I have strong opinions about the grrl gaming phenomenon, very
strong opinions. While I've discussed such sentiments privately amongst trusted comrades and cohorts in the gaming industry, I frustratingly tend to bite my tongue when it comes to expressing myself within the larger Destructoid community. The reasons are the general dissonance in discussing the matter as though it's a STFJPG instance (which it's certainly and most definitely not
given what the industry is veering towards in this day and age), and the mere fact that I tend to get angry and frustrated rather than articulate when I attempt to describe what I think.
After listening to the good Reverend's rant and reading Virtualgirl's response I felt the need to just skim the surface on my personal thoughts in regards to the grrl gamers out there. I'm going to try to keep it simple and short so as to potentially develop my argument later, so here goes nothing:
Media scholar and philosopher Marshall McLuhan coined the quintessential expression "the medium is the message". Taking this into consideration with grrl gamers, the particular ailment of these female gaming communities is the dependency on the image as their first and foremost means of communicating their apparent plight for 'respect'. As Rev. explained, when these girls slather prolific amounts of photos of themselves the message
they are projecting is very particularly and exclusively oriented towards distinguishing themselves as 'female' or 'not male', thereby immediately debasing whatever idea of equality they were supposedly demanding.
Why is this message so inherently black and white? Because these photos are circulated within and are part of the mass media in which personal intentions, general goodwill, and individual personalities behind the image are altogether ignored, erased, and replaced with the surface level meaning. Period.
I want to reiterate that the key phrase of this statement is 'mass media'. Personal stories such as VirtualGirl's reveal to us that there is a large level of devotion and meaning within such cultural acts as dressing up as Lara Croft at a convention which I can respect to a certain degree on an individual basis. Her passion and confidence for something that she loves are to be envied. But the mass media cares only what the masses want, and within this largely masculine gaming demographic the masses want to consume stereotypical, sexualized fantasy women, so thats what they will see.
My advice? If you want to discuss how you want to be treated equally as a gamer because you think that you are somehow alienated by your sex then write
about it instead of posting photos of yourself. What you look like has absolutely nothing to do with how passionate you are about gaming or games.
Time for bed.