So. Obama won. The Republicans got routed. But what does that mean?
Okay. It means a lot. It means an awful lot. Since my wheelhouse is supposed to be “the intersection of politics and gaming”, though, it might be a good idea for me to take a stab at what it means for gaming. So I’ve put together a short series speculating on how the Democratic triumph (which, honestly, is what it was) is going to change and/or be reflected in the future course of gaming. Second one’s today, and it’s about women. It’s important.
#2: Women are here. They’re staying. Deal.
The big roiling issue in gaming right now–other than the horrific decline of consoles in general and triple-A console gaming specifically–is definitely gender. All over the Internet, across every single gaming website, and especially on Twitter, we’re seeing female gamers and female game writers assaulting the Boys’ Clubs of gaming. Good on ’em. A lot of somewhat sketchy stuff is being brought into the light; and though there are debates to be had on the appropriate balance of allowing free expression and debate in quasi-public spaces vs. also ensuring that said spaces are welcoming to women, the very fact that we’re having these debates is the kind of leap forward that you normally only see at the Olympics.
Well, guess which other Boy’s Club is getting broken down? The SENATE. That’s right: with this election, the United States of America is going to have more Senator women than it ever has in its history. America’s even seeing it’s first Lesbian senator! That’s kind of a big deal! More than that, though, the fact is that it’s women–especially minority and single women–who were the drivers of the Democratic victory. Dems have to be very, very aware that issues that affect women are no longer any kind of “sideline” issue. Women are at the heart of the new Democratic coalition, and they aren’t going anywhere.
In a country where “women’s issues” are now at the apex of politics, it’s unlikely to the point of impossibility that any sane person would continue to see women’s perspectives as some kind of sideline in gaming. Women matter, guys, and they’re going to keep calling you out on all the crap that you used to get away with back when it was just a He-Man Girl Hater’s Club. It doesn’t mean they’re going to “censor” you–the cases where that sort of thing actually got some traction were, historically, generally due to alliance with the same social conservatives that flamed out so badly last Tuesday–but you’re going to have to deal with the Female Gaze in your life online.
(Though I still don’t get why there’s this whole thing against men wearing hats.)
Another tomorrow, running along this same line.