Equal Opportunities

One of the many things I like about Ready Up is the women. I like the men too, I suppose, but maybe that’s a debate I should get into another time. Right now it’s all about the women and in particular just how easy they are.

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That’s right, Ready Up is full of easy going, game lovin’, everyday sort of women. It’s quite amazing when you sit back and actually think about it that Ready Up has such a nice spread of men and women, not a messy forced spread like some sites, and not an unfair bias either way, but just a normal mixed sort of community. When you are here it is easy to be lulled into a false sense that this is the way the world actually is. Finally you have managed to become part of something above gender and more about actually having a shared interest. However, I was brought back into the real world just the other day.

I was playing Prince of Persia with one of my friends, who happens to be a man and about an hour into the game he reminded me that he was indeed a man. He was happily swapping the controller with me and we were both playing through the levels very civilly, me a woman and him a man when suddenly he felt the need to loudly proclaim: ‘This is rubbish! How can the Prince be cool when there is a girl that does everything he can?’

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‘Interesting’, I thought. Would this work the other way around? If a strong female character had a man trailing behind her would her coolness be degraded, or just look even harder that she could lead him? Did my friend also have a problem that because I was able to play the game as well as him that he was in turn losing cool, or did his statement only ring true in the world of game?

The answers are that I just don’t know. I would like to think that the gender gap in life, and in gaming, is forever decreasing but maybe people just have a built in angst towards the opposite sex which they generally suppress. If this is so then it is well suppressed at Ready Up; if Ready Up is the new future, the new norm, then I look forward to more happy days of easy gaming with no gender angst.


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16 responses to “Equal Opportunities”

  1. Tony avatar
    Tony

    The problem as I see it, is that men are genetically bigger and stronger on average than women, which gives us an advantage in physical games and sports. Combine that with a pair of testicles and we can be quite competitive – however, take away the strength advantage by making the game a virtual one, and the playing field is levelled – and we don’t like it!

    Although, as I said before in a post, I’m not actually all that competitive. I wonder if my testicles are OK? *looks into trousers* You alright down there, lads?

    And, as regards “How can the Prince be cool when there is a girl that does everything he can?”, you should show this quote to your friend:

    “Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels.”

  2. Jay avatar
    Jay

    Well, I’m just amazed that Tony wrote his reply before Eleanor wrote her article!

  3. Kat avatar

    I really like your post Eleanor 🙂

    I don’t like I was just made to think about tony’s testicles in an incredible vivid way :/ ;p

  4. Michael avatar

    Heh, good point Jay!

    I’m incredibly suppressed… there, I said it. Hope you’re pleased with yourself, El!

    I probably have sensible stuff to say but it’s really early…

  5. Lorna avatar
    Lorna

    That quote was great, Tony! Great post Eleanor…I suppose some men still do have an ‘issue’ with stuff like this – perhaps they need a L4D session against RU’s Team Girly to show them the field is very much level as Tony says 🙂 Anyone who has been fragged by Laura in Halo3 (many judging by her bloodlust) could also probably say as much 🙂

  6. MarkuzR avatar
    MarkuzR

    I’d quite happily trail behind Lara Croft for hours without questioning my masculinity. The tighter the shorts, the more attentive I’d be. I think “gender angst” is ridiculous, although I see it all the time… I LOVE a strong woman… if you’re just PRETENDING to be pinned down then there’s less fun in it.

    Guys who have problems with strong women should be rounded up, thrown in a cage and have goth girls trample them to death with clumpy boots while the glamour girls impale them with their stilettos!

  7. Mark avatar
    Mark

    Here’s the thing about Prince of Persia, the thing that fascinates me about the game’s characterisations: the two characters exist in a completely symbiotic relationship.

    Elika needs the Prince for his gauntlet and his sword, while the Prince needs Elika for the tricky jumps and to save his bacon. The Prince and Elika are as limber and agile as each other, but both would be useless without their partner.

    They both are absolutely dependant on each other, a relationship that extends beyond friendship or love.

    Equal opportunities at its best!

    And yes, I very much respect Ready-Up’s gender divide

  8. John.B avatar

    It does feel very natural and what I like the most is that the women are proper hardcore old school gamers, and not a new DS owner and brought in just to be the token female. It’s all very natural and keeps the place balanced.

  9. markB0SS avatar

    I think Lara Croft has shown that female protagonists can be accepted and therefore it would seem plausible that a supporting male character would be as her support. Mark has already pointed out that the relationship between Elika and the Prince are symbiotic so there’s the balance in support. However on the male gamer’s perspective, and in that sense the majority of the video games world unfortunately falls into the typical sexist narrative routines as does its majority male audience.
    I believe your friend was most likely just goofing around the mainstream ideal that girls aren’t accepted in the gaming community, but that still doesn’t excuse the fact that there is an expectation of the female characters in gaming to be the useless a-typical damsel in distress we’re used to seeing in films.
    Now as a man, I personally would love to see a female protagonist whom can kick arse without being eye candy for the majority male gamers, and without subduing herself to a male supporting character. And despite me being somewhat of a feminist, I believe this could work for the majority male gaming community if approached correctly.

  10. arc14716 avatar
    arc14716

    All the comments are good. I especially agree with comment #7. Both the Prince and Elika are equal characters dependent on each other to progress in the game/adventure. One can’t go any further without the other. Granted I’ve only played the game a bit, but looking through the game guide, and from my own experience with the game, I can see that is very much true.

    To be honest, I haven’t picked up the game since I found it a bit challenging in some parts. The jumps were a bit scary, even with Elika saving my bacon nearly every single time. Maybe one of these days I’ll pick it up again, when I feel brave enough.

    I haven’t felt any gender bias in any of the gaming sessions I’ve had in the recent past. Shaz was a pretty formidable player on SC IV (and fun too, with that tantrum throwing move she pulled with Xiangua). Even on those Burnout Revenge sessions with El, I didn’t feel any bias. (and yes, I miss those sessions very much).

    What else? There are some Ready-Up members I haven’t played with yet, so once I get my 360 back up and running, maybe I’ll get down to adding more people from here to my friend’s list. And getting my behind fragged by a certain Ready-Up member on Halo 3.

    Last thought–Hau`oli Lā Hānau, Eleanor.

  11. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I like the site too for it’s mix of men and women. It’s no longer the attitude of let’s get a token female on staff. Just look at the world record challenge last weekend, I got to see 3 lovely looking gamers taking part (and the girls looked nice too) :p.

    3 men/3 women. A good balance. No longer the men’s role and a women’s role. Now it’s all mixed as we’re all gamers. I have played games controlling men and women, we all have out favourites (both as heroes and for the perve factor).

    In my younger days, I probably would have posted messages and replies to only the female gamers trying to get them to like me. Now being older and wiser (well, older at least),it’s all about making friends and like minded people to play games with. I love Ready Up for that.

  12. MarkuzR avatar
    MarkuzR

    From what I recall of your SF4 gameplay over at Van’s last weekend Rook, you were mixing it up between the male and female characters… but most of the time I looked over it was some scantily clad hottie 🙂 I’m the same though, and that opening shot of Cammy just floored me!

    It’s high up on my “to buy” list now, but not just for the booty shots 🙂

  13. Lorna avatar
    Lorna

    I’ve enjoyed seeing steadily more great female protagonists now, such as Faith in Mirror’s Edge. The heroine in Hydrophobia looks to be a strong character, which, if the game proves successful will hopefully establish a solid franchise.

  14. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    So that’s who MarkuzR is. Howdy mate. 🙂

  15. Uzi avatar
    Uzi

    I don’t know anything about Farah. I first started drooling over girls when Farrah Fawcett-Majors was a hot topic. Still, that painting is gorgeous. Sometimes it is good to be gender biased.

  16. Uzi avatar
    Uzi

    Just figured out who Farah (in the above painting) reminds me of… Barbara Bush, one of the Bush Twins. All the facial features look the same.

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