Women Play Games! (As Told By Men)

Hello everyone and welcome to my hot take on an issue that has been written about so many times, and yet, here we are.

Not long ago, Kotaku published an article titled ‘Women Play Video Games’. It was an attempt to be all woke and shit about gender inequality in the gaming industry. Unsurprisingly, a man wrote this. The cynic (or realist) in me thinks this was just for them sweet, sweet clicks, considering the throwaway nature of the article. The “look how good we are for standing up for women!!!” façade is so blatantly see-through.

If Kotaku, or the writer themselves, cared enough about the subject they could have easily commissioned this to a woman, seeing as it’s, ya know, women being discussed. Furthermore, they could have written more than 430 words, seeing as it’s a pretty complex and touchy issue within video games. If the writer was coming from a true place then that’s great I suppose, but because of the trashiness it takes away from the issue itself and instead does more harm than good.

“I will protect the true gamer maidens from these peasant casuals.”

The Gaming Ground published a piece in response that was basically “no shit m8”. It reiterated the feelings of most people felt after reading the Kotaku article. While the sentiment is there, one key aspect was off – the article was also written by another bloody man. There are so many talented female journalists out there but none of y’all could even try to commission an article to one of them? Absolute bullshit.

Unsurprisingly, considering their lack of involvement on the issue, there are many men out there who believe that gender equality has been achieved. In reality, a cursory search for “female game streamers” highlights the ongoing issue: the second highest hit is the laziest listicle ever published, from The Gamer titled “The 15 Hottest Streamers On Twitch”. Here are a few delightful gems from the article:

  • “DeerNadia is a 20 year old Arizonan with half Italian and half Venezuelan ethnicity, and that is probably where she got her good looks from.”
  • “[Lilchiipmunk’s] name is Caroline and she is half Romanian and half Vietnamese, so we can see where she gets her looks from.”
  • “Emiru is a 19 year old gamer-girl from Austin, Texas who also has an interesting Ethnicity, being half Chinese and half German. That’s interesting, as even though we are not statisticians, there definitely seems to be a correlation between Ethnic-variety and hotness on this list or is it just a coincidence?”
  • “Morberplz’s Twitch page doesn’t have a lot of information about her, but we guess you don’t need boring information when you have stunning looks.”

If that article wasn’t enough for you, The Gamer have another “Hottest Female Streamer” listicle but this time you get to read tacky sexist bullshit about 20 women instead of 15. I thought these articles might have been old, relics dating back to the #GamerGate days from three years ago but no, these articles were from May and June this year. How far we have progressed, eh?

This is a good meme I just made

Compare that to this article by The Guardian, a feature about the lives of Australian female Twitch streamers. It pays close attention to the struggles that female streamers have to deal with including online harassment and lack of inclusion. Furthermore this article actually features women in the industry and is written by one, which none of the aforementioned articles do.

The writer, Stephanie Convery, has done their job, and I don’t want to praise that (although it is a really good article in itself) because that’s what we need: thoroughly researched and carefully written articles, not some throw-away trash whipped up in five minutes. It’s becoming a rarity to see articles like these; it seems to be either publications doing the fake “we care about these issues” clickbait route or just straight up gross, dudebro idiocy.

TL;DR: We need more women writing articles about women in gaming. Stop doing stupid shit and let women speak for themselves, you fake-deep fucknuts.

Goodbye xoxo

Em Gunn

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