Friday 17 May 2013

A 30 Second Favour - sign my petition

The Explanation.

   Now, I know that the majority of my readers aren't interested in gaming. That's probably why I lost a few followers when I posted my World of Warcraft and Skyrim posts while I was on holiday. But the fact is, gaming is important to me. It's something both me and my boyfriend love to do, be it seperate or together. But not only that, if I'm having a hard day, then when my dad gets home to look after my mum and I "get off work" so to speak, I can immerse myself in a game and just get lost in it until I go to bed. It's an amzing destresser for me, but it also aids me with my writing.
   I use games as research to see what's popular in fantasy at the moment, which helps with certain aspects of my writing. It also gives me ideas, and in a game as versatile as Skyrim, I'm even able to create the main character of whatever book I'm working on and play them, which allows me to get better acquainted with them, if not provide even more ideas.

   But I also love merchandise. I do. I love replicas of weapons, I love lithographic prints, and I love t-shirts and hoodies. But the problem is that a lot of gaming companies only aim their products at guys.
   I know, I know, when you think of gaming you think of guys. If you go into a gaming shop, chances are it will be full of guys with no more than 1-2 women. But the fact is that more and more females are playing games these days, be it because they're stay-at-home mothers with time on their hands every now and then, or because their partner has gotten them interested in gaming (that's how it all started for me), or because they grew up with a brother or they just simply enjoy it.
   But if you go onto any of the official merchandise websites such as the Bioware store, or the Bethesda store, which sell products unavailable anywhere else, there is an absolute abundance of male apparel, but very little for females. For every 1 female t-shirt, there are about 4-5 male ones, each with designs unavailable to the ladies.

   An example is that I love Mass Effect. I do. And my favourite characters are Mordin, Thane and Legion (it seems all of them are from ME2 only, though). But when I went into the Bioware store, I did find t-shirt designs with all three of them, but none of them were available for women. The best they had for women was Garrus. That's fine, I like Garrus, too, so I did actually buy that t-shirt, but I'm unable to buy any of my true favourites. I don't like to wear loose t-shirts, you see, and male t-shirts are always loose on me. I also have no skill with a sewing machine, so I can't fix up any male ones to better fit, either.

   I'm sure there is a reason that they don't create many female products, but I believe that that is because they don't realise how many females play their games. And so it means that the users of websites like Redbubble or Cafe Press make their own designs and have them enabled on female t-shirts. This is usually copyright infringement, and when the companies find out, they contact the websites and have them pulled, but that means that there is very little for women to do about it. I've actually made my own gaming t-shirts with fabric paint because I have no other options. I didn't, and will not sell them, of course, they're for me and me alone, but it means that more complex designs like Mordin's head are out of my reach because I'm just not clever enough to manage it by hand.

The Favour.

   So, to my point: I have put together a petition on, and I ask you, today, to sign it. It takes 30 seconds, that's all, and I've sent it out to numerous gaming magazines and such just now. I need every signature I can get if this is going to make a change. It might not seem an important thing to make a petition about, but it is something that bothers me, and it's about making the point that female gamers exist, and there are a lot of us. Plus it's just a teensy bit sexist.


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