Okay, I’m going to go a little off-topic today. I blame Averna for it.
Averna at Nerf this Druid wrote an article about the Frag Dolls (a female gaming group). I didn’t know a whole lot about them until Averna posted about them, so what I’m posting today is based on the hour or two I spent “studying” up about them. Averna didn’t give them a great review, but I think part of the problem could have been that the magazine didn’t do a good job of promoting them in a way that looked favorable. However, I haven’t read the magazine article, so I don’t know for sure.
So, I went and looked at the Frag Doll’s website. I looked at some of the pictures. I read through a couple things, skimmed through some videos – just to get a feel for their site. I really think that if they are trying to promote gaming for women that they are trying really hard, but that trying to do that at events full of men is not the easiest thing to do.
I’ve been to some of those conventions, like the San Diego Comic Con. While there are girls who go to Comic Con, when I went, I felt outnumbered to a great extent (even if I went with a group of mostly girls), and it feels like half the girls who do go are wearing… not much at all. When I used to go to that convention, I joked about “dressing down”, instead of dressing up for it. If the girls wear T-shirts and jeans, they are still going to risk being objectified at gaming conventions and oogled at by little boys. If they actually wear baggy sweat pants, they still won’t be taken seriously any more than they already are. That just feels like part of life in the gaming world.
They could also dress so much more skanky at those events. Most of the pictures of under-dressed women in their picutres at gaming events are not the Frag Dolls. Just because they wear makeup and actually look “pretty” to some extent is really just part of how the company they work for wants to dress them up as. Also, their “glamor shot” picture on their front page seems much more air-brushed than the actual pictures of them at the gaming conventions and such. They look a lot more like real people in the convention pictures. It also sucks that I’m talking about what they dress up as, instead of talking about their gaming acomplishments.
Then again, I can also tell by looking at their website that they aren’t targeting me (a girl gamer in her mid-20′s) with how their website is designed. It looks like their target audience has to be a little bit younger (I hope!), or maybe their problem is that they are just missing their target audience by putting so much pink into their color pallet. So, they’re trying to do something that isn’t easy, and so they attract probably more male fans than female fans. That’s just something you expect from any girl gaming group – whose job is to promote gaming.
In the end, what gender you are shouldn’t matter, and how “hot” you are also shouldn’t matter, which is why I avoid doing things like posting pictures of me on this site, except for pictures of my NE druid. I want to be thought of as someone who knows about the druid class, and not as a “gamer chick”. This is also where Ferraro got it all wrong – you don’t need pictures of hot chicks on the front page to sell your website. Just having quality information is enough – and quality information just seems to be lacking on the Frag Doll’s website. Instead of having game reviews for girl gamers to read and want to play the games, we get to watch a video review of shoes (so what?). I think they could easily change the site to be better targeted at the girl gaming demographic, but if pink and pretty sells, then that’s what the big game companies think they have to do to make money.