Last night I went to watch my sister-in-law perform at our local open mic night. She killed, but that isn’t the point of this post.
The fourth person to perform was a girl who looks kind of like Claudia from Warehouse 13. She gets up and tells everyone that she is a true nerd and “enjoys playing role playing board games.”
I start working up some righteous nerd rage. No gamer in their right mind would say that! There are RPGs, there are German-style board games, there are MMORPGs, but not “role playing board games”.
So I start going off on App.net about this person cooping my identity for lazy humor and pretending to be a member of a culture that she doesn’t understand. I was slightly tipsy so I hope I made semi-coherent arguments.
I wake up this morning and I realize that I really missed the punchline on this (no pun intended). While I was eviscerating this person on ADN, the rest of her bit was complaining about how the boys she was playing these games with wouldn’t look at her boobs. She complained about how she really likes sex and how no one would just push the game off the table and take her then and there.
I play board games. The idea of someone, for any reason, sweeping my $100 copy of Agricola onto the floor for any reason horrifies me. I highly doubt any real gamers of any gender in the audience would approve of this occurring.
This truly disturbs me. We have a bad enough time where almost every single female character in a video game acts as a prize for the protagonist with no wants or agency of their own. We don’t need someone who has never actually participated in our community to validate to the people in it that women are empty headed mannequins who want nothing more than to be taken violently by victorious nerds as their prize for being awesome.
When I play games or go to a conference I want to be treated with respect. I don’t consider it a mark of respect to have men checking out my boobs. I don’t want the men that I play games with to see me as their prize for completing the game. I just want to be a person who also happens to enjoy the same things as a lot of other people who happen to be men.
I also think it is lazy humor to make fun of a common stereotype. Hey look, there are boys playing games! They must be nerds who are terrified of talking to women! There are so many jokes to be done about that! No. There might be, but someone with enough of a brain to not get on stage and complain about lack of harassment will be the one to make them, not you.