I hate to be PC sometimes - I really do. It makes me look like the stickler, the grouch, the person who's blowing something silly out of proportion. Really I feel none of these things, yet at times I encompass them all.
I have nothing against Jonathan or his new series - I think he's cute, quirky, and definitely deserving. But I just can't help but feel something crawl out of me when I watch this show - not the PC, but a familiar girl. One who couldn't quite fit in here or there and ended up in limbo.
And it's that feeling that I want to talk about here, not an agenda, not a manifesto, or an attack - just a feeling tied together with a thread of thoughts.
When I watched these videos for the first time, I mulled it over a bit. Why wasn't I laughing? The subject matter seems funny - a guy walking up to a (supposedly) random girl and asking questions that the industry and gamers as a collective never fail to blow out of proportion. But for some reason a pang hits inside me - something isn't happy, something doesn't feel right.
Is it the fact that the woman is probably an actor or friend, told to play stupid and flit her eyelids in fake naivety? Is it the title of the series: "Talking to Women about Videogames"? Or is it that there are plenty of women out there who understand video games, that have had to go through this stereotype countless times, only to end up at square one?
I really can't answer that. Like I said, all I have is a feeling - and without being able to describe it, I don't think it's fair for me to point fingers. I don't want to besmirch anything Jonathan's worked hard to create. In fact, I'd love for this series to flourish.
Now here's where the thoughts come in. I'm trying to think of things that maybe would make more sense, that would make me (or perhaps other women) feel less of this pang. Maybe if Jonathan interviewed actual strangers on the street, maybe if he chose candidates that were unlikely to be gamers from a glance (old people, cats, and yes - even pretty women), maybe if it were more authentic instead of fabricating a stereotype it would make sense in my gut.
I'm not going to lie - Stereotypes are funny sometimes. To see it occur naturally can be even funnier. And who knows, maybe Jonathan can find an old lady that schools him on 360 add-ons or a cat that truly enjoys sleeping on a PS3 controller. Or maybe a real girl, one who's completely unaware of a handheld after the Game Boy.