Monday, October 30, 2006

Pageant Hid as Revolution: Miss Video Game 2007

Looky what I came across when sifting through my bloglines for Jade Reporting:

Be Miss Video Game


1. Must have Personality

2. Must be a female? (No wigs and makeup guys)

3. Doesn't mind Video Games :P

4. Loves the beach
Here's their mission statement:

We are on a Mission

To assist in the proliferation of females in gaming genres of all types and to help raise awareness of the female gaming audience among game publishers and advertisers. To make the gaming industry take women gamers seriously and to treat them with respect as equals.

-To showcase female gaming talent and the amazing variety among female gamers.
-To create a positive role model for young girls who enjoy playing video games.
-To break the stereotype that gaming is a male dominated industry.
-To have a good time in a fair and friendly environment.

Miss Video Game was created in order to showcase female gaming talent and
marketable female gamers to gaming publishers and industry decision-makers as well as the gaming community as a whole. We're here to put female gamers on the
map and to get them taken seriously (and also to send some lucky female gamers
to Cabo ;-).

Ladies - join up now, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This could be the start of a great career in gaming or promotions. Even if you don't know anything about video games sign up and learn - that's what this is all about, spreading gaming to women around the globe!!!

So let's see if I get this straight: an ageist, sexist, and homophobic contest created to spread the word about women and video games, omigod! While I agree with all of their goals, I can't get on board with their method--a beach-loving, conventionally beautiful babe can't be a representative for the "amazing variety among female gamers." She sure won't represent me.


jfpbookworm said...

3. Doesn't mind Video Games :P
4. Loves the beach

This could be the start of a great career in gaming or promotions.

Even if you don't know anything about video games sign up and learn

Feel-good mission statement aside, you can tell where their priorities lie.

Jacobo said...

While I agree with you labelling the contest as "sexist" and "ageist", I'm not sure I feel that the contest is homophobic. Just because transvestites and/or drag queens are excluded from participating doesn't make it homophobic, especially considering it's supposed to encourage female gamers to apply.

That being said, I know that true, hardcore female gamers are going to be overlooked if they don't fit what the suits want Miss Video Game 2007 to look like.

100LittleDolls said...

I call it homophobic in that it excludes all sorts of queer expressions. Maybe I could have used a different word, but I think "homophobic" can be treated as an umbrella term as discrimination against the whole queer community. Transgenderism can come in many different forms,and people who identify as such may also identify as a girl or woman gamer. If this contest was truly concerned about the diversity of the woman gamer, they would understand that sex and gender are not equivalents, and that gender can be expressed in many different ways.

Besides, the whole pageant idea is to present the best representation of the ideal woman for the male gaze, which is heterocentris at its core.

Lake Desire said...

"To break the stereotype that gaming is a male dominated industry."

Males are still dominating the industry if these are the standards gaming women are supposed to conform to.

Anonymous said...

Yo, I am having the most irritating and amusing debate over here about just this very competition.

It's funny and sad that a few of these women honestly have no clue as to why this videogame beauty pageant is a problem.

Faith said...

Though it sounds like any bubble head blond with big tits can apply, there will be two online gaming contests that the girls will have to play to continue through the contest.

Girls get practice time with the games, but trust me, no newbs will make it through the contest with the gaming sessions in play.

tekanji said...

See, and one reason I detest these contests is because they encourage woman-on-woman bashing like "bubble head blond". Come on, now, don't add insult to injury here. A pageant that ties gamer women even further to the male gaze -- making it even harder for us to escape (hyper)sexualization -- is bad enough without hating on hypothetical women for the pageant's ridiculous standards.

Becky "Aktrez" Young said...

Hey there,

Thank you for posting about this. That being said, I will state that I entered the pageant. I have been doing pageants since I was 4 years old. I have also been gaming for about as long.

Here is something that I wrote as a comment on the Joystiq article. I feel it sort of is relevant here as well!

Here is the thing.. YOU may not post your picture online but I, and millions of girls do! It doesn’t mean we are attention whores or wrong. It means we like to take pictures and we like to get feedback. We LIKE to look pretty and yea.. we LIKE the attention. Is that a bad thing? No.. it’s human nature! If that’s not you then fine. That doesn’t mean what I am doing or what MILLIONS of girls are doing is wrong.

I am not posing in a bikini or licking a game controller. I am not “faking” and saying I am REALLY a gamer… I AM a gamer and yea.. I model too. That shouldn’t matter at all! I’m what I like to refer to as a “glam gamer”. Just means I like to do girly things and I also like to game!

Just because you play FPS games and I don’t doesn’t mean I’m wrong. Just because you like to play RTS games and I don’t doesn’t mean I”m wrong. A LOT of girls don’t play games because they are under the impression that it’s just about kicking ass and shooting things. That’s not ALL games are about!

Just like in everything else in life there are LOTS of different types of girls… Just because we also like to play video games doesn’t change that. Just because you don’t like dressing up and looking pretty and wearing frills doesn’t mean another girl is wrong for wanting to do that.

This doesn’t appeal to ALL girl gamers. It’s not TRYING to. It is appealing to girl gamers who like to do those sort of things. It’s saying “Hey, we can be pretty and sexy and fun and play games too!!” and honestly, there is NOTHING wrong with that just like I don’t have an issue with you NOT wanting to do it.

My issue is looking at girls who DO want to do it and somehow saying that we are wrong or bad.. or setting a BAD example. If a real gamer wins this, gets some publicity as being a real gamer and is also cute and frilly.. maybe some more cute and frilly girls will think that it’s cool and get into gaming. WHO KNOWS!

All I know is that it’s a BIG world and there are LOTS of women in it… women of ALL types. So, instead of saying THIS IS WRONG.. THIS IS BAD!!!! Let’s say “Hey, this is cool.. another way for girls to be girls. And yea… we game too!”

Let me also just add that I DO believe they should change how they are wording things on the site. No, it’s NOT going to change the face of the video game world. I don’t think any of us, who have entered, really believe that. That being said, it is a very fun opportunity for those of us who ARE gamers and who also like to do pageants and model, to have something that crosses both hobbies!

Becky “Aktrez” Young
Head of the Girl Gaming Network

100LittleDolls said...

Hey Becky, thanks for stopping by!

To try to get to some of your points:

1) I want it to be clear that I won't ever criticise any woman for entering this contest, it's her perogative. In general, I rather try to look at the patriarchal system that we live in, and how it influences us.
Women can pluck their eyebrows, wear mini-skirts, pose nude, whatever--I'm not going to point my finger at them and call them a bad person.

2)I've been doing a lot of research in regards to women and video games--I have to, for school. There isn't a lot of diversity that is being represented, and the image that this contest is after is the same image that we regularily see in when it comes to women in the video game community: from Morgan Webb, to booth babes, to the nurses in Trauma Center. I'm criticizing this contest because it's designed reward that same image, rather than trying to show diversity, which is what it claims to want to do.

This is not to say that women can't be girly or frilly in order to play games--I tote my pink DS around proudly. I just feel that because this is in pageant form, that is what is going to be focused on more, and the issue of women and video games will be lost to who looks the hottest.

Becky "Aktrez" Young said...

Thank you SOOO Much for being mature and non confrontational about this! Most people DON'T get my point and just rake me through the coles.

I actually disagree with your statement, however. When I open my mouth at any given time and state that I'm a gamer I get jaws dropping to the floor. I get the "But.. But.. you aren't nerdy with greasy hair and glasses!!"

I think that the problem is this... for YEARS the only women who were seen in the gaming world WERE the less attractive women because it was a safe, tech driven world where they felt like they belonged. I was one of them!! I was the fat little girl with bad style, icky brown hair and no friends. Then, I decided to care about my looks a little more (figured.. the whole acting thing kinda pushed me that way) and I lost weight and "grew up".

Sex has always been a seller in the video game world. BECAUSE it is male dominated, the marketers use that to drive the industry. Once the cuter gamer girls started making themselves known, the mass quantity of male gamers started showing attention to them. Honestly, it got out of hand. They were no longer caring about all the other girls that they had been friends with for YEARS in gaming... all they cared about were these hotties...

Then the fakes started coming out of the wood works. The girls who CLAIM to be gamers..even some that you all may THINK really are are simply just actors claiming to game for the sake of the attention that they KNOW they will get. come on... E3 is about new games.. and booth babes!!

Then the revolution started! All of those girls who weren't frilly.. and didn't feel they were "pretty" and "popular" started getting really upset and causing a stink. EVERYONE was looking at the pretty and fake girls.. and no one cared about the gaming.

So, that brings us to where we are today. TONS of fakes in the gaming world who lick controllers, pose naked with consoles and strut their hottness just to get the attention of attention starved adolecent males. It's one big ego stroke.

See, here is the problem with that... when you fit into all these molds.. ASIDE from being fake!

Then I see a pageant... a real live PAGEANT that has to do with video games... where you have to not only get online votes.. but, also compete!?

To me, I feel that it will weed out those FAKES once and for all. If you go to the site right now, there are girls who, it seems, could barely say their alphabet.. let alone play games.

Just imagine when a bunch of REAL gamers start getting going!!!

Honestly, I think this is GOOD thing for the industry. I'm sick of people thinking I'm a fake just because society deems me "attractive". I'm sick of being just another "pretty fake". I'm not. I'm a gamer and yea.. I do pageants.

My goal here, and also from what a lot of girls I talk to are saying, is to prove that girls can BE pretty and have game. I don't think there is anything wrong with that!

Oh, and thank you again for being soo cool about this topic! I'm very happy to have a civil discussion about this without it getting nasty.