mostly [NVGR] In the beginning there were girl gamers.
// Submitted @ 8:00 PM on 11.20.2012
So while Iíve already done a response to the fake nerd girl jimquisition I think a rather large bit of back information is needed to fill in the context of why this has come up now and to understand the approaches of people to the issue as this isn't a simple step in thing and while I did my insanely long piece the other day I felt an attempt at one going for neither side was required to try to have as unbiased a look as possible at the background and build up to the issue.
Girls have always been there in gaming, sure in the early days and even now the numbers are skewed in favour of the male demographic, present stats indicate the split is 42, 58 in favour of men, though arguably still better than the early days.
Iíve been gaming for a along while and probably gaming online for over 10 years which is kind of surprising thinking about it and yet I can tell you there were real girl gamers even back then, heck the 2nd in charge of the Tribes 2 clan I was in was a girl gamer so I donít doubt that there has always been girl gamers.
So why the heck is the fake girl gamer thing an issue and why has it broke now ?
Well firstly being a nerd is cool now.
The Big Bang theory
Big rock Bands
Lord of the Rings
Star trek the latest film
World of warcraft
Computers and science for bringing the magical devices like mobile phones and Ipads
The angry video Game Nerd
Itís all suddenly become cool and help to lift not people associated with them but the culture around them squinting weirdly into the sunlight.
People who have been shunned and now the cool ones and some people feel itís now right for those who were in the culture from the beginning to suggest the concept of the Hipster coming to the culture bandwagon because itís the next cool thing in the worlds of Mitch Benn (and if false DMCA claims hadnít stopped it in song form) ďyouíre just not cool enough to be a real nerdĒ.
Now these kind of Hipsters (as hipster is pretty much the word for people jumping onto anything cool and claiming thatís been them all along) are what people donít like, why else is the concept of the Hipster perpetually mocked in the media. They are the guys and girls who when talking about doctor who will say ďYeh Iíve been a fan for years and I love it when the Derlocks are in itĒ. No that is not me spelling it wrong if youíve ever heard the hybrid stand up / social commentary that is ďMoths Ate my Doctor Who scarfĒ youíll have heard of that before. The nerds as such have landed in society. The initial question is the true nerd idea of knowledge for all is running head on to the existing bits of society in the form of the old guard companies who donít get the internet and want to make it their own as such. This is the reason many donít want nerd culture open and I can see the concern. The other side is those that get that people watching these and viewing figures can get the old guard interested in the media and improve it for the better with funding and support meaning it gets to compete on equal footing with old media, which those against opening up will say will lead to pandering and not an improvement or even balance. The point is nerdom is open and in society and well society wants in and thereís not much that can be done to stop it.
So why now is the fake gamer girl issue coming up ?
Recently weíve had;
The establishing of girl only gaming clans and groups such as the frag dolls
Fat Princess being called sexist because itís a woman you fatten up in it
The reply girl wars
Game with girls
Fuck a gamer
The booth babe issue
A now ex dtoid staff member say Felicia day contributed nothing to geek culture
Anita Sarkeesian using video gaming as a sort of feminist stand point to look in and point out how all games show women as objects.
The Tekken incident where an idiot took trash talk past the line
The Lara croft rape controversy
Hitman Punching Nuns
Borderlands 2 girlfriend mode
Damn if this isnít a lot of stuff relating to gender in nerd culture right there. The issue of fake gamer girls even came up on ďThe Game StationĒ podcast and the idea of sex selling.
The video for that podcast, beware, adverts are there
Its in there somewhere honest
Now with many of the reply girls out of work due to youtube guideline changes on them many simply moved to gaming. This has led many to question if they have any real interest as the reply girl concept was, poorly made video, very vaguely about the topic and make sure maximum cleavage is visible. Now nerds for better or worse often question hot people essentially trying to appeal to them and hence the idea of the fake game girl was born with them getting into gaming to give the nerds an excuse to watch. What do I mean by this ?
Well any nerd caught watching a video of an attractive girl will no doubt get called a pervert etc etc by the jock types. Well the video is now about something nerdy so essentially thereís seemingly a reason the ďnerd subspeciesĒ would want to look at the attractive women like a jock would, I mean after all the nerd isnít human. Obviously most of that past paragraph was designed as satire as to how a stereotype jock thinking.
Now with the idea of the nerd being easy to manipulate with essentially nerd being responsible for the making of the Atomic bomb with Robert Oppenheimer pointing out "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." The idea of the nerd being the one who can bring success is dawning and itís the dot com millionaire boom all over again. You see with sports thereís only so many players and team. With films thereís only so much room for the super stars, with nerdom due to it being able to be fan driven now (and expect this to expand more in the future) any-one with an idea and the know how can make it. What Know how is that ? Nerdy Know how, coding, video editing reviewing creating things, playing games. The concern is people with the fake gamer girl culture that itís the new form of gold digging.
So is it right to defend Gold diggers ?
The resultant backlash from nerds going slightly too far has been akin to the Spanish inquisition. With people being almost interrogated as to what theyíve played and to see how deeply they really know their stuff. Which is being moronic because its scaring people off from gaming doing this. This is going beyond simple human inquisitive nature as when someone says theyíre a gamer chances are questions you will ask are what games they play and if the games are any good or about the games a bit, especially if you donít know that much about the game yourself.
So hereís where the clock begins to roll back and bit and the initial idea of the nerd came into being. Hollywood did it.
Ok itís rare I can say this but it did the Hollywood film industry did it but it happened. The US idea and I canít explain where this came from was that the Scientist was not the hero, blame god bothers rebellion or the hatred of the UK class system where hundreds of year ago the wealthy got educated while the poor didnít. Whatever happened Hollywood took the attitude that science was the bumbling idiot and someone else would save them.
See War of the Worlds the 1953 version if you donít believe the idea of something else saving us.
Now in the UK in contrast the scientist / nerd has long been the hero. The earliest example and public domain one you can watch being Quatermass a series where the scientist was the hero essentially. Now when Hollywood began their showing of the sports star jock as the hero it began a kind of rivalry look for example at Doctor who. A pacifist who rarely harms people unless forced into it and prefers to think the situation through, and Unit previously the hot headed military team who shot first and normally ended up making things worse.
Now contrast that with Flash Gordon the film, a mad scientist kidnapping people, killing his assistant by accident and who saves the day ? Why its non other than fictional sports star Flash Gordon.
lets play spot the scientist in this cover for the Flash Gordon comic
I could go on but essentially Hollywood and many big media companies have been said to be running dry and out of idea so more and more geek culture and stores began to enter it and suddenly the geek became a hero again.
Tony Stark Ė Inventor
Scott Pilgrim Ė all about video games
Brue Banner Ė Scientist
Peter Parker Ė Photographer and science student
Hollywood had people rooting for the nerd and not even noticing, sure thereís still plenty of the Jock saves the world stuff but itís not dominating now. With the obvious butting of heads seen between them sometime with the likes of Mal in firefly and Dr Simon Tam. See I was determined to get a firefly reference in there.
Now before someone says James Bond thatís made in the UK. Ask yourself in all but the recent 3 films who has been the star ? Is it the character of James Bond or does he share some of that lime light with the Q branch gadgets ?
So how does this related to fake geek girls
At some point a clash was inevitable between the nerd culture and the essentially jock culture and with the recent gender centric incidents and question the clash took on the form of a gender centric conflict. If it really is a gender centric conflict is kind of to be determined but in a still male centric culture it wasnít a million miles away to guess that it would take this form.