Wednesday, September 15

Seth Green can't rap. There, I said it.

After my recent obsession with Alma Wade, I feel there should be at least one or two subliminal horror elements spliced into my documentary. I think it'd be fun. I don't really like being scared, but the stories behind F.E.A.R, Dead Space, Fatal Frame and Silent Hill have always been so compelling that I am actually brave. Even if the danger isn't real, I feel the fear and likewise, I feel proud for facing it.

Last night Mitch and I went to the Vancouver Best Buy Halo Reach midnight launch to get footage for my doco, Mitch ended up with the Legendary Edition of the game. I must admit it's a damn awesome set. The diorama of all five members of the unit is good enough to feature on any artists desk and the diary filled with cryptic notes and cards looks like a sleuths wet dream (I may just have to get my hands on it). To my credit I have sat here all day specifically -not- playing it, waiting for Mitch to get home so we can play Halo the way god intended: CO-OP.

Now onto more dour business, this (just hit pause when you've had enough):

EMBED-Geek and Gamer Girls Song - Watch more free videos
With detailed coverage here.

Be a part of our world (Be a part of our world…)
In latex and bows
Cuz’ these girls play ‘cos
Set our phasers to stun (Set our phasers to stun…)
You’ll be falling in love
Ooooooh oh ooooooh

If only I'd pointed the camera at my own grim face when watching this for the first time. Sure there's Stan Lee, Seth Green, David Duchovny... a few others (almost all male) and they're saying the names of a bunch of things I like but if they're making a case for 'gamer girls' then why the fuck are they naked? And screeching like harpies? I get it, you're vapid attention seeking actresses. But why do actresses thing they can sing? Bah. It's like if I, an artist, decided to star in a film about gaming! Oh wait shit.

Apparently this is a celebration of all things geek. Well, it certainly is a poorly sung list of all things geek I'll give them that. It seems like an attempt to secure a pedestal of worship as a 'Geek Goddess'. Why can't girls who play games just be gamers? Why must they be worshiped? But it's not really the girls who are to blame for this, just look at Felicia Day. But I would point out that unlike many female gaming celebrities, she has actual talent. And if you're thinking I'm being too critical here, may I present exhibit 'B':

Team Unicorn's first film, which actually won an award. I guess it was for 'best wank-fantasy'.

Fun and name-calling aside I really don't see this as a) representing female gamers, b) promoting a positive image for ANY gamers, c) encouraging the acceptance of female gamers in our culture. I see talentless self-promotion at the expense of people I care for. Like many girls before them, Team Unicorn (because they don't really exist?) are using sex appeal to climb into the media spotlight to the detriment of the female image and acceptance in our culture. In that respect Geek/Gamer Culture is not unlike Vampires or 3D tv; someone wants fame and fortune so they decide to slap some Glasses and a Nintendo controller on a nude model and ride the resultant fetish to the bank. Jonathan Coulton is another case, which most people will disagree with me on. I don't find his music to be enjoyable beyond the novelty of it's cultural references. Like Stephen Lynch, I will listen to his songs and laugh at the references and then never listen to them again. In Warren Spector's keynote he mentioned Wil Wheaton's 2007 address and the way he engaged in 'tribe building' and 'flag waving'. This really made me think carefully about people who just yell out a bunch of cultural references and what they really offer us. Games Journalism is another big issue in that regard, what do we really get out of sites like IGN and Wired?

I have always liked to think that Geeks practice a sort of anti-culture, where the social norms are inverted. Appearance is low, respect is precious and character is king. But perhaps we are just the same, or as we are integrated into the societal mass we lose the things that we once cherished in exchange for acceptance and longevity? While being pecked at by buzzards that make money by tapping into cultural capital?

You'll notice I've started referring to gamer culture as 'our' culture and that's because I really did find it at PAX and I very much feel a part of it. As members of a young, growing society I feel we do have a responsibility to shape it's future. And anyone who capitalises or subverts that culture for personal gain (Gamestop, IGN, Girl-Gamers [as opposed to gamer-girls, see old posts], EA) I intend to confront in my documentary.

I saw this the other day and I was like yay, another 'date my Avatar' which was totally awesome and not lame and slutty at all, but no alas, it was a pile of shit bad ripoff of that. Like not a single one of those girls inspired me to want to be part of the 'female gaming' community at all. Just because we are girls and we game doesn't give us license to strut around like total sluts and think that we're the most exciting fucking thing in the world to nerdy guys. In fact I find it kind of insulting to male gamers, they act as though they've never even seen a girl its ridiculous.

Thank you KG :)

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