Monday, November 1, 2010

Women in Gaming: The Disconnect

When you look up the term "Gamer Girl" on Google, this is the first image result that comes up. Warning: NSFW

With the small possibility that, as a 360 owner* she may be mentally retarded, what's the first thing you notice? Not the games. You notice that it's a very naked woman. And she has video games covering up her naughty bits.

*No real offense to 360 owners or the mentally challenged intended. Did I mention my Sony bias today?

Now I'm sure some people won't see a problem with this. If this is the case, please seek professional counseling.
By Nintendo. You know, for kids!

 What I'm finding is a divide between real gamer girls- i.e gamers that happen to be girls, and chicks that are basically muddying the waters and helping further the notions that gamers are immature.

1. Real Gamer Chicks: Much like a gamer guy. Can talk competently about games. They actually play video games and are typically a lot of fun to hang out with. Can probably kick your ass in at least one game. They are valued because they're cool, fun, and awesome to hang out with.

2. Fake Gamer Chicks, or more simply: Attention Whores. These are the girls that come onto the gaming scene and throw the fact that you're attractive in your face because they want attention, and insultingly believe all gamers to be so sex-starved that you'll have to pay attention to them, while in reality you want them to leave you the fuck alone. This type is only valued as eye candy.

The fake is the bane of my existence as a gamer. It makes every male gamer look bad because by not vocally objecting we may as well condone it. The problem is, the gaming media sort of pushes them on us (like Olivia Munn. Annoying. Useless.). You'll see them around the internet. Posing with Nintendo controllers on their naughty bits (keep some disinfectant handy), wearing 'sexy' versions of game character costumes that aren't ordinarily sexy, you know the deal. 
You can't see her underwear? Lara Croft is such a prude!

It's not good for male gamers' images, and it's not good for women, either. It makes us males look like we're perpetual 13-year olds and makes women look like their only value is their sex appeal. Granted, game designers don't help with this- it seems a little odd that we've gone from complaining about Lara Croft's depiction in the 1990's and can now look back in the age of Bayonetta and God of War and say she's quite modest at her most revealing. I'm not trying to be puritanical, but think about it- do women serve any important function in God of War than to give you EXP in exchange for sex? I mean even Samus Aran has gone from wearing a bikini in the 'good endings' to wearing the less revealing yet more overtly sexual Zero Suit. And don't get me started on her characterization in Other M. That was just completely offensive to anyone who's lived a day past 1950.
Feels like I'm wearin nothin at all!

Now forgive my crazy ideas, but I prefer to value women on more than their looks. I happen to like women who don't need to look to me for approval for everything that they do. That's a normal function of a well-adjusted adult. 

Samus doesn't need to ask Adam for permission to use the Plasma Beam, and female gamers don't need to dress suggestively to get my attention. I simply ask that we mutually treat each other with respect and enjoy our mutual hobby. And as a male gamer who would rather our hobby be looked upon a little more favorably by culture at large, I request that we all go for respect.

I don't know if I really have a point. Just pisses me off I guess.

1 comment:

  1. To me it is more attractive if a girl acts like herself! If she is a true nerd like me then great, but please don't put on an act. I see girls all the time trying to act nerdy when they really are not.

    All the "girl" gamers on G4 were just eye candy, nothing more. They are getting paid to put on an act. They don't play games,or care about how powerful your PC is...

    Its really is a shame...