Sunday, June 24, 2007

I am part of the community. Are you?

I am a woman. I embrace the fact I am a woman. I enjoy going to the spa and getting facials and massages. I do my nails and I complain about my skin if I get a blemish. I take care of myself and, take dance classes to keep fit. Watching sappy movies can make me cry. Chocolate is always a good thing to have. I am a sap for Disney movies and I still dream of "Prince Charming".

I have a life. I have a great job that I love. I go out and enjoy myself. I like to hang out at Starbucks and talk for a few hours with friends. I go to art galleries and museum for fun. I'll sit at home with junk food and veg out watching movies. I like cartoons I watched when I was a kid like Rainbow Brite and Jem and the Holograms. I am obsessed with Mermaids.

I like video games. I have been a long-time Nintendo fan and, I own a Wii. I have a Playstation 2 and I love Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X. I have an Xbox and, my favorite game ever on the Xbox is Fable. World of Warcraft is my "drug of choice". I have been playing online games since 1998. Command and Conquer: Red Alert is still my favorite RTS. Starcraft comes in a close second.

I was an avid player of Magic: The Gathering, I had a white and blue deck and I got really good at the game. I always lost against my ex-boyfriend's black deck and his best friend's "deck of doom". I LARP'ed for a long while. I ran a Sabbat LARP in South Florida and played a Camarilla LARP on the UM campus. My favorite game type is RPG's. I've played text based MUDs, tabletop, MMORPGs, and LARP.

My passion does not lie with gaming. It lies in music. I've been a singer since I was young and, my first public performance was when I was 6 years old at a church Christmas program. I have been the lead singer of a local rock band, involved with the music industry since I was 17 and, a huge supporter of indie artists. I have done acting for indie films and, I have had a hobby of voice acting for a few years.

What does this make me? A "gamer girl"? A "geek"? A "nerd"? A "dork"? I've been called all of the above and, I disagree with each one. I am who I am. When did I ever need a label to define me? I am who God created me to be. Period.

I've read many blog posts, news reviews, and articles about women who game. I've heard podcasts and "netcasts" talking about women in gaming. All of them take opposite sides.

On one hand, there is the push of "we are women and gamers! Look at us rawr! We are sexy!" They take pictures of themselves with Nintendo controllers covering their private parts and, men drool. Or, they look like a porn star and take shots of themselves in pigtails wearing a Star Trek uniform.

On the other hand, there is the side of "Those girls suck! They are bringing us down! We hate other girls! We're cool and foul-mouthed and will write angry things in our blogs to show how angry and guy-like we are!" Even there, they fail. They still pull in the label and stereotype that they preach against. However, they have now created another stereotype. The "hardcore girl gamer who can hang with the boys".

And, where exactly do I fall in that category? I do not. When did we become so segregated? When did the gaming community become a separation of sexes and, now division within the gender itself? And, when did people care so much?

We are a community. We have come together using this amazing thing called the internet. All of us have become a large community of gamers, geeks, nerds, and dorks. And, none of us completely fit into that category. You may want to say "Menuet, you host an internet radio show about gaming, of course you would say this." That doesn't take away the fact I still see us as nothing but a community.

The stereotypes and labels given to the "girls" and, the stereotypes and labels given to the "guys" are all being broken. Within WoW Radio itself, I have seen every walk of life and type of person come through. Within our community, I see people from all different countries. They are all different ages, have different jobs and family lives. They all have different hobbies. I see the same in other communities I am involved in. However, one thing brings us together. One thing makes us a community. Gaming, tech, and straight up "geeking".

We are all different. We are all the same. We are not separated by anything but the stereotypes that exist in our own mind. We are not just women. We are not just men. We are a community.


Robert said...

Very well written peice. Although I agree with much of what you were saying, what was most notable was how well you're words flow together. Somthing I wish more blog posters could comprehend.


Menuet said...

Thank you very much for the compliment. I took some flak for this article over on but, for the most part I've gotten some great feedback and very constructive criticism. Thanks! :)

Walterion said...

Heya Menuet, Nice Rant there. I read it from top to bottom and I agree with it. On another note, you forgot of the girls that post picture of theirselves with the Controlers covering their things and when you meet them they want you to leave. So they give you a Bad Image, if girls post pics of themselves looking like a (Censored) and they aren't like that...well..there is a good place to send them :P.

Anyway We need moar interviews on the Tubez

Un beso y un abraso


Jun said...

Hey, nice write up. I don't remember how I found this blog - link, link, link - you know how it goes, but it sounds like you're putting a good voice out there for us women gamers and that rocks. Continue, please.