Saturday, 24 July 2010

I live to nurture - ask a scientist.

I'll start with Ben Goldacre - that bastion of rationale and snake-oil myth-busting. If you haven't met him add him to your bookmarks... This Saturday morning, as I was gradually waking up with coffee and Himself was getting his fix of playing with his iPad news he showed me this article with huge glee. The bits you actually need to read are in the first paragraph or here (from the Daily Mail) and here (from the Telegraph). Disclaimer: If you choose to follow those links don't say I didn't tell you where they came from. I chose not to, relying on Goldacre's summary that shopping causes infertility in men (Telegraph) and that housework prevents breast cancer in women (Daily Mail). Himself obviously thinks this is marvellous news (in a totally tongue in cheek way, lest anyone thinks Himself is a complete arse when he's completely lovely) and the morning has been punctuated by requests for coffee and toast, in a completely selfless manner, as he is after all, only looking out for my health....

Moving to Radio 4, bless them (there is a relevant game related tie-in coming, I promise that I'm not just randomly venting!) Another bastion of sanity in a mad world. Radio 4 is just so reliable isn't it? It's a British institution after all, and it's one of those odd coming of age (maturity?) moments when you give in and tune your radio to Radio 4. Mine is obviously tuned to Planet Rock, but Himself being of a slightly more intellectual bent than me, insists on Radio 4 in the mornings. So the reporters are conversing away in a low key manner (actually not all that low key as today's news is full of the Jon Venables debate - hardly romantic, low key discussion...) when the word 'gaming' filters through my semi-awake brain and I turn the volume up, like you do. Oh genders and gaming. This should be good, after all it's Radio 4 - amirite?

Unfortunately, the Today programme doesn't appear to be an option on iPlayer, or I'd give you the link and let you listen in all it's glory, but insted I can give you the quote from their schedule:

Nick Higham reports on the growing numbers of women playing computer games and how the games industry is starting to reflect their interests.
Sounds reasonable doesn't it? This has potential to be a well thought out piece after all. We know that whilst getting 'reliable' stats about how many women game is hard, it is now acknowledged that we are a significant demographic. So ladies - what games do we play and why? We play Farmville, of course. Bite-sized games, because we don't have the time to commit to anything more time-consuming (read: stretching/challenging?) and because these types of games fulfil our need to socialise (a la Facebook) and, most importantly of all, because they nurture us. WHAT THE FUCK? SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK RADIO 4? WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT? THIS IS THE SORT OF SHIT I EXPECT FROM THE DAILY 'MALE' NOT FROM A 'SERIOUS' RADIO STATION.

The reporter chittered on, in a deeply patronising-male way, about how women 'want' these types of low key games, that 'we' take emotional succour from Farmville - effectively from harvesting sunflowers and collecting chicken's eggs. Basically we want to fulfil our biological destiny and look after cute things and take care of them and cater to their every whim. Isn't that sweet? Aren't us women just dahling, unthreatening, fluffy things? And let's not forget the RMT (micro-transaction?) element. If doing all this is just too much for out little ole' brains we can always just fork over some (of hubbys) cash to buy it all. Because, you know, shopping's our other source of emotional fulfilment (but don't take hubby in case he becomes infertile - just his credit cards will do nicely, ok?) And, ohmygod, and we want to do all this at the same time as being sweet, sociable things via social networking sites. Because then we get double emotional fulfilment - we can talk about like, shopping and nail varnish and hair straighteners and Big Brother and stuff with our girl friends and grow flowers as well!!11!! At the same time.!!11!! My life is now *officially* complete. No more MMOs for me...

You know what? I don't want more things I have to fucking nurture! I nurture my children, my colleagues, my friends, I attempt to nurture Himself (although he may disagree.) When I game I do not want stuff that I need to look after (I realise that having played a holy priest for sometime causes a minor blip in the argument but I'm choosing to ignore that on the basis that, y'know, emotional illogical female here...) I want do to stuff that causes pain. I want to wtfpwn. I want to make things die a slow agonising death with DoTs. I want to melt faces. To mind sear (yes Nick Higham, I'm looking at you right now, buddy). To generally cause mayhem and pain. The only time I want to play with a field of sunflowers is with a fucking flamethrower. Then, to just compound the insult - they had voxpop on the 'streets' with the sort of giggly, hair flicking (I assume) early 20-something girls who were all *giggle giggle* 'oh well, yeah, I like, play, like Farmville, but I'm really, like embarrassed about it, because you know, it's like a computer game isn't it...?' Oh Gods, kill me now, please...

Anyway, if you'll excuse me I need to go and take Himself his breakfast in bed... anything to stave off those nasty illnesses huh?


  1. So this is where the brain's been, I was wondering why I felt like a mindless automaton...

    Also: *stands up and applauds every effing word* *especially the bit about the holy priesting*

    Ironically enough, whenever I see those tiresome updates on FB from social games, it's from my male-identified friends. The only woman I know who does play the FB social games plays the Mafia one. In which you do illegal type things. Like killing people and handling stolen goods and sell guns.

  2. Oooh - I like that Bad Science website. Being a Statistician in the pharmaceutical industry it fits the bill wonderfully :) Thanks for the link.

    I find myself in a quandry though - I'm not sure which box I fit into. I'm a 'nerdy' statistician, WOW playing, non-buying with real cash farmville female who doesn't really like shopping and rarely does housework or any other form of exercise.

    Oh no - I am unique - just like the rest of the population :) I'm resisting the temptation to do the Monty Python 'you're all individuals' quote.......

  3. I hope that guy on radio 4 gets beaten up by a horde of angry gamer-girls.

  4. Nick Higham - guy with NO CLUE...

    Condescending git.

  5. That's just... wow..

    I barely log onto Facebook to begin with, and if I do I definitely don't play Farmville *lol* Any farming I'm doing is in WoW :P

  6. @ Pulse - yeah sorry about that. I borrowed the brain for a few minutes ;)

    @ Seph - yep Ben Goldacre is fantastic. I might have sounded like I was dissing him. And I wasn't.

    @ Antlergirl - totally. This post was written AFTER I'd spent some time ranting at Himself so had cleared some of the bile out of my system...

    @ Seph again. Oh wow - you found the link! Nice one. Now I can re-listen and see if I was over-reacting!

    @ Saga - I just went through my FB notifications and ALL my Farmville requests are from my male friends. Go figure...