Attention Here! The Gamer!
One doesn’t have to be too immersed into the gamer world to view some opinions on sexuality. It’s a frequent attack over Xbox LIVE—along with race and gender. Boys like to use insults behind the anonymity of a headset and a TV screen to feel manly. It is what it is.
Back in October of 2009, The Escapist, a popular online gaming magazine, ran its usual weekly themed issue—this time titled “Queer Eye for the Gamer Guy.” The themed articles for the week focused on sexuality in gaming. One article, “Too Gay for the U.S.A,” summarizes the depiction of homosexuality in gaming. Such themes are less offensive in Japan than in America, and American publishers are either quick to edit or quick to refuse to sell the content on our side of the Pacific. The Escapist has some rather interesting reads beyond the realm of videogame reviews that delve into the psyche of gamers, and issues amongst the genre.
Link to the issue: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/features/issue/222)
Race, sexuality, and gender are equally big topics in gaming. In several reviews, game critic Yahtzee has been quick to point out how conveniently enemies in recent releases feature minorities as enemies against a white, manly, American figure. (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/27-Uncharted-Drakes-Fortune) I linked to an article above that depicts what happens to the geek culture when gender objectification reverses itself in a series of popular, if of questionable quality, books. Depictions of women have long and often been stereotyped and unfair in geek culture, but since this area is largely dominated by men and boys this goes overlooked.
It’s easy to write gaming off as something simply for men and boys, or geeks altogether. With geek culture spilling over into mainstream media, however, perhaps it’s time for a closer analysis. From The Escapist, I discovered a few other blogs that are pertinent to the issue—for anyone interested in doing a little extra poking around.