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November 3, 2005

Filed under: gaming»society»gender

Women gamers are music to my ears

Nowadays I'm amused by the perpetual question of "where are all the women gamers?" As a musician who used to hang out in the Bass Player forums, every now and then the same basic thread would wind its way up. "Where are all the female bass players?"

Well, there's Sheryl Crow, for a start. Yow.

The real answer to the question always ended up being something along the lines of "if you weren't such a jerk, you'd probably see a lot more of them." There are plenty of female musicians of all stripes out there, at all levels. One of my personal influences, Clatter, is fronted by bassist Amy Humphrey. My friend Lee Flier, guitarist for Atlanta-based What The? comes highly recommended. And then there are people like The Great Kat, seen there in a terrifying Guitar Player interview. If speed metal had script kiddies, they'd be The Great Kat.

More importantly, all three of those are very different people, and react very differently to their situation as women musicians. Amy has been in grrl rock groups, but would rather be known as a bass player than a female. Lee, if I remember correctly, tends to feel the same way, possibly more strongly. In contrast, she's said that she passed on events featuring women rockers, because she doesn't really care for the issue. And the Great Kat is insane, but I'm pretty sure that the feminine dynamic in her work should be taken with a pretty strong dose of irony.

Man, it's almost as if they were distinct and complicated human beings, with their own thoughts and opinions, just like men. Perhaps something similar could be said about gaming. Maybe Josh is right after all.

And while I am guilty of firing off an angry e-mail in response to Chris Crawford's unfit-to-evolve editorial, it may help to step back and remember that there's a parallel in rock music for his kind as well. Believe it or not, serious people have tried to state that women just couldn't play rock music, because it required too much testosterone and aggression (anyone who thinks women aren't capable of aggression hasn't dated much). It was ridiculous then, and it's ridiculous now.

I mean, all I wanna do is have some fun, right? Nothing wrong with that from either gender.

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