12 September 2008

Girl Gamers Part 3

This article went up on Gamer DNA today:

Top 10 list of Xbox 360 games both men and women play equally. Bully: Scholarship Edition is in the top ten list? Suprising! Find out what the other 9 are!

read more | digg story

the same stuff I have been ranting about for months, nay make that years, since I admitted that Zeta has a female operator. So what took gamers so long? Why are they surprised that women like the same games as men? And why does it matter? Part of the problem is that gamers are believing the propaganda laid down by their own detractors.

First there are the in game and in forum trolls. They are the ones that reply to any post made by a female member of the community with comments such as: "There are no girl gamers, only fags and dykes.", "All girls who play games are fat, ugly and can't get a man irl.", "All girls who play games are in it to cyber." and my personal favorite "Girls just can't play games. They aren't smart enough."

Here are MY answers: Right, lesbians are not female and girls don't play these games, women do. Absolutely I can't get a man IRL, I got my kid through a faulty
firewall on an I/O port while cybering on a bbs. Man am I lucky I didn't pick up a virus." Though I rarely give answers to these types. They crave attention and thrive on controversy. Just adhere to the rule Don't feed the Troll. The Troll is parroting what they have heard from casual or non gamer friends.

The problem is that for at least one of those statements they are sometimes correct. Some women do Cyber. So do some men. Some men cyber as females, some women cyber as males. Personally I don't care as long as it is kept private and I don't have to hear a replay through the clan channel. But it seems that is all some females do or at least all they are perceived as doing. This is of course promoted by those who believe that the internet is nothing more than a thin veneer of substance over a steaming pile of pornography.

Then there is the problem that many females do not play games because they are "too violent" for a woman's more sensitive nature. This comes from the misogynists who want to keep females in the dark ages. They fear the female that can think, so the best defense is to keep them from believing they are as resilient as men. My answer to that is Lorena Bobbit. I would rather blow away my boss in Doom than in IRL.

Next there are the ones that buy into the idea that all games are made for guys. Have none of you SEEN the Prince in Prince of Persia Warrior Within? I'd take him in a heartbeat! There is just as much eye candy for women as men. And if you prefer women, don't worry most games these days let you pick which avatar you want want to play.

The problem goes back to the post I made about gender treatment on MUDs. You see it seems to be the same attitude on most online games. Girls get a lot of help, but the wrong kind. They are not taught by the masters how to play the game, what stats are important, what tricks and how to use them, they are lamed. Females who teach themselves on stand alone games or hide behind a male character or at the very least a unisex name seem to learn the fastest. Though I am finally seeing this change a bit.

Ok so, the gamers are getting it, most of them. Why aren't the game manufacturers? Because they are buying their own hype. They believe that girls do not game therefore they must make games appeal to girls. STOP CALLING US GIRLS!! Some females have taken to the Girl Gamer label but not all of us. So, just stop already.

Second, stop producing crap. One of my favorite games that held the most potential was Cutthroats. But it fragged my disk so badly I had to play it on the D drive only. Age of Wonder chokes when I enter certain towns. And Interplay HATED my old Intel processor. Even Dungeonkeeper would flail when the graphics got heavy.
Put specs on the box where they can be seen and do not put the lowest end. Put what is needed. Ok maybe I won't buy it because I do not have an UBER gaming rig, but at least I won;t hate your company for lying to me and making me shell out 40 - 70 dollars for a game my machine can't handle.

Which brings me to the main reason I almost stopped gaming. (Ok the thought crossed my mind for about 30 seconds and then I got real.) Technical support. FOr those of you who know nothing of my "real life" I spent many years in tech support of a product that was proprietary. That meant I HAD to make it work on many different machines with many different issues. It was in the early days of Windows (Yes Virginia there were computers BEFORE windoze.)

I had turned my entire IT dept onto Doom. One of my bosses turned me onto this cool game Burn Cycle by Philips Interactive. It would start, I could get to partway through the first section then it would crash and burn. So one day I decide to call the tech support number listed for the US (Philips was a UK company so I guess they were using a third party tech group). Back in THOSE days we got charged. (It was usually a 900 number). So I bite the bullet and call. I get a techie he goes through the usual is it plugged in type questions (We HAVE to ask, so I don't bitch too much.) I rattle off my machine specs and wait. (It was a state of the art 486 btw with a Cyrix chip.)

The convo went something like this:

"Uh is that a Mac?"
"No it is a custom built 486"
"I never heard of Cyrix, are you sure it is not an Apple?"
"Cyrix is made by a division of IBM. Apple uses Motorola."
"Uh, hold on a moment."

Remember this is MY dime and I hate paying to put on hold. So after about 5 minutes that seemed like 20 the techie switches me over to his supervisor.

"You are trying to run this on a Server? You know it is not made for LAN play." Mgr type
"No, on my home machine."
I again explain the details.
"Look is your husband around? I think you are confused about the chip and the Bios and we really need to know that because it matters about how the uh computer thinks."

At that point I decided said never mind, "I'll figure it out or deinstall"

Now usually I would just fume about that but I had been through several similar 'pat on the head' type conversations at work lately with client companies' tech support involving DOS 5 and the share issues when it came to printing to a port. (For some reason if share was loaded it would not allow an app to print to a port and share had to be loaded for old windows products. So we had to write a little script that unloaded share to print and then reloaded it and talk users through putting it on the PC in the proper directory.) For some reason for about 30 seconds I bought into the idea I could not comprehend what the issue was. Then I shook my head and deinstalled and went back to blowing away creatures in Doom. Nevermind, there are plenty of other games by companies who know how to treat a lady who calls for tech support. Yep, treat her like a Gamer.

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