I want to press (XY) some buttons: Gender Experience and Gaming

A brief overview of a panel on transgendered people in the gaming industry at PAX East 2013.

Today Press XY ran a panel on the experience of transgendered people in the game industry.  While it was fascinating, it was entirely too short.  Entire weekend workshops could be devoted to the subject of gender experience.  While the room was not full, there was a decent amount of interest.  An issue that was addressed early was the perception by the heteronormative  or cisgenderd culture that trans people were doing it, not for themselves or their own desires, but to somehow “trick” the cisgendered.  

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What fascinates me here is that this is a similar argument used against “fake gamer girls.” They are not gaming, the argument goes, for their own amusement.  Rather, they are doing it in order to enter into and prey upon “real” (male) gamers.

The issue here is, of course, supposing ulterior motives for the behaviors of others. This is way beyond being just gamer culture, but it is important to remember none the less.  I’m going to be cranky here and say, “For the love of God, this needs to stop.”  Gaming culture has several serious flaws and most of them are created by making assumptions about why other people are doing things.  

More coming soon on this topic, I hope.  In the meantime, next time you start to get irritated with someone, it might be good to ask yourself why they might be doing it.  There are more reasons than one might think.  


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