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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 82 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Re: What does role playing gaming accomplish?  (Read 46127 times)
Ziriel
Member

Posts: 28


« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2002, 11:13:51 PM »

Quote
I don't think it's all just gender issues in general. Some of it is (was) marketing, on the same level that markets "dolls" to girls and "action figures" to boys. Of course, I don't think that marketing rules all, but it does play a part.


Lon (Uncle Dark):  You may be suprised but I agree with you.  Marketing does play a big part in presentation and occationally turn-off women when it comes to roleplaying games (and other things).  What I meant to convey in saying that gender issues were at the heart of the male/female split iz that many girls made up their minds about roleplaying in general long before they saw a book with cheesecake art on the cover.  You do bring up a valid point though.  It does certainly reinforce any bad misconceptions someone might have, male and female alike.

Quote
Ziriel, I'm curious as to what atmospheric elements you see would warn women off. One I'm aware of is communications style. I had the unfortunate experience of gaming with some new people, and my female partner was turned off before the game ever began. The guy who was going to be GMing seemed to ignore her, as if she was not a potential gamer. He didn't seem to listen to her when we talking gaming in general, even when she made an effort to be a part of the conversation. Is this the sort of thing you meant?


Yes, that's a good example.  Another example iz being too nice, believe it or not.  If everyone iz treating you as if you are made of glass it can really come off as condescending.  Something doesn't need to be done with malicious intent to make someone pull away.  You know what they say about the road to hell...  I wish I could vocalize specifics better, but alas that would be handing you the age old secret of how to understand women.  (This iz a secret that, oddly enough, I myself have yet to discover as well...)

I also really wanted to say that I in no way meant to accuse gamers of being sexist, and if I came off that way I apologize profusely.  I agree with M.J.: men and women are different.  I don't think that's a bad thing at all.  I think both sexes have their strengths and stummbling blocks and I celebrate them all.  I'm also not fond of gender casting people.  Heck, I just helped my buddy replace his car radiator this weekend.  

My only goal was to shed a little illumination on the subject with my own experiences.   The Forge seems to be a supportive environment and I'm glad to be a part of it.  
    Thank you for listening, err, reading.
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- Ziriel

Personal Rule #32:   13 people can keep a secret  if 12 of them are dead.
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2002, 01:23:44 AM »

Quote from: M. J. Young

I think men and women are different.


Totally irrelevant; nobody has denied men and women are different.  What has been challenged is that some of the differences we percieve are INHERENT or enculturated.  Frex... that Pong caputred tha male market was entirely accidental and normal.  Baloney; it didn't fit the manufacturers and marketters concepts of what would appeal to women.

The conflation of "people" with "a particular subset of people" is was indeed correctly highlighted.  All that statement did was affirm the tacit sexism; "people" didn't think that that girls played D&D because almost all the people making the decisions, marketting the products, were aiming at what they perceived to be a "male-type" activity and advertised it accoprdingly (cheesecake all the way).  And then we claim to be surprised that we find such a presently existing gender imbalance.

Quote
I don't think one is better than the other, or that they can't share interests; I do think that there are strong tendencies for some things to appeal more to boys than to girls, and the other way around.


I think that is utter baloney.  As has already been cityed above, an incredibly broad set of behaviours have made this sort of claim, that there is some inherent and natural inclination, and been utterly discredited.

And lastly, I just wanted to adrress something wehich Clinton said, namely:
Quote
The perceived sexism in RPG's has led to a gender inbalance.


Perceived?  May I ask, what the hell is PERCIEVED about it?  Does this not seek to imply that its all a horrible misperception on the part of the poor oversensitive dears rather than a real and actual phenomenon?  The situation cannot be addressed as long we make these attempts to sweep it under the carpet.
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"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2002, 08:07:39 AM »

Damn it.

When I go to bat, and MJ makes an excellent, honest post, someone's got to ruin it. I'm getting tired of sensitive topics being ruined by people here. This thread is now very, very closed, and my off-topic reply and reasoning is here.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
ethan_greer
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Posts: 869


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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2002, 10:34:54 AM »

test

So, if I can post to it, how is this thread closed?

I'm confused.

Edit --> Thanks to Ron for the explanation below.  Someone else PMed me on this also - pardon my ignorance, no offence intended, etc.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2002, 11:39:13 AM »

Hi silkworm,

"Closed" is a social-contract here in the Forge. If a thread's closed, you don't post to it, as a courtesy to the community.

"Locked" is another issue entirely, which involves software. That's when Clinton or I put a little lock-symbol onto the thread which prevents anyone from adding to it.

In general, locking a thread is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a punishment or at least an indication that things "went wrong." Both of us try to keep locking to a minimum.

That means that strictly enforcing the social standards becomes an issue, which we ask everyone to help with.

Best,
Ron
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Clinton R. Nixon
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Posts: 2624


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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2002, 11:35:45 PM »

Quote from: contracycle

And lastly, I just wanted to adrress something wehich Clinton said, namely:
Quote
The perceived sexism in RPG's has led to a gender inbalance.


Perceived?  May I ask, what the hell is PERCIEVED about it?  Does this not seek to imply that its all a horrible misperception on the part of the poor oversensitive dears rather than a real and actual phenomenon?  The situation cannot be addressed as long we make these attempts to sweep it under the carpet.


After a few days to let this thread cool off, I declare it doubleplusunclosed, as Orwell might put it.

To address contracycle's question, I certainly did not intend to say that sexism in RPG's is a "horrible misperception." The idea of sexism is a tough one for us to address. Sexism isn't easily defined, and does rely on perception. (If the DMG has a naked women in it, and no one sees it, does it make a sound?) However, we can all agree that RPGs have have sexist influences before and that they have been perceived as sexist, which has led to a gender imbalance. The discussion over whether they are or not would be a bloody one, and wouldn't answer my question far above at all:

The perceived sexism in RPG's has led to a gender inbalance. Both Lon and I have mentioned that our best experiences RPGing were in mixed-gender groups. The imbalance in role-players has given us a problem: if playing RPGs (and socializing in general) is more enjoyable in a mixed-gender group, how does the (majority-male) RPG community reach out to females?

I'll restate that to eliminate any idea of bigotry on my part: given the perceived sexism in RPG's, and the gender imbalance that comes from that, how does the community reach out to females more effectively?
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
thoth
Member

Posts: 49


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« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2002, 12:55:25 AM »

Can the RPGamer community actually do anything about it?
Obviously sexism isn't inherent in the hobby of RPGs itself, though it may be expressed in some actual games (not necessarily in an overt fashion). Where sexism does reside is in the larger society, members of which make up the RPGamer community and the game designers. And that is why I didn't like it when Clinton said "There's no real sexism here". And is also why I'm asking the question of if the RPGamer community can actually do anything about it. It seems to be a problem with the larger society, a problem that dealing within the RPGamer community ultimately means nothing.

Now i'm Not saying the community should do nothing at all, or pretend it doesn't exist. What I am saying is that maybe it would be more fruitful overall for individuals to deal with it from within the larger society, as well as doing something from within the RPGamer community. The larger society will always have an influence and as long as it has misogynist tendencies, the sub-societies within will have them too, at least to some degree.

None of that actually answers the direct question "how does the community reach out to females more effectively?" though. I don't have any specific thoughts on reaching out, but what about attempting to neutralize male gamer confusion/fear/discomfort? Heh, pass out little "facts about females" pamphlets at various cons, maybe including some Do's and Dont's (ie: treat them like people/gamers, not glass dolls).
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Amos Barrows
ManiSystem
contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2002, 03:58:59 AM »

Yes, of course we can.  The only thing that changes anything anywhere is human action (caveat: context is society).  To declare that we are not responsible for our own back yard becuase there is a broader problem is to merely decline to do anything; to wait for someone else, someone unkown, to actually do something.  But, if everybody is waiting for someone else to do it, nothing gets done.  Yes we can look after our own patch, and the very fact that we do so will feed back into and impact on society at large.  That is how social change happens.
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Impeach the bomber boys:
www.impeachblair.org
www.impeachbush.org

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci
A.Neill
Member

Posts: 62


« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2002, 06:23:08 AM »

Quote


This kind of unconscious, unthinking, thoroughly accepted and unquestioned prejudice makes *me* want to leave. Because it never blinkin' stops. When does the door to gaming get opened to me and my gender? What does it take to get you boys to grow up? How about pretending that some women might post here and read here?



I can understand that a male dominated environment can be intimidating and I can’t deny that I have seen prejudice, both direct and indirect, aimed at women gamers. But surely the above statement is fighting fire with fire.

Sexism (from dictionary.com)   Attitudes, conditions, or behaviors that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.

To uniformly characterise all of the “boys” in the hobby or indeed at the forge is just that.

While I agree with Gareth (Contracycle) that we should be responsible for our own backyard, I’m uncomfortable with my hobby being used as an environment to analyse the social construction of gender, being a weapon if you like in the ongoing cultural debate.

I suspect that this issue has a lot to do with making role-playing accessible to mainstream culture.

Alan.
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Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


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« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2002, 08:00:24 AM »

I should have re-phrased my question, because people seem to keep getting caught on the word community. (Also, men keep answering, which is great, but not really an objective view into what makes women tick.)

(By the way, I'm 'hypothetical male gamer X' in this post.) I play role-playing games. I find that playing RPGs with women in the group is more fun, but look around and find not that many women playing RPGs. What can I do to make the idea of playing in my game more attractive to females; or, actually, just more attractive to a normally-gender-mixed group?
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2002, 08:43:04 AM »

A good while back, I'm trying to figure out how to get back into role-playing after a few years of no gaming.  So I respond to a flyer.  After talking to the guy on the phone and getting a feel for each others interests, we decide to set-up a gaming group.  Since we didn't have many players to start, I invite one of my co-workers to our first session.  Her response to the invitation was interesting:  she said that she would accompany me so that I wouldn't be nervous going to a strange guy's apartment alone.  

I was really surprised by this reaction; it did not even occur to me that I was about to embark on a potentially threatening situation.  I wonder how much of the low women gamer count has to do with social constraints against lone women entering male dominated environs rather than any blatent sexism associated with rpg's.    

Julie
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Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2002, 08:50:41 AM »

Julie,

Excellent point. I've found myself loathe to invite females that I didn't know well to one of my gaming sessions, solely because I was inviting a lone woman into a private home with two to three men present, which taken objectively sounds like an opportunity for trouble. Now, that's obviously overreaction on my part, but it's a valuable consideration.

(This ties into a thread I really want to start about sexual tension and its effects on role-playing.)
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
lumpley
Administrator
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2002, 08:57:37 AM »

Quote from: Clinton
What can I do to make the idea of playing in my game more attractive to females; or, actually, just more attractive to a normally-gender-mixed group?


I think Ron's given us the answer: Socialize First.  Be friends with women, then play games with them.

Not that that's a great answer, or easy, or look! I've solved it.  But I think that's the level we oughta be looking at, as individual male gamers.  I think the way to overcome the "buncha boys" stigma is one woman at a time, by direct human social contact.  Game design and environment and so on can help or hurt, but if we a. know and b. get along with and c. are up front with women who'd be interested in gaming, they play.

-Vincent
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2002, 09:14:20 AM »

I'd like to (hopefully) open the floor up to MK, who originally said that she felt that some content on the Forge was sexist.

What we fellas should be aware of in reading her - or any - response is that as the well-intentioned guys that we are, we hate the thought that we might say or do something that might actually be sexist - at least I do. There's a real danger in saying to oneself, "I know I could never think a sexist thought," but we do it, because we think of sexism as obvious and conscious, when really it's often subtle and unconscious. And dismissing the notion that the subtle might be in there lets it perpetuate.

So MK, if you're comfortable with it, I'd be interested in more about what you felt was sexism.

And hey Alan, I think that dictionary definition is missing something important: What makes sexism and racism a problem is the power, or the perception of power, connected to the relationship. "Reverse discrimination" doesn't really work so well in that light.

As for the "discomfort" thing, yeah, you're right, it is tough. And being aware of the discomfort is important too.

Thoth: Not sure I understand you. The greater community is the sum of its parts, and if the RPG community as a whole were more conscious of sexism, I think that'd rock.

And hopefully no one will misinterpret Clinton's recent post as a request for men not to post. More feedback from women would be great, but the last thing we need is for men not to talk about it. And thanks Mr. Prez for re-opening it.

Clinton, regarding your last post, my SO sometimes feels "excluded" by games. I'll see if she'll respond.

-Matt

-Matt
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Clinton R. Nixon
Member

Posts: 2624


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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2002, 09:16:05 AM »

Quote from: lumpley

I think Ron's given us the answer: Socialize First.  Be friends with women, then play games with them.

Not that that's a great answer, or easy, or look! I've solved it.  But I think that's the level we oughta be looking at, as individual male gamers.  I think the way to overcome the "buncha boys" stigma is one woman at a time, by direct human social contact.


Vincent's on the mark here, me thinks.

A related story:
Two nights ago, I stayed out until about midnight playing Universalis (which kicked ass, by the way.) I came home, and my partner, Jenaya, was asleep on the couch with the TV on, but one of her friends was on her computer, typing away. I asked the friend (who we'll call 'A'), "What's going on?" Apparently she came over to hang out with Jenaya and Jenaya got a bit sleepy, but A's computer is broken, so she was checking her e-mail.

A is obviously female - a pastry chef, covered in tattoos from head to toe, very stylish in appearance and dress, and has an everyday attitude that scares the hell out of me, to be honest. She's always seemed like the type of women who would kick your ass in a heartbeat, even though she's all of 62 or so inches. We've become friends, though, through continued social interaction through Jenaya, and found out that we have the same tastes in literature.

So, the first thing she asks when I come in is, "I heard you were gaming tonight. Did you have fun?" As soon as I say yes, she turns into every convention-gamer stereotype you've ever seen. (She was a bit tipsy.) "You know, I used to play D&D all the time. We had our own game even that our GM created, DarkeEarth. My character never died; I was too good at rolling dice..." It was as if sexy-cook-badass metamorphed into raving-game-geek person in a second.

The cool part, though, is that she'd never even mentioned this to Jenaya, who she's extremely good friends with. She seemed to have been wanting to talk about it for a while, and finally felt comfortable. I told her about our game that evening, and she's expressed real interest in coming to one of our indie game nights.

The point of the story: the "socialize-first" boxes model works incredibly well in actual application.
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
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