Why Women Won't Game


There comes a point in every gamer's life when he thinks back on all the roleplaying groups he's been a part of since he first picked up a d20 and a character sheet. He recalls great campaigns, beloved characters, favorite stories, and fellow players who became his friends for life. But when he considers those players more closely, he wonders "why is it that so few women get involved in what I know is a great hobby?"

There comes a point in every gamer's life when he thinks back on all the roleplaying groups he's been a part of since he first picked up a d20 and a character sheet. He recalls great campaigns, beloved characters, favorite stories, and fellow players who became his friends for life. But when he considers those players more closely, he realizes that most of the time a certain kind of player was missing from his groups. Out of all the players he's known, it's quite likely that very few of them were female. "Why is it," he wonders, "that so few women get involved in what I know is a great hobby?"

He might be surprised to learn it has something to do with him.

Making a simple real-world Perception check immediately reveals that women constitute a tiny minority of all roleplayers. The reasons for this aren't always obvious at first glance. The problem isn't, as many people assume, that women aren't interested in gaming. I have been a gamer since the mid-1990s and a female since I was born, and over the years I've encountered plenty of fellow "gamer chicks," some of whom have been playing since the earliest days of D&D. But for every dedicated gamer chick I've met, I've run into even more women who played for one or two sessions of a campaign, then disappeared from the hobby entirely. (This is a shame, because I think most male gamers would love to have a gamer chick in their group, whether that stems from a desire for a new perspective on gaming or far more nefarious purposes...) When I ask them why they quit, they rarely reply that it was because they found out they hated roleplaying. Rather, their reasons for leaving usually have more to do with the way the men in the group treated them.

I don't mean to suggest that all men, or all male gamers, are insensitive jerks who are always doing women wrong. There are plenty of polite, respectful male gamers out there who go to great lengths to make every fellow gamer, male or female, feel at home in their group. But there are also quite a few whose utter lack of common courtesy toward women never ceases to amaze me. I'm not here to tell you which of these categories you belong to. I am here to remind you that women have many hurdles to overcome if they want to fully participate in this hobby - and that most of those hurdles are placed there by their fellow gamers.

The female ex-gamers I've talked to have many reasons for leaving the hobby. But the central fact behind their reluctance to game seems to stem from one simple fact: Women stop gaming when the men they play with treat them like women first, and fellow gamers second. Many male gamers have a skewed perception of female gamers that is based on false generalizations. This can lead to female players being treated differently than male players of the same skill and experience level, which is a surefire way to cause a gamer chick's abrupt departure from a group.

Some male gamers seem to operate under the misconception that women are incapable of understanding gaming without a man explaining it to us. Women are often at a disadvantage when we first learn to roleplay; since RPGs are often seen as a stereotypically male pastime, few of us get even the passing familiarity with "that D&D stuff" that most men learn at some point. But just because some beginning female gamers might take a little longer to grasp concepts that seem very basic to you doesn't mean we're stupid. Answer our questions if we ask them, but don't patronize us, either. It's better for you to speak too quickly and have us ask you to slow down than for you to explain things in virtual baby talk and insult our intelligence.

An even more dangerous (and, sadly, more common) assumption is that every female gamer is in the hobby to get a boyfriend. Some male gamers even believe the opposite - that we get into roleplaying only to break up gaming groups and basically put men through hell. Here's a radical idea: What if gamer chicks don't really devote all their time and energy to senselessly meddling with people who are supposed to be our friends and cohorts? What if our resistance to your advances means we're not interested, not that we're playing hard to get? What if we don't find it flattering to be stared at when we walk into game stores, or asked out with pathetic pick-up lines by every third gamer we meet? What if, God forbid, we keep showing up at your Friday night sessions because we really just want to roleplay?

The truth is, women who game rarely have secret plans or ulterior motives, no more than male gamers do. We put up with a lot of garbage that men never encounter, and it's all because of a few ridiculous stereotypes that don't even need to exist in the first place. Over the years I've dealt with with everything from sexist GMs to icky pick-up lines delivered by fellow players to having my female characters never be taken seriously, but I've stuck it out for the sheer love of sitting down with my friends, rolling some dice, eating some pizza, and telling a fascinating story. But I've been lucky; my good experiences with gaming far outweigh my bad ones, and there are plenty of other would-be gamer chicks who can't say the same.

After hearing all this, I would hope that you're wondering what you, a male gamer, can do to get rid of these ideas and make the world of RPGs more welcoming to women. The answer is simple: Take a good long look at yourself and your behavior toward any gamer chicks you may know. Do you treat them with the same respect you would give any other player? For a moment, imagine yourself as the only man in a gaming group made up entirely of women, all of whom treat you the same way you treat female gamers. If you would be comfortable in a situation like this (and not just because you'd be surrounded by women!), then you're probably doing fine. But if the thought of being on the receiving end of your own actions makes you cringe, it's time you revised your behavior until you treat the women in your gaming group with the same respect you would give to men.

And you'd better do it quickly. In recent years the number of active female gamers has skyrocketed, as a look around any convention or game store will tell you. Women are flocking to gaming in record numbers, especially to newer types of RPGs such as LARPs, MUDs, and MMORPGs. Whether or not they stay very long depends on you. You have the opportunity to change the face of gaming forever by welcoming a new demographic with open arms. So please, take a good long look at yourself and do what you have to do to make yourself the kind of person female gamers will point to as part of the solution. If all goes well, I think that someday that experienced gamer will have another moment where he says to himself:

"Isn't it strange that when I first started out in this hobby, women hardly ever gamed at all?"

Interestingly, one of the phenomena I personally witnessed in an old gaming group I was a part of was the tendency of the other male gamers to systematically incapacitate, restrain, rape, torture and (occasionally) shave bald any female characters in the game. This happened regardless of whether the female character was playedd by a male or a female player. I have no explanation for this misogynistic attitude, but it was odd to say the least.

While I can not explain or even necessarily forgive the majority of your complaints on behalf of male gamers everywhere (and nor should I have to...) I will point out this much. Many gamers, especially at stores it seems, are lonely guys whose main intrest only brings them into contact with...other lonely guys. So, when women show up they can expect that these lonely guys are going to hit on them. It's basic human nature, without that behavior (obviously modified due to a lack of practice) most people would never reproduce and the species would die out. Get over it. It isn't that male gamers are pigs, compared to everyone else, its that you haven't spent enough time in situations where it is mostly guys, and you are the rare 'chick'. You are going to get stared at, and you are going to get pathetic pick up lines from every third gamer you meet. (the other two are probably married or in a relationship of some sort). I am sure it is the same if you suddenly joined a football team or took up paintball, or any other typically male only hobby. Hell, if I could find some place occupied solely by women, lonely and with typically low social skills, I am sure I would expirence many of the same behaviors from these women.
Lastly, most of the female gamers I have encountered have been either married or dating another gamer, and ususally gamed with their SO. This tends to cut down on a great deal of the crap, from what I can see. I know, you shouldn't have to deal with it anyway, but until you either start gaming with all gurls or flamers, then these are the things you have to deal with. There is a reason Utopia is often translated as meaning nowhere...

Sure, malaki, I realize that a certain amount of this behavior is just a natural part of being a woman in a male-dominated hobby, and that no matter what it's not going to go away. I've learned to deal with that, hell, sometimes I'm even flattered by it. The problem is when it gets to be such a constant thing that when a male gamer is nice to a gamer chicks, it's because he wants to pick her up and not because he's interested in her as a fellow gamer. Being objectified all the time by everyone you meet is no fun. That's what I'm talking about, not the natural amount of romancing that's going to go on in any coed activity. I don't have anything against gamers having relationships with other gamers, in fact I've been in a few. But when it becomes so prohibitive that a woman doesn't feel like she's welcome in a game as anything but a sex object, well, that's when it has to stop.
Oh, and by the way, I game with a lot of women, and if I see them doing this to men I take them to task for it, too. The issue isn't sexism, it's creating a good environment for *everyone* to game in.

aeon, I think that's more to do with the people you used to game with than with their gender.

I agree entirely with Gamerchick, but to tell the truth I am a bit parital have visted her website many times and being a regular at her messageboard. Female gamers should be treated as you would treat a male gamer, equaly and with respect. Also the bring with them to the hobby certian things that is often lacked when groups are only male. When female role-players come in there is often a shift from more hack-n-slash to more character driven stories and they often have more detailed and devolped character backgrounds. That is so because the female gamer often treates thier character as if the were real people that had real feelings. This is that then gender ratio in LARPs is more even them in table top groups. If the male gamers accpet the female gamers as equals then they'll find themselve often have a increased focus on character devolpment and backgrounds. Furthermore this invluance often spreads into pther character for games that are all male. I have experianced this for myself. Accept female gamers as fellow gamers and you'll probly be better for it.

Aeon, I've experienced similar behavior in all the role playing groups I've been in. Every female character in the game seems to be either a love interest or a victim of some kind.

When they're played by men, or as NPCs, it's not a big deal. When a female gamer plays a female character and every time the group camps someone is fighting over who gets to share her bedroll, the woman playing usually gets quickly annoyed and doesn't want to play again.

I'm going to have to agree with Gamergurl here. I have been pretty fortunate in that almost all of my gaming groups since '89 have included a mix of both genders. In fact, some games were... quel horreur!!.. run by women. One thing that I noticed real quick was the guys that treated the girls like June Cleaver, or spoke down to them constantly were quickly avoided and ignored. Those of us that were willing to offer an honest hand of friendship, have made some very longlasting friends. Yes, the lonely geek is a fact, and will ask any girl he can out. That still doesn't mean the girls have to like it or even always be nice about it. Treat all of your gamers like gamers and you'll never go wrong.

Totally totally true, I've stopped gaming with particular groups where I, as a female gamer, have been mistreated. Its a good thing I had enough CON to continue trying other games and groups, or I'd be out a great hobby.

I'm a friend of gamerchick from college, and despite having only gotten involved in gaming within the past year and with an exemplary group, I'm inclined to agree with her. This isn't because I've experienced this kind of behavior first hand in gaming, but in other areas of my life.

Excuse me if I'm sounding a little optimistic here, but wouldn't it be great if we could accept people of the opposite gender as something more than potential mating material? In high school I competed in Science Olympiad, another hobby that has been traditionally male dominated. I never was taken seriously by many male competitors because of my gender, but they were rather surprised when I and my female science-loving friends excelled in our respective events. Quite often we also were seen as the "ships babe", as if we were a mascot and not an actual competitor. However, on the flip side, I also am a dancer, and have been for quite a long time. The world of dance is quite often a female dominated area, and I will admit that girls in my class treated the few brave guys that danced with us a lot like girls do when entering guy-dominated activities.

The mirror goes both ways. I just would like to also say that it shouldn't be considered the girl's fault for getting hit on, just because she entered a place where there isn't many girls. To say that is to say that it is my fault for getting my butt grabbed by different guys because I went to a club. Pick up lines don't work, grabbing the body of a person works less, and harrassing and exploiting a female or their character is far beyond the borders of good taste.

And - guys or girls - if you are interested in that demographically rare member of your choice, the best bet of getting close to them is to not treat them like a piece of meat or patronize them, just get to know them. And if you are a person that feels uncomfortable in a situation, try bringing a friend or someone with you.

ive been playing for 11 years my moms a dm and all my female freinds play why? we love the game
we plat 5-7 days a week

This was a good article. More people need to read it.

Looking back, I can say without fear of correction, that I treated every female gamer I had with as much cruelity, kindness, etc as I did every male gamer. I could care less what sex someone is. I don't care what color they are. If a 7' tall green blob showed up smelling of banannas, my first question would be 'Yeah, but can they *play*?' IMO competency comes first. If they were newbies, I ask the same questions as I do with male newbies "How fast do they pick up on training? Do they put forth any effort? Did they bring their own dice and food?"

Sadly, the same is not said for all of the gamers out there. I have seen too many campaigns spoiled by the male GM trying to hook up his girlfriend in game, etc. Bah. Bad male GM.

There are a lot of different angles on this but I think the question should always be "Yeah, but can they play?"

The reality is that there will never be any equality in the hobby until people start referring to each other as something other than "them" and "us." That is step one.

The second step is the realization of the people you were dealing with. Most of the mistreatment of women is at the hands of misanthropic guys who are slaves to their hormones, nothing more, nothing less. They'd be misanthropic even if you weren't sitting at a gaming table; it doesn't really matter your activity. Gaming is just a way to encounter them. You'll find them in everything from your engineering classes to your social group, they're just part of being included in with the intellectuals. Think of it as a minefield to avoid -- part of the hazards of being on the job. If you've found yourself falling in with the wrong crowd, leave.

Luckily for everyone, these guys really are few and far between. Yes, they exist. Yes, they will stalk the local "Gamer Grrl." But 90% of all gamers are decent people who just want to get together, drink beer, eat doritos, and fool around for a few hours. Knowing that there is only a slim chance that the guy across the table is going to be some kind of drooling ape-man who can hardly keep it in the pants is integral to step two.

Step three is to realize that there are stereotypes on both sides of the table, and to get past them. The girlfriend steroetype. The smelly gamer steroetype. The hard core gamer stereotype.
People are people. Realizing these are stereotypes is a good way to move past them.

I have written about 100,000 words on this topic in one form or another, and the best conclusion I have come to is this: as long as people categorize each other as "them" and "those people," there really won't be any happiness.

The issue I had with this essay is that it didn't present any solutions, just the problems -- and man, we've heard 'em. You need solutions that work for both genders, not just pointing the finger of accusation at the guys. The finger of accusation just pisses people off.

My solution is, "Don't worry about it and have fun -- it's just a game."

sounds like the gamers that act like dix are 15 - 25 yrs old. i m 40 yrs old, about ave. for our game, there is one grrl in a group of 3-5 players. i admit, some ppl never grow up. if u grrls were to encounter a group of OTHER WOMEN that are rude, insulting, grab your butt, use sexy voice & words to suggest a scenerio where they rape & u love it... ARE U GOING TO HANG AROUND WITH THESE FOOLS? what kinda GUY OR GIRL is going to stick with any crowd like that? so why hang around with that bunch of GUYS when there r so many other guys in the world? do u see ANY other women playing D&D with those guys? what game do u want to play; these guys or RPG? why not buy ur own gamebooks & play with the ppl u already have as friends? i love playing D&D with women, there r more feelings/story involved & less numbers/conquest.
if u don't like the food, go to another restrant!

also, u got to talk their language, grabbing ur butt is assault, stab them with your pencil/pen (but not life threatening), leg/arm is good. i know that is hard to do, but if a mosquito tries to stick his thing into u (uninvited), u got to act fast before he gets away! if a guy grabs another guys butt does the victim talk, run away or attack? if a new creature in the game proves itself to be a monster by assaulting u, do tell it "If U Ever Do that Again..."?
if u r attacked u can (& must) defend yourself without going to jail, that means not killing them unless ur life is being threatened.
i love women, play women charactors (:they are a lot more fun to look at & think about:), read women authors, married a woman & prefer female friends. apologize in advance for offending any dix. does this make me homoseual or just obsessed (interested seemed too weak of a word) with women & delving into the mystery they present me within the limits of my life :)

Using the word grrl means you are a complete and utter tool. Same with womyn or any of the other psuedo-lesbian counter-culture "power" words. Resist the temptation.

The problem with gamer girls is that they are gamer girls first and maybe then a gamer second. Get over yourself.

This article is nonsensical, using your logic I could say that there aren't many female engineers because all the male engineers are misogynists. And there is plenty of data that illustrates that women are less likley to enter into a technical career. Or are you right? Its not that engineering isn't interesting to many women its been all the geek misogynists with bad pick up lines.

In trying to dismantle my so-called stereotype, you've created a stereotype of your own. ALL female gamers are women first and gamers second? I think not. In a really good group, gender (unless it's the gender of your characters) becomes unimportant. That goes for men and women alike. In a really bad group, you can get situations like the one aeon describes, where gender is everything. Sure, there are some women who only game because they like the attention they get from men, and that's just not cool. But I'm a gamer first and foremost because I have a passion for the hobby, and I think most of the other gamer chicks out there would say the same.

I'm not accusing you, or anyone else reading this article, of being a sexist or misogynist. You, on the other hand, seem to be accusing me of hating men without even knowing me. Come on, why would I stay in a male-dominated hobby if I had a burning disgust toward 90% of the people I met in it? I'm not necessarily sexist just because I dared to talk about gender issues in an article. My point isn't that men are pigs. My point is that everyone needs to consider the feelings of ALL their gamers, instead of writing them off as lost causes for some very stupid reason (come to think of it, a reason like "All of them are women first and gamers second"). There can't BE any solutions until people are made aware of the problem, first.

Actually, there are a large number of factors that contribute to why women do not enter the field, and it isn't entirely because it is "uninteresting."

Says I, who has a masters in engineering.

But this is a different topic.


Regarding your thoughtful article at Gamegrene.com, I'm not going to contradict it. But I will make a general observation that I think applies in lots of spheres of activity.

I remember this one gaming club back in Madison, Wis (the true heartland of Gaming) back in the '80s, semi-associated with the UW (in the sense that their sessions took place at the Union, not that it was sponsored by the University or anything), the "DMR" or "DMA" or something (I can't remember the acronym precisely, much less what it stood for). I had a couple friends (or associates) in the gaming group I was in which were also in this group (sorry, this is becoming a long rambling prelude). Anyhow, I still remember them describing one day (in upbeat terms, like it was cool or something) how the group liked to suck in newbies (new gamers), adventure with them a couple sessions, and then attack/loot/mutilate/kill/whatever the new person's character.

In other words, some people are just jerks. I know that when guys behave like jerks to women often the first thought must be that they're doing that because the person is a woman, just like when white people are jerks to blacks, often the first thought would be that it's racism. But many people are just fundiment orifices (if you get my drift), who behave that way to anyone. I can't imagine many new people went back to game with that club after such treatment, whether they were male or female (and then people wonder why it's so hard to find people to game with - male or female, black, white or brown. Go figure).

Obviously, the treatment isn't going to be the same (fixating on/staring at/making sexual innuendoes to fellow gamers by male gamers isn't often going to be male-to-male, they'll do that to whatever women they find. I will say, back in the day and even now, I often run female characters - though I'm a guy - and the number of "in character" propositions and the like were rather high - were, I say, back when I was a teenager and my fellow gamers were behaving like teenagers).

It would be nice if people behaved better, but the world being as it is. . . .well why do we game anyhow? Fantasy escapism. It still would be nice if people remembered the better parts of Chivilrous behavior in gaming - and by that I don't mean "protecting" the female characters or players to make sure they don't have fun, but the eliments of basic courtesy and fellowship.

By the by, those guys I mentioned above who waxed on approvingly like it was cool to take advantage of new members of their gaming club? These guys I had gamed with for years? Eventually they broke into my house while I was gone (skipping school to do it) and tried to steal all the gaming materiels they could carry (three of them) - I had a lot of stuff (almost a complete TSR D&D and AD&D collection at the time, and some JG stuff*). Some people are just. . .fundiment orifices (the word is stronger than that, but I'm sure you get my drift). They wouldn't have treated a female gamer any better, just different. Which is sad in and of itself.

*Eventually I got two-thirds of it back, but my collection never recovered. Obviously that also broke up the friendships, or I should say "friendships" since - well, with friends like that, and with it the longest-running gaming group I've ever been in. Other people probably would have just sickened of gaming at that point, considering some of the other experiences I had with members of that gaming group: particularly a guy who when he DM'ed managed to somehow fix things so his character benifited disproportionately from things (in levels, gear, loot, etc - we would "round-robin" DMing and playing, switching the DMing tasks at appropriate junctures), power-tripping, and the like. Someone who was less emotionally, intellectually, and monitarily invested in the gaming hobby would have gotten sick of it and given up on it - as enjoyable as much of it was, the bad parts just wouldn't have been worth the hassle.

Oh, one other thing, on "investment" in gaming - certainly one of the intimidating factors for many people, not limited to women but I've found to be a major factor - is the sheer volume of materiel that it *seems* someone needs to read/learn just to start now. In the early days, there were small booklets, rules could be read fairly quickly (yes, I've gamed for long enough - just barely long enough - to remember when. . .). I remember my roomate from college, though, a very bright woman which liked to run those "Mystery" party game things (I can't remember the exact name of the game genera, but everyone would play a character, dress as the character, and enter the role of that character, with one member being "the killer", trying to hide it, while the others tried to figure it out). Role-playing in every respect, but I could never get her interested in RPGs as such, because she'd see the volumes of rulebooks on my bookshelves and - well, I tried and tried to tell her "you don't really have to read all that, not to start anyhow", but the intimidating amount of stuff she just couldn't overcome her aversion to it.

That said, I guess it's anecdotal, because *probably* the games most popular among women who game are White Wolf's stuff (Vampire et al), based on what I've observed, and they've published tons of accessories (the difference may be that those are all fairly rules-light as RPGs go, and more exposition/text/story oriented. It doesn't seem like one has to learn/"memorize" lots of rules mechanics to play WW games, and people who get into WW stuff like all the textual/semi-literary materiel that creates an atmosphere around the experience. Perhaps it's a difference in how guys think vs. how gals think - "engineering" oriented rules-heavy stuff vs. "literary" oriented atmosphere-heavy stuff. Personally I like both, but then I've always been a deviant. I digressed again).

But IMO not only can't there "be any solutions until people recognize the problem, first" (as you wrote in your latest post), but there's unlikely to be any "solutions" as such, period. People are people. They'll continue to behave as such. Perhaps things will change on the margins in a positive direction, just as things have (over the past several decades or so) changed on the margins in a negative direction. Perhaps people will become more courteous and less narcissistic (self-regard and obsession certainly contributing to an inability to recognize how one's behavior is percieved by and affecting others, leading to people behaving boorishly because it makes them happy at the time, without regard to how it affects the feelings of others. Then when the target of such actions never comes back again, they blame it on that person being "unable to take it" - their fault for not liking such treatment, not the fault of the perpetrator, who thus learns NOTHING from the experience). But even if things improve, they'll never be perfect.

Drat, once again I've written a mail longer than the original article I'm replying to.
That must be my own narcissism.

Anyhow, the executive summary is: most of the time when people behave like jerks it's just because that's what they are. Good luck and good gaming.

I've gamed with a lot of female gamers. Usually in one of two situations: the female-dominated group, or the male dominated group with a gamer chick or two. Only rarely have I seen a gender-balanced group (and I ran it, and balanced the players like that on purpose). My observations:

In mostly-male groups, the female players I know had a strong tendency to be "just one of the guys," that is, to behave more-or-less like the male players, if usually more polite (or at least less loud). They tended to run female or non-humaniod characters. If they'd been 12 years old rather than 22-30, they'd have been called "tomboys."

In mostly-female groups, the female gamers still played mostly female or non-humanoid characters (though the latter was less common). However, the behavior of *all* the gamers at the table, male and female alike, tended to be more polite and slower-paced. Less crosstalk, less interruption, and more concern for other players (though not nescesarily thier characters).

I also noted a higher percentage of male gamers at the female-dominated games than vice versa Ratios of 3 men to 5 women vs. 1 woman to 5 men (for example) were not uncommon. Maybe this was a demographic thing.

What this looks like to me was that the gamers in the gender minority tend to try and conform to the social styles of the group as a whole. My unconfirmed suspicion (regarding the ratios above) is that more men are willing to rise to the level of women's social standards, than women are willing to put up with the BS that goes on in mostly male groups.

Your loving,
Uncle Dark

To correct a minor error above, the term "grrl" comes not out of lesbian and/or feminist politics, but out of punk culture.

I've been into Wargames and Roleplay for many year now, and never once has there been a female gamer come to our club.
I find this very disappointing, I live in a large city and think this is a real shame. I'm sure that they would provide a new perspective on games, something other than the macho kill everyone/steal everything/get biggest gun attitude that many of my current group seem to have.

I have attempted to get one girl I know to come along and have a go, but she just seems to put it off all the time.
She plays computer RPGs so I had hoped she could make the transition to other RPGs.
Sadly, this doesn't seem to be the case.

We are always looking for new members to join our club but I can't think of anything that could get female gamers to come along.
Suggestions would be very welcome!


Porphyrogenitus: Very true, very true...some gamers ARE just awful to everyone, regardless of gender. I've met some of them. But I've also met a number of gamers who were perfectly decent around male gamers, yet morphed into jerks around women. There's a lot of morons in this hobby, but there's a lot of great people, too. The trick is filling your group with the latter kind. True, not everyone who games is ever going to be polite and decent to everyone else, but some gamers can and do change their ways. I'll admit there's a certain amount of hyperbole and wishful thinking in my article, but hey, I'm not expecting it to start a revolution. If even one person reads it and decides to examine their own behavior a little more closely, I'll have accomplished what I set out to do.

Dan: As far as getting more women to join your gaming group, don't force it. If the girl you know keeps putting it off, realize she's made her decision and give it up. You can still promote the hobby to her by talking about how much you enjoy it, though; if you make it sound exciting and interesting, she might change her mind and try it out. But one word of caution, most female gamers are not terribly interested in the whole "macho kill everyone/steal everything/get biggest gun attitude," so you should make it clear that your game is about other things, such as character interaction and interesting plots, that women tend to prefer. In the end, I'd say that if you keep talking about your interest in gaming to the women you know, one of them will eventually get interested and want to check it out. It's not that we aren't interested in gaming; sometimes we're just waiting for the proper invitation. So just mention it to women, see if they seem interested, answer their questions without assuming that they're stupid, and then invite them to your game if it still seems like their kind of thing. And once you get one to join, more are likely to do the same. We women travel in packs, doncha know. (c;

I enjoyed the article quite a bit as well as the debate that it has sparked.

I have been a gamer for many years, and Gamerchick and I have had many discussions on this issue. Both of us have our respective gaming sites with essays on the subject.

I have seen just the sort of behavior that Beth vilifies here, and have squelched it where it crops up. I have also had a number of groups destroyed when couples that played broke up.

I have had the 'Sunday gamer' girls who just showed up because they could not stand to be away from their boyfriends. They played, but not with any enthusiam or for any reason other than that they wanted 'something to do'

Recently I even had a girl who gamed merely because she enjoyed toying with people. Her character did it in game and she did it out of game.

My observations mostly lead to one conclusion. Gamers are people. By pointing out the differences between men and women we simply reinforce a duality that would not otherwise be as prevalent.

The above article does suggest a solution...be courteous. But that seems to me to apply more to all gamers than just girls...

Just my thoughts ^_^

i have been an active gamer of all genres for 11 years of my 15 year life. i started with super mario brothers and now i play diablo starcraft and rp in Realms of Kaos, i have been the butt end of many jokes and all i had to say was " Me and you One on one" and i always won. after i blew the guys brains out a few times in diablo with my sorceror or rouge they either A)left me alone and left the game or B) treated me with respect for a fellow gamer or C) stayed because they were afraid id hunt them down and kill them when ever i felt like it. not the case though i only had to beat them once or twice before they decided to be kind and respect all girls.. i even went as far as stick up for comeplete stanger female gamers.

I'm not a role player offline but with most 1 on 1 contact women say to male friends "treat me as a guy". It's another case of women saying one thing and meaning it but with rules we have to figure out. Why should we when it comes to gaming? I have many female friends. At the same time I don't game with women. I do online but prefer not to know the gender of other gamers. I think atleast half the women gamers are guys with other things going on their mind than fraging my butt LOL So, I don't bring gender up until they do (only in gaming)

At the same time many women come on to a (board/klan) saying things "like help a girl out" and gets hit on harder than Max Payne. I mean if the fox gets attacked by the Wolfs who is at fault? The Wolf being who he is or the Fox who said "help a girl out"? When "help a gamer out" would have worked with me. I end by this. Women are not the same as men. That's why I like them. My handle online is NineCore. Not Irish American Male. IM a guy but my handle is not gameguy, GuyCore or spaceguy. IM a gamer first. It's hard to tell if your a female with the name gamerchick and spacegirl0047, so this begs the question" is this story a "help a gamerchick/spacegirl out", and by your handle and email you help make my point.

GuyCore.. hold on.. Nine Guy no no it's NineCore
No Center = No End
P.S Also, those other women roleplayer may have dated one(the guy she came with) or one she met at the d&D dice. An we all know how break ups end, be you gamer on non gamer.

Hey this collumn is much more interesting than the 3E vs 2E one.
At least people are having a structured and intelligent conversation.

I too find it a shame that my fellow male gamers sometimes act like bloody twits and chase away excellent would be gamers (which are sometimes females).
But I guess it's up to the group to decide what is a acceptable behaviour or not.

We used to game with this guy, let's call him "Gadoo", who acts like a freakin neanderthal (especially around women).
For that and that he is a munchkin, we've booted him out of the game.

Some people have talked about girlgamers that came to wreck havock and meet a guy at any cost. I've seen it happen only three times (out of 20 or so female gamers I've known) so I guess we shouldn't generalize too fast.

But hey, let's face it, some gamers (males and females) have the emotional maturity of 10 year olds. For these folks gender mixing is bound to be problematic.

To conclude I'm proud to announce that as of sunday our male to female ratio for our game will be 4 to 2 (there is hope).

Cthulhu Matata

Gah. I remember my old group of Vampire: The Masquerade players. I was the Storyteller, and there were about three other guys there. The rest of them were women, 6 of them. My friend Anuheia played the best version of a Ravnos I've ever seen, too. The interesting thing about this group of players was that they had no sexual interests toward any of the players (well, except me, my girlfriend played with us, but she just wanted to know what the hell I was doing with my time), and there were no undertones of sexual advance in any of the roleplay. It was kind of nice. I've been in groups before where the entire group fights over the one female who happens to wander into the group, thinking we're going to be there for roleplay. Boys will be boys, though.

On a different note, despite the large number of players (which, as any storyteller could tell you, it's hard, very hard, to control the action when nine people are asking you what's happening to them), we had a great time, though the chronicle didn't last as long as I liked (due to trying to get together, someone would always choose not to be there, due to work or whatnot. Bah), one of those reasons being I had to move. Ah, well.

Here's yet another shared viewpoint/observation from a female gamers of over 10 years.

On all 8 rpg's I play online, not a day goes by without someone asking the dreaded "a/s/l" in whisper. Often, I have had to place the person on the game's ignore option and/or flatout yell that the game is NOT an aol chat room. I have had my real life gender questioned if I do not reply socialize to this kind of drivel advance, when all I want to do is roleplay, just as I would like to believe others behind their computer screens do.

With pen and paper campaigns, there is a stigma attached to a female player. I have had my characters subjected to some of the scenarios mentioned already: rape/abuse/etc. In very few instances have I seen a male's female characters treated in such ways. I've stopped bothering to ask why they do it, since it seems quite universal, at least in my own experiences.

Still, I play on, online and traditionally, because there is no way in the many levels of Hades that I will let immature mumbo jumbo from the vocal lonely men who find some kind of sick power by trying to impede on my enjoyment of the game I happen to be playing.

The sad truth remains: female gamers will always be treated differently, regardless of how well they play with and/or against their male counterparts. Gender bias? Perhaps.

Yet another observation. When I have roleplayed with males playing female characters, 95% of the time they have absolutely no idea how a female would react in certain situations. Instead, you have the male equivalent with female anatomy, nothing more. Now, that doesn't really add dimension to any game, does it?

Players who cross genders with their role-played characters trip me out. Not so much in the online games, but sitting around the table I have difficulty with that. How am I supposed to react to a guy who in character is trying to sexually tease my character with his female character? I am pretty loony but I don't want to get someone I am already not too sure about at all confused over that divide between the game and the real world. It isn't that I am normally homophobic, but the rpg veneer is socially difficult to communicate realistically through. Although I have not seen shameful events like those mentioned above aimed at anyone in particular (I did see an infighting session turn into a sadomasochistic free for all once), it may be a result of this kind of social pressure.

Similarly I have difficulty figuring out the "gamer chick" playing a male character. That in particular just seems a shame. As hard as it is to get a woman to join in and you still have a group of guys in the game world; now our characters are more socially pitiful than us players ;).

I am a 38 year old male gamer, yeah, I have that old book.. and that one too.. even bought a few with My allowance money.. [leaving the math to others]. To start, yes 1e was better [more fun] then 2e, 3e jury is out, I just got the books, very pretty pages, though look like they might tear easy .

One thing lightly touched on, I have played a female character, not to use her wiles to advance me in the group, I gamed her in a large group, 12 people, and I thought it a good diversion to conceal her alignment [CE in a tending toward good aligned group]. It worked well for the lower levels, thwarting an attempt to save a cavalier's horse 'drowning' in a desert sinkhole. The only head she shaved was that of a rival mage's feline familiar! Thinking back, I may have been the only male I know of to ever actively play a female character for an extended period. is this a chauvinism? or just lack of comfort with doing such? Every one likes to fall to a comfort and familiarity level. if they will be tortured trying to understand their own PC, they will slow the game, and lower their own enjoyment of it. I played a female, and enjoyed myself.

Female gamers. Seen them come and go. Most I have seen have been on the shirttails of boyfriends or husbands. They tended to play under the guise of spending more time with their SO. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to have a fresh perspective, but they tended to be shy, or disinterested. The lack of input and enthusiasm was disappointing to me. Although I never failed to show respect to any gamer, they may have felt dismissed by others, but I was in it to game, and that I did. Most never lasted very long.

Perhaps it is not girls/women fault; perhaps the game has been designed in such a way as to appeal to males. Warfare, conquering, killing, marching home victorious. From the vicious to the pious acts, they all seem all historically male traits. We look to the past of entertainment and reality and see King Arthur and his knights, Robin Hood and his merry Men, Don Quixote and Sancho, the great armies of Rome, Greece, the barbarian hordes, be they Mongol of northern European, the list goes on and on. Perhaps adventuring is just a male trait, and such an underlying part of the male psyche to the exclusion of females. It seems a simple answer, perhaps not so politically correct, but sometimes the simplest answers, are the best ones..


I'm a female gamer, and have been for about 4 years. In the discussion earlier, Lon Sarver said that the ratios of men to women were normally women were drastically outnumbered by men. I don't know if I'm unusual, but the gaming group I've played with since I started has 3 women, 3 men in it. Obviously, people join us now and then, but we are a group of 3 couples, who have been friends for a long time - roleplaying is something we all found we had in common, and whenever we get together (about once a month) we play together. This also brings up the idea of sexual tension within a group. For as long as I can remember, there has never been any sexual relations betwen people who are together out of game. Some of our characters have families, but they are NPCs, not characters. We are all gamers first and foremost, and when I started wargaming I was expecting it to be like that. However, the reactions I got from wargamers was very different - they were the ones who tried to pick me up in front of my boyfriend, and got offended when I turned them down. So perhaps the kinds of rpgs you play makes a difference too?

In response to raven_zero, from above...I am jealous of your Vampire game.
Now, on to the meat of my thoughts: I am a male DM, I have been since '86.
I have played in dozens of amazing 1e, 2e, and now days 3e games, and WW Larps, too.
I'd have to agree with some above mentioned concepts about WW games being more
appropriate for female players. While at York College of PA, I played in a WW
Masquerade LARP that had up to 45 active players at a time! And sometimes, there
were more females than males playing on any given night. It made for wonderful
game interactions. Several truly inspired females really latched on to certain
aspects of the Camarilla culture...(i.e.some scary Daughters of Cacophony)

Currently, I am returning to my DM roots with an old school 1e and 3e fusion game.
One player--a thirty something female (www.amandastorm.com) is my only player. And I
must say that the irony here is: I posted an ad for players, and SHE contacted me.
Perhaps I am in the minority here, but I currently have a 100% female game right now. :>

P.S. She is an excellent player. We started her elven bard from the 0 level...before
the PC has even decided she wants to be an adventurer. Nothing like role-playing out
the Prologue! (only in a solo campaign *sigh*)


In response, I have taken a look around and have come to a few conclusions...

I hate to admit this but a good portion of gamers I have come into contact w/ fit the "gamer" sterotype. They are slovenly, unbathed, uncouth and in general social pariahs! I am an older gamer (26/M/Married) and am part of a rather large gaming group. The core is made of of young professionals to whom "gaming" is a hobby, not a lifestyle (as it is in some.) And, we have come to have many inside (and outside) jokes about some of the gamers in our region. We joke about holding "ShowerCon" and "CologneCon" every game day and major 'Con,(everyone has encountered "Stinky the Fanboy.)

I have had many discussions w/ the "Gamer Girls" in our area, and they have often stated "I will not date "gamers' but I will date "Roleplayers." I fail to comprehend the difference (Maybe that makes me a gamer.)

Regardless, the bottom line is that...Jerks are everywhere, in bars, at parties, school, and work. And, if you let one bad experience sour you on "gaming," you are judging a book by it's cover. Give gaming a chance and don't sterotype or you are as bad as those who have done you wrong.

- Punch, the "San Francisco Treat" Gamer.

I'm with Jason on the last part of his comment.

But let's face it, gaming attracts a large number of guys (and some ladies) who don't have very rich socials lives (as far as dating goes). It's understandable that when they find someone they find attractive who shares their favourite past time...

Some guys are smart enough to be able to keep gaming enjoyable for themselves the party who has spurned them, some others aren't.

As I said before it's rarer in women to harass guy gamers (and not only because they don't have to harass them since allot of guys are horny dogs). But, female harassers are just as bad, if not worst than the males.


Most female gamers aren't used to male gamers not being interested in them when they are interested in the guy. Hence they are not used to dealing with rejection in that context and tend to react badly.

It could also be that in the cases where I rejected or was witness to the rejection of a female gamer's affections, it was done in a way that hurt the feelings of the person or let her believe that the guy was playing hard to get (Hey the lady said it to my face! I swear). Which just goes to show you that stupidity isn't strictly a male trait.

That being said, whatever your gender, rejection is always hard on the rejected and allot of people don't deal to well with it. I find it too bad that many ladies have been turned away from RPG's because of it.

I'd just like to say that I play in two games at the moment. One of them has two women and four men players a good ratio. Both ladies are novice players and we treat them just the same way as we treat male newbees (with patience, understanding and a large dose of humour).

And as far as the play style, they play no differently than any male players I've met. One is a fighter the other's a rogue and they play their characters like some of the guys I know would. I'm not about to say that RPG's are genderless (I'd be called delusional) but I find it not too idealistic and naïve when I look at games run and played by people in their twenties and thirties.

Enjoy your games and bienvenue aux dames.

Cthulhu Matata!

I think sometimes it's not just women who don't like certain games.
For example, I've got two very close mates, 1 male, the other female. Now, my male mate hates any kind of video game and would rather go play footy in the park, whereas my girl mate loves every game she can get her hands on.
It's just a matter of taste!

Bon Chance et Au Revoir.

I just started playing D&D a few months ago & am hooked. A group of us play every Friday & Saturday night. We don't play online for obvious reasons already written here. There's 5 of us playing & just get the modules at the local bookstores or a place called Wizards Coast at the mall. I think its more fun playing real life than online. At least you don't have to deal with jerks & pigs.

Actually Cassandra,

in "real life" you DO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE JERKS AND PIGS because they don't go away by a flick of a switch or a click of the mouse.

Being less personnal, online gaming allows you to be more… brutal, towards anoying people and just expell them from a game.

Also, since I find it harder to bond online than in real life, I have no problem quiting a game or asking someone to leave a game online because that is usually the only place where I interact with these people (most of whom I don't even know the real identity of).

I say this because I've had my share of games with one or two jerks (who usually have a combination of several of the following anoying traits: sexist, poor personnal hygiene, no culture, no consideration for others, drinks and smokes too much, rude, poor roleplayer and/or racist)

Well the said jerk is present in the flesh and the blood, you can't shut him off by logging out and (for reasons beyond my comprehension) these jerks usually have friends in common with you or their girlfriend has friends in common with you.
So telling the jerk in question: "You're an anoying uncivilized jerk, I hate gaming with you and it will be a cold day in hell before I ever play at the same table as you." Might have repercussions that will put some strain on other relationships.

For example: Gamer B is a bastard, he treats the women at the table like garbage and he annoyes the hell out of you. Now, he happens to be friends with your boyfriend or goes out with your best friend. What do you do?

A) Do you ask that he be expelled from the game (even if it happens there will be strain on the friendships at the table).

B) Do you leave the table? Beyond having to face the fact that you didn't stand up for yourself, you'll have to face the loss of fun from the game and the questions as to why you quit.

No, I tell you, you DO have to deal with the pigs and jerks, I know I've had to and it has complicated some of the friendships I have. It also keeps me from playing in some games I would love to join, if not for "he who shall be refered as the nameless jerk".

That being said, I do prefer face to face RPGs to online RPGs

Cthulhu Matata

Having been on both sides of the coin - annoyer and annoyed - I empathise with many of the views here. Yes, I find irritation persists in real-life as well but I'd say there were already strains on the friendships Sam from Quebec describes.

A discreet word works wonders I've found but far better to let them know in good humour than when you've had all you can take. If you're unsure, talk to your SO or friend - don't have a group bitchfest - but make sure you've got that independent view!

When making your displeasure known, imagine how you would take being told you possessed those traits that you dislike. AND BE HONEST!! You may find it useful but resist parody unless you *know* they can take it.

Ridicule is the sharpest blade of all and role-players have a number of social skills they may not realise - think about your options and put yourself in their shoes before you act! You don't even have to stab someone RL to stop someone being an ass.

Jason, ask your friend what difference there is between gamer and roleplayer - it could well surprise you. And if you feel like telling us, please do. My curiosity is piqued.

As for people not being interested on first impressions, they do count. Be the kind of gamer/roleplayer that people want to play with. You never know - the next person you draw in could be the best you've ever seen.

OK, it's not just Aeon's. It's Gamerchick's too. Damn.

Thanks Satyre,

Of course there were strains, the guy is as obnoxious in real life as he is around a gaming table. The most embarassing memories spring to mind when I think about birthday diners in restaurants…

But your advice is real sound and wise and that is the only way to deal with this type of relation problem. Although I wouldn't lay the humour on too thick because the message might get interpreted as a joke or teasing instead of something that seriously bothers you…

But hey, live and let live also works fine.

I find it intriguing to read the replies to this subject. I have read a lot about the manner in which female gamers are treated. I have seen the horror stories on Beth's site and read a few on some other female gamer sites; however, I have a different viewpoint.

In my 6 years as a GM, I have usually had female gamers in my group. The one time anything "wrong" happened during a session when the lady was absent. The guy in question suffered the consequences of his action and his PC died soon after. Not because I was mad with him, but that he did something that caused people who had the resources to take him out to notice him.

I read these bad experiences with disbelief. It is up to the GM to control these people. Those who continue to act in an uncool manner should be asked to leave the group. People who play in my campaigns know that a proper behavior is required to game. I do not let PCs torture NPCs, so why would I allow someone to mistreat a gamer, male or female.

The solution to these problems lies with educating GMs in the craft of group management. However, I have never had a bad experience when a girl was actually playing in my game. I have noticed that women bring more purpose to a game, whether the fellows gamers want to impress them, or are wary of appearing as an idiot.

I find it amazing that such things happen, but as will all things, the responsibility lies with the GM. Of course, anyone can help with stopping these problems. If you hear someone bragging about what they've done, or a player telling stories in which his "character" and not him did these things, then we should immediately censure the person or people.

It the gaming community and GMs make it known that this is not cool, then such storied will slip into the past, or as instances of aberration.


Sociologists (ie Gary Fine) have speculated that historically, RPGs were born out of mathematically based tactical games. As such, the cultures that supported them initially, were centered around math cultures (ie engineering students), which tend to be populated mostly by men, though less so, today. Also, the Tolkeinesque world that dominates fantasy fiction draws heavily on stereotypes of male heroism, with women often portrayed as something to be saved.

It wasn't until Whitewolf successfully linked the geek cultre of RPGs to the romantic goth geek culture of World of Darkness - which introduced women en masse to RPGs. This, combined with changing depictions of women in fantasy lit and games has helped bring more women to RPGs.

This does not change the fact that a sizeable portion of the culture that plays RPGs, men and women, indeed DOES conform to the stereotype of the social misfit. Look around a gaming store and see the people who work there, who frequent the place. I too have played with men like this, who've had very little experience with the women, precisely for their immature attitude toward them. They use the game (or try) to express their adolescent fantasies. To me, it's uncomfortable, like someone rubbing their crotch to a story I'm telling. I don't feel comfortable with people getting off in that way from the environment I provide.

By the same token, I've seen many women in LARP use their characters as a way to make passes at men in the game, doing it in character. They aren't RP, and a lot of them actually are successful and carry it into real life.

I guess the thing is - sure, ask all you want why women you know have left gaming. You may indeed find it was because of the behavior of the other players.

*But you should also ask men why they left.*

I suspect you'd find much of the same answer. Perhaps not sexual, per se, but I can certainly see the appeal of leaving groups who appear to be immature, and use the game to foster masterbatory or cruel fantasy power trips. I've left several groups who did that.

Finally, our own group was totally women, except for me and one dolt male player who ruined everyone's fun (not because he was a man though). Some of our best games were DMd by a woman.

I do think that if women want a more prominant role in the culture, they'd better step up to the plate and start DMing in greater numbers, assembling their own groups. Too often, it seems only the men do it.

Well this is an old post but I just read through it and the "answers" to it. I pretty much had to add my 2 cents in. (Anyone who happens to have read any other posts by me might understand that I'm a pain in the ass like that)

Now I've gamed with women in the group almost the whole time I've gamed. I've taught women who had never gamed before and played with women who had been gaming for a long time. I can say that none of them left the game table because of the behavior of the other players (Yet) And most groups I've been in have been pretty raunchy. You should have seen how we all rolled around on the floor laughing over the line "2 men walking abreast in the road" from one module. (Both the men and women) Totally immature? YES but funny none the less. Kevin Smith was right in "Chasing Amy" with the line "My Grandma told me the money was in dick and fart jokes." (the quote isn't exaclty right)

Did that silly bit of humor have a chance of offending some one? You bet! But our group knew one another well enough to know one way or the other. And to me thats what gaming is always about.... having fun with friends. The jokes have not always been at a woman's expense either. More often they aren't but again we know each other pretty well.

My point is this....know your gaming group. If some one new comes along (man or woman) be a little more careful with the jokes. Gamerchick is right... don't treat any player different than any other.

Having said that I also believe that its a person's own responsability to let another play know when something offended them. One thing I also see missing (and I'm not surprised that it is) from these posts is this. Because we are males in a male dominated society and hobby we can not hope to understand what a woman goes through. Since we can not, we as men need to stop trying to "fix" the problem for them buy coming up with nifty solutions. I'm not saying ignore the problem.

I'm saying we need to let gamer chicks tell us what they need to feel comfortable. That is a difficult concept for many of us "westernized" folks to get. I know I find it offensive when some one (no matter how well meaning they are) tries to tell me what would "fix" my problems or issues when they have never been through what I have.

My advice to all gamers. Talk to the gamer chicks and find out what would make them comfortable at the game table. If you can do what they ask then great. As for the girl gamers out there... Talk to your groups and let them know what would make you more comfortable.

Ok I'll get off the soap box now :-)


One thing I also see missing (and I'm not surprised that it is) from these posts is this. Because we are males in a male dominated society and hobby we can not hope to understand what a woman goes through.

Oh puhleeze, put away the Men Are From Mars trash pop gender-relations and think of your own life. Everyone at some time or another has been ostracized or dismissed in some way or another. Everyone has felt offended for some reason or another.

I think we'll all benefit if people like you refrain from telling me what I'm capable of understanding because I am a man. There are no gnostic insights into gender relations. There is no social interaction or experience that is common to all women and exclusive to all men.

That kind of thinking, whether it is disguised as progressive PC vibes, is what reduces men and women to stereotypes. Think of it this way. If you told a woman that she couldn't understand a concept because she was only a woman, how do you think she would feel? Don't use the same anti-logic on men.

If there are people in my group who want to play, but are made to feel uncomfortable through the negligence or immaturity of other players, I will try my hardest to correct the problem. I don't accept people behaving that way around me normally, and I won't stand for it at my gaming table.

Ah .... i don't think you have the whole thing entirely right. Men and woman are different people and should be treated as such. More over if woman really did want to play d & d as badly, and as abundantly as you have pointed out I would suggest two solutions. If you like it why let a little thing like stupid boys trying to hit on you get in your way, go play somewhere else or play with that group, trust me must girls would love the attention you're so against. Second if it is really is that many female gamers why not just go out and find them, if what you're saying is true there should be plenty of females walking around just waiting for someone to ask them to for a game of d&d. Beside how would you like us to treat you girl like friggin royalty? I don't play D&D personally and I think that people bored enough are the only ones that will pick it up. I mean don't get me wrong that game itself is potentially one of the greatest exercises for the mind, but given the world we live in and other guilty pleasures to indulge on ... you would really have to be locked up somewhere to pick up D&D. Anyways I like the essay and I think that this topic is attractive but it won't get alot of attentions because the need is not great. Everybody knows you're the exception to the rule cause not alot of girls have the time or the patience to really pick up a game of D&D for hours and hours on end.

Nephandus wrote:
"Also, the Tolkeinesque world that dominates fantasy fiction draws heavily on stereotypes of male heroism, with women often portrayed as something to be saved."

But if you look back at when it was writen, the princess of Rohan (forget her name) was really something, so was Galadriel (she had the strength to resists the ring whereas most males save the hobbits didn't).

Tribal wrote:
"My advice to all gamers. Talk to the gamer chicks and find out what would make them comfortable at the game table. If you can do what they ask then great. As for the girl gamers out there... Talk to your groups and let them know what would make you more comfortable. "

Great solution Tribal (even if the paragraph that preceeded was completely brainless and condescending to males).

But you forget something, what if, like me, you feel uncomfortable about the way a player treats another player? Be you Game master or not. Whatever the gender, some people have to speak up about their uneasyness.

For example: My girlfriend was under the wrong impression that she bothered the other players and that they thought she was a bad player. This made her very sensitive about any tactical suggestion or joke that were made at the table. It made ME uncomfortable so at the post-game feed back. When my turn came I asked the group to discuss it. My girlfriend blushed at first (because she hates being in the spotlight) but she soon found out that the only thing that bothered ONE of the players was that she wasn't decisive enough when it was her turn to play. I was afraid she would leave the game two weeks ago, after our group talk, she's certain she's welcomed at the table and brings something unique the the group's dynamics.

Then there is ZeroKevin…

You think D&D is a waste of time, hey your opinion.

Women don't have the time to pick it up, er… why less than men?

You don't have to be locked up somewhere to use gaming to hit on people (just a wee bit desperate).

And this one is priceless: "trust me must girls would love the attention you're so against." You must be a real ladies' man right. You brain dead moronic cromagnon, there is a difference between arassment and attention, there is a difference between feeling welcomed and feeling wanted. I guess you mustn't have experienced it since I figure most women must find you as appealing as a garden slug, but imagine if you will that you had a co-worker or who made you uncomfortable because it showed she wanted you every time you had to work with her? Ever had a friend who didn't understand you were just friends?

It's guys like you who make us all look like shallow dim witted penis brained thugs. If your English was worst I would swear you're the guy we kicked out of our table.

Sam, on depictions of women in Tolkein:
But if you look back at when it was writen, the princess of Rohan (forget her name) was really something, so was Galadriel (she had the strength to resists the ring whereas most males save the hobbits didn't).

True, but this is not about the theoretical distribution of power rings among various cameo roles in a massive epic. This is about consistent representation.

Aside from a few brief cameos, women are almost non-existent in Lord of the Rings, and Tolkein was the first to admit it. It wasn't sexism - he just wasn't comfortable writing them. They aren't in the fellowship, nor do they star in any of his stories, despite a few key moments that punctuate some scenes. This was a problem in the movie version that they attempted to correct by expanding Liv Tyler's role somewhat.

I don't necessarily view this as a problem, not with Tolkein or with the fantasy genre in general. And it is changing. But it is there.

Good point Sam. Not all instances of players feeling uncomfortable are rooted in the actions of others.

Wow, I thought this thread was long dead...Oh well. I agree, more women should speak up, participate, start their own groups, and allow their voices to be heard. However, they need to feel comfortable with the entire idea of gaming before they can do that. All it takes is a little kindness and basic human courtesy from everyone who already games, and I think the future for female gamers can be very bright. The fact that people are even willing to discuss this issue (even if they think I'm a complete idiot for writing about it) is, to me, very promising.

I also agree that you should also be concerned that the men in the group are having a good time. However, if you're going to write about gender, I believe you should write what you know, hence I left men out. In the future, assume that everything I say about courtesy and respect applies to male gamers as well, unless I say otherwise (and I would hope that I don't!). (c:

As for zeroKelvin...dude, I don't even know where to start with your post.

"Men and woman are different people and should be treated as such."

I never said they weren't different people. But I don't believe they should be treated any differently, at least in terms of the respect they receive from other human beings.

"If you like it why let a little thing like stupid boys trying to hit on you get in your way, go play somewhere else or play with that group, trust me must girls would love the attention you're so against."

You know what? I DIDN'T let it get in my way. I spent three years roleplaying with immature, juvenile, sex-starved teenagers and dealing with their bullshit because I loved RPGs too much to let their unwanted attentions stop me. "Most girls" do not want that kind of thing - they want to be treated like human beings, not breasts with arms and legs who exist only to be confronted with sexual harassment and verbal abuse. Your post is not only insulting to me and my entire gender, but displays a rather staggering misunderstanding of the things women *do* want. I hope and pray that any women you encounter are strong enough not to let you get to them.

"Beside how would you like us to treat you girl like friggin royalty?"

I never asked for that. I asked for respect and the chance to play without being treated like a lesser human being. I don't want to be treated like royalty. I just want to play the games I love without braving all sorts of immature and insulting behavior to do it.

"Everybody knows you're the exception to the rule cause not alot of girls have the time or the patience to really pick up a game of D&D for hours and hours on end."

This made me laugh. Tell that to the five women I know who, every week, sit down with me to spend six hours or more playing Mage. Tell that to my roommate, who games three nights a week, the same as I do. Tell that to the dozens of female gamers who frequent the message board on my website and who I know in person. Tell that to the hundreds of members on the Women In Gaming mailing list. Not only are you sexist, you are dreadfully misinformed as well. Women *do* want to game, but when they run into garbage like your post they draw faulty conclusions about the hobby and run screaming from it forever. As I said, all it takes is a slight attitude readjustment, but I can see you're not terribly interested in that by the vitriol spewed forth from your post.

In conclusion, it's people like you who make me write articles like this. Thank God you are the exception rather than the rule.

P.S. - Why bother even posting on this board if you hate D&D so much?

Very fascinating article, gamerchick. I'm gonna pass this along to the other women gamers I regularly come into contact with.

This guy is a putz, Gamerchik, I would toss him from my table in a heartbeat. Ignore him and all the other fools out there that are stuck with a shallow view of the world. More then once I have blatently stated when one acts as a fool and this guy is. One defination I take on gaming is its about having fun. Even before Al convinced me to drop in to online gaming, I always looked at gaming as entertainment. I make it a point to explain what it is to anyone that asks. I have had to explain it to more guys then gals in the WMU Senate during my term last year if that makes you feel better. Most people I tell about it make the common misconceptions and once again they get proven wrong. I have had a few table gamerchicks and they could probably match me on a rules test. And of course, there is the online community, the female gamers I know from there I consider gamers first and fellow friends second. In the end I don't label myself as anything really except a gamer, I label my fellow gamers, male and female the same. I hope that others will do this first and quit trying to drag gaming back to being a boys club cause if they do, they can have my resignation.

Ever consider, GC, that the reason you get treated so is not because men treat you as a woman first and a gamer second, but because you present yourself as a woman first and a gamer second?
That's shocking and politically incorrect, I know. Frankly, though, to continue to be politically incorrect, it is my observation that when you get a woman join a group of male gamers, especially one that has been long established, usually when she leaves it is HER fault. Why? Becvause she expects them to immediately change what they have been doing to accomodate what is her style, because she comes in assuming that she is bringing a "female" perception, that she roleplays better, is more concerned about "interaction" and that you guys need to shut up and pay attention to me and see how it is done; I am woman, hear me roar!
I have routinely had games with several women in them, in fact, for a few months, the group I ran was substantially different. The problem is the differing expectations of men and women psychologically. Men tend to be more goal oriented, you usually have to attract their attention with something to do, the idea of just "bumbling around" to see what happens offends them. This however tends to annoy women who wind up feeling manipulated, or led. Reverse it, and the men feel like they're being told "We're not going to get to do anything until we do what the GM wants." You can't win.
Another thing that you run into is something you will never get around. Never. Most male dominated groups tend to shy away from romantic interludes because of the homoerotic overtones, but most men in fact do see such romance as an imprtant part of the storytelling aspect, despite rubricizations to the contrary. In counter to your assertations, I think you would find that most male gamers have the complaint that female gamers cannot seperate themselves from their characters.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with what you are saying - from your perspective. Your perspective, however, is hardly the only one, let alone the only one that matters; it is somewhat one-sided, and you become guilty of the same stereotyping.
The rule is simple: If you wish to join an existing group, you must decide whether that group is having a game that has something in it for you or not, whether or not you want to be in that group, and then the onus is upon you to set realistic expectations and boundaries for your character, as well as adjusting yourself to get along with whatever dynamic exists.
And not to be (Dare I say it?) HYPERSENSITIVE. You heard me right. Its the elephant in the room, the thing that male gamers all know exists, and is met with either sage nodding of the head in private, or the ignoring or denying it in public. It's the reaction of Aaron, whose punk-out beatnik halfling Yorg and called characters by such names as "Clanking Metal Guy" and "Scary Barbarian Dude" and "Creepy Witch-boy" who got his head bit off by the first time woman for calling her "Cute Elf Girl." Of course, it was his fault. The GM's who get excoriated for being misogynists because the evil horde kills babies and burns and (horrors!) rapes when it goes through - sorry, it's what evil people do, it's what makes it evil, because it is a bad thing. At one time I ran two campaigns, one of them was a part time evils campaign set for the express purpose of providing fodder and goals for the lower level good guys to struggle against; their charge was to BE EVIL. (Burn, murder, torture, rape, worship dark gods, spread mayhem, hatred, and discontent, try to blow up the world, and so on) Cassie (playing a drow priestess) thought nothing of joining in, smuggling drugs to finance the evil cult, keeping a harem of slaves and eunuchs (And personally attending to the latter), but when the anti-paladin raped and tortured the priestess of the Lady of Light, she freaked. The consensus of observation was "she can dish it out but she can't take it." Its a chip on the shoulder, walk into anywhere prepared to take things personally, and I'm not amazed you become offended. In other circumstances, namely if you applied that attitude to a male, it would be called "looking to pick a fight."
Challenge yourself. Be proactive, or accepting. You have choices, and if you don't like them, make new ones for yourself, and take charge and responsibility for yourself. I as a gamemaster long ago came to the realization that I cannot please all the people all the time, and I refuse to attempt it or to change my style of playing or GMing to accomplish such a futile quest. Conversely, I do not expect other people to do so. If someone doesn't like my game, I say, "Sorry you feel that way" and I don't take it personally. If I don't like a way a game is going, I resign. If I join a group of hack and slashers, I hack and slash, and don't play some effete fop, and work to drag them from their comfort zone. If I join a group of politicians I don't play Thwack the Barbarian and expect them to accomodate me. If I join a group of goody-two-shoes, and I play a Blackguard Wannabe, guess upon whose shoulders the inevitable conflicts will fall? Mine.
By the same token, if you find a group of immature gamers, by your standards, then quit. If you decide the entirity of the hobby is characterized by a single or a few experiences, then that is its own brand of immaturity. If you decide you just have to play because that is "all you have" then suck it up; and/or move on when you get the chance.
But - if a group is there, having fun, and not breaking any laws, and everyone likes it, then they are doing it right; and your veiled suggestion that they are doing it wrong, and must change to accomodate you is sheer arrogance.

Jeez. First of all, let me say that I present myself the way I present myself, and nothing is going to change that. Yes, being a woman and a feminist is part of that, but it's not ALL of it...I don't see it as walking around with a chip on my shoulder, I see it as being myself. Take it or leave it.

That said, I do actually agree with a large part of what you said. It is entirely possible for female gamers to become hypersensitive and take everything as a personal affront (I've seen it happen, and I don't approve of it one little bit). The responsibility for enjoying a game does lie, in a large portion, with the individual player. However, I don't think that means that a GM's word or decisions for how a game will be are completely sacrosanct. Compromise is the key word here.

I have been involved in several games where a large portion of the players became dissatisfied with the direction the story was taking and brought it up with the GM. Everyone sat down and talked it out, eventually reaching an agreement that was if not ideal at least acceptable to both sides of the conflict. That's the sort of thing I'm advocating, not sweeping changes of the way everyone plays that must persist forever. I'm encouraging female gamers to speak up, and male gamers to listen even if they decide not to make changes. This article was meant to raise awareness, not offer solutions to everything - each group has to find those on their own.

Since playing with some of the groups this article describes, I have been fortunate enough to find others (incorporating both men and women, and doing a decent job of making a mutually acceptable balance between their differing expectations, if I say so myself) that play the way I like the best and that respect me as a human being. Hideously sexist gamers of any gender are, I think, the exception rather than the rule. But this article was filed under "Rants," not "The Gospel Truth That Immediately Applies To All Gamers," and this gives me some freedom to say inflammatory and one-sided things, knowing full well they fit that category.

If you don't want to change, don't change. If that's the case, this article was not directed at you. For every gamer I've met who is perfectly happy with their game as is, I've met just as many who would love women to join their games, who don't understand why they aren't interested, and who are willing to change to attract more women to the hobby. That was my target audience. I don't mean to apply that all groups should drop everything and bring themselves in line with my personal definition of a good game, or with anyone else's. I simply want to offer advice to those who have become dissatisfied with their games for whatever reason and are willing to change. Far be it from me to tell you that you or your game are substandard and idiotic when I don't even know you.

In fact, the only thing about your post that really rubs me the wrong way is your characterization of female players as hypersensitive for objecting to depictions of rape. I have yet to meet *any* female gamers who were okay with that, even the ones who were fanatical about story and into the darker side of gaming. That's the problem with going to any sort of extreme in a gaming group without knowing your players are okay with it first - you don't know her background, and I do think it is something like 1 in 8 women who have been raped at some point in their lives and don't like to be reminded of it. Call me closed-minded, but in mixed-gender groups I don't believe rape has a place unless the entire group has talked it over beforehand and agreed to explore its implications in a mature fashion. Just something to think about - your mileage, of course, may vary.

First, Gamerchick - I did my MA thesis on the "violence against women" morality panic. I know the source of the 1 in 8 (actually 1 in 4) rape figures. It is a wildly inflated number, passed around by feminist advocacy groups as a piece of moral entrepreneurship with the intention of engineering a social crisis, when only a small fringe is subject to it. I can direct you to some of the proper sources to get some real information on it rather than propaganda, and you can decide for yourself the value of numbers like that. (It's origin was from a self-selective sample, with a less than 2% response rate, in a Ms Magazine feminist magazine survey, in which the surveyors actually changed the answers of the respondents. The question was asked only to women, not men, and it dealt with 'unwanted sex' not rape. Despite this, the editors changed the answers to indicate that those who'd had 'unwanted sex' had been raped. It was popularized by pop feminists on Oprah, causing many women to be afraid. Interestingly, when a later survey was adminstered to men, asking them the same question, they said they'd had 'unwanted sex' in similar numbers)

Second, again, in your post, I see a myopic viewpoint, typical with feminism (as opposed to social egalitarianism), that sees men as the objects to be solved. Most men that I know and play do not use rape in their games. I also certainly don't - in fact I don't like to use any sexual element in my game. It's not necessary to make someone "evil" and it is problematic. The game, at least as we play it, is intended to be fun, and we like to keep it rather divorced from real life hurts and morality lessons.

Third, Pete, I've played with many women, from adolescence to age 32 so far, and I've never encountered the 'sensitive' female players you are writing about. That pop psych Men are From Mars crap you seem to be quoting might sometimes apply as tendencies in large numbers, but it is a mistake to apply it to individual people, whose behaviour tends to vary wildly from an average.

This rant is couched in feminist clothes, but it applies just as well to anyone. Gamers need to discuss the kinds of games and themes they want to play. Some GM's like to strive for 'real evil' to make the players hate the bad guys. These cases should be discussed beforehand. It's good to hate the bad guys, but it's a fine line before the atmosphere gets to be a real drag. It is a game. It doesn't need to sound like the evening news.

I also think that a lot of people try to play D&D as their rendition of some kind of pseudo-European historical setting, limiting themselves to the kind gender roles that they suppose existed in real world history during mediaval times.

It isn't necessary to play that way.

This is a fantasy setting, and sexist stereotypes needn't be a factor in the game. Just like you might not care whether red haired or blond haired people are adventurers, it may be the same for men and women - just not a factor.

As a side point, rape may be a factor - as the existence of half-orcs seems to show, but it needn't be actually depicted in a game. Perhaps it occurs off-stage. Even so, I'd say that it should be off-limits to player characters - either to inflict or endure. That kind of sexual violence is just a bit too specific and of too much of an intimate nature to be dealt with in a fun game.

Nephandus - Interesting. I was not aware of that fact, and will strive to use more accurate information in the future. Still, as I was ranting I believe some exaggeration on my part is defensible. (c;

I also feel the need to point out that I do not "see men as objects to be solved," nor did I mean to promote that viewpoint (rereading my post I don't get that sense from it). Personally, I have never been put in a situation in which a game depicted rape in an uncomfortable way, whether I was playing with men or women, and I give the vast majority of male gamers enough credit to assume they know when it crosses the line. It's one of those things that seems so obvious to me that you'd think you'd hardly need to mention it, yet people keep telling me stories (come to think of it, such as the preceding post) that force me to bring it up and state the obvious again and again.

And, a side note: The original (and continuing) definition of feminism, at least as I see it, *is* social egalitarianism. When I use the word, I use it in that sense. I do not believe women deserve more or better rights than men, because that's just another, and equally reprehensible, form of sexism. I know that most women who define themselves as feminists use the term in the same way, and don't wish to be identified with extremists who make ridiculous claims such as "all sex is rape" (which Andrea Dworkin never actually said, contrary to popular opinion). It's kind of strange - I hear so many women say, "I don't consider myself a feminist, but..." and then proceed to say things that put them directly in line with feminism's goals (the goals of the REAL movement, not the few extremists who get all the publicity). Says something about the serious image problem feminism has, I think.

Thanks for the clarifications.

gamerchick said: …I will strive to use more accurate information in the future. Still, as I was ranting I believe some exaggeration on my part is defensible. (c;

Nephandus: No problem. Rant all you want on D&D, but I will have to call you on the feminist side-points :^) It is difficult to get accurate information on those topics, mainly because most of the research that feeds feminist theory is gathered from advocacy groups – people who are volunteers, not statisticians, who will take short-cuts with social science if it means helping the individuals in their charge (or gathering more funding). Often times, these groups are staffed by people who themselves have been victims, and blame all men for their suffering.

Gamerchick: I also feel the need to point out that I do not "see men as objects to be solved," […] I give the vast majority of male gamers enough credit to assume they know when it crosses the line. It's one of those things that seems so obvious to me

Nephandus: It’s a nuanced point, but I’ll make it anyway. You single out men in this response – in so doing, again, you fail to include women in the equation. Again, it is a myopic , so typical with feminism (it is the reason why feminism is now about advocacy, not equality on a specific issue, as it originally was) Is it possible that women can cross the line too? Hard to say, because so few of them DM, but your criticism seems to apply only to the minority of male gamers that cross the line. Lucky for me, I’ve not played with many people who crossed my comfort line, and when I did, I left those groups (mostly they were from ‘gaming clubs’). Of the players I’ve played with, the two most bloodthirsty were women- though it didn’t cross the line. But based on that, I’d say that women are capable of the same range of poor taste as men are. In LARP, it was always women who broke the first rule, and touched their fellow gamers (ie a mock slap that is real). Thinking that way, I’d just say the majority of gamers don’t cross the line, and leave it at that.

Gamerchick: The original (and continuing) definition of feminism, at least as I see it, *is* social egalitarianism. When I use the word, I use it in that sense.

Nephandus: If what you stand for is really social egalitarianism, then I think most people will stand with you. The problem is that for some reason, a vocal minority of people need to call this “feminism.” It isn’t. If it was about social egalitarianism, it would also advocate for the needs of men, who are also disadvantaged due to many kinds of societal expectations. We don’t live as long, we commit suicide at a higher rate, we can be drafted, homelessness among men etc etc. These same factors are often used by minority community activists as evidence of a social crisis. You can't bail out one half of a canoe, you know?

About 40 years ago, when the movement really took off, it was called Women’s Liberation. Current feminism is no longer tied to a specific cause, except advocacy for women, and misandry against men. Making this point is often like punching water, because invariably, the response is always about “different feminisms” and “not my feminism.” To these, I make two points:
1. different feminisms: If the definition of feminism has ballooned to include viewpoints that are so wildly different in points of view (one being synonymous with equality, the other advocating violent revolution against men), then “feminism” has now lost its meaning as a word.
2. Not my feminism: If the net result of the so-called moderate feminists does not negate the harm done by the so-called “extreme” feminists, then I’d say that today, we’d be better off to without feminists altogether, and stick with the social egalitarians (or humanitarians) instead – who are able to consider a much wider picture.

Gamerchick: It's kind of strange - I hear so many women say, "I don't consider myself a feminist, but..." and then proceed to say things that put them directly in line with feminism's goals (the goals of the REAL movement, not the few extremists who get all the publicity). Says something about the serious image problem feminism has.

It’s more of a serious image problem that the concept of social egalitarianism has – that there is not yet a nomenclature sufficient to cover the notion that someone can espouse basic human rights for people, as opposed to just women. Again, you say you hear “women” saying “I don’t consider myself a feminist, but…” Most men and women can agree that women and men deserve to be treated with equal consideration, free from discrimination on irrelevant criteria. They apply the same thinking to ethnicity, culture, religion, physical attractiveness, socioeconomic status and a bunch of other factors. Right now, feminism is only concerned with women’s advocacy. If I chose that as the name of your politic, then I wouldn't be surprised by how people react to it.

PS Gamerchick - please feel free to contact my email nephandus@rcn.com to continue discussing feminism in general, as opposed to relating it to rpg's

After reading through this thread, I see that I'm rather lucky. I'm part of a loose-knit community of gamers, about 40 +- 10 total, that runs about 50-50 men and women. There are any number of games, spanning all genres, both table and live, being run at one time. Of the two games I am active in now (both live), one has a woman GM, with five women and 3 men as PC's, and in the other 2 of the 3 GM's are women, and there are 4 women and 7 men as PC's. I've seen all sorts of adult themes show up in various plotlines in these and previous games, including courtship, marriage, prostitution, pre-marital and extra-marital sex, and even rape. They've all been handled in a mature fashion, and I haven't seen any opposition to including sexual issues in the plotlines. I also haven't seen any stereotyping of the gamers. Women are just as likely to take the tough guy roles as men, and men may be the support types just as frequently as women.

Now, this community does run to older gamers, almost all are in their late 20's to early 50's, with most 35 to 45. Many of us are part of long term, stable couples. Many of us have been gaming together more than 20 years (I've only been involved for about 8).

I'm sure other non-sexist communities are out there.

Our own group of D&D players was mostly women, except for me and another man. He got booted later on, leaving me as the only guy. We were all in our 30's too. In our wider group that included more people but played less frequently, it was about 50/50. At my request, I ceded DMing to one of the female players so I could take a rest. (I was worn out from battling a 'problem player' - the one who got booted).

My experience in both those groups was much the same as yours Avenel. No one type of character appealed to any specific gender.

The LARP groups had a lot of women in them - probably mostly women. These often had some fairly 'adult' themes. Also, now that I remember, it does seem that several of the women players routinely hit and 'roughed up' the male LARPers (touching is strictly forbidden unless permission is asked first OOG). Perhaps this was due to a mistaken impression that since they were smaller, the rules did not apply to them.

This caused a major problem only when a male player responded in kind, shoving her back, at which point she called to a ref and embarrassed him in front of the group. Even though everyone clearly sided with him (witnesses abound), he felt so awful and embarassed that he quit the campaign entirely (while she continued).

Nephandus said:
"The LARP groups had a lot of women in them - probably mostly women. These often had some fairly 'adult' themes. Also, now that I remember, it does seem that several of the women players routinely hit and 'roughed up' the male LARPers (touching is strictly forbidden unless permission is asked first OOG). Perhaps this was due to a mistaken impression that since they were smaller, the rules did not apply to them. "

This is a problem I've NEVER seen. We've never had an explicit rule about touching, just used common sense. A combat type action, which a slap is, would be stated, and adjudicated as to it's success by a GM. Other touching depends on the situation. Nobodies going to freak if you tap on their shoulder to to get their attention.

Nephandus continued:
"This caused a major problem only when a male player responded in kind, shoving her back, at which point she called to a ref and embarrassed him in front of the group. Even though everyone clearly sided with him (witnesses abound), he felt so awful and embarassed that he quit the campaign entirely (while she continued)."

This is an unfortunate aspect of human group dynamics. I've seen the same sort of thing in the SCA and Science Fiction Convention committees.

Agreed on all counts Avenel. I just stated these points to illustrate the point that women can exceed the bounds of common sense and taste in gaming just as well as men can; not to show some kind of awful trend among female gamers I know.

Our explicit LARP rule about touching was devised because of the slippery slope. We decided that it was best not to leave it up to players to decide what was an wasn't acceptible. Further, LARP, more than other forms of rpg's, can get people heated. For some people, it is difficult to disassociate the emotional reaction of a character from that of the player, particularly when it is being acted physically. This is when those light taps, slaps, and pushes get escalated slightly.

Unfortunately in that case, the offender often doubled as a referee, and was close friends with the other female ref's who ran the game - whereas the "victim" was somewhat unkown to them. Although the 25 or so players felt strongly he was in the right, he didn't feel comfortable playing in the game anymore and left. It didn't help that the woman who pushed him made a big stink about him "being abusive." He didn't dish out anything worse than he'd received. It was a pretty ugly scene though.

I've been following this discussion with interest, even more so now that LARPs have been brought up. (take a look at the Away From the Dinner Table column--shameless plug)
The "No Touching" rule in LARPs is a Good Rule. Nephandus is bang-on with the slippery slope point.
I played in a LARP that experimented with letting people grapple with each other if the Players involved had an OOG "understanding" or "agreement". This worked okay, untill somebody asked in the heat of combat, "Permission to grapple?" The opponent said, "Sure," thus setting a terrible precedent. Things got real stupid real fast, and one time I saw a player (a woman player, by the way) shout "PERMISSION TO GRAPPLE!" while she was in mid-air, on her way to tackle somebody. He didn't even have a chance to say yes or no before she tackled him. Nobody was hurt, but the game was stopped, warnings were issued, and the game committe eventually reinstated the no-touch rule.
No-touch is the way to go in a LARP, since the touchee has the choice of complaining or not.
BTW, in the situation that Nephandus describes, the fellow who got slapped should've called a hold and gone to the refs directly, and not shoved back (sometimes easier said than done, I know). I do hope the poor guy found another LARP to enjoy.

All the Best,


On the issue of touching (which probable should be a separate thread), like almost every other issue, I don't think there is a one right way. Every LARP within my circle is a 'Theater Style' (no live combat) one. A combat action, like a slap or a tackle, MUST be adjudicated by the GM to access its success or failure. Therefore, non-combat touching is not a problem or threat. I certainly can see the need for a no touching rule in live combat LARPs, or LARPs with a large player to GM ratio. Only rarely do we have parties of PC's over a dozen, most are in the 5 to 8 range.

Good points, all. Craichead, I also agree that the player should have called a hold, but I also understand why he didn't.

1. The combat didn't start as anything physically threatening, though the characters were engaged in an argument in game. It was only after she hit in several escalated physical exchanges, each one upping the ante, but initiated by her, that the problem occurred.

2. I'm quite sure he bought into the 'touching rules don't apply to women' role just as much as she did, until it started to sting. Men don't generally like to admit being beaten up by women because it tends to lessen their machismo if they 'can't take it.'

Interesting side points to that effect, though in broad application. As of the early 90's. of the 140 or so domestic abuse studies conducted, only 14 actually asked both genders about their experiences. Of those 14, results were consistent that women and men initiated physical violence in equal amounts, at every level of severity. In Chicago, an experimental men's shelter was opened for several months (I believe in the 80's) to shelter men and their children from abusive spouses. It was PACKED. Feminist groups protested it, claiming it was some kind of mockery of domestic violence, and eventually it was closed down - not sure if the closure was directly related to feminist pressure or not.

Yay feminism. Way to go equality. It's why I'll never wear a white ribbon again.



There's a side note to the points I bring up:

Firstly, I'm not saying that even people who have been playing for a while wouldn't benefit from some change at time to time, and for a variety of reasons. However, what I am saying is that a stable group, having fun, is in no way obligated to change for the sake of one person. And if they refuse to do so, for whatever reason - even if that reason is "Oh, dear God, can't we just have a guy thing? Let's drive the woman out! - they are not wrong.

On the issue of hypersensitivity, well, it's very rarely that people see such things in themselves if they come from a viewpoint of advocacy. If you expect to be offended, you will be offended.

Third, you may very well see a game as the way things should be, and expect the "it's fantasy" excuse to cover the black-boxing of social inequities. And if it's your melieu, it's your privilege. I ran the numbers, postulating the side by side existance of societies where men (who can father multiple children in a year) did the work of war, against one with women (who can only bear one child per year) sufferiung casualties in equal numbers in war. The second society went extinct within a handful of generations.

No, biology ain't fair. And I don't have magic so common nor so powerful as to overcome it. Hence has come sexual dimorphism both socially and physiologically. Both males and females who operate outside the social expectations can expect social pressures to conform. That's the nature of any society.

As far as rape goes, there is a big difference between mentioning it exists, and dwelling on the graphic nature of it. Players captured by "the dark side" can expect torture and rape (or sodomy in the case of males), because it is what the bad guys do. Evil people commit atrocities. Else if they didn't, why is there a struggle against it? Such is the price of being on the front lines.

The mention of the second group is a study in contrasts; this was a specially used group run to provide an evil bunch for the mainstream group to struggle against, made higher level, and provided with sufficient resources to prove a credible threat to the stability of the local region. It is mentioned because the same female gamer who styled herself as a "dominatrix" type, keeping sex slaves, and humilating captured males by having them castrated (sometimes personally doing it) went ballistic over a solitary act of rape by one of the male characters, defiling a high priestess on her own altar. Her objections, boiled down to a nutshell, was "It's more horrible when it happens to women than when it happens to men." A double standard which I reject on all points. FFI, she objected to the "rape" occuring in a downtime list of instructions of the disposition of the captured temple and clergy, whereas she somehow felt wronged when I refused to allow her to dwell on her need to subjugate males in what we call "Table Time."

I'll repeat, though, what I said: It's the responsibilty of a new player in a group to conform to the existing group, and expectations of the changing of existing dynamics is unreasonable. I've known several PEOPLE, male and female, who have succeeded in such a group, and even changing the structure and style of play by sticking with it, having the serenity to accept what they could not change, the courage to assert themselves over the things they could change, and the wisdom to know the difference. Not once did they succeed with the argument of "You all are (________), you're doing it wrong, and you need to change to please me."

...side by side existance of societies where men (who can father multiple children in a year) did the work of war, against one with women (who can only bear one child per year) sufferiung casualties in equal numbers in war.

Nephandus: Hmm. True enough, if we were attempting to simulate 'reality' some a fine level of detail, but is it necessary to go that far? I mean, if you are going to draw the line there, would you not also 'run the numbers' calculating survival odds of humans in a a world that teems with intelligent, powerful, and malevolent entities? Especially for mixed gender players, I question the compulsion to hold the game setting to some kind of historical realistic 'standard.' Some players think that if the game will be more real, more fun, or more true, if NPCs point and stare every time they see a woman with a sword.

If that is too radical, then consider this - in most of these games, adventurers are quite rare - say 1% of the population? If so, then I'm sure the species will carry on if even half of those are women.

I do agree with you though Pete, in that groups will do what is appropriate for them, and women can chose, or create the groups in which they want to play (Unless the game is some kind of public gaming club like those that exist in many universities, which may be subject to gender sensitivity rules)

Running the numbers for malevolent entities also includes adventurer types which these beasts regard as malevolent entities themselves. Vampires are notoriously threatened by a paladin with a holy sword and a gang of spell slinging sidekicks. That's kind of a great equalizer.

Rogue and mage types rarely have any societal pressures, aside from the occasional man who may rightfully or no regard such a woman as a bawl-buster. In this regard, too, it's usually (Though not always) gender-benders who play to the worst characteristics of the opposite sex.

Religion - well, some religions have segregated clergy - Males for Father-God, Females for Mother-Goddess. Some ban recognized clergy of one gender or another. For adventurers I have long made it clear that priest(ess) is a job, and cleric/druid are classes, and a confusion of the two rarely goes unpunished.

For fighter types I rarely have to do anything. Prohibitions against female fighter characters? Some societies, and especially at higher social levels, have the old "Your father and I have had this marriage set up for years, and you will marry, or never darken our door again!" Many children, regardless of gender, face similar sanctions if they are found to be criminals or spellcasters (My son a wizard! An agent of the Devil! Oh, the shame! You're no son of mine!)

In a world where female fighters are rare, there is some attention that naturally draws to them, but where most women back off is when they are let known, up front, that in war, Vae Victus, and they can potentially become part of the spoils. It's the nature of war. It's what makes it a horrible thing. Burning, looting, broken bodies, destroyed homes, savged families, rape, sodomistic rape, famine, pestilence, enslavement - it's all part of the package. Women captured in war are more liable to be victims of rape. That's ugly reality.

Now rape is an evil act; it's a moral gimme. My idea of a fantasy that excludes this one act from a list of atrocities which include infant sacrifice, genocide, torture, and necromantic warfare makes it a little hard to suspend disbelief. Someone else's fantasy may differ, but Anghur-Kain, my version of the Big Bad, is not one that I see exhorting his troops to "Burn their cities, lay waste to their fields, dash their babies brains out on the city walls! Castrate the men, and rip out the guts of the women! Knock their buildings down so that not one stone remains upon the others; salt their fields and plow it under so that nothing will grow there for a thousand years! But no rape! By all that is impure and unholy, no rape!"


The women I have in this game, when it does come up tend to use it to further underlie the evil nature of the dark side and why it must be toppled. I, for one, am not about to apply sugar coating to it. I agree - it doesn't have to be that way. Such things are unnecessary atrocities. Most atrocities are. Gratuitous, unneccessary violence and infliction of suffering. That is what "Evil" is. That is why it is a thing to be fought, and not tolerated as some harmless alternative lifestyle or something.

The idea of 'real evil' is something our group discussed at length, and struggled with to some extent.

I think my focus is more on whether you want to play it and inflict it on members of your group. The rape you inflict on the poor village women would be made even more personal and heinous if you inflict it on one of the player characters. I did this once, in the name of realism (for a character's backstory, I made it so she had been charmed and implied that she had been used as a sex slave by the villian). I retracted it immediately. You do what feels comfortable, and that point did not feel comfortable for either of us, however well it made sense in the context of the story.

We can try to approximate real evil and a sense of accuracy to some historical Earth (our games were not set in a historical earth), but in the end, we don't want to play an R or X rated game. I don't need to see Darth Vader raping people to understand that he is the bad guy in Star Wars, you know? Similarly, going into endless descriptions of atrocities, long after people get the point, does not necessarily connect the players with the story. In games like these, with such generous participants, you often don't need to go to such detailed lengths to establish a bad guy.

Personally, I think villains that need to commit pointless atrocities to show that they're evil are weakly designed and uncreative. Evil just for the sake of being evil doesn't do much for me. I want villains who have reasons for what they do, who don't just go around taking sadistic pleasure in tormenting people. That's just bland.

I belive what you say is the truth, however i have been roleplaying for about a year and so far i havent found male counterparts that insulting.

But it has to be said that the males in some of the rpg groups can be very patronising at times until they realise i am just as knowledgeble as them and that we all forget things at times.

Maybe one day men and women will be equal on every account however this does not seem to be in the near future.

I'm a GM, whose been playing for year and years. (Dear god, almost a decade.) I've seen gamers come and go, and I agree with the general consensis that it's all a matter of personal taste. For instance, in my current gaming group, there were, for about a week, 3 girls and 4 guys. One of the girl's boyfriends was a player, and that's the only reason she was there. The other only partially liked gaming, that is, she could stand it every Saturday for about two hours. The third was my ideal woman, a fellow gaming pro with enough talent at actully RPing that she could've qualified as a top-notch GM. Now the guys, they were all new, but had decided to do this. During play, the two who liked gaming tried as best as they could right alongside three of the guys, but one of the guys and the girl who hated RPing just were downright insulting. They tried breaking up the party, killing the others in their sleep (RPing, not in real life), and generally wreaking havoc. So, when (not suprisingly) they were killed by a horde of angry gods (I had nothing to do with it, honest!), they stomped out, cussing like drunken sailors who'd gotten slammed in the foot. My point is, (finally), like I said earlier, It's all a matter of personal taste.

(On a side note, my little band of happy adventurers is having quite the time without the king&queen bitches.)

“What if we don’t find it flattering to be stared at when we walk into game stores, or asked out with pathetic pick-up lines by every third gamer we meet?”

So basically no man should ever actually approach a woman he finds attractive?

“The original (and continuing) definition of feminism, at least as I see it, *is* social egalitarianism. When I use the word, I use it in that sense. I do not believe women deserve more or better rights than men, because that's just another, and equally reprehensible, form of sexism.”

Yoh. :) OK. :)

Interesting side note: the qualities attributed (in generalizations) to what women want and don’t want in gaming best describe what my feelings, ironically enough. I’ve been trying to get more into gaming since I was 13, but every single time I’ve joined a group, it’s been all paperwork and math and dice and rules and seven-hour-long battles that don’t advance the plot. I want premises, stories, characters--you know, *role-playing*. I’ll do the homework so I can play competently; that’s OK. I just don’t want to be trapped in another vortex of endless work that never leads to a story. Recently I’ve talked a few people into forming a V:TM group, which seems promising.

Sorry Mike - you'd have enjoyed my groups, where battles, traps, and the rest all advance the plot. I take extra efforts to ensure that the game action and story action are well balanced.

If I were a man-hating feminist and considered men to be my physical, mental, emotional, and moral inferiors, I wouldn't want them asking me out either. I can just picture a bunch of sleazy, greasy geeks lining up and trying their lame lies and pickup lines on me in a sad effort to get me into bed.

So I suppose you may as well just keep asking the women out. If anyone refuses you on the above basis, then you probably didn't want to date them anyway, right?

One thing I would suggest, though, is that some times and places seem to be more appropriate for asking women out than others. The game store is not the local nightclub, and as such, you should probably at least modify your approach.

As far as math and rules and seven-hour battles go.. it's no coincidence that RPGs grew out of wargames, where such things aren't just common, they're entirely the point. As such, there's no shortage of gamers with something of a wargamer mentality. If that's not the kind of game you want, your only solution (as you've obviously realized by nolw) is to hunt around for a group you like, or if that fails, start your own.

Nice point Xplo Eristotle, but actually I know many more women who confuse the gaming store with the cruising bar than the other way around...

"If I were a man-hating feminist and considered men to be my physical, mental, emotional, and moral inferiors, I wouldn't want them asking me out either. I can just picture a bunch of sleazy, greasy geeks lining up and trying their lame lies and pickup lines on me in a sad effort to get me into bed."

You know, Xplo, I'm hoping that comment wasn't directed at anyone in particular. If it was, I'd certainly hope that's not the image I've been giving off through my articles. But if I am, hey, either I need to express myself a little or others need to stop reading between my lines hoping I'll slip up...

If he thinks that, don't bother GC, he would definitely be a bad judge of character.

Still there are man haters just as their are mysoginistic twits, the world is a weird but most often wounderous place.

Sam: What? You're kidding. Chicks look for guys in game stores?? I need to game in Quebec more, or something! Pity I'm in Arizona...

GC: It was part of a response to Mike's comment. Less directly, it was part of a response to whoever complained about male attention in game stores not being flattering (for some reason Mozilla can't find the original quote on the page, so I don't know who it was), since they raised the issue. Either way, the example was exaggerated for effect.. so if the shoe fits you, wear it. If not, then don't worry about it.

No kidding Xplo Eristotle, it's not as common as girls buying dice or books : ) but it is more common than guys hitting on girls in game stores. Sure if the girl happens to be a knock out, heads will turn and the salesmen will give her five star service, but the saleswomen do the same to the good looking guys so…

The, all-too-often-not-as-good-looking-as-she-thinks-she-is, gaming chick who games mostly for that extra attention she gets from a captive a audience where she doesn't need to compete with other women for men's attention.
While some affectionnaly starved male gamers drool at the mouth at this prospect I've always found these players to be very disruptive to the game and to interpersonnal relations outside the game. In fact, they are responsible (there are maybe a dozen or so of these menaces in the Quebec City Region) for the negative image some male gamers have of the opposite gender. Although much more common in women in their 20's and teen years, some never grow out of this immature pattern of behaviour.

That being said, they also contribute to why some women won't game. There is in some circles the missbegotten idea that all female gamers are Dice-Sluts, so some women will not game because they associate gaming with this perticular label, add that to the reputation we have for being smelly and fat dorks and you about sum up why many men and women don't even try gaming.

And Xplo Eristotle about gaming in Quebec City, pratique ton francais (ou ton quebecois) mon ami sinon le temps va etre tres long pour toi autour de la table.

Interesting.. and definitely stranger than fiction! I wonder if any of those gamers ever try turning the tables and playing those women. Then again, most guys who can play women probably don't also play RPGs, and vice-versa...

"pratique ton francais..."

Ooh, good point. I didn't even take French in high school, man. Damn you people, why can't you speak the same language as the rest of the continent!?

That's what Conrad Blake and Preston Manning say to western canada: "Damn these people!"
But then if we all spoke american english, there would be less diversity in our continent . And Xplo, don't forget your southern neighbours they speak what George Jr refers to as Mexican... which for everybody but him is refered to as Spanish.

: )

Vaya con Dios amigo Eristotle

Bah! Mexico is Central America.

Sort of.

Almost. >_>

Sam, they've got diversity nicely preserved at Epcot Center at Disney. I've long advocated selling Quebec to Disneyland to better hermetically seal in all it's juicy "French-Canadian-ness" :^) Their lawyers are like pit-bulls (remember when we sold the image of "the Mountie" to them, due to the WWE's portrayal of the cattle-prod wielding Mountie?)

Only Disney has the capacity to choose a point in time in a culture's development and flash-freeze it for antiquity. It's not without its value - remember the Jetsons Futureworld dioramma of the "freeways of future", as imagined by 1950's and 60's engineers? I kind of hope they preserved those quaint ideas rather than updating them.

Did you ever read the Shadowrun backhistory? How they envisioned Quebec in the Shadowrun world?

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha! Do I remember... Man did they ever get everything wrong about us and the natives... But then that is often the case with "foreign sourcebooks" French books about america are also well known for being off the mark by a few parsecs.

As for Epcot, when I went to Disney, it was still a project, so I never went. One day I'll see how Disney likes to sum up one culture as a flash frozen stereotype, till then I'll take your world.

As for hermetically scealing Quebec, nice thought, but then we'd die of suffocation (culturally speaking of course), and let me tell you, we need some outside cultural influences (and please not all from one source).

Is it just me or are we way off topic?

Did I say take your world... damn freudian slips. I said take your word.
Forget about the slip, think happy thoughts, Sam will not take your world...
Bwa ha ha ha ha! (egomaniacal laughter in the back)

As a line from my SCA's House Charter reads...."Gentlemen, honor all ladies. Ladies be worthy of all honor."

Male or female, we both want respect and attention (in varying degrees).

I'd like to see a forum for guys to talk about various annoying incidents to do with gender - they must be things that actually happened to you, not a generalization like "you know those gamer chicks who want attention from guys without any competition from other girls" generalizations. Just tell your own story.

Then another forum where women tell specific stories of encountering sexism in gaming. I think this is valuable. Some might think it's not constructive to describe unpleasant incidents, but I'd like to see such a list of personal stories.

But Lizard, by definition, any discussion where people discuss gaming 'incidents' where gender was perceived to be a factor must also be a generalization, because you extrapolate your personal experience to the entire gender.

Played a game where the all female group was bloodthirsty? Egad - all female gamers must be bloodthirsty! See? It's why I tend to flinch from Gamerchick's articles, because I don't find the stereotypes particularly useful. Are they even counterproductve?

Let me preface by saying that most of my gaming expieriences are LARP based, and that I am one cagey female. I've noticed a trend here in the lovely toxic state of New Jersey LARPS: gamersluts. Not all the women that play these games are gamersluts. But every game has a few, and they tend to cycle throughout the year. They generally suck at role-playing, and only show up to wear Hot Topic clothes and drench themselves in glitter. They are happy because there are lots of horny young men there in chainmail, and it is a target rich environment, because there are many times more men than women. They are not entirely bad, though, as they raise the population of the game. Sex sells, and if there are wanton females around, then there are a few lucky men that weekend. Every event, these girls are hanging on the arm of a different guy, and their characters make in game decisions for out of game reasons. A good little druid girl will suddenly be running with team evil, because that's where her 'boyfriend' runs.

I know it just sounds bitchy, but anybody who's been at one of these LARPs long enough can tell you. Fortunately, most of the women at these LARPs are intelligent, imaginative, and great to game with. Some are beautiful and sexy. Some are bigger, bolder and badder than society deems normally beautiful. Some are mean, some are ugly....Like anything else in life, ther's a little bit of everything. Most of the game chics are fine. Some are just there to be glittery and get laid.

More rants from Jersey...the chics that play the LARPS I go to respond to the in game situations rather well. Some games have more adult situations, because they are run as an LLc company, other games are more PG-13 because they are extensions of the Boy Scouts of America, and have to obey their rules, as well as game mechanics.

The LLc game has a brothel hosted by the Inn at the center of town. Monsters taunt players with adult language and implications, some of our bad guys are overtly sexual because of their back story, and a few female pcs were more than happy to get kidnapped by minions and brought to his dark lair at the end of the module. They got tied up, and were pushed towards all their darkest desires (all in game of course, but one of the women that got kidnapped told me after the mod that she had no problem role-playing that night, obeying one of our npc bad guys, who had his shirt off and some pretty sexy body makeup on. His role-playing was excellent, and she loved every second of it. ) She is out of game hand-fasted, and it's not the guy that played our baddy. Out of game, that encounter would have been unacceptable, but in game, it made for great roleplaying, and a great stretch of her character's dimensions.

I believe that the spirit of the game is important, and players should come into the event with an open mind, and the intention of having fun, and remembering that this is just a game.

I run into jerks all the time, I have even lost dates because of jerks. The fact of the matter is that you will run into jerks no matter what. Jerks come in all shapes and sizes; there are smart jerks as well as ignorant ones. Now I don’t tend to talk about how I am different from most people, but let me tell you, being blind sucks. I can't drive or see the chalkboard and I have had a bunch of liberal ideologue teachers that won’t let me breathe. They are jerks too; I just don't listen to them. You just have to get over jerks for pissing you off and let it go (goosfraba), because they will piss you off no matter who you are.

Stop acting like people are mean to you because of who you are -insert difference from jerk here- and start just lumping all mean hearted people into the 'jerk' category, even if they hate you for your -insert difference from jerk here-. I am fortunate that the people I have gamed with are not jerks, but you know what? I have met gamers that are jerks, I just steered clear of them. So my advice for the day is to shut up about how you are being disenfranchised by the -insert jerks stereotype here- and start realizing that you are stereotyping the rest of the people that are similar to the jerks.

For example, in Japanese class there were a lot of Asians. Youhei and I explained that this was because of an ‘Asian cult’ it was pretty funny; they even told me that the reason I could not do XYZ was because I was not in the ‘Asian cult’. Young kept telling me that I was stupid because ‘you are blind boy’ and that the reason that he makes fictional stories about me going through hell and back is because I am ‘blind boy’. In both instances we were joking and everyone knew it. This obviously takes some amount of trust.

In contrast

You know the black people call my end of town ‘cracker Ville’, is that racist? I don’t know, because I don’t know the people individually that call my end of town cracker Ville. I don’t say ‘they are making racist statements about me’ because to tell you the truth I would bet that they were joking when I heard the comment. I would also wager that they use that term when in a dimmer light. Now here is the kicker, do I complain? Of course not, even if they weren’t joking I would just ignore the jerks and stride on by. Too many people want to separate themselves from jerks and in doing so end up being jerks them selves for stereotyping everyone else.

And Sam, I’ve read some of your other posts and I don’t think it is appropriate to catalogue my president in terms of child porn, white supremacy, black supremacy, the holocaust, or anything else for that matter. Further incursions will earn you a heated e-mail.


Wow...this is one of the more 'long running' threads...

It's not even talking about the SUBJECT anymore.

I thought so too.

I stand by my opinions on your present president (though I don't recall associating him to child pornography) if I did, I apologize for it.

But as Mystic assassin said, that has nothing to do with the subject of this discussion.

That being said, I've ran into another reason why women don't game as often as men.

1 - They are less inclined to get involved in leasurly activities as men are. By that I mean that, from what I know, women spend less time on a perticular hobby. So regular weekly activities that consume 3 to 5 hours at a time are not too popular with them. Even in physical activities (mainly sports) you'll find less women in activities that last over 2 hours than in those that last 90 to 120 minutes.
I don't know for sure why though.

That’s so lovely, the point is that people are blaming others for their own life. I wasn’t sure if anyone would get it, but I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. You can’t go along life differing the blame to the people on the 'other side'. You must realize that you are the master of your own destiny and that EVERYTHING that happens in your life is because of YOU, and that EVERYONE encounters jerks on the road of life.

Sam I don’t believe you associated him with child pornography; you catalogued him with it. I went and looked up the post a few minutes ago, I'll try and post that statement in a second. Although it didn't look like you were sorry when you said it, and seeing as no one else called you on it I felt it appropriate to inform you that comments of that type are disrespectful. Although I hope you don't catalogue everything that you consider 'bad' with child pornography (I thought liberals were all for relative morality...), I do hope that you stay on your side of the continent. I don’t meddle with your politics; you can do whatever you want up there, and I do expect the same dignity from you.

Here it is Sam:

On May 7, 2003 02:59 PM, Sam from Quebec said:
Shark asked:

"Show me something that was bad in taste and form that has stood the test of time"

Hum… let me think: the Benny Hill Show, Hee Haw, the WWF, heavy metal, George Bush Junior, Mc Donald's, Petrolum fueled cars, child pornography, the Klu Klux Klan, the Ed Sulivan Show, Leave it to Beaver, Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill and magazines like: Maxx, GQ, etc or Vogue, Cosmo, etc. And I won't get in all the bad things the french comunity has… maudit qu'on a l'air idiots parfois avec la merde qu'on produit ou consomme.

Ok these things are bad in different ways, some of them are gone but they lasted long, all of them.

You decide!

Also, I have a few questions, was the Ed Sullivan show the one with the horse? And we all know The King of the Hill was not a good show, but it showed Texans; and thats all that matters.

Milow said:

"I thought liberals were all for relative morality."

So the adherence to a respectable moral system is the exclusive province of non-liberals? Please. A moment's reflection should tell you not only that this kind of generalization is indefensible, but also that it is potentially every bit as offensive to someone who identifies herself/himself as a "liberal" as what Sam said that offended you. You seem to be implying that "liberals" would not view child pornography as "bad," and there you are on very thin ice. I'm asking you to reconsider. I don't want to invite a political discussion on a gaming board (though feel free to e-mail me privately), but I had to address that remark.

"...was the Ed Sullivan show the one with the horse?" No. You're thinking of _Mr. Ed_. _The Ed Sullivan Show_ was a TV variety show that aired from 1948 (when it was originally called _Toast of the Town_...isn't IMdB a hoot?) to 1971. Among its more famous guests, unless I am mistaken, were Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

"The King of the Hill was not a good show, but it showed Texans; and thats all that matters."

Hurm. Well, I am a Texan, and I ain't so sure, pardner. After all, _Dallas_ showed Texans, and I thought it was the televisual equivalent of a fresh cow chip. I actually kinda like _King of the Hill_ and _Beavis & Butthead_ (both Mike Judge creations), both of which caricature aspects of Texas life in ways that I find amusing. I'm not saying that B&B didn't occasionally annoy me, but there was a time when you couldn't walk down the streets of Austin without hearing some kid say, "Uh...huhuhuhuh. Dude. This sucks!" in a tone just like Butthead's.

"but there was a time when you couldn't walk down the streets of Austin without hearing some kid say, 'Uh...huhuhuhuh. Dude. This sucks!' in a tone just like Butthead's."

Urm. It's not clear from the above post that this phenomenon was familiar to me *before* the show aired. I was saying that I found Judge's perception of that aspect of youth funny, not that the hordes of the show's imitators were funny or in some way legitimized the show.


Ah... I see now.
Come to think of it, I still think George Bush Jr is a man of bad taste, just as I still find that all the other stated items are of bad taste.
That being said, I don't think any of the other people or items are even remotely similar in there degree of bad taste as child pornography can be (for it is one of the basest and vilest products of the human mind).

As I recall, the original discussion where I said that proposed that products and ideas of poor taste didn't last long. I just stated a list of products, ideas and people of poor taste that endured inspite of it.

A few more comments:

1 - Morality is always relative.

2 - Even if one is the master of one's destiny, it doesn't mean that you can't try to convice others to make life more enjoyable for you.

3 - I'm not a liberal nor its opposite.

4 - Where's my side of the continent again?

5 - Respect, hum... I find it best to respect people who are respectfull of others. I find it hard to respect someone who's foreign policy is limited to "shoot and bomb em' till they're dead" and which shows total disregard for human lives outside its borders. As many people around the rest of the world (you know what's outside the USA) I'm scared of who the current administration will decide to attack next (whether it's "justified" or not).

6 - Criticizing a people's leader, isn't the same as criticizing them. Why are you taking it so personnaly? If you attacked Jean Chretien's foreign policy or said he was a man of bad taste, I'd probably disagree about the first and laugh about the second.

7 - Getting back to the topic of "why women won't game". Maybe they don't find it as interesting as guys do. I don't see why this is bad, as long as women gamers are treated with respect and feel welcome at the table, all will be well in fantasy land.

Sam, for the full effect, read this out loud.

1 If morality is relative then you acknowledge that pedophiles are just the same (morally) as anyone else. You may go through life with moral gray areas but I don't. Its evil or its good, there are only a few debatable issues. I have no problem with telling someone that they live in sin; I also have no problem letting people live their own lives. As long as its not shoved in my face I couldn’t care less what people do. When people show me what they do they are asking for it. I condemn both NAMBLA and the ACLU for their actions. I also condemn the KKK and Al Sharpton, I don’t let evil stand in my way, I abolish it from existence where and when I can. The implications of relative morality are staggering, Sam, so don’t allow it. Remember, Sam, Evil can only triumph when good men do nothing.

2 We both know; jerks don’t have ears. The only thing jerks feel is pain, and they should feel a lot of it.

3 Anyone that puts quotations around the word 'justified' when talking about what my president is doing is a liberal, weather you like it or not. The term ‘Liberal’ describes anyone that does not have my fervent hatred writhing with in them. Liberals talk about other people’s pain, and ignore mine. They are the hypocrites that lead the rest of the good people to neglect my country. You must understand, Sam, that I use the term ‘Liberal’ for people that deserve it, not the lay people that casually go along with it.

4 Your side of the continent is up north. I said that because I forgot the exact parallel that it rested on, I didn’t look it up because I don’t care too much. Although, there is a textbook on American History that I had a few years back, when it showed a continental picture of North America, it had written on Canada ‘CANADIAN SHEILD’. I know this doesn’t make sense to you, but it still makes me laugh and I thought you should know about it. But was it a misprint? Can you tell me why there was a ‘CANADIAN SHEILD’? I figured that you would know.

5 Sam, Why should I care about people that aren’t Americans? They sure don’t care about me. You don’t care about me Sam. You may have missed it, Sam, but the people that We kill also want to kill us. They don’t want to kill you; they want to kill me. So I agree fully with ‘shoot and bomb ‘em till their dead’, that is exactly what they are thinking about me. I don’t mind saving civilians, but anyone that disregards my life better grow a third eye in the back of their head. Also, Sam, you know what? Most Americans know quite a lot about what lies outside of our borders, to think that we are that narrow minded is allowing stereotypes to dominate your view of America. Of course you don’t stereotype people Sam, you of course are thinking about the whole world. Don’t be blinded by your own conceptions of who We are, Sam, for you would only be giving into what you yourself detest.

Sam, I may get a little personal with this next point, if I am just e-mail me and we can talk about this off the forum. But have you ever feared for your life? Have you ever carried weapons to stave off people that might want to kill you? Have you ever seen someone stabbed? If you have then you know what its like to live with fear of other people. When you have to fear being killed you MUST protect yourself, now I don’t see Canada in the middle of Osama's target, so maybe you should leave the dirty work to the people that want to deal with it, if you are ever in danger of being attacked, call me up, backwoods Americans know how to kick ass. Because as far as I am concerned, justification lies with whomever wants to kill me, people that call my country the 'great Satan' may just find out how Satanic I can be.

6 The reason I take this so personally is because both Bush and I are from the backwoods, to put it more plainly; I like his accent. We both make the same backwoods mistake when talking to city people. I’m from Kentucky, he’s from Texas, a lot of Kentuckians went to Texas to help them overthrow Mexico. They left most everything and wrote GTT on their door. I went to Texas a few years ago and when we mentioned that we were Kentuckians they gave us the same hospitality that we would give them. That is why I take this personally, because I like Texas.

Also, Sam, I take this personally because My ass is on the line, if Bush messes up I am the one that will die. You don’t need to worry about that, so of course you can criticize me. But if you are gong to enter the argument, be prepared to get out. As far as I am concerned, you should not be meddling in my business. Also, Sam, a lot of people down here have only malice for the other first world nations, because they wont take up their cross and do what is right. I remember one day in high school, we had to write and present poems. My friend’s poem was ‘Canada Sucks’; it got quite a lot of applause. Your malice against us is reciprocated.

Sam, this is not War, in war there are codes of conduct and conventions. They are using my freedom to kill me. If that is the length to which they will go to kill me, I will show them to the length of which I will kill them. Don’t take life sitting down; if there are people that want your life, you must defend it. Sometimes, Sam, you have to do the right thing. No matter the consequences. Just because everyone else is a coward, doesn’t mean that I can sit back and allow my own death.

Sam, do I look like I am laughing? People died Sam, people died. The liberals are saying that America is out looking for a fight; let me tell ya, their right. At my school, Sam, on September eleventh there was a girl sitting alone in a corner next to a pay phone. She was crying. Her parents had been on the flight that crashed into the north tower. Sam, her parents died. They died Sam; they are not coming back. I live with that pain every day of my life; I will never forget that. I cannot rest until their deaths are avenged. I was reading the bible the other day, Sam, and a certain verse struck me odd. It said the sin could only be forgiven with the spilling of blood. So just think about my anger as forgiving people.

7 Finally, as it may have driven gamer chick off of Gamegrene, women wont game because of many reasons. I bet the same reason as to why many people don’t game; they have better things to do (or so they think...).

Now remember, Sam, my e-mail address is SoLe5040@hotmail.com, should I make you feel uneasy, Sam, you may wish to continue this discussion off the boards.

P.S. while I was spell checking this, ‘wemon’ was changed to ‘demon’. Aint that odd…


Hey Cocytus,
There is a liberal that lives across the hall, he believes that relative morality justifies pedophiles. I dont think that you fit the term liberal too well. I believe the term that you would be better described under as liberatine.

Coyctus, I could make a good argument for it; that the adherance to a respectable moral system is only under the providence of non-liberals. Sure as hell could.


Here's a topic...

People are critical, judgemental, or over-opinionated. Some of this can be contributed to the CONCEPT of respect. It is a good practice to BE respectful (sincere or not) to others. To actually RESPECT others requires that you get to know them...right?

Now, in the time you get to know a person, you look for qualities in them that would, in your mind, deem them...RESPECTABLE.

(Stay with me on this, I'm almost to the point.)

While you search for these "good things" you will discover "bad things" as well. So, in theory, one's respect for another is simply a ratio of positive & negative things.


Since a personal trait can be labled good or bad simply by an individual's own opinion, which ironically has no value to the rest of the world...

(ow.....OW....my head.....oooooh..OWWWWW!!!)



For you to say that an individuals opinion has no value in the rest of the world is a disgrace. If I create society then my opinion is societys opinion. That is why my opinion matters, if it were an opinion. Also I can have respect for people that have all negative traits; take Sam for example. I have a lot of respect for Sam even if he is wrong. So should I advise you (based on your statement) to practice a little indifference yourself? Furthermore, your side comments are demeaning your own post (even if they are funny).

And another thing, reading Alexis De' Touqevell is great, I like his theories too. Have you read 'How an Aristocracy can be created through industry', or William James 'Social Me'. Both of those guys (and Jung) influenced White Wolfs games.

Sorry I could not spell check this, this computer seems to lack Microsoft Word. And I know I misspelled Toquevell's name.


P.S. dont forget, accompilshments/reservations = self esteem...

"Coyctus, I could make a good argument for it; that the adherance to a respectable moral system is only under the providence of non-liberals. Sure as hell could."

To blanket an entire group of people with your hatred because of your *anecdotal* experience is nothing short of bigotry. It is also determinedly ignorant, hateful, and offensive in the extreme.

Consider the absurdity of any statement that reads: all [blank] people are [blank].

"All white people are rich."

"All conservatives are morons."

"All liberals hate America."

It's ludicrous. It's utter hogwash. And as long as it targets the people you hate, you buy every word of it. I don't know if this is because you'd rather have someone else do your thinking for you, or because you seriously believe that you have an informed opinion. Either way, it's sad.

Ah, yes, those liberals hate the death penalty because they have relative morality. It's not because the majority of them are church-going Christians, oh, no. The right would have you believe that only conservatives go to church; that liberals "hate every religion in the world except Islam." As long as the right can think it has the monopoly on morals it respects, it never needs to question its own actions.

How convenient. And how contrary to the spirit of Democracy. If you don't believe me, just ask Herman Goering.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

To quote one of my favorite bumper stickers from around here: "I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE BUSH TO LOVE AMERICA." There are those of us who think that the U.S. Constitution guarantees LIBERTIES to its citizens, Milow. Important among those liberties is the right to criticize your government when it does wrong. Was this not why the Revolutionary War was fought, because free people stood up against a government they perceived as tyrannical? And how do you suppose the Tories of the time viewed our founding fathers, pal? As conservatives? Think again.

I'll name you three liberals with profound and demonstrably spiritual morals, Milow: Mohandas K. Gandhi; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Jimmy Carter. You may say the last was a poor president, but you can't possibly argue that he was a moral relativist if you want to be taken seriously.

Gaah...I need to have less caffeine. I aplogize to everyone for that incoherent outburst. I have contacted Milow privately, and will attempt further discussion of this topic away from this board.

Dude, don't bother.

I've tried to get through to people like that before. It just plain doesn't work.

If you want my humble advice, you'll block his emails, and the admins will delete every post in this thread related to his anti-liberal rants.

Hum... no thanks Millow, I'll stick to laughing myself sick by listening to Arnold's speeches... "I have a role for you in Terminator 4!" man what jerk.

Is there anything related to gaming in Millow's post?

I mean, anything?

While I have to confess to wander off topic very often, I do try to get back to the topic at hand: GAMING for crying out loud.

Oh and while we're on the subject of gaming as it relates (or not) to women (hard to believe this how this discussion started).

I've actually found another difference in how the women I know differ from men in how they enjoy the game. I think Gamer Chick mentionned something to that effect in "A game of their own" or some other article.
The women I know that game regularly tend to put more emphasis on character devellopment and sub-plots that on the tactical and main plot of a given campaign. I won't venture as to where this comes from as the nature vs nurture thing usually gets out of hand.

I think Milow is completely missing the point of my post...
BECAUSE he is "critical, judgmental, or over-opinionated."

(I'll talk to you directly now...even though it won't help)

The reason your views are so extreme (narrow) is because you place a higher value on your "opinion" than most people. You view your own opinion as "fact" and you seem to attack anything or anyone who has a different view. Like all extremist views, they are based on the opinions of others, misinformation, rumors, stereotypes, and fear.

Judging by your response to my post, which was just a brainteaser about "society-with-logic-applied." The post was just meant for the readers to “think-in-circles-until-they-go-cross-eyed.” You reacted to it as if it was a personal attack on YOU. I've read some of your other posts to Sam and it seems you are both very political and also religious, perhaps (no one else would use the word 'evil' so much). This is the worst combination imaginable, because not only do you think you’re right…but you think GOD agrees with you, too.


I know that telling you all this is pointless, you’re probably sitting there thinking about how I’m ‘evil’ for saying this stuff and that I’m going to hell…where I belong. “How dare he- blah blah blah…”
I’ll wrap this up since you’d probably rather be outside digging that moat around your house to keep “them” out.

I could be wrong, though. After all…

This is only my opinion.

*taking a bow*

I'll get back to you all later tonight. I thought we were changing the subject, so if you still want to, I can e-mail you personaly to end this.

No, I don't immeaditly think your going to hell, I don't care. Thats between you and God.

Cadfan, I'm not anit-liberal, I am a conservative. Furthermore, Cadfan, I could make an arguement for it. I know it is wrong, yes, but I could make an argument for it. If you think I have hatred for liberals you should see what I do to religious frauds. So dont think I don't dose out justice indiscrimatly.

Cocytus, here are some very usefull starting examples of blanket statements.
'all murders are evil'
'all pedophiles are evil'
'all corrupt buismenn are evil'
'all rapists are evil'
If you arent in one of those catagories I really dont think you quallify for my kind of justice.
As long as the right can think it has the monopoly on morals it respects, it never needs to question its own actions.
Don't think that just because I support someone that I can't take that support away. If I deem that the president is doing something that is not in the direct best interest of America, I would not support him on it. For example, the border with Mexico.

Regarding your quote, I want to fight. I know people that live on farms that want to fight. Maybe you don't but don't prevent us. And no, I don't think its unpatriotic to not want to fight, thats your decision.

Hell yea, I love criticizing my government. I do that more than you all do. Although I do it in house. I don't allow people to obstruct the troops, more importantly, I criticize the people that do.

Sam, I may not like Arnold, but he was attacked personaly. He took that extreamly well and made a joke out of it. I dont have that kind of temperance, I can't imagine how much he is willing to go though to become govoner. Furthermore, Sam, we can tie all of this into gameing. I am still racking my brains at the time I am writing this, but it can be done.

Mystic Assassin, I thought you were just changing the topic. I was blinded to the fact that you were just increasing the flames.

Cadfan, one more thing, you want the Admins to deleat my posts, thats really close to takeing away freedom of speach, if this werent a privately owned website (and one devoted to gameing at that) i would have to disagree with you. But honnestly, if Sam and I can tie this all into gameing I thnk this discussion might be worth the space.

Also, God doesnt agree with me; he blessed me.

Now that I am nearly late for religious studies, I will tie this all to gameing. For those of you who play in the WOD, think about republicans vs democrats in a Vampire: the Masquerade chronicle. The themes could include relative morality, religious ferver, constructive criticizim, and drinking blood while loseing your grip on humanity. In fact, we could have Ann Coulter be a Gangrel Antedeluvian- with a humanity of 2...


P.S. sorry for not being able to spell check this, same awful computers...

Ann Coulter really *is* an antediluvian, but she must be a Malkavian: she's completely looney tunes.

Mystic Assassi:

Yup I guess I'm as politically opiniated as I am about most stuff that affects our daily lives.

Although I wouldn't call myself religious, I have a "somewhat" developped spiritual life but I don't follow any perticular faith to the letter.

Just so I get this straight, where in my comments did I use the word evil? I rarely use that word except as it pertains to the alignment system in D&D. I don't believe most people able of true evil, come to think of it I don't believe in sin either, but I digress.

I wonder, what's your position on people who say gaming is the devil's tool and reinforces worship of pagan gods. I mean it seriously, since your moral compass leaves little grey areas on other subjects, are you as determined when it comes to gaming.
I'd say no since you have fun with blending world of darkness and real life, which is one of the best things about near reality games (world of darkness, shadowrun, etc).

On death, anger and vengeance. I don't think that the death of innocent civilians opressed by Sadam's and Ben'Laden's terror squads will bring back those who wrongly died at the WTC, nor will it ease the pain of anyone.
Since you throw scripture at me, I'll throw some back, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." Or so I think it goes in English.

Linking back to this thread, this rule to live by (do unto others...) resumes quite well how one should behave towards other gamers be them of different: gender, sexual orientation, belief (political or religious) or ethnicity.

To paraphrase Milow: one has to take hold of one's destiny. While it means you have to assume charge of your life, it doesn't exclude that others exert influence on how easy your life is or not.
I think Gamer Chick's post has this among its goals "making easier for her and other women to have a fun time while gaming".
Having people debate the issue of what makes it fun or not for women (or anyone for that matter) can lead to nice "prises de conscience" which is the substantive for "to become aware of something".

Anyhow, that was my last post on this thread unless someone has something to say about women and gaming. Which was the basic subject of this thread after all.

I have been waiting for you to ask me this, Sam. Seeing as the computer terminal that I am useing at the moment can't access your e-mail address (and this topic doesnt relate to wemon in gameing) you can either post your e-mail address here or give me the 'ok' to post my story here.

Cocytus, if Mrs. Coulter becomes a radical that will be a bad day indeed, untill then we must respect her gumshoe detective work.


P.S. and yet again, sorry for not being able to spell check

Dude. She's a total kook. As in, the kind you make circular gestures beside your head while chiming like a cuckoo clock to describe.

First of all, most of your responses to me seem like they are intended for someone else. I only posted one time, and I only posted that I felt this entire debate should be removed from the board.

That being said, I think this debate should be removed from the board because it is a privately owned and run board dedicated to the discussion of role playing games, and issues related to role playing games. This discussion is not related to role playing games. It does not belong on this board. And I don't think that just your posts should be removed, I think that the entire discussion about your politics should be removed.

About my politics? We are all in this same boat together. Yes, you are also right, I wasn’t writing these posts for you people especially; I would hope that you live moral lives. Also I do believe that this should be removed from the forum if the Gamegrene Administrators believe it should be removed, you have no jurisdiction over them. But to tell you the truth, I don't want to censor other people because
I don't want to be censored.


Well, you know, a moderated board doesn't guarantee anyone free speech. Cadfan's right, and in this respect, so is Sam--this discussion really doesn't belong here (which is why I started sending you e-mails ;) ).


That whole post was directed to Milow. I was only referencing his discussion with you

^ Of which he has yet to respond...besides all the unaffiliated B.S.

Why don't we talk about something else?


There's a topic...bread...do you like it? What do you like about it?

DO NOT tell me what "kind" of bread you like. That'll just start a "Wonder vs. Mrs. Bairds" brawl.

bread is good...

I've never even HEARD of Mrs. Bairds bread! It must be terrible! Obviously Mrs. Bairds bread is evil, communist liberal-food! No True American eats Mrs. Bairds bread! This country was founded upon Wonder bread, and anyone who doesn't like it should go back to wherever it is that Mrs. Bairds bread comes from!

You asked for it, you know. :-)

Bread? OK I'm game.

Well I myself am a bio-whole-wheat kinda guy. I find it more filling and better for my long term health.

Pita and oher flat breads are fine.

Black bread is ok, in a heavy too filling sort of way.

White sliced bread is like rubber and should only be used to make cocktail sandwitches.

Baguette is the best, but not healthy in large quantities, so I don't eat it as much as I'd like.

An actually quite good bread is the one stuffed with olives, hum... with oil and "balsamic" vinegar it is soooooo good. Damn, I'm hungry.

Lembas doesn't exist, but my RPG characters are quite fond of it for some reason.

PS: When hell freezes over will I start exanging e-mails with someone like you Milow, we'd only end up wasting our time and resenting one another (or I'd end up thinking all americans were like you). Let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that.


thank you thank you,

By the way, after learning all this new information about the "decay of society" in America. Why don't you bump up the invasion time and get me off this crazy rock!


Nobody ratfu*%s my colors! You're either with Mrs. Bairds or you're worm-food.

Joking aside, its actually quite good. If you like a soft, pillowy loaf...Mrs. Bairds LARGE. If you prefer wheat, there is a 'butter-split-top-wheat' available...yummmm. I think its only available in Texas and surrounding areas, kind of like Dr. Pepper was 15 years ago.

I will say it again...bread is good.

Anti-female-gamer sentiment hasn't driven me away from Gamegrene...there's relatively little of it here, so not to worry. I'm going to try to write a new article very soon to be posted, so stay tuned.

However, seeing totally unrelated flamewars like this attached to a two-year-old article certainly doesn't fill me with joy at the prospect of writing new stuff. Could you guys tone it down a little? All of these messages go directly to my email inbox, y'know...

So here ends this nice discussion on bread... sigh.

No problemas amiga, todo que deseas aki es a ti, del momento que es facile a hacer.

As far as flame wars goe, this was much less worst than 3e is magic and The demise of dugeons and dragons...

...uhh.... :-|

yeah...like he said...

taco flauta chimichanga chalupa burrito amigo...uhhh...taco supremo.

Sorry about the whole "bread" interjection, Gamerchick. It was more or less implemented to cool off the political hostilities present.

nuttin but luv,


I personally will twat the next idiot who says that!

I've met so many guys like this it really kinda makes me sick. I like to think that I'm not like this at all.

::whips out bludeon from under jacket::
No way are you gonna remove me this time ASS!
::maniacal laughter::

That last comment was from THREE MONTHS AGO...

Um, I think you missed my comment on the I Am A Gamer thread, Ass.

You know, gamerchick, I am on one level very proud to say that I haven't ever really encountered the sexist aspects of role-playing. While my first role-playing 'group' was my brother (yes, just him) since then I have branched out and typically my games have either been largely gender-balanced or actually unbalanced toward the female end (my game last summer, back home in Kansas, consisted of me, my pseudo-brother Fred and his wife Marisa, and my friends Genesis and Lindsay -- 3-to-2 in you gals' favor). I will say that I have seen this sort of behavior in games that I have played in, though -- and it's sad, really. Personally I want to smack the men involved in that -- my mother taught me to behave better than that, and therefore they should too (just a little absolute morality for the fun of it -- in a joking manner, of course). I'm happy to see that women are getting more involved in the industry, though, because leaving out one half of the population from a hobby is just poor form (not to mention assinine). Be well Gamerchick, and hopefully we'll see another article from you soon (hopefully we'll see another article from ME soon... *tears hair out in frustration over his recent bout of writer's block*).


Oops... what I meant by not encountering it was that I never really encountered it in any groups I RAN. Okie dokie, had to clarify the butter there.