Ok. So, I know I am jumping the gun a bit by talking about gender issues in gaming, but I just cannot resist anymore. Leigh Alexander wrote in her blog about how she is tired about being a woman in games. Is it so wrong to want to be seen as a person? Being a female in any profession leads to the potentiality of becoming a hypocrite or a role model, which Alexander speaks about very passionately. I’ve often wondered how I should feel about these things, but found myself pondering the “Feminist Whore” skill issue in Dead Island. As in, I was genuinely curious how that would play out in gender wars more than I felt affronted.

Elizabeth Bishop–one of my favorite poets, as evidenced by the title of this post–only ever wanted to be known for her work. How is she remembered? As a woman poet or as a lesbian poet. She felt as though her identity was in her art itself, but still considered herself a feminist. Leigh Alexander grapples with similar issues. Though she has infiltrated the boys club of the gaming world and feels as though she should “represent,” she comments about how she feels pressured into assuming that role. Rather than identify herself as a female gamer, she identifies herself as a designer, speaker, journalist, and editor…who just happens to be a woman. This, I can say I agree with wholeheartedly.

As Gee states, there are multiple layers to our identities. Children are only beginning this journey and are highly impressionable. On the one hand, I feel grateful that there is this conversation about gender equality in the gaming industry but, on the other, I wonder where the line is between forward-thinking conversation, commoditization of genders, and reinforcing age-old stereotypes or over emphasizing gender through the former. I’m still trying to figure out where I stand. Essentially, I think too much and have been trying to analyze this issue from every side. My mind has been spinning over the readings all week and I cannot wait to hear others’ opinions on gender roles, universal game deign, etc.