All Seriousness

TF2 Girl-On-Girl Hate

Have you ever been playing a game and you suddenly get this girl-on-girl hate? This is “one-of-the-guys” or “the cool girl” syndrome.

Some girls believe putting down other girls will make them safer by endearing themselves to guys as tough and edgy.

It does – temporarily. The moment they do something the guys don’t approve of, though, that safety is gone.

It happens a lot with minorities as well. People try to fit in and if the community they belong to is bad towards a gender or race they tend to copy it.

It is a shame really.

Gamer Baby Shower, It Has To Be Coed

When you get asked to host a co-ed baby shower the chances that you will make it about games is pretty high, especially when the majority of guest, excluding the MIL were into the topic anyway.

Last weekend we hosted a co-ed baby shower for our friend and her husband.

I would have preferred a little more interaction, but the men hung out in the garage and drank beer and smoked cigars for the majority of the afternoon.

The couple didn’t have a problem getting their own gifts for the baby, so we just left registries off the invitation. After all this is a couple that could pre-order the box set of No Man’s Sky, I don’t need to say more than that.

The couple choose the shower and the same went for the invitations which were game related, but oddly the rest of the party sort of ignored that part of the theme. Save some spare decorations it wasn’t much more than a glorified party.

When we first planned it the mom-to-be was all against baby shower games. Even hubby’s suggestion of a local tournament was met with distaste. But it is a shower so naturally games are a must at a baby shower and finding options that fit the theme and don’t suck are something that I made my personal mission. I wouldn’t say that I hate all the baby shower games but a lot of them are pretty lame.

Bingo is one of those classic BS games that gets played a lot. And allas it is easy so that is why people play it, but this time it was a little different since we made it participation through observation.

It went like this: give everyone a blank bingo card. Have them fill it out with what they think momma is going to receive. As momma is opening gifts have them mark off if they were right. Call Bingo when they have five in a row. It keeps people interested while opening gifts.

We had a another game, but it really just consisted of smashing a pinata that looked like some sort of generic game character to pieces.

There were also voluntary advice envelopes. Which simply comes down to having a bunch of small cards with envelopes.

Everyone can write a bit of advice on a card, and seal it in an envelope. On the envelope, they write when to open it. “First time baby cries for no reason,” “First time you have to leave baby with a babysitter,” etc.

But as long as there’s good food and drinks, guests don’t need to play games.

Girls Can’t Game

A lot of guys are surprised that girls can game. Sort of like it is impossible to fathom why they would want to in the first place.

This comic from XKCD is a good example of their impression of girl games:

The comic reveals discriminating jargon against women when doing tasks such as mathematics. When a guy does something wrong, it’s his own mistake. When a girl does something wrong, it is taken as a confirmation that girls are inferior.

Where Are Our Female Protagonists?

I felt really conflicted about the Tomb Raider when it was released.

For me, there are four different types of female characters in video games. One, obvious eye candy, two, obviously girly (Barbie, for example), three, gender doesn’t really matter (pokemon girl trainer), and four, characters like Tomb Raider.

I wouldn’t say Tomb Raider is totally devoid of eye candy (even Conan O’Brien was commenting on the awkward camera angles), and the nearly rape scenes near the beginning made me think. Would they have done it if it was a male lead?

I don’t want to focus just on that scene, and maybe I’m a bit more sensitive than others when it comes to it, but this is what I thought.

Would the game have been any less if they left it out? Lara simply gets captured without getting her face caressed, then caught without groping hands. My answer is no. The captors already seem “evil” enough, willing to kill innocent people, even without the threat of rape. So for me, that scene was mostly used to emphasizes the vulnerability of being female. It’s very humanizing, in a way, because as you say, it’s a very realistic scenario. But at the same time, I wonder how many people (of both genders) took it as gratuitous fan service?

This bring me to the next thought: a lot of people praise Tomb Raider as an example of not only a strong, female protagonist, but also as a very human character. She has her strengths and weaknesses, and you can see her struggle to stay strong and survive. I would go as far as to say that it’s her “femininity” that makes her so strong, but weak at the same time.

I agree with you. She’s not scared, per se, but she does have doubts about her survival. Can you imagine Indiana Jones shivering in the cold, wondering if he’ll survive the night? James Bond? Nope, cuz you know they’ll make it through. They’re written that way.

But do we really want a female James Bond who doesn’t seduce enemies with her feminine wiles and degrade into fan service? Let’s say we do have something like that. She won’t be supermodel skinny or super booby. She’ll be cool and collected, capable and efficient. Not show anger or emotion, really, she won’t be an irrational ball of emotion that women are always accused of being.

But how will this differ from being t he girl pokemon trainer? Would it matter at all if the protagonist was male or female?

I’m conflicted about that.

Side story: was in game store before the Tomb Raider launch. Dad comes in with 6-8 year old son. Makes joke about Tomb Raider being “top heavy”. All the guys laugh. Son doesn’t get it. He keeps bugging them to explain the “joke”.

I’ve hung out with enough guys to know these jokes, kind of like racist jokes, are not likely to disappear. And really, most of the time, it’s not intended to be offensive. What I found offensive was that it was told in public, and passed onto a child, kinda perpetuating the Tomb Raider stereotype. Would they ever play the game? Perhaps. But probably not for the same reason.

I think another question is, will the gaming community respect female protagonists? I think they’re acknowledged just fine, just not in the way we’d like.

The new Lara Croft (2018) movie may do some to fix this. They have gone on record as saying that the reboot which will be darker like other reboots Batman Begins (2005), Casino Royale (2006), Man of Steel (2013). Lara Croft will be a much darker, more realistic incarnation of the iconic video game character and she may not have the big breasts, in order to make her a more believable character. It’s possible that Lara in the reboot may not have the signature big breasts.