Over the weekend, a writer for a gaming e-zine took a shot at Felicia Day via Twitter. Writer Ryan Perez sent several tweets to Day asking what she had contributed to the gaming community, and in the end, resorted to calling her a “glorified booth babe”. This isn’t just a problem for Felicia Day. It’s a problem for us all, and here’s why:
Ryan Perez may be entitled to his opinion and he may have the right to ask if Felicia Day matters at all, but he went too far by asking repeatedly and to her specifically, and then went overboard with his “booth babe” comment.
I applaud those individuals who re-tweeted and exposed the hate. I admire Wil Wheaton for calling out Perez’s publisher, Destructoid. According to author Chuck Wendig’s post, the e-zine originally shrugged off the comment, but they have since apologized to Felicia Day and fired Perez.
I think Destructoid ultimately made the right move, even if they didn’t see it at first. There shouldn’t be any reason for a publisher to support that kind of cyberbullying. It’s hate mail. Period.
It does bring to light the problem for girls in gaming: we’re not allowed to play. Our involvement in the gaming community is limited to being eye candy.
This latest “booth babe” incident comes on the heels of Felicia Day’s “Gamer Girl, Country Boy” flame fest wherein a group of individuals decided to troll Day’s gaming-country mash-up music video. The negative comments run the gamut from questioning the choice of the yellow eye shadow to a dislike of country music to questioning the involvement of women in gaming.
I’m not saying you need to love the eye shadow or country music. But to suggest gaming is a guys-only venue? This is the exclusion of half the population from an activity that supposed to be fun. And this makes sense, how? This has been a problem since the invention of the first console. Guys, girls play games, too. Get over it. (For visual proof check out the Tumblr, real girls gaming.)
Felicia Day has certainly mainstreamed the involvement of girls in the gaming community. But more needs to be done.
Girls, it’s time to stand up, declare your love for gaming, and evict the misogynists. If you play a game – board game, internet game, computer game, console game – then you’re a gamer. Welcome to the gaming community.