Playing the Girl Card

1 Night Elf Druid
0
I'm copying this from my pitifully-maintained blogsite, because the site routinely gets lost trying to locate pages, and you have to reload the page about a a jillion times as a result. I wrote this article about 2 years ago, but I feel that it is timely to re-post it:

[10/28/2010 06:29PM] Playing the Girl Card

Recently, I got myself into a hot debate on the revelation of one's gender as a gamer. I know as well as anyone that girls and women are a minority among video gamers. There was a time when discovering that one of your online friends possessed a pair of X chromosomes was akin to finding a unicorn, or a great-tasting zero-calorie ice cream, or a word that rhymes with purple. Still, girls were being readily encouraged to explore "boy games" back when I was in my early teens. And that was a long-assed time ago. It's not that hard to imagine that several took the plunge back then. Fast-forward to today -- if we were to assume that only 10% of all gamers are women (and that is a very low-ball estimate in my opinion), let's apply these numbers to World of Warcraft, which touts more than 12 million players. Even if we assume that this number represents double the number of unique players (many of whom have multiple accounts), that still leaves us with 6 million. Ten percent of that is 600,000. That's a lot of estrogen, my friends. That's more than the entire population of Wyoming. If we were to arbitrarily say that Blizzard maintains roughly 300 servers, that's about two-thousand ladies per server. Even I, who failed math in the 7th grade, can figure out that's probably a few more than the number of unicorns playing WoW.

So how is it that in this day and age, the Girl Card is even worth playing anymore? One of the reasons I was offered during the course of the aforementioned passionate debate (in which I maintained that there were few if any good reasons to want to broadcast one's gender -- i.e., "play The Girl Card") was as an answer to chauvinism. That's a noble cause, I guess, but is it really such a rampant problem among gamer nerds? Nearly every time I encounter it, it's a caricature of this particular brand of willful ignorance -- non-chauvinists joking about real chauvinists who rear their ugly heads about as often as, oh, unicorns it seems. Because let's face it, the average WoW player is no longer that pimple-faced 12-year-old, caught between rejecting the fairer sex as "icky", while agonizing over the likelihood that his chances of seeing a grown woman naked probably rests in his parents' subscription to National Geographic. Most of the gamer guys I know are in the prime 18 to 28 range that action movie and Red Bull marketing campaigns just love. A lot of these have girlfriends or wives (maybe even girlfriends AND wives) who play WoW. Of these, a goodly portion get to see on a daily basis that their female counterparts do just fine in the game (or at least no worse than the bulk of the male players). So if chauvinism isn't really a problem to be solved, what's the point?

Attention.

There. I said it. Now in the course of normal, human interaction, even online, people will get to know each other. And the matter of gender will generally get raised and answered, even if only in those few moments of First Contact in Ventrilo. This is a natural part of cyber life. After that, it's usually only as big a Big Deal as the female in question wants it to be. Now maybe it's just me, but I rather resent the underlying belief that male players are automatically going to care about gender of a fellow player, which is predicated on the notion that gamer dudes are so desperate for female contact of any kind, that they'll fall all over themselves in the presence of e-boobs. (Yes, guys, I'm actually sticking up for you.) Now of course, SOME will, because they really are that desperate. And maybe there are even enough of those sad boys to make playing The Girl Card worthwhile for those females desperate enough to use it. But on the whole, it seems to me that playing The Girl Card as an opening move is a gesture of disrespect -- if not towards gamer dudes, then towards the female players themselves, most of whom would like to be able to just play a game without their gender being an "Issue". It reminds me of the resentment I have seen many gays and lesbians express, who feel that the flamboyant, "in your face" antics of some of the empowerment groups only serve to undermine their quiet acceptance into the mainstream.


Continued...
Reply Quote
1 Night Elf Druid
0
Continued from the previous...

So, how do we negate this? I say, use the power of "So?" even if you're one of those girl-starved 12-year-olds. The more the Girl Card players hear it when their card gets played, the more the subject of gender will lose power and be treated as the non-issue it really is. Now of course there will always be crazies who cling to beliefs or behaviors no matter how well it doesn't work out for them. But by and large I think the gamer community has grown beyond the need for championing the girl gamer as an equal to her male counterparts, or encouraging her to use her gender as a means to garner more attention than she deserves.

Oh, and if you've somehow come away from this believing I'm a guy bent on undermining the gamer feminist movement, allow me to present my Girl Card. ;)


Taken from The Bad Hunter Xelas, blogsite:

http://www.worldofwarcraftblogs.com/BadHunterXelas/note/19170/playing-the-girl-card.html
Reply Quote
67 Human Mage
2145
Disclaimer:
1. I convinced a GM in Ultima Online to change my Hat of the Magi back to its original color.
2. I won't touch EVE Online because I can't stomach my avatar being a spaceship.
3. I used to be the first to post my shiny photo in the "RL Picture Thread."

Sooo... guess you could say this is Confessions of a Former E-ttention Gamer.

There's much to be said about this subject.

I think it boils down to two types of gamers:

1. the social gamer who uses games as a forum to meet people and socialize. This gamer often uses MMORPGs as a glorified chatroom. The slaying of dragons, lore of the land, and rated battlegrounds are simply an accessory to their goal of socializing.

2. the gamer gamer who plays an MMORPG because s/he is genuinely interested in the play style of a given game.

That is not set in stone, however; as a social gamer can quickly turn into someone who loves the game, works on his/her achievements, etc.

However, a social gamer likely wants to use his/her full arsenal to attract attention - whether that's a "whispery" voice in Teamspeak or a rare mount.

I'm not about to try to judge the psyche of the female gamer who uses her gender to gather in-game resources (although back in the Vanilla I'd have done just about anything for more bag space). People all around have issues of some sort of another, whether it's insecurity or self-esteem or anger issues.

We're all playing "roles" in Azeroth, even the hardened PvPer who claims he loathes Role Play. You can play a damsel in distress who hides under the wing of a Paladin or you can play the brave warrior who comes to the aid of the shy priestess (emphasis added, for emphasis).

What I guess I am trying to convey is that games are recreation - people are busy enough during their day at work being on their best behavior that if they want to let their hair down and flaunt their femininity or flex their hard drive by lavishing a girl with in game currency -- so be it. Yes it's an MMO, which encourages multiple players getting along, but you can act (role play?) however you see fit.

So yea - if you're a chick who happily rejoiced when the horde created Bloodelves or you've never played a male toon, take heart. If you're a dude who plans to slay Hogger in an epic battle tonight with a two-handed great sword to prove your prowess, more power to you.

I used to get more annoyed when people see I am a mage and "assume" I want to make them food.

Just my two cents. Excellent blog post, OP.
Reply Quote
90 Orc Warlock
11235
*Plays the Guy Card*

Send me your Ghost Iron, ladies. You might have a chance at this.
Reply Quote
91 Night Elf Hunter
7720
I'm copying this from my pitifully-maintained blogsite, because the site routinely gets lost trying to locate pages, and you have to reload the page about a a jillion times as a result. I wrote this article about 2 years ago, but I feel that it is timely to re-post it:



Does this have anything to do with my failure to notice a certain character was tied to a certain battletag?
Reply Quote
100 Blood Elf Mage
13675
Over the years I've seen male players accuse a female player of playing the Girl Card. In these cases the male player was punished for breaking a guild's rules; lost a raiding position due to poor performance; didn't get a piece of gear from a Council-type raid loot set-up; and in one circumstance got soundly beaten in a duel. (Don't ask me how in the latter situation the Girl Card was supposed to have worked -- maybe his macros were distracted by her pixelated cleavage). With the exception of the duel, I've also seen female players accuse other female players of the same thing.

But I've never seen players of either sex accuse men of playing the Boy Card. The excuses tend to be centered around "He's real life friends with the GM" or "He gets guildies carries in arena" and similar nepotism that has nothing to do with gender. Any comments about "He's blowing the raid leader" were, as far as I could tell, never meant seriously.
Edited by Kiraleen on 4/19/2013 3:06 PM PDT
Reply Quote
1 Night Elf Druid
0
1. the social gamer who uses games as a forum to meet people and socialize. This gamer often uses MMORPGs as a glorified chatroom. The slaying of dragons, lore of the land, and rated battlegrounds are simply an accessory to their goal of socializing.

...

However, a social gamer likely wants to use his/her full arsenal to attract attention - whether that's a "whispery" voice in Teamspeak or a rare mount.


WoW is a social game, there is no question about that. What irks me about the use of gender as a tool are the underlying assumptions** that go with that tool use. Or worse, the reactions when that tool is ignored or rejected, or the sudden revelation that the subject upon whom one may be attempting to employ those tools has the same or even better ones.

** The assumption is that "I am the only female player around here, ergo I am special, because everyone else around me are [straight]* guys, and my player-gender makes me more attractive."

Edit: I have no idea why the clinical term for 'straight' is filtered out. Whatever.

Especially on Ravenholdt, this would be a wildly misguided assumption. We have a significant female presence on this server, as well as an impressive LGBT population. Coming into this environment with a gender-directed social agenda has a high potential for getting someone results they were not hoping for.

*Plays the Guy Card*

Send me your Ghost Iron, ladies. You might have a chance at this.


<starts frantically mining>

I'm copying this from my pitifully-maintained blogsite, because the site routinely gets lost trying to locate pages, and you have to reload the page about a a jillion times as a result. I wrote this article about 2 years ago, but I feel that it is timely to re-post it:



Does this have anything to do with my failure to notice a certain character was tied to a certain battletag?


Actually, no. I'm quite used to my male toons being associated with a male player. This is more a poignant reminder to some of our new citizens that 'you probably don't have the first clue what you're hitting on...' So maybe keep some of that nonsense to themselves, if that's their goal?

But I've never seen players of either sex accuse men of playing the Boy Card. The excuses tend to be centered around "He's real life friends with the GM" or "He gets guildies carries in arena" and similar nepotism that has nothing to do with gender. Any comments about "He's blowing the raid leader" were, as far as I could tell, never meant seriously.


That's because there isn't one to play really. Males have never been a minority in this game (or much of any video game with the possible exception of MLP or Hello Kitty Online) But until that card is taken away, and either the actuality or perception of special treatment goes away with it, there will be the chance that The Card will be used, misused, and blamed for all kinds of things. Unfortunately, the social players (male or female) who are primarily here to find a hook-up will make that process difficult.

(I personally love socializing -- but on a level that gender is just not an issue.)

It's a vicious cycle. Until female players feel comfortable enough that they won't be pounced on (read: sexually harassed) for not hiding their gender anymore, they won't appear common enough to help negate The Card. On the other hand, The Card players are usually seeking that kind of attention in the first place and it's not in their better interest to lose that power.

This is where "So what?" becomes important. Female players should be ready to come out of the closet -- "Yeah I'm a chick. So what?" just as the guys should be ready to answer a proclamation of gender with equal aplomb.
Edited by Xelas on 4/19/2013 6:18 PM PDT
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Warlock
7640
u shud feel happy that theirs still a way for u to be accepted somewhere
Reply Quote
92 Blood Elf Hunter
12860
<sprays the thread with 'Trol-B-Gon'>
Reply Quote
100 Gnome Priest
19620
I feel that it is timely to re-post it


Oh snap, did I miss some juicy drama?
Reply Quote
97 Draenei Paladin
13390
04/20/2013 02:32 PMPosted by Cayreth
I feel that it is timely to re-post it


Oh snap, did I miss some juicy drama?


Now you got me curious too. *makes a cup of tea and listens intently*
Reply Quote
1 Night Elf Druid
0
Not that big a drama. Just sort of a "Oh no she di'int!" moment. I shall explain prior/during/around the raid tonight. ;)
Reply Quote
100 Blood Elf Priest
13780
I'm honestly a little surprised that this is still an issue in some places. Maybe we got lucky, but Coldstar's always been pretty "So what?" about gender. In fact, for a short while during Cata, our male members were outnumbered by females. I think the only time that my gender has ever been an issue was when I was playing my brother's old character when I first started the game, and Rahzael said something to me thinking it was my brother. Selris is still fond of recalling the memory because he swears it was one of the only times Rahzael was left speechless for a second. xD

Very good article, though, and I enjoyed reading it. :)
Reply Quote
90 Night Elf Priest
9765
im a girl
Reply Quote
90 Night Elf Priest
9765
u shud feel happy that theirs still a way for u to be accepted somewhere


heyyyyY ;) xox
Reply Quote
100 Tauren Druid
11530
I remember running chain heroics with Casby from RB and a trinket dropped that he needed. The other 3 players were a guilded group and did not like him. I on the other hand was diplomtic and polite to them so when the spell caster trinket dropped and they won it, I used the gender of my shadow priest to pry that trinket from them...

It was funny as hell when the person who gave me the trinket asked me to send him a picture of me since he assumed that I was female and I told him I was a mid 40s male. Actually the word combinations was pretty funny and creative...

Cas enjoyed the trinket and had a good laugh.
Reply Quote
Hi ...
Im french! gimme your cookies
Reply Quote
100 Human Warlock
14920
I remember running chain heroics with Casby from RB and a trinket dropped that he needed. The other 3 players were a guilded group and did not like him. I on the other hand was diplomtic and polite to them so when the spell caster trinket dropped and they won it, I used the gender of my shadow priest to pry that trinket from them...

It was funny as hell when the person who gave me the trinket asked me to send him a picture of me since he assumed that I was female and I told him I was a mid 40s male. Actually the word combinations was pretty funny and creative...

Cas enjoyed the trinket and had a good laugh.


I had a similar experience while doing the 'new' Onyxia back when it was content. I had recently found a program to alter my voice to sound like a woman or even a Lich and I thought it was fun. Then a trinket I really wanted dropped and I lost the roll by a number or two.

Then of course, I had the idea of begging for the item with my woman voice. The item was given to me almost instantly. - It was really hilarious.

That's the only time I've used the Girl Card.

Now, I use the Lord Revos Card. Men and Women alike swoon helplessly beneath my feet when I do so.
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Paladin
9520
Oh Revos.... You wish that I would swoon beneath you. >.< Or hail you anyway.... Anyway. I will only hail you from an RP standpoint. But you have to call me Madame first! <3 *Cracks whip*
Reply Quote
100 Human Warlock
14920
You have yet to hear my masculine voice and lordly accent. When you do, you shall swoon... So declares Lord Revos.
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)

Reported!

[Close]