As you all should know now by the Girlfriend Lists category (which I plug at every opportunity), I have a passing interest in the presentation and language of gift guides. So, y’all can imagine how excited I got when I saw The Ultimate Wii Shopping List by Mitchell Saltzman and realized that it broke the categories down not by gender, but rather by budget, casual, and hardcore gamers. Joy!
I clicked excitedly through the pages — not because I am looking for recommendations for whenever I get my Wii, but because, golly gosh, there was so much beautiful gender-neutral language! Witness the amazing address of “you” without adding “boys” or “men”. Marvel at the lack of condescending language like “ladies” when talking about accessories for the console! Swoon over the lack of stereotyping to justify recommendations! I mean, jeez, Saltzman uses aspects like actual gameplay and comparison to previous games in order to explain his recommendations! Novel!
When I got to the second page, I was asking myself, “Could this be love? Have I finally found the elusive perfectly gender neutral gaming guide? Is it time to hang up my critic’s hat and admit that I’ve been defeated?”
But, fear not, loyal readers who obviously love (and love to hate!) my scathing wit. This otherwise perfect guide had a hiccup on page three; the title for the section is Hardcore Wii Fanboy. Please, Saltzman, tell me that you weren’t using gender neutral langauge because you assumed “male as default” for gamers? It would make me cry.
Still, if you can mentally turn the “Fanboy” into “Fan” (the only instance of a gendered word in the entire thing! Wah!), then I’d say that this guide should be the template for anyone who is going to write a guide of any kind. So, Saltzman, if you ever read this (hey, I’ve been e-mailed by the creators of lists before, it’s not impossible!), then thanks for the good job, but next time is there any chance you could remember that not all hardcore fans are guys? This hardcore gamer would certainly appreciate it.