Reliable Source

Reliable Source: Being a Gamer-Gurrrl is hard.

Marion Cox | 6 Mar 2010 14:00
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After my second article my editor got back to me to tell me that my view numbers were down and that we needed to "sex it up" for our readers. Attached to the email was a link to several YouTube videos and websites with women in various states of undress all playing games. There were images of a woman apparently masturbating with a fake plastic guitar, a woman dancing on a Wii-balance board and even one woman licking a PSP. I cringed at the last image; the finger grease alone on my PSP is enough to deep-fry a whole chicken.

Suffice to say, I wasn't about to lick my PSP and I suspected that Boxingkangaroo's readers didn't want to see the real Marion Cox licking anything. Did I need to stand up for gaming women and put a stop to the exploitation - before they discovered I was exploiting them?

Being an angry young woman isn't easy, especially when you're basically the opposite of all those things. My only answer was to consult my surrogate mother: Wikipedia. I would have written a compelling argument about how the exploitation of women actually makes games less attractive to them. That is, I would have if I hadn't misspelled feminism as Geminism and spent the rest of the night listening to Swedish Europop.

I felt defeated by my fat fingers and my lack of focus. I decided to do what Americans do best: I threatened to sue them for sexual harassment. Surely the fictional Ms. Cox had a case right? People have sued for a lot less than an editor suggesting they get naked.

A week went by with no word from my editor or any contact from the website. Even my editor's instant messenger clients showed him offline. In fact, I got no word from anyone at the company until I received a form letter in the mail from the site's legal department.

Dear Ms. Cox,
My name is Barnette Williaby, and I represent the site Boxingkangaroo. I am mailing you to let you know that we've terminated J. Bailey Jr. (Also known as JayRanasaurus) and sent you a lucrative settlement package. We take sexual harassment cases very seriously, and as such we hope that we can ease some of your emotional stress and pain. We're also sorry to inform you but under our legal contract we can no longer employ you here.

With the letter came a big box and inside were all sorts of games and game-related swag. Most of it looked like it had come from last year's Blizzcon and E3 2009. There were inflatable PS3 controllers and several women's t-shirts for games like Muramasa, Red Steel, and Starcraft II. There was a pair of Battlefield 1943 sunglasses and a "pre-opened" Fatal1ty mouse box with nothing inside. To top it off - and which was the most degrading - there was also a bright pink Wii with a Wii-fit balance board, which was probably never opened because it was too effeminate. Whatever - I just wish the package had contained some decent games.

At least one good thing came as a result of all this drama: Dad has been playing Animal Crossing nonstop for the last week. He's got quite a nice garden going on, but I fear he's gotten a little too immersed - he keeps sending death threats to the beavers that live across the street.

Marion Cox suggests not mentioning that you have a pink Wii to a potential employer, unless you're certain that they know what that is.

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