highfireDANGER!

incendiary wit from a perpetually curious techfemme... and the crap I find on the interwebs.

girls, boys & their (virtual) guns

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oooh halo 3...


if i got together, in one gigantic rhetorical room, all of the people who are excited about halo 3 coming out on tuesday, it would be millions of gamers.

mi-lli-ons.

the gender composition of that room, however, would be overwhelmingly male.

how intriguing.

i play halo online with my brother, and accordingly, i rarely get matched up with other women. when i do, it's this little victory for us! we acknowledge each other, we virtually wink at each other: like it's a party we've adeptly crashed with skills other than sex appeal and we're crafty for doing this.

additionally, the men are usually angry when a female beats them at a game, as though a woman winning somehow violates something sacred, something uniquely male.

is gaming uniquely male? obviously not, since women do play. but it is mostly a male past-time. why is this?

boys, why is this? what is it about gaming that you like? why don't you like it, ladies? or, why do you?

another interesting thing is the overuse of the fa-word: that obscene, unnecessary slur for homosexuality. i won't waste your time by saying it because you hear it enough, even if it's one time. this is meant as a subversion of another's masculinity, as an attempt to dominate another, to break down another, and i think it's really crude. but i hear it all the time.

what is going on with that?

in my opinion, this is an example of how closely males are expected to police each other's masculinity. it's like: don't you dare let each other slip into something other than your very stiff gender constructs!

as marginalized as women still are, (lack of equal pay, for example), we can get away with a wider range of emotions. though, we're usually called 'hysterical' or 'weak' for it, we can get away with it and from woman to woman, we see it as normal, and actually, as an advantage. being socially aware and adept is VERY useful. but i digress.

so, is gaming just another place to reify and police and define and redefine masculinity?

hmm, is that the sound of most boys *shushing* me as their eyes glaze over as they stare at the screen and tap their codes that make them win...? am i just interrupting their games or could i be on to something?

what i'm saying is this: it's okay, guys. it's okay. you can totally cry when i beat you at a game.* ;)

but i could do without the fa- word.

unless you're talking about this:
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or you're british, and you're talking about these:
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*seriously, lots of gender constructs are oppressing and you have my permission to make up your own!

11 comments:

24.9.07 Tripfunk said...

Could it have anything to do with the fact that males are typically power-hungry, and video games provide them with a fantasy outlet for that power?

24.9.07 southoforion said...

Depends on the male. If you get a bunch of jocks together for a round of Halo (especially after a few beers and maybe some weed) then there's going to be some 'manliness' going on. And males are 'typically' power-hungry just like women are 'typically' whiny nags. Let's cut out the generalizations, how about? You see, men have this stuff called 'testosterone.' And some men with said testosterone also have 'adrenalin' rushes when they blow shit up in video games, or blast a newbie into a million pieces. (Not that I would know anything about that...) Then again, I know a few guys who shy away from that sort of thing and prefer to go to poetry jams. To each his own...

Anyway, concerning the blog entry, I preferred video games when it was a one- or two-player thing, and all this wasn't an issue. But that's just me. To each his own, again.

24.9.07 hfd is people. said...

good comments, guys. keep them coming!

24.9.07 theDrunkMonk said...

It's sports, right. Of course, that doesn't really answer your queries but it does lead down a path that'll get ya there.

Maybe.

Males are typically power hungry?? Women aren't?

24.9.07 avalonbug said...

Well said, I hope they don't cry too much!

24.9.07 Acquiesce4101 said...

Well I think that the general dominant interest exhibited by males has somehow created the illusion that it is not a females game. Also there are female teams. . . Like bikini gamer squads! and everything in between. As for our foul language. . We are idiots. . you know that, and you shouldn't classify us all.

24.9.07 Aaroneous said...

Men are historically hunters. Halo satisfies our primal urges to kill without the jail time. I guess you would have been an aggressive gatherer. As for the f word, there are a lot of ignorant bastards out there... unfortunately most of them LOVE video games. That would probably take much longer to explain.

24.9.07 mimics19 said...

It's a good read; I love to see these kinds of articles floating around. I don't think there is a single point I disagree with in this post, only points to add.

You definatly hit it on the head with the over-use of the F** word. Now, I play my share of online first person shooters, and the term is used as an adjective, verb and noun in almost every other sentence. After awhile, I find myself muting the voice chat and putting on some music. See no evil,yes? =)

I don't think video games are essentially male. Some where along the line the advertising behemoth got wind of the cash crop that is video games and honed in on their target demographic. And like all things, the practice was only refined and brought to a near artisan level by the time Nintendo came out. However, things are getting better and with the advent with gaming consoles like the Wii, the market is only expanding. Just today, I met a girl who owned a Wii and it blew my mind; if you would have met this girl you would've said the same.

If anything, video games are becoming way more acceptable for those of the female persuasion. If 10 years ago you would've said to me that girls would be playing video games, I would've laughed; but then again I would be wrong. I'm hard pressed to find something that both sexes enjoy simiarly.I challenge you to do the same. Now, there are some rare examples, but what brings people together like a good game of Smash brothers? =)We are on the dawn of a new age, my friends! The women have taken up arms against us in Halo and the ilk; there will be none spared!

24.9.07 hfd is people. said...

to aaroneous--- that may be true, but probably not in all cultures. and yes, i guess i am an aggressive gatherer... OF SOULS.

to mimics19--good point about the advertising shaping the demographic. that's important and i didn't think of it. great insight! wii is marketing itself different, even to adults, like the brain training exercises. it's very interesting!

and so are all of your thoughts. good job!

25.9.07 Anonymous said...

Let boys be boys. Guys love to exert their testosterone in a society where the only acceptable medium is either the military, or video games. Women will never get it unless they start shooting bodybuilder hormones. But as for power hungry? Both sexes are guilty... Just look at women when they get married! They want to control a man's every action. Just leave us to our fantasy world where we get to kick ass and the only thing that might get hurt are feelings. Ya' newb!

25.9.07 hfd is people. said...

I love the women are power hungry in marriage charge I keep hearing you guys talking about. You know a lot of us aren't nuts, right? And very giving? And play video games? We just might hog the controller, if anything...