Archive for the ‘Gender Bias’ Category

Yes – I’m posting this again because it needs to be said…again. Why are there so many folks who feel the need to focus on style and looks and completely overlook the focus of what someone is doing when it comes to a female presenting the information. Why are we as a society willing to listen to men but focus more on how a woman looks?

Emily Graslie makes some extremely good points in this episode of her YouTube Channel, The Brain Scoop. With so few visible women in that ecosystem presenting STEM subjects she definitely stands out. Unfortunately this apparently also makes her a target for completely unrelated criticisms. No, this is not unique in the YouTube world. No, this is not news in and of itself. But seriously?

Followed from NPR’s article: Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It’s Not So Nice

I finished up playing Beyond Two Souls this weekend and while I was disappointed by how quickly the gameplay slipped by I was elated to play a game with such a solid story and a strong, immersive gaming experience.

I found it sucked me in quickly and kept my focus. I found myself caring about my decisions and the outcomes and wondering how things might have worked differently if I’d made other choices. I cared not just about the main character, but the interactions with the secondary characters as well.

Did I mention the main character happens to be female? I didn’t start with that because it actually doesn’t really matter to the storyline. She could have been male. None of the actions or story sequences focussed on her being raped or having a child killed or any of the other myriad tropes used in many gameplay situations to justify the use of a female character. The main character in this game could have been male but I’m not entirely sure people would have bought the emotional interactions and vulnerability that were brought to the role here – society doesn’t really seem to support those types of story lines for men unfortunately.

Don’t get me wrong – she was kick ass, defending herself and others in fights and the real world. She was in no way a victim in this story and that is probably why I enjoyed it so much. She was a woman I could relate to from childhood to adult.

Thank you David Cage for writing such a strong, beautiful and complex character. Thank you Quantic Dream for making the experience so seamless. And thank you Ellen Page for breathing life into her and giving a performance that would have been impressive for any movie, let alone a video game.

Women with swords...without the chainmail bikini.

For everyone out there who says that a woman cannot compete on equal footing with a man, please take a look here. At the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament in New Zealand, Sarah Hay was 1st in jousting and 2nd overall by points. This was not in the ladies jousting competition – there was no his and hers jousting. Sarah competed at something that takes skill and courage and training.

I’d say she deserves respect. What do you think?

Feel free to check out more via Fashionably Geek:

Nothing To Prove

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Geek Culture, Gender Bias
Tags: ,

The Doubleclicks are a couple of delightfully talented geeky ladies who travel around performing and bringing their music to nerds everywhere. But being a couple of women, they’ve been subjected to the haters who had to point out that since they lack a penis, they could not possibly be real geeks.

They had enough of that and enough of hearing the other women in our space who get treated the same way so they wrote a new song called Nothing To Prove and asked all their fans to submit pictures of themselves with a sign stating why they are just as much of a geek as anyone else.

The video they put together has me so happy and so weepy I just have no words. Thank you ladies so much for creating something so beautiful with a message that hits right at home.

Saw this one today in an article on The Mary Sue which can be found here: Little Girls Engineer Their Own Toys to Take Over The Pink Aisle In This Goldie Blox Ad

For years now when legos and erector sets, chemistry sets and tool sets have been advertised and marketed it is the little boys they’ve targetted with their message.  You are the builders, the makers and the ones who can change the future.  Little girls get fashion and makeup in pink boxes.  Goldie Blox is trying to change that.  They are trying to get the message out that little girls have a lot more to offer the world than just how they look.  We are thinkers and doers and makers.

I’ll admit it – I teared up while watching this.  To all the little girls in my life you need to believe that anything is possible.  You can do and be whomever you want.

They [Don’t] Know Us So Well

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Gaming, Gender Bias
Tags: ,

I stumbled across this article last week:

5 Things Every Game Company Gets Wrong About Gamers

I have to say, I think they did a fantastic job of pointing out the things about the newest games and gamesystems that piss me off the most.  The fact that Gaming has forgotten about why it exists – the Gamers.  Slick, flashy cinematics are edging out actual gameplay within these new titles giving us less and less to do.  Apparently they think that gamers have gotten resistant to having to move their digits to actually cause things to occur on screen?

I think part of the reason it struck such a note with me was that in spite of the media buzz around the new Tomb Raider and it’s leanings towards  rape as motivator , I wanted to play the game.  I was in fact excited to play the game.  And then I got it home, popped it in and watched through the endless opening cinematic.  Eventually, cinematic ends and I think “great, lets get playing”.  Only, not.  you do a little moving, a little button pressing and I think “okay, we’re in the tutorial”.  Then I’m back in a cinematic but I’m being asked to wiggle the controller at a specific time.  Or press the button right…now! Or I have to sit through it again and again.  My guy nailed it on the head – it felt exactly like Dragon’s Lair.  Shiny, glossy and completely controlled.  As is pointed out in the article at the top of my post, not everyone enjoys watching a cinematic.  Some folks take that time to grab a glass of water, check their email or what have you.  Only in Tomb Raider, if I chose the wrong time to do that, I end up starting the damned cinematic all over again.  And if I’m 3/4 of the way through one of these transitional sequences and press a button slightly too late – back I go to the beginning.  This doesn’t feel challenging to me, it feels suffocating.  It’s game play for dummies.  I want a certain amount of challenge.  I want to feel I’ve earned the abilities my character has in game.  But I don’t want to be pressured in to this sort of over-stressed situation where a microsecond mistiming means the tedium of attempting a thing over and over.

I won’t go into the entire article point by point, though I do think they all hit home with me in a similar fashion.  But it’s definitely worth a read.

Posted on FB by a friend today, I have to say I really enjoyed watching this particular TED talk. He talks in a very engaging manner about the differences and similarities between The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. It is the only time I can honestly recall hearing a man talk about the Bechdel Test.

I think what impressed me the most about this talk is that though he is speaking about women’s issues he is focusing on how those issues impact or should impact not just his daughter but his son as well. I love that he makes that leap.

It is a great watch, and very thought provoking.