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February 12, 2011 12:11 PM   Subscribe

There is No Such Thing as a Girl Gamer, says Hellchick, a veteran game developer that happens to be of the girl gender. There are no "girl gamers," she says, but there are gamers that happen to be girls, and anyway, it shouldn't matter either way. "It’s not my responsibility to wear some kind of online burka because you lack the maturity to handle the mere presence of a woman in your game."
posted by Cool Papa Bell (79 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hellchick: Come for the rants, stay for the alpaca content.
posted by euphorb at 12:24 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone can be a chatty, flirty, narcissistic moron online regardless of gender. How about that kid singing I see ya rollllllllin’ into the mic at 200 decibels? Do we care what gender the kid is? No, because we’re too busy muting the punk.

Oh god yes.
posted by dabitch at 12:27 PM on February 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is why I stay away from MMORPGs.
But I do love picking me some flowers in Oblivion. (when I'm not, y'know fucking daedra up.)
posted by inkytea at 12:29 PM on February 12, 2011 [14 favorites]


<3
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:35 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


When a female gamer speaks up, in my experience the tone on the server tends to go one of two ways. Of course there's the notorious "XBox Live asshole" response, yelling at her or making sexual advances. Then there's what the aforementioned asshole would likely call "white knighting" (I call it "mom just walked in"). Things get quieter, trash talk ceases, and people go out of their way to be respectful. Not ideal, but probably better.

The way it goes depends partly on the game's culture (on average I've seen much better behavior in Team Fortress 2 than Quake), but mostly on the first response. I'll say that again: the person who talks first after a girl makes herself known sets the tone. Speak up and act like a human being. It doesn't always work but it's worth a try.
posted by skymt at 12:49 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't find it at the moment but some blog or site was linked here recently that focuses on the really vicious misogyny that many (most?) female videogamers have to deal with. Great site in a bad-accident/can't look away sense.
posted by aerotive at 12:49 PM on February 12, 2011


You may be thinking of fatuglyorslutty.com
posted by Karmakaze at 12:50 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Heh. I was just looking for that - I was sure it was here but maybe it was a twitter retweet?
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on February 12, 2011


a point that's sure to be utterly uncontroversial on Metafilter (e.g. that women/girls should be equally free to do anything men/boys can do).

Maybe we're reading different metafilters but I can recall any number of posts that generated discussions where it seemed that this was utterly controversial.
posted by rtha at 12:52 PM on February 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


What happens, I wonder, when a guy chimes in with a lisp or an effeminate voice? What about when someone comes in with an accent that marks them off ethnically and/or racially? I can sorta guess, but it would be interesting to actually compare these scenarios.
posted by LMGM at 12:52 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fat, Ugly or Slutty was linked in the OP.

And yeah, I'm a straight guy and I would always mute everyone on XBL or PSN because I was sick of the "fags" and the misogyny and yelling. Ugh. Please tell me I wasn't that obnoxious as a kid..
posted by SirOmega at 12:52 PM on February 12, 2011


But I do love picking me some flowers in Oblivion.

I know, huh? There should be a mod that gets rid of all the monsters and adds about six thousand more herbs, flowers, trees etc to search for all over the world. And another couple dozen plant-oriented NPC's with quests and economies, etc. I would play the crap out of that.

Sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, right.

By the way, the boy/girl ratio in Minecraft is pretty great.
posted by Aquaman at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the few Team Fortress games I've played where a girl is on voice, the tone shifts to one of surprise that a girl is playing, and then, sometimes, awkward flirting. But usually not that last part, and the most recent example, the flirting was between two people in the same clan who were clearly messing around. Everyone else kept cool and no one really cared.

"Mute player" is a wonderful, amazing thing.
posted by disillusioned at 12:55 PM on February 12, 2011


My ex-girlfriend hadn't really played video games before we got together, so I introduced her to Katamari Damacy, Pikmin, you know, the cute games (but also good ones, I'm not a philistine). She loved some of them, disliked others, no big deal.

Then I got home from work one day and found her and her best friend playing Lego Star Wars and, just, exterminating stormtroopers. "Yeah, eat it!" "FUCK YOU!" "Where's your dark side now, bitch?"

I guess what I'm saying is, if gamer culture didn't exist, we'd reinvent it. Oh, and don't dress like a stormtrooper around my ex, she's hardwired to explode them into collectible bits and then laugh at those bits before building a Corellian transport with them. Fair warning.
posted by Errant at 12:58 PM on February 12, 2011 [32 favorites]


Gender roles seem virtually pointless as far as hobbies go. I'm a guy and I knit.

Somehow, the fabric of society hasn't fallen appart for my transgression.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:07 PM on February 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have a lot of time in TF2... something like 1000 hours total (600+ as heavy). One of my frequent teammates is my wife. She's a good soldier, a fantastic pyro, and one of the best medics I've played with. She frequently leads the board at round's end.

It's always entertaining to see how people who don't know her respond when when she joins the game. And it's usually even more entertaining to listen to some 17 year old kid flirt with her. The most entertaining by far is to mic up and tell that kid to leave my wife alone. Is that wrong of me? ;-)

But the "regulars" that have been in-game with her for a little while don't treat her any differently than they do each other. For better or worse, she's just one of the guys.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 1:08 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of the odd results of the general jerkishness on Xbox Live is that any declared female player (female character/and or mic voice, pink armor, woman's name in gamertag, etc.) is likely to be REALLY good at Halo Reach multiplayer. I like getting put on a team with female players because it's funny to see the other team's reaction go from "Hey, check out tits mcgee!" to RAGEQUIT.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:08 PM on February 12, 2011 [16 favorites]


But I do love picking me some flowers in Oblivion.

I know, huh? There should be a mod that gets rid of all the monsters and adds about six thousand more herbs, flowers, trees etc to search for all over the world. And another couple dozen plant-oriented NPC's with quests and economies, etc. I would play the crap out of that.

Really? Am I the only one who found that stupid Nirnroot quest incredibly tedious, and totally not worth the reward? By the time I've found all 100 plants, I've leveled way past the point where those elixirs are useful.

On topic, I read columns like this one every few months, and they always depress me because I don't really believe there's any way to change the misogyny, racism, homophobia, and general jerkoff behavior that characterizes so much of "gamer culture." Not unless we find a way to kick all the 14-year-old boys off Xbox Live.
posted by Rangeboy at 1:10 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It’s not my responsibility to wear some kind of online burka because you lack the maturity to handle the mere presence of a woman in your game."

But wearing an online burka is how you keep people from knowing you are black.

(Yeah, I've only read about and will not play the online consoles owing to what I hear of the climate.)

I'm sure MefightClub will keep you safe from creeps - with regard to creepers you are on your own though.
posted by vapidave at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2011


Until recently I was really into competitive play on QuakeLive, but I stopped playing because of the vitriolic culture of the community. It was all nigger this and faggot that and God help us if a woman joined. It's a real shame too, because I love a good fps, but it seems that they always have the worst cretins playing.
posted by boubelium at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2011


I've played various Calls of Duty for more hours than I'm comfortable admitting to myself, and I still jump every time I buy a new game when I hear all the assholes that are on mics in these games. When I was a campaign-only type, I always expected to find multiplayer folks engaging in all sorts of tactical talk. In reality, I've only found kids badly trying to emulate rappers, whistling obnoxiously into the mic, or being really high and trying to talk, but really only being able to come out with "Oh wow" level-type stuff. I've never been able to not mute for more than 5 minutes, really.

Is this a PS3 only thing?
posted by nevercalm at 1:19 PM on February 12, 2011


Gender roles seem virtually pointless as far as hobbies go. I'm a guy and I knit.

Somehow, the fabric of society hasn't fallen appart for my transgression.


Oh, so all of this stuff that has been happening lately is your fault? Thanks.
posted by XMLicious at 1:30 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this a PS3 only thing?

No, if you want tactical talk you have to join a clan who play together.
posted by Justinian at 1:32 PM on February 12, 2011


World of Warcraft seems to be a lot better than XBox Live or the PS3 communities. Maybe it's because women make up almost half of the game's population. Maybe it's because of a mostly decent moderator / GM presence. And maybe the statistical and loot-based nature of the game helps. With everyone concentrated on not screwing up (to a pathological degree), as long as you do your job and have good stats on your character and gear, no one cares too much about your gender.

My girlfriend and the other women I know in the game generally haven't had any problems beyond the occasional unwanted flirting and the, very rare, misogynistic comment.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:34 PM on February 12, 2011


To pick up on mentions of Team Fortress 2 (TF2): the player cultures are pretty widely varied between servers, at least on the PC/Mac version, and a some of them are certainly more "grown up". The ones I frequent most (like Studio Rumble One and Reddit West Too) each have women among the regulars. It's kind of hard for it to be a big deal that someone's female when you've already been playing with her for months (I'm a guy myself).

And it's it definitely not an issue when she's the one keeping you alive with a medigun, or shooting you in the face with a rocket launcher.
posted by theDTs at 1:43 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know if the person is a girl or not, but whoever it was with the female username on Xbox Live multiplayer Assassin's Creed Brotherhood who was following me around the other night killing me every thirty seconds needs to JUST EASE UP, MAN. SHEESH.

Also: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim comes out in November. OMG OMG OMG!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:50 PM on February 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


As an old fogey, I'd rather deal with online douches than ones all up in my space. I'm kinda old school - one of my intros to playing as a girl was real life. Remember LAN parties? I remember them. Ours got reasonably successful, topping out with about 100 guys in a hall for a weekend.

It was...educational.

There were the obnoxious screen names (you really think 'Freddy Fistfucked Your Father' is appropriate for gaming with the under-16s?) and the sheer douchebaggery. Some of it you get over (still good friends and godparent to the children of the guy who screamed "who the fuck did that? I'm gonna fucking arserape you to death" when I headshotted him - I was sitting two seats away) and some of it you don't (the leering douche who stood a metre back from me as I put my kit together staring at my arse, then looked down my top as I pulled myself from out under the tables, then asked me if I really played games and walked away before I answered). I mean, I met my husband at these things, they aren't all jerks, but the constant nature of the leering/'joking'/abuse grinds you down. Particularly when the reaction tends to be 'stop whining' rather than 'sorry I threatened you like that, I got carried away'. Because not matter how much you think it's 'just' a game, I am still much more likely to be actually harmed by a guy screaming threats in game than you are, so actions do have disproportionate effects because of gender.

My best friend is doing game design - she started with top marks in her subjects and a crew of about 10 other women in her course. There's two left and she just took a semester off. Some of it is personal, but there's a fuckload of 'do I genuinely want to deal with this obnoxious petty bullshit for the rest of my life?' behind women dropping out of gaming (dev and play). I'd probably still play but once I had actually been raped, the comments went from 'dude, that's fucking uncool' to 'excuse me, I'm going to go throw up now and probably carve myself up'. You can never just be a player - you're a mascot, you're a scapegoat, you're a target, you're a token. Online there's less of a chance the guy is gonna corner you out back, so that's a plus. But to fully participate is to be a lot more vulnerable to the kind of leering bullshit that turns it from a fun game to 'ick'.

MMORPGs can be different. And surrounding yourself with a good clan makes a difference. But what about the casual girl gamers? We're stuck with lego and shit like that because the social nature of the game is a detraction, not a positive. Because, like Hellchick says, any evidence of femaleness is excuse for some douchenozzles to start a goddamn pity party of misogyny.
posted by geek anachronism at 1:52 PM on February 12, 2011 [44 favorites]


This was awesome. I'm struck by the fact that as focused as it is on gamer culture, the world beyond it is full of people who could stand to better absorb the fact that there are many "kinds" of men and women and this might help some of 'em.
posted by weston at 2:39 PM on February 12, 2011


Reddit West Too

No way! That's where I play, too!

posted by clorox at 2:40 PM on February 12, 2011


BitterOldPunk, that sounds like me, but could only have been me if you had first insulted me with a stupid comment or macro, which I know ain't your style. I tend to hunt fools down relentlessly until they RAGEQUIT. I've heard it's hella-annoying.
posted by dabitch at 2:41 PM on February 12, 2011


Rangeboy: I believe that there is, and it follows the same process all other communities have followed when confronting intolerance. People need to speak up and take a stand, and it's important that it be men as well as women when fighting misogyny, straight people as well as queer people when fighting homophobia, and so on down the line. We hear time and again how hard and tiring it can be to deal with this shit when you're the target of it. Allies are important in part because they haven't been worn down by that grind, so that energy is necessary, and that condemnation from within the peer group is important. Silence is acceptance.

So that's how I think we can change the culture, and it seems difficult, but not impossible.
posted by Errant at 2:48 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


And those guys all wonder why they don't have girlfriends...
posted by fshgrl at 2:59 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


IANAFemale, but I simply quit playing online games. Protip: Everyone is an asshole.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:09 PM on February 12, 2011


I've been gaming for a while now and I'm still not really over the fact that I am a girl and the games that I like to play are really stereotypically female games. I'm one of those RPG-loving easy mode girls who plays Bioware games for the plot and can get lost in the Sims for hours. I'm a Women Studies minor and I'm totally comfortable with my gender-- and with fucking with my gender-- in basically every other aspect of my life but for some reason I feel a bit like I'm failing my sex by being sorta mediocre at most games and by hating FPSs.
posted by NoraReed at 3:16 PM on February 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


ElDiabloConQueso writes "It's always entertaining to see how people who don't know her respond when when she joins the game. And it's usually even more entertaining to listen to some 17 year old kid flirt with her. The most entertaining by far is to mic up and tell that kid to leave my wife alone. Is that wrong of me? ;-)"

Man I wouldn't be able to resist either getting in a "competition" for my wife's affection with him or totally egging him on all the while laughing my ass off out of band at the comeuppance that would be administered when he finally was made aware of the real life situation.
posted by Mitheral at 3:19 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


RPG-loving ... easy mode ... plays Bioware games for the plot ... can get lost in the Sims for hours....

OMG I GAME LIKE A GIRL
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:25 PM on February 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I feel a bit like I'm failing my sex by being sorta mediocre at most games and by hating FPSs.

i'm a dude and my favorite game is space channel 5
posted by fallacy of the beard at 3:40 PM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


RPG-loving ... easy mode ... plays Bioware games for the plot ... can get lost in the Sims for hours....

OMG I GAME LIKE A GIRL


OMG me too
posted by danb at 3:51 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, hard core games play Bioware games! No slagging Bioware.

As long as they make Nightmare mode a lot goddamn harder in DA2, that is. Come on, the thing is called NIGHTMARE mode. Make it hard enough so I can't beat it while blindfolded and blind drunk at least.
posted by Justinian at 3:54 PM on February 12, 2011


gameRs. Hard core gameRs. The games do not, of course, play themselves. Except on easy difficulty I guess.
posted by Justinian at 3:55 PM on February 12, 2011


Really? Am I the only one who found that stupid Nirnroot quest incredibly tedious, and totally not worth the reward? By the time I've found all 100 plants, I've leveled way past the point where those elixirs are useful.

Yeah, but ... I still liked it. Of course, I was the kind of Morrowind player who collected all possible objects I could in one of several houses, and spent a lot of time arranging them in the most improbable ways.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:07 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bioware is awesome for catering to hardcore grinders (nightmare! Ack!) and those of us who prefer a more...mellow dungeon-crawling experience with interesting plot & characters. These things can co-exist!

Playing through DA:O. Again. Mostly for character development, because you always learn something new about them, especially those you keep in your party for a while. I freaking love that.
posted by smirkette at 4:08 PM on February 12, 2011


I like to play sandbox games in online free mode.

Is there something I could plug into my 360's mic jack that would just mute it in both directions? Right now, I just mute it and turn the earphone volume all the way down, but then it earpiece/headset thingamajig dangles off the controller and looks ugly.
posted by box at 4:17 PM on February 12, 2011


Playing through DA:O. Again. Mostly for character development, because you always learn something new about them, especially those you keep in your party for a while. I freaking love that.

Ha! I just finished my seventh playthrough this afternoon. Maybe that'll keep me sated until DAII comes out next month.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2011


They should make being a sexist asshole an achievement that takes the karma/gamerscore/whuffie and redistributes it to whomever they were being a sexist asshole to.
posted by artlung at 4:22 PM on February 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


mccarty.tim: I'm a guy and I knit. Somehow, the fabric of society hasn't fallen apart ....

I see what you did there
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:40 PM on February 12, 2011


How do I activate Nightmare mode on Metafilter?
posted by indubitable at 4:45 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


How do I activate Nightmare mode on Metafilter?

Make a post about how Sarah Palin wants to declaw your cat, circumcise your newborn son, and, uh something something Israel/Palestine.
posted by Rangeboy at 4:47 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is one of the reasons why I play City of Heroes after nearly six years, but dropped out of World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online (although I had other reasons for dropping them). The general maturity level of City players is significantly higher, even though there are exceptions, sadly (like the guy who flirted aggressively when I was on one of my female toons, then whined when I told him to cut it out). I have a standing weekly game with a crew based in the LiveJournal CoX community, and say what you will about LJ, but they're even more mature than the average, and that sort of shit (homophobia as well) would not be tolerated at all for any length of time, which is probably why there's a decent mix of female players who are regulars.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:48 PM on February 12, 2011


There are quiet guys, shy guys, guys who act like assholes, dumb guys, smart guys, guys who won’t shut up about their cars, gay guys, straight guys, guys who don’t know, nice guys, guys who want attention, guys who are funny, guys who think they’re funny, and guys who express tons of other traits not listed here.

Women are the same, and you might discover that someday if you ever actually grow up. In every group of women there are chatty women, quiet women, loud women, women who won’t shut up about their cars, smart women, dumb women, gay women, straight women, women who don’t know, funny women, women who think they’re funny and ok Jesus, you get the picture, right?

It’s a human issue. It’s not a gender issue.


This point here is the driving force behind my own efforts against bigoted thinking. Human beings come in all these different flavors and that's what women are too, human beings.
posted by Danila at 4:57 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I do love picking me some flowers in Oblivion.

I know, huh? There should be a mod that gets rid of all the monsters and adds about six thousand more herbs, flowers, trees etc to search for all over the world. And another couple dozen plant-oriented NPC's with quests and economies, etc. I would play the crap out of that.


If you're serious you couldn't do much better than going onto TES Nexus and getting the Millstone Farm mod by Korana. It adds a fully functioning farmhouse, with animal husbandry, a smithy, gardening, fishing, sewing, painting, pottery and well, basically, the list just goes on and on. One of the best mods I've ever seen for a game and just a great way to vanish for several hours at a stretch.
posted by longbaugh at 5:08 PM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Video here. I challenge any TES:IV PC owners to watch that and not think about reinstalling...
posted by longbaugh at 5:26 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


NoraReed's comment prompts a question I have myself.
This is probably a bit beyond my scope but how much am I reflected in the games I play and how much time I spend playing them?

I'm pretty comfortable with the amount of time I spend on Nethack and TFC lately but in times past I spent way way way too much time in 2Fort (12 hours a day shooting people and I was a stepdad and husband with a business to run) and I'm uncomfortable with that. But those games don't mimic the outside. I suppose that is just a part of the larger question of how much of my life is spent online.
I could see myself becoming seriously addicted to the type of game that mimics the real world and I wonder about the extent to which the time spent in those games counts as authentic participation in life.
posted by vapidave at 5:44 PM on February 12, 2011


Lord of the Rings Online has been generally a positive experience for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a more mature community.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:36 PM on February 12, 2011


Yeah, this is kind of how I've felt for years. The funny thing was before Is started playing with some of my boyfriend's friends, we weren't sure how they'd react to me being in the man cave that is their vent channel, but after a bit, everyone was just normal. Which is exactly how I want it. I've been a gamer pretty much my entire life. And it does irk me personally when some people still cling to old, outdated stereotypes. Luckily, there are guilds or groups that are more mature out there. I signed up over on the MeFightClub site but don't think I ever actually posted. I'll remedy that.

Lord of the Rings Online has been generally a positive experience for me. I recommend it to anyone looking for a more mature community.

I actually just started playing this today. I'm also playing DC Universe Online and a couple of betas, but I wanted a slower paced, more oldschool MMORPG with deep lore and a good community. Haven't gotten far yet, but I think it is what I was looking for.
posted by cmgonzalez at 6:57 PM on February 12, 2011


I only play with the folks from MeFight, everyone else is too jerky.
posted by Mick at 7:06 PM on February 12, 2011


"But I do love picking me some flowers in Oblivion."

Haven't played Oblivion but I've picked my share of flowers in Red Dead Redemption. And rode horsies!

Growing up all my friends, male and female, gamed. GoldenEye and Mario Kart were our social life.
The sexism in the gaming community is horrible. Jim Sterling from Destructoid has recently been going overboard with rape jokes and 'edgy' humor and he's still got his job...
But I played Bayonetta all weekend, so maybe I'm part of the problem
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2011


Maybe I'm old (OK, yeah, I'm old), or I've been missing some kind of renaissance in reclaim-the-word stuff, but all this girlification is worrying. I got the same feeling from the 'date a girl who reads' or whatever the hell it was thread a couple of days ago, but restrained myself from suggesting that dating a woman might be the better course of action.

Anyway, yeah: one of the primary motivations of Mefight Club is to provide a place for us (Mefites, and friends and family of, for the most part) as gamers to get away from the idiots and children and the nastiness that dominates in the rest of the gaming world, and to explicitly make unwelcome that kind of sexist, racist, homophobic and fill-in-the-bigotry-blank-here behaviour. And to have fun doing it.

It's working pretty well so far.

Also: you still don't know the URL after three years, Mick?!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:33 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have never known the difference between a girl gamer and a boy gamer, they all kill me equally as well.
posted by hugecranium at 10:45 PM on February 12, 2011


(Yeah, I've only read about and will not play the online consoles owing to what I hear of the climate.)

So I'm guessing you don't go outside in public either?
posted by hal_c_on at 11:16 PM on February 12, 2011


Maybe I'm old (OK, yeah, I'm old), or I've been missing some kind of renaissance in reclaim-the-word stuff, but all this girlification is worrying. I got the same feeling from the 'date a girl who reads' or whatever the hell it was thread a couple of days ago, but restrained myself from suggesting that dating a woman might be the better course of action.

No, I'm with you. Despite all the evidence that the majority of gamers are adults in their 20s and 30s, the conventional wisdom is still that gaming is the province of the teenager, and so "girl" seems to apply. That "girl" is often used in place of "woman" or "female" in order to diminish subtly the person in question is, of course, a mere coincidence. Not always used that way, of course, but often enough to worry me as well.

But, "girl gamer" does have that alliterative property, so maybe that excuses it, I don't know. I have heard "guy gamer" used similarly.
posted by Errant at 11:29 PM on February 12, 2011


No slagging Bioware.

I'm not. I'm saying I like to play them. Saying that a game can be enjoyed by casual users is not a disparaging comment about said game, and the assumption that it is is one of the reasons I feel really alienated from the gamer community.

I've spent time in the Dragon Age: Origins fandom, and there are people on there that use mods that automatically kill everything hostile in the room when you walk in that are hanging out and participating in these fan communities. They're just as legitimate as fans as the people who're playing on Nightmare difficulty; they're hanging out on Livejournal communities dedicated to talking about, writing about and drawing these characters.
posted by NoraReed at 11:40 PM on February 12, 2011


Saying that a game can be enjoyed by casual users is not a disparaging comment about said game, and the assumption that it is is one of the reasons I feel really alienated from the gamer community.

Have you seen Warren Spector's keynote speech from PAX 10? He went into some detail about this topic. It's a long video but I really liked what he had to say about the "hardcore" vs. "casual" distinction.
posted by Errant at 12:25 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gamer culture needs to be cleaned up if people want "gaming" to be taken seriously as something that's not just for basement dwellers.
posted by delmoi at 1:14 AM on February 13, 2011


I'm always fascinated at the sheer number of people my age that apparently play video games on a regular basis.
It always seems vaguely inappropriate to me, like people over the age of 18 riding skateboards or 40-year old moms that use text-speak.

But then, maybe the world has just passed me by again.

For what it's worth, no judgment intended. It's your time and your money, do what you want with it.
posted by madajb at 4:30 AM on February 13, 2011


Wow, I guess I don't know the url to mefight, I blame bookmarks. If anyone wants to join us we're at mefightClub.com
posted by Mick at 5:23 AM on February 13, 2011


madajb writes "For what it's worth, no judgment intended. It's your time and your money, do what you want with it."

For me at least it consumes the time and resources I used to use playing Bridge without as much of a hassle finding a fourth.
posted by Mitheral at 6:48 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Top tip: Replicate the wit and erudition of online gaming chat in singleplayer mode by stopping every so often and reading the comments section of a popular news site.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on February 13, 2011


For me at least it consumes the time and resources I used to use playing Bridge without as much of a hassle finding a fourth.

Heh,
The real question is, is the trash-talk better or worse?
Bridge can be quite heated.
posted by madajb at 8:18 AM on February 13, 2011


Bridge can get quite heated indeed.

I'm just glad I never played bridge with anybody that was packing. I've definitely made plenty of incredibly boneheaded plays in my time. Like that one time when I only made our 6S contract instead of taking all 13 tricks because I forgot to draw trump and got yelled at for being a "fucking idiot". Hoo boy.
posted by kmz at 9:16 AM on February 13, 2011


Playing through DA:O. Again. Mostly for character development, because you always learn something new about them, especially those you keep in your party for a while. I freaking love that.

When I last played through, I had a dream in which Oghren and I were on a road trip together, and I learned that he can't read a map to save his life.
posted by homunculus at 11:55 AM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I found the combat controls in DA:O so infuriating that I spent the whole game ignoring spells and skills and just spamming the X button (or whatever the "swing big heavy thing" button was) through every fight.

I hated it so much that I might not buy DA2 unless they revamp the combat system.

But everyone else seemed to love it, so I guess I'm just incompetent.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2011


But everyone else seemed to love it, so I guess I'm just incompetent.

A lot of the love for it was based on the PC version, which seemed a sparkling return-to-Baldur's-Gate-form for Bioware. The more action-oriented console version is nearly a different game, mechanically. (I have the console version.) There's about a 4-5 point gap between the versions on review aggregators, inasmuch as one should trust those. Preview stories for DA2 have indicated that combat and framerate have been adjusted significantly, so there's some hope.

All of which is in service to say, it's very unlikely that your problem was one of incompetence.
posted by Errant at 2:09 PM on February 13, 2011


Before you write off DA:O altogether, BOP, try playing as a mage. There's nothing as fun as unleashing an inferno/blizzard/lighting storm spell from three rooms over.
posted by Rangeboy at 5:46 PM on February 13, 2011


I hated DA:O too. Or Wolf Age:Origins as I like to call it. I hate games that scale encounter difficulty in pitifully obvious ways. I got to that wolf battle early on in Dragon Age and because I had leveled way ahead of where I was supposed to be I ended up facing off against approximately 25 wolves.

Most likely, KotOR is the best version of the BioWare game that BioWare will ever make. I would also note it's the only one based directly on a pen & paper rules system, and it's probably the best Star Wars story ever told.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:18 PM on February 13, 2011


Don't get me wrong, I love me some KOTOR, but I found the characters a lot more compelling in DA:O*. The plotline wasn't as solid, granted. Also, I preferred the moral ambiguity of DA:O to the whole the only options are lawful good or lawful evil thing you get in the Star Wars universe. Also (unless I'm really missing something wonderful with Bastila) the romantic options are a lot more interesting.

Exception: HK-47. Not that he's really compelling but he is one of the most fun party members I've ever had in any game ever. If they made a movie that was him and Zevran teaming up to become assassins together, preferably in the Forgotten Realms with Minsc as their main enemy, I would watch it every day forever.
posted by NoraReed at 8:44 PM on February 13, 2011


Preview stories for DA2 have indicated that combat and framerate have been adjusted significantly, so there's some hope.

If by "hope" you mean "despair", I agree!
posted by Justinian at 4:39 PM on February 14, 2011


Oh man this became the Dragon Age thread! Awesome!

Someone posted YouTube footage of the first ~15 minutes of the demo, if you're into that kind of thing. One, two. Dunno if it's long for this world.
posted by danb at 9:30 PM on February 16, 2011


Regarding DA2: How Saying Bad Things Can Keep You From Playing A Video Game
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on March 11, 2011


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