I’m more than aware that sites like Kotaku have published a ton of click bait, rage bait and pure nonsense posts in the past. Even so, I think they might have out done themselves this time. So, what have they done this time then? Well…A couple of days ago, Kotaku published an article titled “Women Play Video Games” (written by Kirk Hamilton), and that post has to be the most cringe worthy and white knighted post that I have ever read on a so-called Gaming site (as seen in the pictures down below).
Right off the bat, this is how the actual post starts off:
“Hello! I’ve come here today to explain something that apparently still needs explaining: Women play video games.”
Say what?! Are you for real Kotaku? Really? You don’t say? And Hamilton continues by saying:
“I know, it’s a radical concept. (As plenty of you are doubtless aware, it is not a radical concept.) Yet here in the year 2017, it’s apparently still really easy to assume that despite the fact that A) video games are awesome and B) video games have been a huge part of mainstream popular culture for decades, women do not play video games. But they do.”
“I know that many of you reading this are on the same page. If so, cool. Keep doing what you’re doing. But you may be surprised how many people still think that women, as a general rule, do not play video games. Ask any woman you know—who, again, probably plays video games—and she will likely have a story about someone assuming that she, a woman, does not play video games. Despite the fact that she does.”
That would be correct, as females have been playing games since the dawn of Gaming (not to mention those who have created their own video games, people such as Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Carol Shaw and Danielle Bunten Berry). In the matter of fact, I actually meet my first girlfriend thanks to the NES console (she asked me if I wanted to play Super Mario Bros 3. I said yes, then we became a boyfriend and girlfriend couple shortly after that). Anyways, I hardly doubt that most gamers (in particular male gamers, as that seem to be the group that Hamilton targets with his post) automatically thinks “she’s not a gamer. She doesn’t play games“ when ever they see a female.
Because the truth to the matter is that most people (male as female) play some sort of game nowadays (that goes for most parts of the world). So that part I can agree with Hamilton on. However, as I continue to read through the post I soon started to realize that the post most likely came to be due to what happened to Megan Farokhmanesh at E3 2017:
“Basically every woman I know who works in games or plays a lot of games regularly has people assume she doesn’t. A quick survey today of several of the women I work alongside at Kotaku confirmed that, yes, this is a frequent occurrence. In fact, for women at game conferences like E3, it often gets a lot worse than having someone assume you don’t play games. The basic truth of the matter still bears repeating, however, so I’m going to repeat it now: Women play video games.”
So in my opinion, Hamilton just turned a feather into a full-blown Godzilla-sized chicken. Furthermore, the rest of Hamilton ‘s text just made the matter even worse (cringe/white knight warning!)
“The assumption I’m talking about is rarely made with the intention of hurting someone’s feelings. Like most assumptions, it doesn’t require much thought at all. But if you have ever assumed that maybe women don’t play video games, take this opportunity to remind yourself that in fact, they do.
If you are a man (or if you’re not!) out at a social gathering, talking with some friends about video games, and a woman comes up and joins the conversation, do yourself a favor: assume she plays video games. Don’t ask, “do you play video games?” Instead, ask, “what kind of games do you play?”
If she says, “Oh, I don’t really play games,” no big deal. Change the subject to TV, or music, or the weather. (Some people may argue that the weather is not an interesting subject of conversation; I say there’s a reason it’s a conversational default.) But if she does play video games, chances are she will have repeatedly dealt with people who assume that she doesn’t. Which is dumb, because women play video games. They just do.”
You know, I hardly doubt that the game dev at E3 2017 said that to Farokhmanesh because she’s a woman. No, because I believe that it’s because she used to work for Polygon. In other words, it’s very likely that the outcome would have been the same if she had been a male (if that had been the case, then I bet that it would have been even more sarcastically meant). I would also like to make it perfectly clear that I got nothing personal against Farokhmanesh, because she hasn’t done anything against me/us.
So if it’s true what she said about that game developer at E3, then I’m sorry to hear it. However, I think that the matter got blown out of proportion big time. I would also like to add that I have never heard or seen anything quite like that before myself, and I have worked in the games industry since 2005 (I know a lot of females that work in retail and whatnot, none of them have experienced anything of that kind).
It’s also a matter of how you handle the situation as well. I actually experienced an almost reversed situation in a store that sold a lot of Warhammer stuff once. Long story short, the shop manager was a female, and she pretty much assumed that I knew very little about Warhammer because I kept looking through their item magazine (I was a teen at this time).
So she made a joke that went something in the likes of “you do know that there aren’t any pictures of pretty ladies in that magazine right?”, and she did so all while smiling back at me (yes, I did blush a whole lot). I had no problems with that though, because the truth of the matter was that I was to shy to ask for help, because she was a very attractive woman (my guess would be that she was in her early 20s). What I’m trying to say is that “maybe” the game dev at E3 2017 just joked with Farokhmanesh? Anyways, I think you get the idea.
As for Kotaku and their “Women play video games” post. Well, let’s just say that every time I spot something that Kotaku (or similar sites) has written, then I almost automatically think about that one scene from South Park where Mr. Garrison screams out “retard alert! Retard alert!” (that’s very close to the truth, isn’t it?). Other than that, Kotaku’s post isn’t exactly doing female gamers any favours. In the matter of fact, the post makes them look stupid, weak and very victim-like (in reality, that’s not how it is, at least not in most cases). So I would really like to hear what all you female gamers out there think about Kotaku’s post.
So let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
The South Park picture of Mr. Garrison was done by LaylaCartman
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This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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