Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
So the other day I read this article by Jonathan McIntosh over at Polygon about Male Gamer Privilegeand Daniel's reaction. Apparently, when he's not busy producing the web series "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" (which I love), he likes to share his thoughts about gaming culture with a lot of people kinda like I do. We are practically twins.
Jonathan spoke about his own observations of how male gamers are treated versus how female gamers are treated and about the backlash Feminist Frequency has received from male gamers after the release of Tropes vs. Women in Games. I thought it was a bold move for a man to approach the subject.
But he really opened my eyes to an even greater issue. If male gamer privilege exists, then what does that say about female gamer privilege? There has to be some benefits to being a female gamer in this world, right?
After hours of pensive rumination on the subject, it became clear to me that the situation to find the truth was dire. I sat down and brainstormed with Nick Tan (the Mulder to my Scully) and came up with a list of some of the privileges bestowed upon the women of the gaming community:
1. I don't have to listen to you unless we're talking about a game I actually care about.
2. I can get away with showing my ass and boobs at a con as long as I cosplay as anyone but Aeon Flux.
3. I can publicly post my username, gamertag, or contact information in my online gaming profile and I get all the attention.
4. I can play Cooking Mama without being told I'm a pussy.
5. I will always be asked or expected to speak for all other female gamers because I don't have a penis.
6. Whenever I speak in a first-person shooter game, I always sound fiiinnnneeee.
7. If I ever suck at a video game, it's okay because I have boobs and you want boobs. You can have this match.
8. I don't rattle people's gender expectations if I play as a healer.
9. My boyfriend will always let me win at least one round in Street Fighter.
10. When I cosplay at a game convention, people always test my video game knowledge. I love being quizzed!
11. When I beat a group of Call of Duty players, I get a ton of messages because guys love it when you can show them you're better than they are at something they love.
12. When purchasing major video games, people expect that I'm buying it for my son or husband, giving me the chance to hone my ninja skills.