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News & Politics

Women who play video games and other mysteries

A piercing and hilarious look at media coverage of women's roles in gaming.
There's not much that can be added to Richard Cobbett's excellent, very very satirical, and very very funny piece on writing about women in the wild world of video gaming. Read on:
It's important to set the tone for your feature, and make it welcoming for any girls who happen to pick up a copy. Don't worry that the tone is inevitably aimed at guys, and full of words like 'we should' and 'female gamers are'. You can compensate by putting your words on a lurid pink background, and covering it with hearts and lipstick kisses. Puppies are optional. Pictures of attractive game groups like the Fragdolls are not. Find the photos with the tightest T-Shirts, preferably on a very cold day, and express your shock and outrage via the magic that is 'the sardonic caption'. This should not stop this being the largest image on the page, preferably re-used throughout. Similarly, rather than using words like 'gamers', make sure to say 'girl gamers', or better yet, simply 'females'. Nothing says enlightened cosmopolitanism like talking like a Ferengi.

(For you non-geeks, the Ferengi were a race from Star Trek that were notoriously nerdy wheelin'-and-dealin' misogynists.)

Note that just about every "Women and --Insert Hobby/Profession Here--" article these days could use Cobbett as a guideline... bravo. Oh, and just an aside -- women outnumber men in the gaming world. (Thanks to Cory Doctorow for the link.)
Deanna Zandt is a contributing editor at AlterNet.
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