Do game conventions alienate women?

Booth babes at E3

Game conventions, all video game nerds love them but largely they are designed by and for men. Mainly because of course, that’s their target audience but are women being forgotten about when it comes to these events?

Now I’m not saying women need special treatment because we don’t, what I’m really talking about is how women are perceived at these events. Yes, booth babes. Now don’t start moaning and groaning, hear me out.

It’s insulting to men and women.

*Giggles* “I’m going to flirt with you and show off my cleavage and legs, buy this game now please?” Is basically the tactic these stalls use to sell their game to you, which is probably utterly shite. Yes, nothing wrong with a pretty lady right? But it’s treating male gamers like they’re dribbling geeks who’ve never seen a semi-naked women (other than on the internet) before. That may be true of some teenage boys but the average gamer is in their 30’s. They’re not all sad, dribbling individuals, they’re adults, doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy a sexy lady but they’re not stupid. They won’t buy a product simply because a pair of breasts are resting on it, or at least, I like to think so.

Now women see these ladies and think: wow I don’t belong here. Not only does a lot of barely dress ladies say: This is an event for men. It also makes us ladies feel a bit inferior. There we are, in jeans and t-shirt, trying to relax and play some games but instead our male friends are pretending like we don’t exist and staring into the distance at these girls.

Sex sells apparently but does it really? Do you rush out and pre-order a game because a lady in hot pants told you to? Unlikely. I enjoy a nice-looking lady too but there’s a time and a place and at a game convention I want to meet up with friends and play some games. I don’t want to have to feel like I don’t belong there the whole time. I know lots of people would disagree but that’s my two cents.


Sex & Gender: Why do we segregate each other?

Stereotypes are boring. Boys are tough, girls are weak, used to be the old one and now it’s apparently gone too far the other way, there are too many feisty girls and too many weak boys in stories.

So how can we win? We can’t really. Stereotypes are bad, we all know that, but when we try and get rid of those stereotypes, we end up going too far the other way. One gender is always crushed by the other at all times. Why? Aren’t we both the same underneath?

Religion and ye olde times state that males and females are suited to different roles. Females are more emotional so their “role” is to be the supportive and caring part of the family. Males are more physical so their “role” is to go out and provide for the females. We all know this standard stereotype and to some extent, it is true. Our different hormones and brains are what make us different from each other, not only physically but it also affects how we act and think. How much though can this be applied to our sex?

Men are known to be naturally more aggressive but it also completely possible to have a very passive male who would never, ever get into a fight. It is also possibly to have an extremely aggressive and violent female. Yet when these things happen it’s seen as “wrong” because it’s not the way things have happened before. Remember a few years ago when the media went nuts about girl gangs? I believe our genders are down to society and not our brains or hormones. Sure, they influence us a lot but there are any possible number of personality types and they stretch across all genders, all races, all sexual orientations. We only believe it is unnatural for a girl to be violent because in the past, when men were always dominant, women were brought up to be meek and weak. Society has changed and so has our genders.

I find it damn right insulting to be told girls should be brought up on stories about boys, make-up and clothes. I also find it equally insulting for people to insinuate boys do not have emotions. Men are just as deep as women when it comes to emotion. They may not express it as much but to claim they are shallow is insulting. We need to get past this silly idea of men should do this and women should do that. Gender shouldn’t matter. Yes, we all have instincts, animal instincts that can differ from gender to gender. Just don’t get me started on people who think men want sex more than women…

Are we getting lazier or is life just harder?

“Why are we so tired!?” My house-mate said to me as he struggled to get up off the sofa. “What are we going to do when we’re in our 50’s and 60’s?”  He has a point. I currently attend university and therefore live in a house with my friends who are also students. Most of us sleep in late (some of us all day!), we come home from university or work and are knackered. So knackered we’d rather go to bed or sit in front of the TV than actually do any real work. What will happen when we have to have full time jobs? How will we cope?

I have been using the excuse of my age for my laziness for a long time now. Ever since there was a study suggesting teenagers suffer from a kind of “jet lag” meaning their body-clocks are out of sync which is why they struggle to get up early. However, now I’m 20, almost 21, and I still find myself sleeping in late. Most of my other house mates struggle a lot more. Is it because we’re young and don’t need to get up early? Is it our routines? Our late nights? It’s hard to tell. Most people would say that today’s younger generation is just too lazy. Our parents and grandparents supposedly didn’t complain when they were our age, although that’s probably a lie. They were often forced to go straight out to work when they were still a teenager, by themselves, whether they liked it or not.

On the other hand, it was much easier to get a job back then. You had a thing called “a job for life”! These don’t exist now as there is too many people and too little money around. Our economy is unstable and has been for a number of years now and it is unlikely to dramatically change any time soon. So young people today are being advised, maybe even forced, into expensive education to defer having to get a job. When we hit 18 there’s pressure to move out and move on. Most of us fund ourselves whilst at university and although the government effectively pays your rent and university fees, it’s not enough money. I had more than a thousand pounds worth of savings before I started uni and now that’s all gone. I don’t go out and party, buy expensive food or treat myself very often either.

So, not only are we persuaded into education we are then forced to get a job on top of doing a degree or A levels just to get enough money to scrape by. When we finish uni, many of us are forced to return home as we don’t have enough money to rent somewhere and getting a job takes an average of six months. Young people are constantly exhausted due to stress. Relationships stresses (a lot of relationships fall apart when people start university or move away), money stresses, work stresses and social stresses. The pressure to be successful these days is almost too much.