Perspectives and Retrospectives: Vol. 2

The following piece is inklesspen’s thoughts on the first year of FUoS. Series introduction here.

I wasn’t originally part of FUoS. Oh, sure, I was in the channel when gtz and Jaspir came up with the idea, and I helped out with technical details, but I kept my distance because I didn’t want to intrude on their thing. I have enough things of my own without taking over one of theirs, I thought. And then they made me join up anyway. Hard to believe it’s been a year, but it’s certainly been a fun ride. I want to thank my co-hosts, and I want to thank you the readers, without whom none of this would have been possible.

One thing I’ve been thinking about for a while is “after awareness, what’s next?” That is, we’ve eliminated “I just didn’t realize” as an excuse, so what’s the next step towards building the community we want to live in? And I still don’t know for sure, but I know it needs to be based on something you do anyway. It can’t be an artificial “activism” added to your gaming life; that won’t have staying power.

We do get a lot of people, presumably male, writing in to apologize on behalf of the male gender. As the token male on the FUoS team, I want to address this. I don’t recall voting them in as representative of all Y-chromosome-bearers, so I don’t think that apologizing on behalf of a gender something you can really do. If you’re the sort of person whose communication might be featured on this site, then the solution is simple: stop being an ass; go and sin no more. But if you’re not, then what are you apologizing for? You’re taking something that’s not about you and making it about you. If you want to make a difference, go make one; an empty apology isn’t the way to do it. Go be an example in your gaming community. Learn how to listen and understand when someone tells you about their experience in gaming, not just slot what you’re hearing into your own life experience. Vote with your dollars when necessary; some developers and some games are better than others when it comes to treatment of women and minorities. But do something meaningful, please. And then, if you really want to, you can write in and tell us about what you did, not just what you wish.

  • Anonymous

    <3

  • Anonymous

    Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/JonelB Jonel Burge

    Apologizing on behalf of one’s gender is empty.
    However, treating female gamers as equal and telling the type of person regularly featured here to shut up? That’s way more useful. 

  • Anonymous


    It can’t be an artificial “activism” added to your gaming life; that won’t have staying power. 

    This is something that I think was approached very well in this TED talk about Racism discussions and can easily be applied to discourse about Sexism. The whole thing is great, but if you absolutely have to skip to the good part, it’s the hygiene analogy that sort-of starts at about 7:37.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Gilbertson/517721908 Peter Gilbertson

    I love female gamers.  We need more of them.  The Gaming personality seems slanted toward the male gender as it is (genetics – social forming, etc. the cause is debatable, the massive male > female numbers are not).  The last thing we as a community need to do is further ostracize women and girls who are drawn to leisure pursuits similar to those we enjoy.

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