Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Oh poor us

For a while now I have been participating in an online forum designed for female gamers. The general idea was to get together and talk about gaming, and about how we hate that all the female game characters are naked and that guys are jerks to women. They made this big deal about it being a "safe" space for "non priveledged" groups. So this means, no "victim-blaming" or using words like "retarded" or implying that there is anything wrong with anything else ever. (I would link to their whole policy but I don't want to start a feude, I just need to vent)

I think the idea behind the site was great, a safe place to talk about issues in gaming, of which there are a lot. However people would really jump on you for tiny things, like "retarded" it is is a word I use a lot in a negative way. I know it is wrong, but, y'know it would suck to be retarded. We also had a big conversation about the use of the word "crazy" because, y'know people with mental illnesses shouldn't be discriminated against. I'm still not really sure how saying that crazy is a bad thing is discrimination. But whatever.

So there was a new thread about the whole idea of "Wife aggro." This is a term that represents men whose wives are WoW widows complaining about their wives. "Aggro" for non gamers is slang for what happens when you attract the attention of an unfriendly computer based character in an online game. (generally resulting in that character attempting to cause your untimely death) The term "Wife aggro" (which as a term I find quite humorous) is generally referred to someone's wife or girlfriend actually expecting them to stop playing WoW and do something horrible like, the dishes, or take out the trash, or even, horror of horrors, get it on with her.

This totally sucks is the general consensus of the thread. It portrays the woman as the enemy just for trying to get some time in with her husband. And it sucks more that other men will encourage this behavior and encourage a given man to neglect his wife and family during his leisure time to kill things in a virtual world.

But I can't help but point out (In the thread) that there are things a woman ccan do to mitigate this. Even though socially something should change (in an ideal world) it is a good idea for wives and girlfriends everywhere to breifly become the nagging monsters their SO's see them as. I proposed a variety of ways to get men engaged in necessary houswork, try just giving him a list of stuff he has to do, and if that doesn't work try some other crap, even cancelling his subscription. I observed in my post that "You get what you put up with." By this I mean, if you don't do something about someone elses negative behavior, it isn't going to stop and you're going to have to keep dealing with it.

This, apparently, is victim blaming. I got some Moderater Aggro and got yelled at. By expecting someone in a crappy situation to take initiative to improve it I am actually, therefore, blaming them.


It will not surprise you, dear reader, to know that this Shinobi will not be posting at that site ever again. I know it isn't horribly "nice" to tell people that they should get off their asses and fix a situation, but nice is not really a word I want to have applied to me. What it is, is right.

If you have a situation in your life, like your boyfriend ignoring you for a video game, or your boss being a jerk, or a job you hate, or a child who behaves badly, that makes you unhappy it is ridiculous to assume that anyone else in your life is going to fix it for you. *

You could sit around and wait for the Paladin in Crystalforge Rainment to tell your husband that he should get off his ass and do the laundry because you've been working all day too and deserve a break just as much as he does? You just have to wait for him to collect all of his armor (and who knows how many runs through various instances that will take) and get his elite flying mount (who has that much gold, really?). Seriously, this could take years.

I certainly don't blame women for the fact that their husbands are addicted to WoW. No blame here. But if they don't do anything about it the situation isn't going to get any better. At least if they try they have something good to tell the lawyer.

*I want to be very clear that I realize there are some situations in which the "victim" can do very little without serious repurcussions. I am not talking about these kinds of situations. This is not Saudi Arabia, women can do things to improve their lives here.

1 comment:

DED said...

Wow! Married guys are playing WoW? I thought that it was a bunch of single slugs a la South Park's spoof. The only guys I know who have time for any video games are single. I drag out my PS2 every couple of months and sometimes my wife plays too. Maybe those WoW widows should create their own characters and hunt down their husbands in-game.

As for that forum, it sounds way too pc. Sounds like people who are willing to believe that everyone is a victim and incapable of pulling themselves up. What is wrong with people? We've become a nation of whiners! These people wouldn't last a day outside of the Western world.