Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Women in WoW

Cross posted from : Gathering Gamers

Well, I had a lack of questions headed my way again this time (though I did get one, so we'll answer that first before I chew into my topic for today).

acurrier of Gathering Gamers asks:

While I haven't noticed it on my server, do you find that the morons tend to congregate around one or two classes, or are they more or less evenly spread?

Thanks for the question! What I've noticed is that depending on what class I'm playing, I notice the "morons" more acutely from different perspectives.

For instance; as a Tank, I'm more likely to notice a bad DPSer or Healer. Mostly because I'm watching threat on others as well as myself. If someone is pulling aggro, it's what I'll notice first.

As a DPSer, I'm more likely to notice a bad tank or fellow DPSer, since I won't be watching the healer all that much myself and focusing on my own DPS and threat.

As a Healer, I'm more likely to notice a bad tank or a bad DPSer rather than a fellow healer, because I'm more concerned about doing my job and doing it well.

...Now that I look at my answer, it's the same each time. You'll find a moron DPS more often than any other role; but that's largely in fact due to the sheer amount of DPS classes/specs vastly outnumbers the healers/tanks. So I guess my answer would be that DPS is most likely to have morons, simply because there's a large population of them.

For the sarcastic answer: lockz r OP b/c thay take no skillz 2 play n thay shuld feel bad, lollerz.
(I do honestly find a lot of dumb warlocks than anything else, but that may just be my server.)

I hate typing like that.

Moving on, I haven't gotten to work on any of my more thought out guides (and will likely get that done over my real Christmas Vacation where I don't have work to worry about), so today is another slew of generalizations and gender studies. Again, here's my disclaimer; I'm no expert, I'm not a women's studies major. This is all from my own experience, and thus the following are my observations.

So here we go.

Over the years I have been a gamer, I have always broken down the other few women gamers I've found into four categories (that more often than not criss-cross and overlap) mentally, some of which irritate me, and some of which I don't mind at all. I find that these carry over exceptionally well in World of Warcraft, so here's my experience with it.

The Stereotypes:

- "The Mom." This is your maternal instinct-loaded female gamer. Whether she is actually a mother or not, she will still act as one, desiring to nurture the others in the group, or obtain a position of power in order to have the ability to nurture. More often than not, they will be focusing on being a healer of some sort, and likely to either be a Guild Officer, Guild Leader, or Raid Leader. Generally, they'll also be the middle-man in any fight, acting as the neutralizer. After all, no one wants to make "Mom" mad.

-"The Girlfriend/Wife." This is your "I'm playing because my significant other told me to" type. They may or may not actually enjoy the game, and the primary reason they are there is because either their loving male companion wanted to include her in his hobby, or they got so curious about what was keeping him up during the long hours of the night they decided to try it out themselves. There is nothing wrong with this; it doesn't matter how you start a game so long as you continue to enjoy it. The problem is when they cross over into another realm (see below).

-The "Real" Female Gamer. These are the ones you meet at conventions that are hard-core into the games, love the games because they're games, and got into it because they thought it looked like fun. They have no motivation other than it's their hobby. So they're doing whatever makes THEM happy, and it really has no impact on anyone else. A bit selfish perhaps, but at least they're having fun.

-The "Fake" Female Gamer. Here's where I get irritated. These are the ones whom I've met more often than not that play games because they like men, and men like games. They have little to no concern for the hobby itself; it's just an easy way to make yourself look like a "holy grail" to the male gamer community. These are the ones who make me sad; yes, it's nice and all to meet a guy who shares your interests. The important part is that he's actually sharing YOUR interest, and you're not "sharing" HIS interest just because you're interested in HIM. There's no point in doing something that's supposed to be fun if you don't actually enjoy it.

Now, as I said, these are all nice generalizations. I have met some of each that only fall into one category, and I've met some of each that fall into 2-3 of the categories. I count myself as a "Real Mom" gamer, even though I'm not a mother in reality. I enjoy nurturing others and being in a position of relative leadership, although I often do it in unconventional ways because it's how I get the most enjoyment out of the game. I have met more "Fake GF" gamers than I'd like to admit (especially when I spent a few years working in a hobby shop), and it makes me sad that people take advantage of my hobby for something as petty as socialization (which, if you think about it, is kind of ass-backwards to begin with when you realize it's gaming and most of us are socially retarded anyway =P ).

What's the reality? Well, when it comes down to it, it's ultimately unfair for anyone to generalize female gamers as much as it is to generalize male gamers. We're people; that's what it is. No matter our motivation to play, we have a reason to pay the $15 a month like everyone else, and one way or another, whether it's related to the actual game itself, we are enjoying ourselves doing it. Maybe it's even better that some who aren't in it for the game do so; after all it's making someone else happy. And if my ethics class supposedly taught me anything (*gigglesnickersnort*) it's that sometimes the overall good in a measured instance can outweigh the overall bad. Sometimes you have to "suffer" for someone else to be happy.

I'm not saying that you always should, or that those who "use" the game for their own needs are right. I'm just saying that they do and I'm not going to try to give them crap for it. Partially because it's futile, but also partially because I'd be hurting my own case. I'm here to play the game and enjoy it.

Why have others ruin that for me?

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