So, E3, the highest gaming conference where games and consoles are revealed for the first time to a world wide audience.
So, how did it get the feminist juices going this time?
There was the incident between a male and female who were demonstrating an FPS game, where inappropriate ‘banter’ of a sexist nature was exchanged between them in front of the world and its media.
Then Feminist Frequency, a feminist gaming critic blog (I recommend it highly) noted that, as per usual, no games with strong, female protagonists were being shown in this year’s E3. The backlash she got for tweeting about it was just awful! Gamers (male, mostly) were making sexist and misogynistic comments, most too horrid for me to blog. Some also said that female protagonists just don’t sell.
That might well be true. But, do games with female protagonists get as high a budget as one lead by a male protagonist? Do they get as much marketing? I don’t think so. Okay, Lara Croft might be an acception, but only AFTER she’s been sexed up to kingdom come (2012’s incarnation is different in a way). So much for a woman to comment on something she feels isn’t right, in a world where having the right to speak their mind without being punished for it.
As for the ‘banter’ issue, all girls in the gamer hobby deal with this problem at some stage. I had a fourteen year old guy from America leer at me because I am female, trying to use violent sexual language to make me feel uncomfortable. I was lucky Josh was playing in the same party as me, and he told them where to shove it. I will jokily and playfully tease my male friends who I game with, but it never has or will turn sexual or violent, or even both at the same time, as we always show courtesy and respect to each other. And we expect it from everyone else we play with. It’s a two way street, I’m afraid.
Perhaps one day we will achieve equality in the world completely, and I mean that with men and women being equal in rights and responsibilities. But, for now, we can’t turn against each other, it simply isn’t right.
So, can we just be brothers and sisters in gaming, together?