One day, I plan to write an academic paper categorising RPG nerds into separate categories based on their responses to threads about "Girls and Gaming".
We'll start with this one.
The Earnest Worrier
This topic evolved from a conversation with a woman in my gaming group, who obviously games, and with my wife, who doesn't. The gamer girl population increases every year. In many avenues, females can actually outnumber males. While this is good news, the bad news is how little this is actually changing the games themselves. At a BlizzCon panel discussion an female querist was booed for suggesting that maybe the female characters should be able to wear clothes.
But the problem goes way deeper than that. Even within RPGs where female gamers are not only accepted but delightfully encouraged, the roles they prefer are often within healer, support, or diplomatic archetypes (again, major generalization, but largely true nonetheless). Wish fulfillment seems to be the more desired form of escapism as opposed to power fantasy or strategic simulation.This gamer likes girls. And he's a nice guy. Look - he's even married! That proves that he likes girls and is a nice guy! Being a nice guy, he is concerned about what we, as earnest, concerned, nice guys, can do to make gaming a friendlier place for girls to be. To further boost his nice guy credentials, he describes fretting about a poor female querist being booed by horrid chauvinists - his brow, it was furrowed; his arms, they were folded; his head, it was shaken; the tuts, they were tutted. "What can we do," he asked himself, "to make female gamers more delightfully encouraged?"
[I googled "querist". Apparently it's somebody who "makes inquiries".]
No Seriously, Some of My Best Friends Are Women
Monsterhearts is another good example or a game that has evolved far outside the war-game vein; there is /violence/, but not /combat/. It also handles emotion and melodrama VERY well. And it appeals to a bunch of fringe-gamer and even non-gamer women I know.
Typically it's methodical step-by-step combat that turns off the women gamers I know, not the violence itself. When it comes time to get dirty/bloody the female gamers I know are willing to go to levels the guys are sometimes surprised at. Honestly the step-by-step combat thing turns off a lot of new-to-the-hobby guys too; it's really the people who grew up with it that seem to like it."The women I know. Keep saying it, and it becomes true. I know some women."
God, My Girlfriend is One Lucky Lady Being in a Relationship With Somebody Who Does Not Assume Things
My girlfriend hates "story games bullshit" where we "talk about feelings" and would rather move her dragonborn barbarian 5 squares at a time towards the bloodiest, most granular rules-heavy combat she can find.
Non-ladies should not assume what all ladies like.[What I know about women you could fit on the back of a postage stamp, but it includes the following: women don't think you're clever or funny if you use the phrase "Anecdote time!"]
[N]o group is homogeneous. There are big group of gamers and potential gamers out there that don't like traditional war-gamey games; this group includes both guys (me included) and gals. There is a group of female gamers that feel disfranchised by modern trad games. THESE GROUPS OVERLAP. Stereotypes can be bad, If you refuse to make ANY assumptions about groups (because we are all beautiful and unique snowflakes) you lose the ability to make any decisions about a market."God, I'm so mature and sensible it sometimes physically hurts," says Mr Maturity, wincing to prove it as he dispenses another gem of wisdom which nobody has ever even come close to considering before: you can't generalise, silly generaliser! A few weeks of business studies classes at college taught him more than anybody else could ever know about making decisions about markets; it also taught him to use ALL CAPS to make his points clear, succinct, and hard-hitting.
Can I just point out that there's a bit of irony present when hobbies (computer games and RPGs) that, 20 years ago, were viewed as bastions of sad outsider antisocial nerd culture have become socially acceptable to the point where they now represent an element of dominant culture and oppression."RPGs are just an outgrowth of masculine bourgeois ideologies, as Althusser would say," the Marxian begins. "Perhaps we should commence our analysis with the realisation that the species-being is only partially a biological construct?"
The Japanese Call this the "Herbivorous Male"
It also stands to reason that there are plenty of males out there that are into more emotional, non-combat oriented games. In my last game of World of Shadows, the two male players didn't fight anyone, despite constant opportunities to bust heads and shoot people. They were most interested in following their character's desires and daily lives. There was action, but no combat."They then removed their own testicles, because they no longer needed them."
If Only Everybody Was Norwegian
Those andogynic gender premises exists. We don't need to treat it as a hypothetical question. Lets look at the roleplaying game "markets" or game cultures that got a 50/50 gender mix. Like Larping in the Nordic countries. Hence, my example of Nordic larp. Therw ARE game markets that where the designers, and the costumer have a 50/50 gender balance. It not some hypothetical question.That's enough gamer anthropology through reading threads about girl gamers.
Look at the RPG cultures that already exists that have even gender balances.