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Topic Idea: Women in Games

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  • #41365
    Armadon
    Participant

    Just got back from GenCon in Indianapolis which for anyone who hasn’t gone it is a fun time that i recommended.
    Got to meet some kickass authors and game designers, from RPGs to Boardgames, (couldn’t find the damn Evil Hat booth to pick up a copy of Atomic Robot).
    Ran games and tried preaching the good word that is Nerdy Show along with the wise overlords that make up its staff. Had an encounter with the music group Chamber Band who shared stories of Nerdy Show exploits.

    While i was there though i walked into a panel who’s topic revolved around Woman In Gaming, mostly how they are making a huge splash in recent years even though they have been around for decades but haven’t been big household names as some of the well established male figures.
    It wasn’t a big male bashing seminar but it was interesting to hear about something that i didn’t know was an issue.

    Anyway i brought this up cause the lead of the panel, Elisa Teague, was a really informative worker in the world of card/board/RPG games who has worked in all areas of the field, and who has a book coming to kickstarter 8-27-14. This book is apparently a collaborated work with other women in the business.
    Now like i said this topic doesn’t really concern me for i am not a woman, nor am i a person in the Gaming field but after hearing her view points i would like to throw in this topic for a Nerdy Show discussion, hell an interview with her would be awesome as well.
    I am hoping to have money to get this in as a microsode this month but that will have to wait and see.

    I am curious though if anyone else, man or woman, had heard or had a thought about sexes and any Nerd industry, if it is a factor or if either side is being poorly represented.

    Any thoughts

    #42489
    Armadon
    Participant

    Dr Vern brought it to my attnetion again about women in the Nerd scene with his comment that some men cant see women as nerds or as big nerds as them. But really do they mean any women or just the ones that are the old sterio-typical cheerleaders or centerfold suspects? A women that is very attractive in the superficial sense that would make a nerd of the past change in his pants with a look?
    I remmember years ago the TechTV host Morgan Web was constantly pegged as “not a gamer” for no other reason than she was Stuff covergirl quality.

    I really am still curious if anyone sees (or even knows) what i am talking about.

    #42491
    Garayur
    Participant

    You picked a good time to talk about it. The most recent big event is gamergate involving Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian. This sexism is by no means limited to nerd culture but since this is a nerdy group its as good an area to focus on as any. It is a problem in a couple of ways. One is how women are seen and portrayed and another is how many women are actually in the given industries. A lot of these are traditionally male dominated and women are still very under represented. I highly recommend taking a look at Anita Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs Women in Video Games.” I don’t always agree with all of her examples, but her overall point is sound.

    I would say that the issue should concern you because it is limiting the breadth of content available to you. One of the benefits of having more women in the various industries is breadth of viewpoint. One of video games greatest strengths is the ability to make you to not just empathize with a character while they experience something, such as in books or movies, but to actually experience what they do. Take a look at the games Papo and Yo, Depression Quest, or Papers Please as examples. The more viewpoints in the industry to more breadth of experience can be drawn on in creating them.

    We do a lot of gender segregation that a lot of us don’t really notice. We treat various reactions or emotions, or even activities are belonging to one gender or another. It is one of the reason’s Bronies have gotten the reaction we have. We are trespassing on what was traditionally considered a female activity/environment. Similarly Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian have received many threats and have been forced out of their homes because they dare to criticize video games which has a very vocal male player base who feel like they are somehow intruding. Ultimately it does more harm than good. It restricts what we are allowed to enjoy or do and often involves social stigma/retribution toward those who dare to openly enjoy them anyway.

    Borderlands 2 did a brilliant job of summarizing the issue in their Assault on Dragon Keep DLC. I think it is compounded by some innate sexism as well.

    I’ve been interested in a Gender and Geekery episode myself. Next time I get a microsode I will combine mine with yours if you are interested. I think this might be a giant episode size issue though. Luckily Nerdy Show has a really good cast for this.

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    #42493
    Armadon
    Participant

    In response to unconscious gender segregation, I would have to say that any sex would do that cause they can’t truly see the view point of the other.

    I am wondering though if women who are passionate about this subject if they are focused on working past this and just creating new content or are they focusing more on what has passed and are demanding change. Nothing holds back progress then recapping choices of the past, whether good or bad, and not contributing to the market you are trying to change

    #42496
    Ice Abyzz
    Participant

    @Garayur, Do you actually think Gamergate is about sexism? Sure Zoe was the start of the talk about the corruption but it moved on from her way before Adam ever pitched the #Gamergate thing. If she has been the focus of the talk recently it’s surely about her connection to the corruption and nepotism in gaming journalism. If you have somehow missed it, Gamergate is actually about agenda pushing and corruption in journalism and talking down gamers because they fall in line with their agenda. I mean seriously, if the people behind #gamergate are sexist, why did they almost by them selfs fund a charity for putting women in the driver seat in making games. The charity is called The Fine Young Capitalists btw.

    I’m not looking for a fight, I’m just wondering if you actually think Gamergate is about sexism.
    I respect your opinion and your right to voice it.

    #42497
    Garayur
    Participant

    I apologize @abyzzinn I was not as familiar with the term Gamergate as I thought I was. I was using it to refer to the events surrounding the Harassment of Zoe and Anita which was the only context I had heard the term in and I did not realize it was its own thing. I should have taken more time to look into the actual term before using it. Also thank you for taking to the time to correct me the way that you did. One of the things I really appreciate about the nerdy show forums is the civility.

    Steam: Garayur
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    #42502
    Armadon
    Participant

    What is your take on all this abyzzinn, the question is “does sexium really factor into Nerd culture?” “Has the nerd status quo changed and in what way? “

    #42525
    Ice Abyzz
    Participant

    Haha, no problem @Garayur. I’ve just seen so much misinformation spread about Gamergate and I really think a lot of people would care more if they knew what it’s really about.

    @Armodon ‘s questions.

    I’m going to try to keep my answers short so if something seems weird or wrong, please ask or point it out and I’ll try to elaborate.

    “Does sexism really factor into Nerd culture?”
    I hate to answer like this and I’m not trying to avoid the question, but what do you mean by sexism? If you mean the high extreme, similar to misogyny where nerd culture actively hates women, of course I don’t think so and to claim so, I find ridiculous (yes I have seen claims like that). However if we’re just talking about your run of the mill “treats women differently” then I think yes, there is some, there will always be those loud assholes in any culture, but I think it would be the same in any culture which has been dominated by one sex or race and then tries to open it’s doors to a greater audience. I think it’s growing pains and it’s good that we are talking about it. But I have to say, I think the amount of sexism we see in nerd culture, whether it is in conventions or online, are greatly exaggerated and sometimes claimed to be only “women problem”. As a filthy white male cis, I still have had to deal with a lot of haters online and even once in person, but that’s what happens when you say controversial or just unpopular things online. I think it’s something the community has been dealing very well with over the years but I think some people have started to use it as a shield against detracting opinions against some groups.

    Wow, that was longer then I intended, but I felt it was necessary to elaborate on some of my opinions. I’ll try to keep the next one shorter.

    “Has the nerd status quo changed and in what way?”
    I don’t have the data to back up the claim that there are a lot more women making comics and games now then there were 10 years ago, but that’s the feeling I’ve been getting over the years so I’m going to go with that and say I’m very happy, more people making the kind of things I enjoy or opening up a market for others is only good, I love my hobby and I want as many people to enjoy it as possible. I however personally know the gaming audience is growing but I think one thing is still very similar to how it was and that is “which gender likes what”. I’m not saying that ALL boys like G.I. Joe and ALL girls like Barbie, I mean that certain type of entertainment has a big gender difference in their patrons. Certain types of books are almost only bought by women while certain type of games are almost only bought by men. The reason why I bring this up is because some people seem to think that this is bad, that there should be equal amount of each gender in all fields and I personally think that’s wrong. A type of entertainment should not be forced to change so it can include an audience that doesn’t like it to begin with. I’ve always personally thought that if there is demand for something, the market will provide, there is no sexism when it comes to making money, only greed.

    Wow, great, two big answers. Well I hope somebody cares enough the read the whole thing 😛

    On the topic of the thread, I would love to hear an interview with Elisa Teague, I think it would be very interesting to hear stories from women that have succeeded in the market.

    #42556
    Armadon
    Participant

    thanks for the input and to put your mind at ease, if you believe in your opinion then no answer is long.

    Sexism – Is there is visible line between men and women in Nerd culture that has men, who truly started Nerd cause it was the lonely/outcast men that were socially awkward and took solace in there hobbies and passions, and women who also has socially awkward members but who, while having their social loners, traditionally were able to hide it better. (I realize ths is not a facted based statement so please forgive if i offend)

    What I find fascinating is how the look of nerd culture changed, and not nessessarily by either sex, but it was the introduction of equally nerds females that showed the original outcast men that gave them hope that they can like their hobbies and have a relationship. (Again this is a nievist viewpoint)

    I am proud to really join up in this culture after hiding in my nerd closet for years, seeing people embrace their likes and wearing it on their sleeves.
    I went off track I realize I just wanted to mention

    I can’t wait to find Elisa Teague book about women in games

    So In watching the next installment of trope vs women reminds me of the book “hero with a thousand faces” and really reminds me how there is not a lot of original work but the formula that is there is all anyone knows and it is easiest to build off of. The Damsels stories should be changed but really I think that is to the fault of the developers that can’t think of a way to make the hero move foward.
    I agree though that even if you change the face of the hero you still have the same problem of having no original way to move the story foward

    #42572
    frozentreasure
    Participant

    I’ve just seen so much misinformation spread about Gamergate and I really think a lot of people would care more if they knew what it’s really about.

    GamerGate is about sexism, misogyny, and the harassment of women and (to a lesser degree) anyone who supports women in game development and games press. It started that way, it continued that way and it will always be that way.

    Yes, there is a legitimate discussion about ethics and corruption in games press; it’s not happening in GamerGate, though. GamerGate has always been 4chan’s single-minded effort to harass Zoe Quinn and other women like her in the hopes to make her stop having anything to do with games. Acting like that isn’t true is mind-numbingly ignorant of everything that has gone on in the past few weeks.

    Regards,

    ~Roy42

    #42573
    Ice Abyzz
    Participant

    Those are some giant accusations to throw around @frozentreasure and the fact you think 4chan is behind it shows you have not been up to date on the discussion for a while. If you want to discuss this, and I’m very willing to have this discussion, I suggest making a GamerGate thread where people can get together and talk about this. I don’t want to derail a good thread with off topic stuff. 🙂

    But invite you to the conversation of this thread, just as Armadon did for me. You can either try to refute my answers or you can give your own. Have fun.

    #42576
    Armadon
    Participant

    thanks for calling my thread good Ice, it sat alone for a while. How do you tag someone’s name in a thread?

    #42578
    Shaded Spriter
    Participant

    I find it hard to discuss the topic of sexism in nerd culture myself because most of the places I have been have had a mostly even gender split and the only (tabletop) gaming group I was a part of half of the men were openly gay/bisexual men. When the topic of sexism/homophobia comes up it is usually in a context outside of the media we are consuming and the culture that surrounds it.

    I find it hard to say that gamergate isn’t partially a haven for the sexist parts to hide behind when one of their “victories” was e-mail spamming Intel to cut advertising on Gamasutra because of their “Gamers are dead” article which is basically saying if we don’t call out the sexists and just be quiet they are going to be the ones which are heard by none-nerds.

    I actually do know this personally with other sub-nerd cultures. I didn’t read homestuck for years because of the vocal part of the homestuck fandom. (I read 3 Arcs since…) I stopped associating with MLP and even deleted my old podcast because of the culture of sexism which I saw in parts of the brony community.

    Warning: more serious problems – specifically sexual assault/abuse.

    I am British and a few years ago the sexual abuse of Jimmy Savile came to light – After 40 years. I was thinking back then – I can not believe how badly people are willing to go to not report someone abusing kids just because that person is famous and easy for him to do it because the kids trusted him because he was famous. I thought that it wouldn’t happen today that 40 years down the line we have come to our senses and would call someone out if they were a sexual predator – but I was wrong. I use to follow a webcomic/podcast collective and the main guy behind it had years of the sexual abuse/grooming of under age girls come out from people finally getting the courage to speak out – they talk about how he manipulated him and used his fame to get them – it was the same thing. There is also the dismissal of their claims because the person is famous was exactly the same and the vitriol and death threats going to these women are exactly the same as the stuff going to the women speaking out in the gaming industry.

    This isn’t even an isolated incident a youtuber Sam Pepper’s abuse off of the camera came out and the same thing happens again in the comments.

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    #42583
    Armadon
    Participant

    Oh Boy. I guess this thread went in a different direction

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