07 July 2011 @ 01:11 pm
We're all in this longboat together.  
The road to Helheim is paved with good intentions.

Call me Sela. Call me Rusilla. Don't tell me I can't pick up a shield or a spear, don't tell me I prefer kitchen or hearth, don't tell me I want to play a "different" game, or that I'd be more willing to work in a company that caters to my inherent feminine need to have children.

I came to gaming because in role play, my character can pick up an axe and bash some heads in. Because she had martial prowess and was accomplished and fearless and desirable. She was someone I wanted to be, someday. Axe and all.

I came here because when I was a little girl I wanted a longbow and a horse and I wanted to smite some damned dragons, and the real world wasn't cooperative about providing that experience.


Allow me a sports analogy. Can I make one? Even though I'm a girl?

I play ice hockey with men. When I first started playing in this league, there weren't any other women. One guy asked me "wait, are women allowed to play here?" and they offered me my own locker room. Where I could change, all by myself, away from my team.

No, thank you.

On the ice, sometimes I deal with a weird chivalry, where guys will yield the puck or pull back on contact because I'm small, and a girl. They do that once. Then I take their puck away or hit them first and all bets are off and the field is leveled.

That is the experience I strive for.

I don't bring anything different to the ice by virtue of gender. I bring the same thing my teammates bring. Speed, aggression, desire to win. As a center I bring my exceptional faceoff winning, my playmaking and need to lay it all out there, every shift. This is about my temperament as a player, not who I am as a woman.

You need me in games the way you need all people in games. The way you need white guys and black guys and Asian guys and gay guys. Not because a black guy is somehow better and will lead you into a more civilized age. A black guy isn't the way to enlightenment. Neither is a woman. We're not special. We're not more advanced.

We're in the longboat with you, picking our enemies' corpses out of our teeth. We're on the ice, we're in the locker room, drinking beer with you.

The more we make of the differences, the more we fail to miss the point of integration. The more you emphasize my breasts on a video game poster, the more you reduce me to an icon and fail to render me a person.

I bring to a design team what I bring to my hockey team. My intelligence, my fire. My need to win, my ferocity. Yeah, sometimes I point out cleavage faux pas. But so do my male coworkers.

If you want me here, make my presence a foregone conclusion. Assume my belonging. Assume my access. Show me that this is an environment where I can be myself and contribute in all my best ways. Show me a driven, creative group of people that will value what I bring to the table, who will be receptive to my ideas.

Girls are allowed in hockey. They're allowed in video game design. Tell me, as many ways as you can that I am allowed and wanted. When I show up and I'm the only woman in the locker room, I don't want you to stop making rude jokes and making a sock puppet out of your jock.

All I want you to do is move your gear over, and make a space on the bench next to you

so I can sit down.
 
 
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
pats_quinade on July 7th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC)
Hell yes.
lotusice: fluffylotusice on July 7th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
:D

It's all your fault, you know.
owlchickowlchick on July 7th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
You're allowed and wanted. :)
lotusice: frangipani 1lotusice on July 7th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
You only say that because I rolled over during that attention to detail conversation yesterday. ;p

<3
Grey Walker: Cicerogreylistening on July 7th, 2011 05:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah!
lotusice: shaun grinlotusice on July 7th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
:D
John "Virtual" Lynchj_v_lynch on July 7th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
I want my daughter to smite dragons too.

on an unrelated note, are you guys still thinking of coming to ottawa this summer?
lotusice: wolfgirllotusice on July 7th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
Yes? No? No idea?? O.o Possibly?

Are you guys coming to Pennsic? I had no idea that was actually in our backyard...
John "Virtual" Lynchj_v_lynch on July 7th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
this year is cortejo and my 20th HS Reunion and it is the final weekend of pennsic, so we will be attending that this year.
We've done the Ottawa, NS, Pennsic triangle before and it's a long drive.
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:22 am (UTC)
I can imagine.

We really do want to come up. Just a case of bucks and time. Let me discuss with the missus.
Reylreyl on July 8th, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
Can I vote for you all coming to Ottawa too? :D I won't be making it to Pennsic this year either. Though next year is a definite maybe!
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
We want to see you guys!! Maybe hopefully??
barbarienne: ass-kicking fandombarbarienne on July 7th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
Sing it, muse.
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
I <3 you and I <3 that avatar.
Doriandorianegray on July 7th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear!
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
:D
Chris Coenclarentine on July 7th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
Yes!
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
:D :D
Ruler of All I Surveymalkatsheva on July 7th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
Word up, girrrrrl. Nice. You know why we need more women in gaming? Because if I have to see one more game called Cooking Mama or Imagine Babysitters I think I'll vomit right there on the floor at GameStop.

You rock completely.
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you.

I had a guy argue with me about this today. I had this moment of wanting to say "ZOMG you want my female presence and input and then when I show up and give it to you, you don't freaking listen!"

But, yanno.

I promise you I will never make you a game about cooking or babysitting. Ever.

barbariennebarbarienne on July 8th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
How about one where the babysitter is threatened by killers trying to get in the house (or already in the house--hello, old stupid horror story), and KICKS THEIR ASSES.

Yeah, or a game where Mom stomps heads might be fun. Or worse--kills children. Can you imagine the cries of horror! "This is in appropriate!" Because it's perfectly okay to have men running around killing scantily-clad women, but not okay to have women killing children.

(Not that I am in any way advocating that women kill children. But isn't that what video games are for? To let people do in imitation things they would never do in reality? Don't all mothers at some point imagine killing their children? And then 99.999999% of them laugh it off, or at least say, "Get a grip" to themselves, and dismiss the idea.)
The watcher over there: hee!dafydd on July 7th, 2011 11:05 pm (UTC)
So, basically, you're saying that Leisure Suit Larry ~wasn't~ the epitome of gaming, after all??? ;D

(grin, duck, run...)


Edited at 2011-07-07 11:05 pm (UTC)
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 12:21 am (UTC)
No, but it was fun.

I cannot take that face seriously.
The watcher over there: hee!dafydd on July 8th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
The sloth? :D That's why I asked a good friend of mine to make an icon of it for me... ;)
dakini_grldakini_grl on July 8th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
We're in the longboat with you, picking our enemies' corpses out of our teeth. We're on the ice, we're in the locker room, drinking beer with you.

Oh how I love those phrases. I am often in these places when I'm at the gym, when I talk about lifting, when I show up at a meet. It's a territory where women are... new.

Well said. Well said.
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
:D

It's new territory to forge, for sure. Mentally and literally.
dakini_grldakini_grl on July 8th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
I also think you capture that we're all in this semi-aware state, that we can grasp difference and are less willing to tie it to the stereotypical issues of race, gender, age. Maybe that's the gamer's perspective coming through.
Jeff: wolf_eljefe_ on July 8th, 2011 06:46 am (UTC)
Hell yes! I've served with men and women in the field, and it's the person, not the gender that lets me know who I want watching my back.
lotusicelotusice on July 8th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that there's that gender consciousness for a while, maybe, on both sides, or it's periodic.

But when you're in the thick of it, when it counts, is where it is - should be - transparent.
Serrah: pirate girllynedd on July 10th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
I have always been the Warrior. Always and always, whether in play or in business or in my day to day life. I drink my meade from the hollowed skulls of my enemy; I will not be buried, but borne away on the breast of the sea in my flaming longboat.

...in other words, damn straight.
kay low: banksy: wild wild westkiviuq on November 24th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)
Hopefully you'll get this...happy belated birthday!! <3
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )