All manner of scifi/fantasy/nerdness: RPGs, comic books, Firefly, RPGs, Community, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, RPGs, Avengers, Doctor Who, And RPGs. And comic books. And RPGS. Not a "fandom" blog, unless D&D alignments count as a fandom.
To be a gamer meant to be part of a small, semi-exclusive club. Gaming was uncommon. It was the domain of the geek, the dweeb, the loser, the basement-dwelling cretin. But to gamers, it was an ivory tower, a community based around a common love and a common sense of “us vs. them”.
But as time moved on, the “them” suddenly started looking a lot more like “us”. Where gaming used to be the province of the nerd, the proliferation of gaming consoles as media consoles – especially starting with the PS2 and swelling with the Xbox 360 – meant that more and more people were becoming gamers. The jocks who used to give the geeks wedgies and mock them for playing The Legend of Zelda became gamers themselves, scarfing down Call of Duty, Madden and FIFA in record numbers. Women, too, started becoming a more visible and prominent part of the gaming industry. And what does one do when your once-exclusive club becomes less exclusive? You find ways to disqualify people. You marginalize them. You say “they don’t count”. More people play Bejewelled or Candy Crush Saga or Peggle than any AAA console game… but they don’t “count” because they’re “casual” gamers. Women don’t count because they don’t play the right games; they’re playing Sims 4 or Pokemon XY, not Titanfall or Gears of War. Anything to disqualify them. Anything to make sure they don’t “count”.
Anything to keep the focus on the “us”. The “hardcore” gamers. The “real” gamers.
Good piece. I’m not sure we’re as close as a lot of the “extinction burst” commentators seem to think — there are still vanishingly few women present at the decision-making levels in game companies, and I’m not convinced that a lot of gaming’s gender problems are going to get fixed until that changes; the working environment at a lot of studios also makes Mad Men look enlightened — but we can hope.
I’m thinking of starting a new playthrough of Skyim. I’m thinking, a Paladin-type character who uses a bit of magic in addition to his combat skills while serving the Empire and eliminating evil wherever he goes. I’m sure lawfulgoodness would appreciate this. Might make it a let’s play once I get my desktop in 3 weeks.
Anyone interested in fighting back the forces of evil is okay in my book!