Gender-specific BloggingAugust 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?