Disclaimer: This article isn’t just to get feminists upset. I’m not a man sitting behind a women’s identity laughing evilly, I strongly believe that Feminism – in Video Game culture specifically – is damaging e-sports. (Although getting feminists upset is a small plus, no?)
I’m also not saying there is no sexism directed towards females in the industry, it’s just not as bad as you drama queens believe it to be.
After looking over the title, I know what you are going to Google: let me do it for you!
Although we have a Wikipedia article regarding some of the gender bias issues in video games, we don’t actually see a list of women who have directly effected video games. Interesting.
I’m going to touch on a few people, and even a few groups that have effected the industry.
The edit of Jennifer Hepler.
Jennifer Hepler. You know, that woman who was discriminated against for allegedly writing the end to Mass Effect 3.
Thanks to The Marysue, I found the actual interview. whoopee!
What is your least favorite thing about working in the industry?
Playing the games. This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but it has definitely been the single most difficult thing for me. I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games. While I enjoy the interactive aspects of gaming, if a game doesn’t have a good story, it’s very hard for me to get interested in playing it. Similarly, I’m really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly — I have awful hand-eye coordination, I don’t like tactics, I don’t like fighting, I don’t like keeping track of inventory, and I can’t read a game map to save my life. This makes it very difficult for me to play to the myriad games I really should be keeping up on as our competition.
And with a baby on the way in a few months, my minimal free time (which makes it impossible for me to finish a big RPG in less than six months already), will disappear entirely. If there was a fast-forward feature on games which would let me easily review the writing and stories and skip the features that I find more frustrating than fun, I’d find it much easier to keep abreast of what’s happening in the field.
If you could tell developers of games to make sure to put one thing in games to appeal to a broader audience which includes women, what would that one thing be?
A fast-forward button. Games almost always include a way to “button through” dialogue without paying attention, because they understand that some players don’t enjoy listening to dialogue and they don’t want to stop their fun. Yet they persist in practically coming into your living room and forcing you to play through the combats even if you’re a player who only enjoys the dialogue. In a game with sufficient story to be interesting without the fighting, there is no reason on earth that you can’t have a little button at the corner of the screen that you can click to skip to the end of the fighting.
Companies have a lot of objections, such as how to calculate loot and experience points for a player who doesn’t actually play the combats, but these could be easily addressed by simply figuring out an average or minimum amount of experience for every fight and awarding that.
The biggest objection is usually that skipping the fight scenes would make the game so much shorter, but to me, that’s the biggest perk. If you’re a woman, especially a mother, with dinner to prepare, kids’ homework to help with, and a lot of other demands on your time, you don’t need a game to be 100 hours long to hold your interest — especially if those 100 hours are primarily doing things you don’t enjoy. A fast forward button would give all players — not just women — the same options that we have with books or DVDs — to skim past the parts we don’t like and savor the ones we do. Over and over, women complain that they don’t like violence, or they don’t enjoy difficult and vertigo-inducing gameplay, yet this simple feature hasn’t been tried on any game I know of.
Granted, many games would have very little left if you removed the combat, but for a game like Deus Ex or Bioware’s RPGs, you could take out every shred of combat and still have an entertainment experience that rivals anything you’d see in the theater or on TV.
Reading over the full interview, you can still see she doesn’t enjoy video games, but at least she has some sort of excuse.
Jennifer, claiming she came into the video game industry out of a love of writing, not a love of video games. But here is the interesting thing: she didn’t even work on the Mass Effect trilogy, which she is most hated for writing the Mass Effect 3 ending. (which, lets be honest, the series as a whole had sub-par writing and is not to be praised, however Jennifer Hepler is not to blame)
Jennifer Hepler, my advice to you, should you ever see this article: Leave the video game industry. You love writing? write a book.
Writing video games isn’t for those who love writing. It’s for those who have a passion of interactive story telling and wish to make an experience much more enjoyable, and will play their own games should they ever get the chance. When someone crafts the game that I spent my money on, I want to be able to be confident in the fact that they too would enjoy the video game. they take pride in what they crafted.
And this brings us to,
Perhaps the most known woman-gamer-activist, I can safely say Felicia Day is one of the many, many, reasons women gamers receive the hate they do. Although I am sure Felicia is a pleasant person, I imagine most people I will be writing about are nice people… that doesn’t mean she’s helped the industry.
Felicia Day, creator of The Guild(love watching the series by the way – being a child of two MMORPG fans I can confirm 200 times over there are people like this. It’s a scary world, children), released a video titled ‘Do You Wanna Date My Avatar’
Ladies, Felicia Day. the women we have all nominated (Men and Women) to represent girl gamers around the globe. and she releases one of the most nonsexual yet sexual things I have ever seen to do with video games(that isn’t outright pornography). I have had the question posed to me ‘Well, it could have been a joke.’ and in a way it is no matter what – The Guild is a comedy, after all.
And don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is some truth in the video – I have heard of people ‘dating’ each other, but only in-game. My mom has a WoW husband. It’s a strange, weird, world that I think you can only understand if you are involved. Which I am not.
This still does not deny the fact that this video will have more negative impact on the community then it will positive.
gaming, most would argue is still being developed – which it is, all things are; and although Movies, TV, Pornography, and certain books have all twisted the male brain into thinking women are something they are not. The woman’s body has become a thing of worship, something that if you lack the ‘Hourglass’ shape that everyone so desires, from society’s viewpoint, you are ugly. You are not meant to be the way you are if you are not perfect. (This is not to say that society has not twisted a woman’s viewpoint of a relationship or a man, it has)
Video games, something meant to bring us together as a social activity, to be used as a unity between the preps, scene, dork, and nerd has become a bullying system used against women AND men alike. Women have been objectified by something that was meant to have a positive impact and be a fun pass time for an otherwise utterly horrifying world. Video games are used as a distraction, to keep you preoccupied and not thinking about the horrors of the world.
The Frag Dolls.
Again, I’m sure these girls are nice – but I have yet to meet them. and from their internet persona, I see nothing but the ever so hated Girl Gamer stero type.
And lets be clear: they have an enormous amount of so called ‘Respect’ and ‘Admiration’ from the gaming community, according to their website:
The Frag Dolls made history by being first all-women team to take rank #1 at a professional LAN tournament (CPL)!
Should this really be an achievement? should we be praising someone on something they have done – something so trivial as winning a video game tournament – on gender alone? I respect that some people play video games to make a living. in a tough economy finding any kind of job is respectable. and I’m sure they work hard. but to praise someone because they are a woman who won a video game tournament?
Ladies, I present to you the so called ‘Gender-equality’ that Joseph Meacham began fighting for. It has been twisted into something so trivial, so pointless, that I’m sure hes rolling over in his grave. (I won’t go into how Women have accepted the dominance of the sexes and we now should be fighting for Men’s rights.. that is a whole other story)
Frag Dolls, although I am not sure of the origin, have been essentially purchased, not sponsored, purchased, by Ubisoft. (Note that the reason I say this is because a sponsorship will mean some cool swag from a company as well as support and maybe a small area on your site, but the Frag Dolls mostly revolve around Ubisoft’s games. not a bad move for a industry ‘lacking’ woman gamer representatives.. unfortunately some of us are smart enough to see when a group is a facade more then anything)
its been awhile since I’ve visited the Frag Doll website. they have updated, and going to the ‘About’ area, I have not found a mission statement – however, I have found this:
frag /frag/ n. & v. · n. 1 number of kills. 2 a fragmentation grenade. · v. 1 to eliminate other players in multiplayer shooters (fragging).
rag·doll physics /ragdol fiziks/ n. 1 a program allowing video game characters to react with realistic body and skeletal physics.
frag·doll /fragdol/ n. 1 a gamer girl with the skills to dominate in multiplayer shooters. 2 an unabashedly geeky female who is proud to love games and geek culture.
(I’m not even going to bother bringing up the hints of sexulization in the drawn images of each Frag doll, found on the individual pages.)
I have nothing against shooters. I have played many, however; if this is the singular definition of modern gaming, I’ll show myself to the door. The only Shooter that I have played and enjoyed almost as much as other genres is Halo. Halo recognizes the main components of a game and utilizes them(Story, gameplay) however that isn’t what this article is about.
I’m imagining by this point almost everyone reading the article thinks I’m going on some sort of tangent, and need to go start a blog. but I have a point to this.
Which brings me to the PMS clan. (Which I’m pretty sure stands for Pandoras Mighty Soliders, but I do think it should stand for Pre Menstrual Symptoms.. as they all display a certain one.)
Get this – its a clan (H20/PMS) thats divided into two different sections. one for the men and one for the women.
is this the 1960s?
Segregated church services?
MEN ON ONE SIDE, WOMEN ON THE OTHER! CHOP CHOP
Look at those taglines. “PMS – Play like a girl.” “H20 – Play with a girl.” What are we, some sort of mythical creature, a legend?
No. Female gamers are the same as Male gamers. Gamers should just be gamers.
And for whatever reason, Girls feel they have the God given right of playing video games. that this is what they were meant to do, and the men can’t do anything about it.
Girls haven’t earned the right to play video games. if anything we are destroying the industry little by little. I’m not saying all women are horrible writers, gamers, engineers, designers, who sit around making the industry worse. what I’m saying is, a good majority of us have. A lot of development in the video game industry goes with unrecognized talent. and that is kind of sad. However, certain women have gotten this weird once-in-a-century light shined upon them for behind the scenes work, and it fell on the worse possible people it could.
And lets be clear, I have not, in my entire gaming career, interacted with someone as rude as PMS clan members. High on the fact that ‘Girls are so much better!’ these girls prance around, power hungry and starving for attention. starving. I didn’t understand when people said looks don’t matter until I met this one, who shall remain nameless, member of the PMS clan. I completely understood after a brief conversation with her and am glad to say have had limited to no interaction since. any interaction with a PMS or H20 clan member since then, I have remained open minded, however found each one to be a tad.. arrogant? at the least.
As a woman, I know I did not earn the right to vote. I did not earn the right to wear pants, to divorce, to have a job, to pick my own husband or run for a position of power. That was all other, beautiful men and women who have worked for this right. I know that discrimination has fallen upon my sex, and I recognize that people throughout history have been fighting for it.
This was a gift that has fallen into my lap. into every woman’s lap.
and we have abused it to the point where it should taken away from us. unfortunately, it won’t.
You see, the tables are turning on something that most people either aren’t standing up for or recognizing. Men are having just as many sex based issues as women. Sure, men don’t have to give birth – they don’t have to go through the pain of labor. That is a horrible argument for a gender being superior to another. so women have the ability to go through child birth, which apparently hurts as much as something like 17 bones being fractured(don’t quote me on that). Does that really give them some sort of ‘Deserving’ medal?
I deserve this writing position on Digibytes. I deserve to have a warm bed at night, 3 square meals a day and have the liberty to be overweight if I want too! I deserve the right to spend my entire day off eating junk food and watching Netflix. I deserve the right to waste my life on something as silly as women’s equality issues, which no longer exist. Because I can give birth.
Wait wait, did I just say that the sexes are equal? that we no longer have any sexual harassment claims, that the world is a shiny beautiful place?
Well, yes and no.
See the thing is, Women have somehow dug themselves up from a very slippery slope and have faked the world into thinking the sexes are the same on every level possible. (at least the general masses who can no longer think for themselves)
But one thing is for sure:
Women do not deserve to play video games.
From the examples above, we have taken 4 of the most popular examples of women video gamers, activists, or developers, and realized that they are filled with utter crap that has nothing but support women being a sex object. We have not found one shining example or brilliance, a woman who has stood up for personality, who has realized that you don’t have to look beautiful to be beautiful. None of them have a story about how they fought for a character in a video game because they thought it might appeal better to women – if you want women gamers, you have to try and appeal to them. every person has a certain way they like to see things happen, their is no way on earth you could ever appeal to just ‘Women’ in general, but you’d have a lot more drawn to your games should a woman have a decent personality that isn’t a damsel in distress or some sort of head-strong lesbian-but-not-lesbian.
We have learned about how they publish videos that encourage over sexulization in an already pornographic society, we have learned that we have a clan that has segregated the sexes – but not because of traditional reasons. because they think they deserve to be worshiped.
Here is a thought: what if gamers were just gamers? we didn’t have this weird division of ‘Girl Gamers’ and ‘everyone else’. we wouldn’t have that horrible Girl Gamer stereo-type that seems to follow women around to any game that they play. and we wouldn’t have a necessity for a (albeit brilliant) article such as ‘Bringing a Bikini to a Sword Fight‘
So why can’t we make this a reality?
Well, it seems that the world has come up with this brilliant idea that we deserve everything we see. That Ferrari? Heck yeah, you should own that. why don’t you? you don’t make as much money as your boss? Wow. that’s horrible. Life is completely fair and whoever told you it isn’t is wrong.
Life isn’t fair. we don’t have equality everywhere, and as I write this article people are dying for reasons they shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t have to think about these things. the world should just fix itself, right?… right?
But I’m not here to lecture you about that. I’m here to show you that feminism is ruining our society. I respect when other people have different beliefs then mine, and I respect that not everything is right. and so should you. next time you see a Girl gamer, or any Gamer that offends you, don’t insult them. if you must, leave quietly. Because most of the time, they are just ‘Big man on keyboard’.