This editorial originally was
presented on lazy.GEEKS (6/19/03)
Need Some Emotional
Me neither. However,
according to G4 (and their "news" program called Pulse),
that is because I'm a guy. Simple enough...but what about girls?
They must need emotional (not plot, but rather
"emotional") closure in all video games. Pulse ran a
segment this last week about women and video games and I have to say
I was offended (as a guy) to see representatives from the game
industry (they were all women who were featured in this segment) say
women are anal, clingy, shallow, action-hating, femi-nazis...but not
in those words. Then I looked over at my woman and asked her for her
thoughts...well, she pretty much disagreed with that whole segment.
In fact, I think it is safe to say that any of my women
friends/relatives who play games (which are quite a few) would NOT
fall into the horrid stereotypes G4 expressed.
So, what did G4 say, exactly?
Well, one thing said was women are different than guys by hating
violence for the sake of violence...I'll be first to say that G4 is
right there...no one likes violence for the sake of violence in
video games...including guys. You need something to back it up, like
good game play or some sort of competitive edge to give a good
social interaction with your opponents (a.k.a. friends). So this was
actually a stereotype against men, which is still sexism anyway you
look at it.
Next they said that women can
only play games that give emotional closure (I forget their exact
wording, but I'm doing them a favor by wording it like this...their
way sounded a little more teh gay). What? I know many women who not
only play games lacking emotional anything, but are pretty damned
good at them. Does Smash Bothers Melee offer emotional anything?
What about the Heroes of Might and Magic series? Mortal Kombat or
Street Fighter? Not a one, yet the biggest fans I know of these
games are all women.
Also, the so-called experts
said that when a guy gets a game, he will immediately throw the
instruction book aside...first, anyone with any intelligence will
respect the instructions as it's part of collecting video games
(sorry, that was a moment of me obsessing about my collection again).
Secondly, guys will read instructions...it's just most instructions
now on have no real information to help you play the game (try
reading the instructions to Romance of the Three Kingdoms 7 and then
play the game without reading anything else about how to play...I
dare you). These same "experts" said women will not just
fully read the instructions from front to back, but as soon as a
woman playing a game gets stuck at all, they will reread it until
the solution is found...are women really this anal and lack the self
esteem to solve the problem on their own? I think not.
Then there is my personal
favorite. Women hate seeing female characters wearing skimpy
costumes. This may be true for some women and all femi-nazis, but it
is not true for all women. My woman says she likes the skimpy
costumes, some female friends have told me this too, and even a
letter to the editor in Game Informer a couple months back mentioned
how a guy got tired of playing DOA Volleyball but his girlfriend and
one of her friends started to play it to try to access all of the
bikinis or something like that...now those bikinis are the
definition of skimpy clothes in video games. Way to hit the nail on
the...wait...no...way to completely miss reality G4.
So, what is my point in all of
this? Simply put it is this; just like how guys are often classified
into many, many, many different types of game players (some play
sport games, some RPGs, some FPS, some platform games, some
adventure, some strategy, some all of them, and some none of them),
women are also a diverse group of game players and should not be
classified into one wussy pathetic group of sissies. By classifying
women into groups, they will remain a pushed back, neglected part of
the video game society and will not be able to voice their opinions
into what could make some truly amazing games. Not all women want to
make games about Barbie or Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and I feel it
is time that all gamers are given an equal voice in the wide world
of video games.
By enforcing these stereotypes,
the media, G4 in particular, is only going to alienate part of a
large audience and further enforce the age old taboo that video
games are for geeks and little kids. Imagine the glory if video
gamers were not stigmatized into the closet about their favorite
pastime. Many women polled by various sources say they don't play
many games, but not because there is no Barbie game available. They
say it's because as little girls they were told to act proper and
not to do such "silly" things. Amazing how we can live in
a society that by force, due to political correctness (it's not bad,
but it is forced upon people in a strict and paralyzing way which is
bad means to a good end), tells us to treat all people as equals and
to throw out all preconceived notions of sex, age, and race, but at
the same time the media keeps telling us video gamers are all losers
(damn you media!) and women who play games should only play Barbie
games. As gamers, we should all raise our voices, be they male
voice, female voice, old voices, young voices, and voices of all
ethnicities and tell the media where we all really stand and who the
real losers are; the close minded fools who will only try to put
people into stereotypes rather than face society in all it's
I know this was rather unlike
me as a writer to go off about such a serious subject, but when the
need arises, I am ready to stand up for what is right and fight that
good fight. If you agree, tell me your thoughts, and if you
disagree, you're free to your opinion, but so is everyone else;
don't oppress anyone in anyway for their views. Live in peace.