As I have stated on recent Podcasts, I have re-entered that life-sucking, gaming black hole that is World of Warcraft and joined my third large raiding guild. One of the things that struck me about my new guild, aside from the fact that our GM sounds like Tony Soprano’s secret lovechild, is the sheer volume of women in the guild. They are everywhere! This may be a direct correlation to how hardcore, or rather softcore this new guild is. In my own experience, the more competitive a guild is progression-wise, the more serious they are about their raiding, the fewer women there are in their ranks. As a result, this new laid-back guild of mine has far more women in it than I am accustomed to, and some are of a disposition that I am unaccustomed to associating with.
Being what I would consider a serious gamer in and out of WoW, I often find myself battling stereotypes and preconceptions. Now to be fair, when I do demonstrate that I know what I am doing in a raid or a game store, everything is fine, and I am accepted into the warm squishy embrace of gamer and geek culture. It is just unfortunate that I and others have these hurdles to overcome before we receive that acceptance.
Before people become annoyed and stop reading this seemingly feminazi propaganda, I would like to make one thing clear: I blame the chicks.
I blame the chicks like the ones in my new guild. Of course there are a few exceptions, but the bulk of the females in my guild would never hack it in a more serious or competitive guild. They are a load of self-entitled twerps who want their boyfriends to power-level their characters and give them all of their gold. They insist in banshee-like tones that we delay raids so that they can attend, and then proceed to stand in the damn fire, or be out-performed by the Shaman’s totems. They then giggle their way through an apology for their suckage. These are probably the same girls who stand in the middle of my local game store pestering the staff with inane questions about Wii Fit while their boyfriend plays the demo of the day.
I would like to say to these girls to find new hobbies. Or, if they insist upon gaming, to take responsibility for themselves. Level up your own characters, get your own gear, research games, look up walkthroughs and FAQs if you are stuck. Do not go crying to the nearest penis for help and reassurance. Unfortunately, though, girls like that are probably not reading this site. So cheers to the girls like Thea who are reading and can handle themselves with equal measures of intelligence, respect, and geekyness.
Do I blame people for being skeptical of my knowledge or abilities when they see or hear that I am a female? No, because the overwhelming evidence points to me being a clueless and/or annoying twat. In fact I approach other female gamers with the same apprehension that I am faced with. I blame the women who inspired the stereotypes, and the men who encourage them and defend them.
I realize that this week’s post seems a tad harsh, perhaps even bitter. I do want to clarify the fact that this is not some backhanded attack on any one person. Some women in particular did inspire the post, but each can only be considered a small speck of dirt in the muddy cesspool that I am addressing here. It is not about me or my guild or my game store. It is about why games like Wii Fit are so popular, and why we allow our guilds, clans and link shells to become infected with drama and failure.
No worries, I am hopping off my soapbox now. Rant mode officially off, and I loves you guys!