Disclaimer: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by the various authors (including me) do not necessarily reflect the opinions and viewpoints of Neoseeker.
Ah, the elusive girl gamer. A lot of you still don't believe we exist. Well, maybe you realize we do, but you assume we look a certain way.
Much fuss was made not long ago when an editorial wound up on a major news website denouncing attractive women who intentionally prey on the poor, meek nerds -- those shameless harlots who dress as characters designed by men for men and brazenly prance about, sucking the very soul from the defenseless geeks through their ogling eyes.
I don't want to link the article here, because I found it borderline troll material. But I will, because how would you know what I'm talking about otherwise. In case you'd like to check out the full thing, go ahead and give CNN's geek blog thing a visit at some point.
So was it an attack on women? The author doesn't believe so, even going as far as to say real geek girls are totally okay, even if they are unbelievably hot and love "flaunting" what they've got. Okay, so what's the problem, exactly? These girls are:
What I'm talking about is the girls who have no interest or history in gaming taking nearly naked photos of themselves with game controllers draped all over their body just to play at being a "model." I get sick of wannabes who couldn't make it as car show eye candy slapping on a Batman shirt and strutting around comic book conventions instead.
I'm talking about an attention addict trying to satisfy her ego and feel pretty by infiltrating a community to seek the attention of guys she wouldn't give the time of day on the street.
Now I genuinely believe that the writer, Joe Peacock, thinks he's being pretty fair throughout all this. Heck, I kind of understand where he might be coming from, because once upon a time, I also looked way down on said girls who model naked with controllers or, you know, get famous licking PSPs. That stuff still bothers me, because I find such acts irresponsible in how they prolong the sexist perceptions that surround us, particularly in the gaming/comics community.
But then Peacock goes on to say he refers to these women as "6 of 9," because they're rated a 6 in the real world but a 9 as soon as they pop on a nerdy shirt and go galavanting about Comic-Con or some other geeky place.
Let me just quote comedian Andrew Ti:
Don’t use numbers to rate women, that shit is a revolting fucked up thing to do.
The numbers thing aside, Peacock reflects a train of thought that isn't exclusive to him. No, there are a lot of folks out there who would agree with him. Heck, Cliff Bleszinksi seemed to -- I stumbled on the opinion piece through one of Bleszinksi's tweets. The question is: why?
Why is it that women have to validate ourselves as geeks (and so many other things)? If you met a guy who, by all means, was pretty attractive and well-dressed, and he mentioned being a huge Halo fan, would you be shocked? Would you question whether he's a real fan or a total faker?
On the subject of cosplay, some might argue that guys don't go around flaunting their "assets," but try and think of a badass male character who does. Now think of the lady characters. As briefly mentioned above, most of these sexy female characters that attractive (or unattractive) women dress up as are designed by men for a predominantly male audience. In many cases, that means showing a ton of skin (or striking ridiculous "action" poses). That said, plenty of women do like feeling sexy, so it makes sense that they'd choose to don the metal bikinis and leather boots to flaunt their stuff.
Should we be chastising such women for wanting attention and accusing them of being non-nerds? Sure, and while you're at it, you may want to tell girls they aren't allowed to wear skirts and makeup anymore. The argument that these ladies prey on weak-hearted, immature dudes is pretty bunk, and if you're going to be mad about it, you ought to look at entities like G4TV, IGN, Machinima and the like. They're the ones who rake in the hits and make their money by selling you pretty faces speaking about video games on camera. I don't really care if the Chobots of the world are real gamers or not, but do you?
Seeing folks get angry at these girls for being who they are and doing what makes them happy reminds me of how some hardcore game groups actually prohibit female members. Back when I was into World of Warcraft, I'd heard of one or two (maybe more) top raid guilds with "No Girls Allowed" policies because having ladies among them would be a distraction. The similarity I see here is a group penalizing women for their own lack of control.
Back on the subject of these horrid, disgusting sexy fake geeks who misuse their Batman shirts. Why should we care? Are these girls targeting nerds and scamming money from them? Somehow, I'm sure they're not. Is their behavior invalidating them as nerds? It really doesn't, and I doubt the guys they're victimizing really feel like victims.
I'm no supermodel, but I consider myself a geek and, well, fairly cute if I wish to be. I played some video games on and off growing up, but it wasn't until college when I was able to catch up on all the nerdisms that I missed out on growing up as a little girl. No one expects us to like Star Wars when we're young, and maybe we're just proud of being born-again nerds as adults, when being a woman is also a part of our identity. I wore my Mandalorian tank top all over Comic-Con -- am I whoring for attention? No, because I really fuckin' love Mandalorians. Almost got a Mythosaur skull tattoo. If some dudes happen to find that sexy, who am I to argue? As long as they're not creepy about it, it's quite flattering.
Perhaps Harrison Krix, the artist and genius behind Volpin Props, said it best when he discussed his own "questionable" geek credentials. This is guy widely credited for creating the best Portal gun replica in existence, and his works have been sent to Valve, Penny Arcade, and BioWare, among others.
It seems like a lot of female cosplayers have been getting some flack recently, and they've had to justify their "geek credibility" to their fanbase to prove they're not just another pretty face trying to cash in on the popularity of nerd culture.
With that in mind, here are some interesting facts about me, Volpin Props:
I have never owned a Playstation 1. In highschool, I played three sports and built cars; I rarely played videogames unless it was with friends. I have never purchased a comic book. I have never beaten a single Mario game. Twilight Princess was my first Zelda, FFXI was my first Final Fantasy. I made my Big Daddy costume before I had beaten Bioshock. I have never played OoT or FFVII and I have no intention to ever do so.
I could go on, but the funny thing is nobody has ever leveled any of these things towards me, likely as a result of my gender. Do any of these things detract from my credibility? Should they? In the end, aren't we all just trying to have fun with the things that amuse us?
Yes, why can't we all just have fun and quit judging?