I want to direct your attention to Anita Sarkeesian. She is a blogger.
You can finder her blog here, http://www.feministfrequency.com/
She writes about a lot of things, but what got my attention is she wants to talk about games, video game specifically, but a lot can apply to Table Top games.
Well Anita had this idea. The idea was she wanted to talk about depictions of women in video games versus various tropes. Mind you there was initial indication on what she was going to say. She wanted to talk about it. She set up a Kickstarter to be used to buy video games to play and to do the videos. Perfectly reasonable if you ask me.
That is until the bottom feeders on 4Chan found out about it.
Now complaining about 4Chan is like complaining that shit smells bad. Yes, it does, but it's shit.
Well read what happened after that.
So after the most despicable display of human behavior where Ms. Sarkeesian was called ugly, a man hater, threatened with violence, rape and death. Her project is now 20x over her goal of $6,000.00 ($126,550 as of this writing).
I pledged, and I hope you do as well.
But I am not here to get you do that. She is doing fine thanks to press coverage.
I am here to talk about what happened here.
The issue was she was going to talk about it. The mere idea of this sent the lowest form of internet mouth breather into a fit of rage. The fact that many of them were gamers or at least self-identified themselves as gamers is bad for all of us. And frankly if you can't see why then it only illustrates how pervasive this problem is.
The problem is of course not just one of rampant sexism in games, both Video and Table Top, but how we treat and welcome (or fail to) the female gamer.
I don't pretend for a moment that we, the larger community of self-identified gamers, can fix all the issues we have here. And I would also like to think that the reader of this Blog looks at this a problem.
But what can we do? Well the best I think we can strive for is make gaming a more enlightened place. Yes, were are here to have fun, but I also think back to all the things I have learned over my years as a gamer.
I feel we can use this as a learning tool as something more than just pushing dice and papers around. There is a solid social aspect here that Video Games can't touch and we, because of that, can and should be better.
Right now my game group consists of all guys. Boys, actually since they are my sons. But I'll soon be adding one of my son's friends to the mix. But what I can do with them, and I feel I have some success, is point out that Role-Playing is some EVERYONE can do. Girls like Harry Potter too (remember who my audience is) and if Hermonie can kick ass, so can they.
I think this needs to be the frontier RPGS need to move too. Get us out of the basements and into the family rooms! Get different people involved. IF the larger video game community is unwilling to welcome more gamer girls (and women) I say we do. Make the games that people want to play with their families.
I am not talking watering down the games (At all!). S&W, LL, BF, OSRIC and S&S are all perfect as they are right now, plus 100s of others, but make the space more inviting.
Table Top Gamers lament that we are loosing ground to video games. The sales numbers certainly attest to this. There is a place though where we can always do better than the video games, IF we choose to do and choose to make it better.