The Post In Which I Catch Up

 Man, I’ve been busy. Obviously, I haven’t been posting much in my own blog, but I’ve been here and there dropping comments when I can.

 Two weeks.

 That’s when I get my copy of FFXIV; so excited.

 I didn’t pre-order the Collector’s Edition, primarily because I don’t expect to have much free time during the extra eight days of play. No sense dropping another $25 if I’m not going to get any use out of it – I’m not a “collector” type of guy, so the extra swag that comes with the game itself doesn’t really interest me, either.

*       *       *

 A couple hot topics have surfaced again during my latest hiatus; women in gaming and used software being equated with piracy.  As I don’t really buy used games, I’ll offer my insight on the first.

 My opinion on the feminist movement in gaming is best explained here in my comment on Riv’s blog. Basically, it should come as no surprise that men get defensive when you start calling yourself a “feminist”. I’d prefer the term “equalatist”. I know it’s semantics, but it sends a completely different connotation to me – one where you’re looking for all parties to be equal rather than just advancing the cause of one group. 

 I’ve found that people in general are more open to discussion and support when you’re not excluding them from the name at the get go. Am I a Feminist? Well, I’m a man, so I’m not sure how appropriate that title would be. Am I for equality – am I an Equalatist? Absolutely. Along the same lines, am I a member of the NAACP? Well, to be frank I’m not certain if I’d be permitted membership, but I certainly am for equal rights among all races. So again, I’m an Equalatist.

  I just don’t think things like the race-, religion-, or gender-specific groups/awards are doing anything to advance the cause of equality. In fact, I’d argue they’re sending the movement back in the wrong direction. That’s probably a whole other topic for another day.

 Now, a big problem is that the joy of internet anonymity – where people truly could be judged just on their ability to play the game – is blown as soon as you start adding things like Vent to the mix. I never cared if one of my raid/guild members was a guy or a girl, black or white, atheist or religious, only that I got along with them and they could play their character well enough. I don’t understand why anything beyond that matters – I really don’t. But, then again, I live in a part of the country where people are generally pretty set in their ways (read: nice way of saying lots of racists and bigots); so I guess it shouldn’t shock me that mentality is a world-wide problem, even in video games. 

 This is a problem of the gaming culture of today that needs to be addressed in all aspects of people’s lives – not just within gaming. People need to learn to respect one another, and that’s a problem way beyond WoW. Change the general culture, and WoW will change with it. Until men (in general) stop viewing women only as sex objects rather than people, there will always be the inevitable wave of stupidity that follows the first time the new girl opens her mouth in Vent chat.

What can we do to solve it? To be completely honest, I don’t know for sure, but it starts with better parenting. I feel like I “grew up right” and respect people, and I know it’s because of the values that were instilled in me throughout my childhood. What I do know is that the next section is not the solution.

 I commented on the Adam’s blog during the most recent fray and my thoughts can be found here. Similar to the reactions about the most recent parody video, someone commented on “why everything has to be taken so seriously?”, I don’t understand why the lore is a sticking point.  Blizzard owns WoW, they write the stories, it isn’t up to us whether or not there should be a strong, female lead character. I didn’t try to tell the late Robert Jordan how I wanted him to write the Wheel of Time series – it’s his tale to tell. Moreover, I’d argue that most of the WoW population really could care less about NPCs – it’s more about social interaction and loot.  

 Bottom line: do social stigmas exist today regarding women in gaming? Yes, but they exist for women in general, too.  We need an overall mentality change in the world, not some pixelated woman becoming a strong leader of the Alliance. It’s Blizzard’s story, not yours. Some things are meant for fun – they are not meant to be platforms to drive world change. In my opinion, that change needs to happen in the home.

~ by Drew on September 16, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Post In Which I Catch Up”

  1. “that change needs to happen at home”

    I could not agree more…but I think things are changing probably not as fast as people would like…but I feel they are.

  2. Thrall is practically a big girl anyway so the women should stop their bitching 😉

    I guess Im of the view its a game and real life issues and insecurities should take the back seat *shrug*

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