

    Comment by Darth Sidhe (7 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 11:36 am

  4. I keep forgetting to mention that people tend not to laugh at jokes not because they lack a sense of humour, but because the joke is inherently pathetic and interferes with the message being put across. I wouldn’t go around using racist stereotypes — even in a supposely joking manner — if I were trying to encourage white folk to bring their POC friends into white-dominated fields. That would be really insulting to POC and it would just harm any attempts to achieving acceptance of the presence of them as normal and as equals in those fields. Why is it reasonable to do so when it comes to sex differences?

    If I told a racist joke and nobody laughed, you can bet your sweet ass I wouldn’t say, “Also, a pre-emptive strike for the militant AZNs who will flame me for being stereotypical…get a freaking sense of humor chinks! Hugs and Kisses!” What the fuck kind of idiot says that that sort of thing and believes it’s okay?

    Comment by Darth Sidhe (7 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 11:45 am

  5. Well, y’all know what I think on her use of language so I’m not going to get into it. All I have to say is that isn’t “pre-emptive” supposed to denote that you’re striking before something occurs not in response to it?

    Comment by tekanji (62 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

  6. I too really distain the gamer elitism you mention. I think that it is a real problem in VG culture today, like there is some magical difference between the most popular games out there and something off the beaten path. People just use it as a way to shut others out, and make video gaming some sort of exclusive club house. “oh you dont play Halo, Oh you aren’t playing Elder Scrolls IV, you’re only playing the free download of the origanal that you got off of gamespot, well phhh, youre not a real gamer.” (did I reveal too much?)
    I just think that the gaming comunity is just shooting itself in the foot

    Comment by Shions_glasses (3 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  7. Opps! I accidentally pressed submit and I wasn’t quite finished. So without actively looking to expand who plays games, video games will just become stagnant, no one will take risks, which we are seeing so much more of. I just feel that the first step for inclusion is realizing that any game that you play is valid, and that anyone who likes video games can call themselves a gamer> Its not like you need a specialized degree or something. Video games themselves encompass more than just a boy who likes to frag.

    Comment by Shions_glasses (3 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

  8. Wait, Shions_glasses, are you trying to tell me that we should open our Exclusive Clubhouse to degenerates like those who aren’t rich, white, heterosexual men? FOR SHAME.

    Gaming is for the REAL PEOPLE. You know. Like me. *tries to look like a heterosexual man*

    Comment by tekanji (62 comments) — June 9, 2006 @ 11:42 pm

  9. Here’s my problem, if her post is really supposed to be providing tips for guys to get their girlfriends into gaming how is that a joke? She’s not using stereotypes in an ironic way, she’s just perpetuating stereotypes, so why are we being expected to “have a sense of humor?”

    Comment by Breenaronan (5 comments) — June 10, 2006 @ 10:57 am

  10. Wow, Breenaronan, that is the PERFECT answer to a lot of those “Lighten up, Guys”.

    Explain the joke.

    If it were funny, I imagine people would have gotten it. Maybe it’s the “comedian” and not the audience that’s missing the sense of humor.

    Comment by Ragnell (3 comments) — June 10, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

  11. I don’t see the problem with the original article. Sure, from the first paragraph it looks dodgy, and tekanji’s parody seems appropriate. But did any of you READ the whole article? Look, here’s step 1:

    When you play games for hours on end, you are ignoring your girl. If she is not a gamer, she basically has nothing to do while you play but stare blankly at the screen, or leave the room. This defeats the whole purpose of wanting to spend time with you. She wants to spend time with YOU, not your TV screen. Imagine you having to sit and watch her scrapbook for hours at a time every night. It would make you want to jam a butter knife in your ear. So cut her some slack.

    Now how on EARTH does this get tekanji’s response, as quoted in New Game Plus’s first post about this article:

    It’s not the women who are the problem in this scenario, it’s the men! No person wants to be treated as an object for their partner’s amusement in a relationship. The men being described here — and I know they exist, because I have had the unfortunate occassions to hang out with some such losers — don’t respect women, don’t treat their girlfriends right, and then wonder why they get dumped. Telling them that their problems will be fixed by getting their nagging bitches of girlfriends into gaming solves nothing. It just lets them believe the fantasy that they don’t have to actually treat the women in their lives like they care about them, and in that scenario everyone loses.

    Or OK, look at step 2:

    Step 2: Explain Why It’s Important To You
    You know girls, they are ALL about feelings. Remember, she’s not a gamer. She doesn’t get why gaming is fun, entertaining, exciting, etc. to you. So, TELL HER! Next time you fire up your favorite game in front of her, tell her why you like it. Give her some play by play during the game. Point out your favorite character (unless of course, your favorite player is a D-Cup bimbo!) If you’re stuck on a board and can’t figure out where to go next, ask her to help you figure it out. Let her know that she is important enough to you that you want to share your gaming passion with her.

    OK, so the first sentence is stereotypical. But is the rest of it really a problem?

    The joke here is that the article’s exaggerating the stereotype of the “bad gamer boyfriend” to the point of ridicule – and no, we didn’t get the joke. I doubt most of us even read the article.

    Comment by Jill (4 comments) — June 13, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

  12. Jill said:

    Now how on EARTH does this get tekanji’s response, as quoted in New Game Plus’s first post about this article:

    Could it, perhaps, be that she set the tone of the article by implying that women are nagging bitches:

    Within seconds, your wife/girlfriend swoops in and starts harping in your ear, “I’m not going to spend another night watching you play that stupid game for hours…blah, blah, bitch, bitch, BITCH!” Tired of hearing the same crap in your ear every day?

    Or perhaps that, whenever she seems to do even a halfway decent criticism of the men involved, the fact that it’s “for the game” and not “for the sake of being a considerate human being” that’s the underlying theme:

    You can suck it up for the sake of gaming.

    Or maybe it has to do with me objecting to her entire premise, as I said in the paragraph leading up to my quoted response:

    If men are ignoring their SOs because of the sake of games, it’s not because of makeup or intimidating controllers and everything about the sense of entitlement these guys have.

    Jill said:

    But is the rest of it really a problem?

    If you don’t think that calling representations of women “bimbos” is a problem, then I’m not sure what else to say.

    The joke here is that the article’s exaggerating the stereotype of the “bad gamer boyfriend” to the point of ridicule – and no, we didn’t get the joke. I doubt most of us even read the article.

    Speak for yourself. I read it, read it again, and read it some more. The difference is that the stereotype of the “bad gamer boyfriend” is just as much a staple among the “hardcore gaming” groups as the “nagging bitch of a non-gamer girlfriend” is. And I don’t believe that either was used in an ironic sense overall.

    Comment by tekanji (62 comments) — June 15, 2006 @ 2:38 pm

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