A Letter to Gamer Guys

on November 11, 2011 11:00 AM

Dear fellas,

Some of you are ruining it for everyone. I think you know who you are. If you know you’re not one of these offensive dudes — and I’m looking at you, fellow game journalists with a Y chromosome, because your heads are in the right place — you can stop reading. Or continue on for your amusement. Either way, I don’t want to waste your time, so keep on doing what you do. The rest of you, however, need to listen up.

I’m not going to get up on my soap box or high horse, presuming you get down off of yours to listen, but there is something I have to say. I don’t profess to charge into the field of combat on behalf of all lady game journalists, but I will speak and defend as I see fit. Now, quit your trolling for one second and listen to me:

Broaden your perspectives, or shut up.

It’s really quite simple. There is a real problem in our industry when a female journalists writes a piece discussing the popularity of war games and the stories they tell and the knee-jerk reaction of some of you dudes — and you are most certainly dudes — is to roll your eyes and say “not another female journalist talking about their feelings.” Was she touchy-feeling? No, not really. Did she express concerns with the artistic and narrative elements of video games and initiate a wholesome discussion? Yes. But wherever you go, there be trolls, and in this case I cannot tell if the cretins that crawled out of the woodwork were just cretins or guys whose thoughts really follow this pattern.

A Letter to Gamer Guys

Women are everywhere in this field. Forty percent of all gamers are female, and we are making a conscious effort to give back to the community in the form of journalists, PR managers, brand managers, producers, artists, composers, you name it. We are not special snowflakes. But that being said, when we open our mouths we expect you to listen with the same respect you give our male counterparts.

About this whole “women only write about their feelings” things. We write reviews, which unfortunately involves mentioning how you feel about a game — and it’s a gender-neutral move. We cover news. Search the internet: we conduct interviews and record podcasts and most importantly we play. Why do you never see a woman write an article about blowing up zombies or slaying dragons? Because “ZOMG zombie heads and blood spattering everywhere LOL” is neither news, a review, or even close to something intelligible that would get posters. No one writes like that.

If you want to read about girls fragging and only fragging, go search Tumblr. Yes there are a lot of women writers who deluge their emotions, but men do it too. Having feelings is a mark of our species. You have them too, and when you write you are also writing about how you feel. Funny how that works, huh?

A Letter to Gamer Guys

If you haven’t left for Tumblr and have stuck with me this far, let’s chat for a moment. What is it you want to see from us? Why is there such a big problem with our gender, and why do you never find our reporting intelligent, and only seem to see it as gratuitous emotional dumping? I don’t quite understand. Aren’t we all emotionally dumping about the games we love?

It is a huge problem in our industry when the quality of reporting is based on gender. It’s all well and good if your girlfriend/wife/some girl you know is content just playing games and not talking about them, but that doesn’t mean all women don’t or shouldn’t want to talk about them. Talking about video games is fun. You do it, why can’t everyone do it?

Games are rapidly becoming more than something you just sit on your couch and do. You play with friends, you talk about it, you submit user reviews. Sometimes you go out and buy action figures, wall scrolls, keychains for your phone. More creative fans will create epic cosplays, build replica weapons, and spend hour honing their writing skills with lengthy fanfictions. For many, the appreciation of a game doesn’t end when you turn off the system. But if that is what you get out of it, then that is okay too. Raining on someone else’s parade and picking fights is destructive, uncouth, and makes you look totally bitter, dude.

A Letter to Gamer Guys

Hey, listen: you can feel what you want to feel and do what you want to do. I’m just saying it’s detrimental to everyone when you start yammering about the women that make it their duty to get this information out to you, the consumer. We’re the middle (wo)men between you and the devs, and while it’s great to know what you’re thinking and have a little chat with you, it is completely unnecessary to make general assumptions based on everything but our content and point a path back to the kitchen.

Those of you that haven’t made this a big deal, you have won my heart. As a woman working this gig, I love it here, and the guys I work with have been supportive, warm, and deeply kind. Unfortunately there are buttheads out there that can’t get past the idea of a growing female presence in the industry, and while I want to say we need to rally behind our gals I think the best course of action would to stand side-by-side. We can totally take out the haters in a game of internet Red Rover.

You stay classy, commenters.

xo,

Alexa Ray

 /  Features Editor
A High Summoner from the Woods of the North (read: New England), Alexa and her ragtag band of comrades have saved the world from cataclysmic destruction countless times -- you just didn't notice. When she isn't writing or gaming, she enjoys baking, long walks at dusk, and cosplay.
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