This is a subject that is very personal for me. So personal, in fact, that my original introduction was too bitter, too angry, and not productive enough to be considered suitable for this blog. I posted it in feminist_gamers instead. The incident that lead to all this, in which some feminist gamers blogged about their disappointment with Oblivion and male gamers got nasty about it, made me think, yet again, about my own experiences in the gaming community. About the arguments about “female gaming” sites. About how “gaming site” is synonymous with “male gaming site”, even if it has female subscribers. And it made me sad. No, worse, it made me sick. This is my life. This is what I put up with day after day.
All I want is to have communities available to me that aren’t exclusively for women. I want to be able to be seen as an equal — not a “gamer-lite”, not a potential date, not a Second Class Geek — in gamer groups that include men in them. I want to be able to talk about the issues I see in a game without male gamers dismissing the concerns as “ridiculous” or making “jokes” about panty fights (what the hell is a panty fight, anyway?) and making dinner and whatever. I want to be taken seriously, as a serious gamer, and a serious human being. And I want to finally have a gaming community that accepts me, not despite of who I am, but because of it.
I have written in the past about gaming communities from the perspective of examining what, exactly, defines a community. In revisiting this subject, I would like to focus on gender issues in the communities. The first post will be on my personal experiences being a woman trying to find gaming communities throughout my life. The second will be on how general gaming communities are “boy’s clubs,” with a look a recent kerfluffle more-or-less started by a popular gaming site, Kotaku. I’m going to leave the series open ended for now, since I may want to write more on it in the future.