My Fair Lady

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Gaming, Lifestyle/Culture, Work Related
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today’s post… well, today’s other post: I actually finished ‘Oh God’ at around 11pm on Sunday evening, but I didn’t think anyone would be around to read so I withheld it till today – sneaky right? Anyway, today’s post is inspired by a tweet. Official Xbox Magazine‘s Mike Channell tweeted today regarding a blog post he made on being in this line of work and why it’s something you shouldn’t tell someone who you may possibly want to sleep with.

As Mike rightly points out, ‘Gaming’ in the very general sense of the word is becoming more mainstream. Between mobile games, Kinect, Move… the shift that really started with Nintendo’s Wii console making a move on the family market means that more and more demographics are becoming ‘gamers’. Call them ‘casual’ gamers or ‘non-gamers’ or whatever they’re still starting to understand the past-time we ‘hardcore’ lot have enjoyed for decades. You’d think then, that as the people who report on this industry, we’d get a little more street cred.

If Mike’s two examples are anything to go by – not a chance. Granted, this is one guy’s experience with two women (although the main woman featured in the article was met AT a game launch party, you’d have thought she’d have more tolerance), out of the hundreds of people who are in this profession and the millions upon millions of young single females in the world. Still, at the beginning I had trouble even convincing my own mother this was a real profession, and if you can’t convince your mother who can you convince?

The sad truth is, whilst playing games is starting to be accepted as a mainstream form of entertainment, I fear that writing about playing games has a long way to go yet. I mean as a regular gamer, you can stop playing games whenever you want, go outside, hang out with friends etc… as a games writer, you play games day in day out (if we’re going by the stereotype) and so I guess it takes a really… passionate (read: Geeky) individual to pursue such a under-paid career.

As much as I love this job, even I have little faith in its ability to, for lack of a better phrase, get me laid. Of course it depends on the crowd and setting, but it’s rare that I actually feel comfortable being 100% honest about my job. I’ve set up a multi-phased plan of attack when it comes to this line of questions actually. First enquiry: “I’m a Journalist”. Second enquiry, “I specialise in entertainment”. Third, “Music, Films, games etc…” and so on. Revealing that I’m a freelancer who works online is about as far as I’d go in general, and even that is risky as sometimes even long-term association with teh interwebs can be seen as a bit anti-social as well. Thankfully, working from home is starting to become a little bit trendy in today’s modern society, so at least I’ve got that in favour. That is, until they realise I’m still living with mother-dear.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but what can you do? As much as I would like a potential love interest to accept and possibly even be interested in what I do from the off, it’s unlikely. I’m willing to hide the truth for a while in order to get to know someone better – it’ll be easier to bring her around to my point of view afterwards. And who knows, she could like EastEnders. I fucking hate EastEnders. Relationships, even casual ones, are all about balance, giving and taking, etc… etc…

Obviously though there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. You have the sub-culture of ‘Gamer Girls’ (forgive me anyone who hates that phrase) and you even have, well, ‘regular’ girls who have a casual interest or, at the very least, don’t look down on you for having videogames as a pastime/job. Mike thinks that prejudice on the level he encountered is actually becoming rare, and I think she’s right. Even mum came around to the idea.

Of course, all of this is moot, since I have to learn how to actually talk to women first without sounding like a bit of a nervous idiot. You know if this was The Sims, I could just read a book for that. Or look into a mirror…

Until next time.

  1. Holly says:

    I know you were mostly commiserating and perhaps not expecting a “solution” to this all…but I can see this becoming less of an issue as more women get into gaming.

    If we stop idealizing and making a novelty of women who do geeky things like game, they’ll feel less conspicuous when they indulge (as it will be seen as something normal, not masculine, to do). That in turn will drive more women to the hobby, as the perception will no longer be that it is unusual, freeing them to participate normally.

    That in turn will “normalize” your profession. If women themselves “game”, they’re far less likely to be condescending or skeptic when they meet a guy who’s made it his life.

    I never thought of it, but in a way I’m lucky, because while I will undoubtedly still be judged by some, my work as a games writer will not be condescended as much as yours. That it is idealized is another problem on its own, but I’m thankful that it doesn’t affect my sex life so directly in the negative, lol.

  2. Emily says:

    Don’t worry, you’re just reliving what the authors of gothic novels back in the late 1700s to early 1800s had to put up with. It’s all just history repeating itself.

  3. Marco Fiori says:

    It’s pretty enterprising to make it in the media and while we’re all at the opening stages of our career, be proud of what you’ve achieved Joe.

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