Archive for August 19th, 2008

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Gender-specific Blogging

August 19, 2008

The topic for this post was sparked by my realization during the “Subscribe-a-thon” that there are a lot of World of Warcraft blogs that are written with a title based on the fact that the author is a) a gamer, as well as b) a female.  Many of these are great blogs written by wonderful bloggers, even some of my favourites.

The thing is – I don’t see what the big deal is about being a female geek.  I (obviously) do not have a problem with female gamers OR female bloggers.  But I don’t understand why some women seem to think this is such important distinction for their blog.

Okay, so there are less females than males that play World of Warcraft.  This is a fact.  But does this really affect how or why you play the game?  When I am playing, I don’t make decisions like, “I’m going to spec BM because I’m a girl.”  Or “I’d rather quest in Terrokar than Blade’s Edge because I have woman parts.”  The fact that I am a female does not affect my in-game life on a day-to-day basis.  Sure, I’ll have the occasional person who thinks I’m a guy playing a girl (not very often, Trolls are much less likely to be cross-players than Elves)  or that I’m a guy playing a guy (in the case of Ferguson, which is a reasonable assumption to make.)  The thing is, I don’t take offense from it.  There is no way for someone to know if I’m a lady or a guy until I either tell them or they hear me talk.  I’ll correct them if necessary, and then move on.

Can you really base an entire blog on this?

I am of the opinion that your blog title should either be terribly clever or be informative about the subject matter (preferably both… see Secret Agent Cat).  I also believe it’s important to have something special, some quiddity, that makes your blog different from others.  Which I guess is where the girl blog thing comes from.  However, the “I’m a girl who plays WoW” blogs I’ve seen are rarely actually about the fact that they are a girl.  They are no different from blogs written by guys. In fact, I could title my blog about the fact that I’m a Troll (since Trolls are a minority in WoW) but it would be deceiving, because I don’t really blog about the fact that I’m a Troll.

Maybe a blog that actually discusses the topic of being a female in the gaming world on a regular basis could justify the title, although I can’t really see there being enough to discuss to keep an entire blog afloat.

Maybe I’m just used to being a minority.  I work in a very male-dominated field.  At my current job, I’m the only girl on my team (of about 15) and there are only 6 females in our company (about 60 people total).  Again, it doesn’t affect me.  I don’t care who is a male or who is a female, if they can do their job right – that’s great.

I also don’t think women are as much of a minority as some may think.  In my guild, our 25-man raids are always at least 1/3 female, and 3/4 of our guild leaders are female.  Many of our most active players are female.  As WoW becomes more and more mainstream, it becomes more and more common to run into a female character that is -actually- female.  Actually, when I see a female toon, I always assume it is a female until I’m told otherwise.  Like I said, there is no other way to know!

So I guess what I’m wondering is: is it really THAT big a deal that you are a girl that plays games?  Does that make you any more/less important/knowledgeable?  Must you really rely on your gender to get people to visit your blog or find you interesting?

No! You are a great writer.  You are a passionate gamer.  You are a good and fun person.  That is why people read your blog and play games with you… so why focus on the fact that you’re a girl?