I saw “The Gamer Girl Manifesto” (embedded above) by Sexy Nerd Girl Presents thanks to Geekquality. The brief video features a number of young women gamers who identify themselves by their on-screen identities (which range from notable characters like Mario to the more subtly constructed identities from games like World of Warcraft) and by the game systems they use. The video’s message is simple:
Don’t be racist. Don’t be homophobic. Don’t be sexist. Follow that code and everybody will have a good time. And when someone breaks that code, CALL THEM OUT. Don’t just let it ride.
The message particularly strikes a chord with me as I’ve been reading and hearing about some particularly egregious examples of in-game sexual harrassment. For example, Gunthera1 wrote at The Border House recently about how in-game sexual harassment drives home the need for safe spaces. [link] The recent post “All in One” at Not in the Kitchen Anymore is like a greatest hits list of how women are marginalized in gaming spaces. [link] These two incidents may be especially gross, but they aren’t particularly uncommon. In this context, I particularly respect the work being done by those behind “The Gamer Girl Manifesto.” It is essential.
On a related note, there is a Chrome extension that kills the comments on Kotaku. [link]
In closing, the happiest of New Year’s to you all, and I’ll be back in 2012.