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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen

Miss Video Game 2007

Via The Average Gamer, I've been reading about the tragically misguided Miss Video Game 2007, a beauty-pageant-cum-gaming-tournament that purports to be trying to find the "voice of female gaming". This sounds well and good until you dig into the details. Oh boy. You know it's trouble when one of the requirements for contestants is that they "love the beach". Um... hello? The beach? Sand in your keyboard and sun glare? That beach? Right. That's what female gamers are all about.

Alihja, an actual gamer chick, calls the endeavor "sexism in the name of equality", pointing out that the pageant's website is with mixed messages, and blogger gamingangel wrote to the organization to find out just who was behind this fiasco. The conclusion reached by many who have researched Miss Video Game is that this is a simple appropriation of the popularity of video games in order to turn a profit.

As we all know, women are entering the once-male-dominated video game space in huge numbers, and this shift in the market is affecting the way games are made and marketed. Women need to let the industry know what they want and the industry needs to take stock and ask how they can respond to the shifting market. Sure, we all like to ogle a "gorgeous gamer" now and then. But let's not denigrate women with a meaningless pageant in the name of representing their voice. You can photograph some hot chick holding a joystick and call her "Miss Video Game," but this farce helps neither women nor gaming. Instead, let's celebrate the real women geeks who are bucking the stereotypes. Let's give women equal consideration when making games. Let's offer some diversity in perspective.

At the end of her post, Alihja advises:

On a serious note to my fellow ladies of gaming, if you want to "be the voice of female gaming" then use that voice. Strive to be more than just eye candy, or a beauty queen who is advertising fodder for the male majority. Speak out, game to your heart’s content, and be opinionated.
And I couldn't agree more. Speak out, lady gamers. The smart game-makers will be listening.

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Comments on Miss Video Game 2007
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Friday, January 05, 2007 11:00:00 AM
Not much of a lady meself, but I do agree too...

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.