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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 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...

DAILY MANIFESTO

Do You Experience Male Gamer Privilege?

Posted on Wednesday, April 23 @ 13:35:36 Eastern by


I've been playing games my whole life and it only recently has gender really mattered to the industry's creators and business people. Sure, people seem to have glossed over Call of Duty's inclusion of female gamers because it didn't really change the game's attitude, but did it reach a wider demographic?

In business, there's really only one reason to develop a product: to sell it. As a major AAA publisher you have the choice to either develop your game with as many people and demographics in mind or to narrow it down to the bald space marines of the world.

Why would anyone ignore the multiracial, gender-neutral diversity inherent in video games to curry more favor with casual white consumers, when you could make a killing in the marketplace. Hell, those minority consumers you look down on might even evangelize your product and bring it into better standing and visibility throughout the culture.

Bottom line, male gamers see daily effects of male gamer privilege, which Polygon writer Jonathan McIntosh describes as "the set of unearned advantages men automatically receive, and which women do not given the same social circumstances".

He's identified 25 different effects of male gamer privilege. Below you'll find a sampling, but click the link beyond that for the full list. Then, ask yourself if there's something else we could be doing as consumers to push gaming forward. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

I am never told that video games or the surrounding culture is not intended for me because I am male.

I can publicly post my username, gamertag or contact information online without having to fear being stalked or sexually harassed because of my gender.

If I enthusiastically express my fondness for video games no one will automatically assume I'm faking my interest just to "get attention" from other gamers.

My gaming ability, attitude, feelings or capability will never be called into question based on unrelated natural biological functions.

[Polygon]
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