Why I Write About Gaming and Feminism

I write about gaming and feminism because I love gaming as a hobby, but because we live in a sexist world, and games reflect the world, games are not free of sexism. If I thought that games and gamers were incorrigibly sexist and horrible, I would not bother to write about them very much. I criticize sexism in games and in gamer culture because I have hope that it can change.

I don’t have solutions to the many of the problems I write about. That’s one of the most frustrating parts of awakening feminist consciousness. As you start to become aware of problems or have them pointed out to you, you want the person who’s telling you what’s wrong to tell you how to fix it. I don’t usually know how to fix it. Or I don’t have the power to do the things that need to happen to fix it.

The first step to solving any problem is to identify it. That’s what I try to do. I know that the world is full of smart people, many much smarter than me, and if I can convince some of them that sexism is a problem, and show them the ways in which it’s a problem, I believe some of them will come up with ways to help fight it. Sometimes that means I have to be a killjoy by pointing out problems that it might be more comfortable to ignore. I know that because I do that, some people will think that I create the problems—that happens to a lot of feminists and other activists. The problem is there even when it’s not named, but it’s invisible to the privileged.

I don’t write to make anyone feel guilty. I write to spread ideas, to change minds, and to influence action. If something I’ve written gets and idea stuck in someone’s head, or starts a a conversation, then I consider that work well done.

I write so that other women gamers know they are not alone, and so that people looking for examples of outspoken feminist gamers can add me to their count.

I write because while there are a many feminists on the internet, and a fair amount of radical feminists, there are few vocal feminist gamers, and fewer radical feminist gamers. I find that when non-gamer feminists try to speak on my behalf they get a lot of things wrong, particularity when it comes to understanding gamer community. While I appreciate their solidarity, I prefer to speak for myself.

There is a lot of feminist work to be done in the world. Gaming is my part of the world and nerds are my people. Writing about gaming and feminism is my virtual version of joining a neighborhood cleanup crew.