When talking about sexism in the games industry, emotions can run so high that speaking your mind while still respecting the perspective of your peers can be an exhausting balance. Sometimes you just want to start eating fistfuls of your own hair. But I believe when life gets you down, you gotta laugh to keep from crying. Or smashing a bunch of beer bottles and make fart noises with your hands, however you unwind.
In that spirit, I've written some handy absurd tips from my experience at various conventions in the past three years, meant to help you take on the various challenges presented by being female in the male dominated games industry. I hope they serve you as well as they've served me.
Tip #1: It sucks getting hit on when you're just trying to do your job. No one should have to put up with unwanted sexual attention in a professional atmosphere. But if it does happen, you really only have yourself to blame. You should know by now that avoiding the male gaze is as easy as wearing the right thing.
And by that I mean accessorize! Start with some flair. Get a big button that says, "Ask me about my spastic colon!" and pin it to your lapel. Not only does it work like, nine times out of ten, but it's also a great conversation piece.
Tip #2: While playing a demo on a convention show floor, you may encounter an employee who doubts your knowledge or abilities as a female gamer. They may even offer to play it for you to spare your delicate, bird-like lady hands.
To counter this, issue a low guttural growl as their hands wander towards the controller. If that doesn't work, follow up with, "I don't know if you want to do that. I've had diarrhea all morning." You'll not only get the controller back, you'll get to play the game for the rest of the day!
Tip #3: Sometimes the constant crowds, packed schedule, and out of whack M-to-F ratio can get overwhelming. It's integral that you find ways of unwinding so as to manage your daily stress levels, be it daily yoga, flipping off cops, or having a cocktail or three at the nearest open bar.
Personally, I suggest kleptomania. There's an abundance of small items that no one will miss on a convention show floor, from ballpoint pens to game servers. Indulge in the thrill of petty theft and feel the tension just melt away.
Tip #4: If for some reason you very stupidly did not follow #1, you may get asked out by one of the many men you encounter on the show floor. Naturally, this is a delicate situation and requires grace and tact to socially navigate without making a faux pas.
If you find yourself in that position and do not know how to politely decline, repeat the following phrase: "I fart during sex." It works much better than just saying no. Note: like #1, this could easily backfire. But, there's a contingency plan. If the person in question then says, "I'm into that," that's your cue to holler "GROSS, I'M NOT A SEX FARTER LIKE YOU!"
Tip #5: Many of the companies on the show floor will rightly assume their product is too lame to be promoted on its merits alone. To compensate, they hire "brand ambassadors." These ladies are nice to look at but tend to lack comprehensive knowledge of the product, rendering them little more than an attractive display. If confronted with this disgusting manifestation of status quo, do not get angry and do not panic. Simply flag down her nearest male superior. Ask him to strip down to his underwear, and "shake that ass like a paint mixer." If at all possible, make it rain. $1 bills can be obtained from a number of on-floor vendors should you run out.
Tip #6: This is the one time in your life that you will be surrounded by thousands upon thousands of people and not have to wait for the bathroom. Take advantage of it. Instead of fighting for space in a crowded writer's room that smells like wang, set up station in one of the many empty stalls in the ladies' room and work from there. You'll get a lot done when there's no time lost on bathroom breaks. Hell, take a nap! I saw a janitor doing that once at PAX Prime.
Tip #7: And finally, your most powerful weapon of all. If there's anything E3 has taught us, it's that man has two weaknesses: boobs. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, is as distracting as big bulging set of breasts.
Which is why you should always carry an extra set in your purse. When overcome by a throng of horny journalists, deploy them into the crowd and watch the horde descend like a pack of zombies on a fallen police horse. They won't even notice as you and your real boobs make a quick and daring escape.
Jokes aside, I love that there are ladies who keep fighting the good fight no matter how exhausting it gets. Undoubtedly they're much tougher than me. I'm sure once I've had time to unwind I'll resume discussing the issue in all seriousness. I just gotta free up my hands from these fart noises first.
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