Thursday, September 09, 2010

PAX Panel Review: Myth of the Gamer Girl

I’m just going to come out and say it. This panel sucked.

Enter four women who kind of work in the gaming industry, but are not there to talk about their professional lives. Instead, we get 45 min of them blabbing about how they became gamers and why they want to be called “Gamers” vs “Gamer Girls.”

I knew nothing about these women’s work, and as far as I know they had done nothing special. Why would I care about how one started playing D&D when she was 20?

This panel was so boring I wanted to stab myself in the face.

I came to this panel because I was hoping it would be women talking about their professional lives, not just about what games they like. NOBODY CARES WHAT GAMES YOU LIKE FYI.

The panel got even worse for the last 15 min when somebody got up to the mic and asked these women what they thought about men posing as women to get stuff in game.

At this point, I left, because I really didn’t care what these women’s opinion was on this issue. They were four panelists who had no relevance to my life.

Unfortunately, I see these women in gaming panels crop up every year, and every year all I hear is blah blah bullshit we’re girls and we play games too! Well no shit. Come back when you’ve made something awesome, and we’ll talk about that. Until then, I’m going to go set people on fire in Team Fortress 2.


  1. I went last year and walked out halfway through because it seemed more regressive than progressive in the gender debate. I wanted to hear more about their professional roles, too, while everyone in the audience wanted to whine about how sexy women are in games and how awful that is. Ugh.

  2. Yup, that's how I felt about the panel of '08 too! All they did was complain about how we shouldn't think of them as "female gamers" and that they were just people, blah blah. They never spoke once about their actual jobs or how to get in the industry. One of them even inferred that she only got her job because of her boobs and that "it was wrong".

    We get it. Sometimes women in games have big boobs and there are not a lot of women in the industry. I did not attend the panel to hear pointless complaining, I attended to hear about opportunities to get into the industry and CHANGE things, not just bitch about them!

  3. You know, I think about the only thing I can agree with them on is that I'd rather be called a "gamer" than a "gamer girl". Mostly just because that means a default "gamer" is male, instead of just someone who loves them some vidya.

    How much do I care about this issue? ... ... Not much. Enough to post this comment. Not enough to argue about it. Much less to talk on a panel about it.

    I'm with you, I think it's time to go set some shit on fire.

  4. If this site ever takes off, I am going to start a charity that sends underprivileged girls to computer camp. Or maybe a college scholarship fund for ladies going into the industry. Seriously. I am going to change the world. I just need to figure out the means and time first.

  5. Ick, sounds like a bit of a waste of time. However, the second "Women in Games" panel on Saturday (think it was called "Women Own") was much more like what you were looking for, with tons of discussion about getting into the industry, the pitfalls (real and perceived) that women encounter, etc. There was also a lot of interesting meta discussion on feminism in general, on how to appeal to female gamers (the best comment of the entire panel summed it up: "It can be as simple as giving us some shirts that actually fit."), on sex and marketing... it was pretty darned nifty. I wrote a very brief summary of it as part of my PAX diary on another blog. It's here if you want to take a look: