An interesting article was posted today at the Ten Ton Hammer website. It is about how having a female in a raiding guild affects the dynamics of the group. It is a well written article that does seem to bring to light a lot of perceptions that obviously exist in the game but are often unsaid.
Here is my response to some of the issues raised in the article (quotes from the article listed in blue):
“In a raiding guild, an organization of dozens upon dozens of men, adding women into the mix causes certain reactions…. Many women — certainly not all — either knowingly or unknowingly inject a large amount of drama into a guild. More often than not, bringing in a new, single female player is a gamble that winds up costing more than it gains.“
The negative reactions that he goes on to speak of are reactions that the men are having to the girl. I’m not responsible if someone has an immature reaction to the fact that I am a girl in a video game. Playing WoW, for a lot of girls, is like walking into a boy’s club of some sort. It can be a bit intimidating. The point of a good guild is to make people feel welcome and work with everyone on an individual level. Acting inappropriately or causing excessive drama can certainly come from both sexes. In my own guild experiences, the only drama and fights I’ve seen have been between guys, and it had nothing to do with a girl.
I don’t have room to quote it here, but he also tells a story about having troubles with some couples being in the guild. Basically the issues, from my perspective, came from couples being protective over one another. This should be expected and the way to avoid it is in how you present criticism and try to help the player improve. My husband and I play together and you bet that if someone starting pointing out everything he does wrong, I would be upset! You have to keep perspective when you are in a game. Is the raid/loot/etc. more important than your friendship or a couple’s relationship? In most cases it isn’t.
“This is important. I’m going to offend a few of you here, but the truth is, women are vicious creatures. No, not all. “
Well of course you are going to offend me when you say that. Isn’t that the point? Why say something so negative if you don’t believe it to be true? And no, saying “No, not all” doesn’t make it any better. People can be vicious creatures. I has nothing to do with male or female, its just personality, priorities and morals. Thats it.
“As it relates to gaming, there are three major groups of women. The first is serious gamers, the second is social gamers, the third is Man-Seeking-Missile (MSM) gamers.”
How unfair is that? Just because I am a female I have to fit into some predefined category? I don’t get to be taken seriously on an individual level. Just as a person, as a gamer. If that isn’t sexist, I don’t know what is. Then he goes on to portray both the “serious gamers” and the “MSM” as basically catty and hate-filled. I won’t hate anyone in a game unless they give me some personal reason. Be a jerk to me and I won’t like you. Thats it. I’m not going to “hate” another girl gamer and think I’m better than anyone. How silly is that. I’m happy to meet people in game who can have fun and enjoy whatever aspect of the game they like the best. Be it raiding or spending all night mining. The major issue that I am having with the article is the contradiction. In the end, he tells readers to “reconsider” their stereotypes, only a few lines after outlining the stereotypes and talking about how true they are.
While I disagree with generalizing and basically blaming women for negative issues that happen in WoW, I appreciate his stories of the “serious female gamers” that he has known. Way to go girls! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue.