Hmmm….so I’m re-reading Lastowka and Hunter’s “The Laws of the Virtual Worlds” and I can’t help noticing that they always refer to the player as ‘she’. And come to think of it, EVERYONE does! Wikipedia, journalists, academics…everyone who writes about gamers always refers to the player as she. Is there some universal decision made that I don’t know about? Was there a secret meeting at some point where they concluded that gamers should always be referred to as female in order to demolish the stereotypical male pimple faced gamer geek? Or is there some language thing going on here that I just haven’t picked up on? Is the word player or gamer feminine?
Huh…just a thought that I’ll be sure to investigate further when I’m REALLY bored! But for now I’m just gonna let the thought waver out here on my blog. But I really should know this, shouldn’t I?
I regularly either use feminine descriptions of users in project documentation, or gender-neutral terms, such as “the player” or “the user.” There seem to be enough male assumptions out there, and using an alternative feels more progressive. I first started using alternatives in the late 1990s, prompted by a peer’s methods. It seemed like a fresh way of referring to “the user” at the time. There’s nothing inherently female about the words “player” and “gamer” that I’m aware of.When the player/user is more likely to be male, I tend to opt for a masculine description.Perhaps people writing about gaming and virtual worlds are more progressive, in general? Or maybe there was a secret meeting… I wasn’t invited :)
Yeah, I don’t know about broader trends, but I use the generic “she” frequently in my writing. Rather than do “s/he”, or accept “he” as generic, or pluralize things, I just try to use “she” as habitually as others use “he.”
Thanks for that input! I rather enjoy the notion that ‘people writing about gaming and virtual worlds are more progressive’!! :)