Friday, January 28, 2011

Gamer Girlfriend

My fiancee and I have talked a lot about games and why people play them, specifically women. I went to PAX 2010 and saw probably 40-50% of the gamers as female. I was really surprised at the number of men who went to the panel titled: The Myth of the Gamer Girl: True Demographic or Anthropological Hooha?, mostly because I don't envision men attending anything Hooha related, or interested in what women like about games.

The thing is, I can't really vouch for the rest of my gender. I like games because it allows me an escape from all things messy in reality. Such as traffic, people I don't like, and dirt. It's simple in a game... In Animal Crossing, the biggest house decision you have to make is whether you want a red roof or a blue roof.  You can do things like stop slavers with gloves that shoot frost (Fable 2). There are no misunderstandings, dropped calls, or signing waivers for taking a hammer to a building.

Photo credit: Courtesy of giantbomb

You get the idea. I like movies too, but they aren't interactive - as in, there's no possibility for something completely ridiculous to happen (like barbarian bikinis).

Photo credit: Female barbarian from titanquestvault

The thing I don't like about games? No one except my guy friends talks about them. They are on "the female conversation list" of topics right after personal allergies and albino pets worth owning.  I never want to bring up that I play Call of Duty or Halo in front of someone's girlfriend, unless she also plays. It's too ambiguous.

Then there is also our fragile egos to consider. Personally, I hate being bad at anything, and I'm really bad at real time strategy games, first person shooters, and pretty much every game I play initially.  I accidentally set the maidens on fire in Timesplitters, drove off a cliff in Mercenaries, and forgot to wear pants for the first two levels of Oblivion.

Photo credit: Courtesy of artofmanliness

Maybe the point of having conversations outside of games is to talk about issues and current events outside of games.  But I wish we could all talk about games sort of like the weather, or the car we'll buy next year, or even sports. Until then, I'll be sniping from B4 in the villa.