August 14, 2010

Rants Of A Gamer Girl: Women Are Not “Species” or “Creatures”

Filed under: Gaming,Gender,Media — Tags: , — Rachel @ 3:40 pm

Last year a training video from Gamestop was leaked online.  It treated female customers as a rare “species” and taught new employees how to handle these bizarro customers in the form of a safari-like-adventure training video, on how to handle these “creatures.”  Of course what’s hilarious is that as the first type of female customer is explained, we’re told they don’t like to be “condescended to or ignored.”  Personally, I find it a little condescending that a.) this video was made in the first place, and b.) GameStop trains their employees by referring to female customers as “creatures” and “species.”  I suppose no one at the top thought to take into account the fact that *gasp* women might actually work there?  Apply for jobs there?  Might know to speak to a female customer the same way they would speak to a male?

Obviously not – training tip number one?  How to handle a woman who enters the store and looks like “a deer in headlights.”  An employee approached her, and she hears his introduction as the noise of adults on old Charlie Brown cartoons.  She doesn’t understand his gamer “lingo” and of course she does the logical thing and turns and runs. Because that makes total sense.  I don’t know shit about make-up, but if I stroll into a Sephora and an employee introduces the store, and herself, I don’t fly into a panic and start moving for the door.  Apparently he flew into some gamer-jargon tirade, which we’ll never know the content of, obviously it was too complex for her to just ask “I’m sorry, I’m just looking for this game.”  Luckily, they replay the scenario where the give the “subject the comfort to admit her lack of knowledge.”  They turn a “hunter” (someone who wants to buy only one thing) into a “gatherer” by offering her a subscription to Cosmo – because WHAT LADY CAN TURN THAT DOWN AMIRITE?

When women are surrounded by attitudes in gaming that they’re stupid and completely out of place, it makes it little wonder that they’re not really interested in joining the community.  And it’s especially unsurprising that once we do, we’re continually annoyed by the messages we’re surrounded by.

May 19, 2010

Red Dead Redemption: Increase Your Gamescore For Violence Against Women

I play video games, but I’m picky.  As a huge fan of Deadwood, I was excited when I learned about the release of Red Dead RedemptionGrand Theft Auto in the Wild West, stealing horses instead of cars.  Like a video game version of one of my favorite television shows.  And then yesterday, I learned of a hidden achievement in the game, and
all my excitement and anticipation was flushed down the toilet.

In trying to pay homage to the classic westerns of yesteryear, where women were tied up on train tracks by a cartoon-y villain with a handlebar mustache, the game offers an achievement for tying up a woman and throwing her onto a set of train tracks.  Except there’s no hero to save the day and untie her before the train comes, the points
are only awarded if you stand and watch as you let her be run over.  It’s unfortunate that they made the achievement gender specific.  Why couldn’t it have been a man or just a person?  Rock Star Games does not exactly have a stellar record when it comes to females in their video games – most in the Grand Theft Auto series are prostitutes, drug addicts, victims, and strippers.  While they were a little better in Red Dead Redemption – it’s a woman who saves the main character in the intro and women are shown talking about religion and politics in the opening credits sequence, they negated the little good they did by offering five measly gamer points for violently assaulting and killing a woman.

Youtube is already filling up with videos of gamers recording themselves getting the “Dastardly” achievement.