256: Hardcore Maleness

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One more thing, I always feel pieces like this say more about the person writing them than they do about the subject. Honestly, gaming is a gender-neutral area, men and women are equal and able to play what interests them. It would be more accurate to call the difference between hardcore and casual as the difference between competitive and sandbox.

Feminism is over, the big fight has been won! There are a few small fights left to win, but there's nothing to win by griping that you feel gaming is a man zone. If there are more men than women it will be a man zone yeah. Women can game all they want but if they don't it's not men's fault!

NamesAreHardToPick:
This article's not feminist, it's just man-hating. Guns, blood, engines, sports... the article says these things are for BOYS ONLY and they are BAD. There's no option that a woman would enjoy playing these games, or could be capable of doing so with the same intensity as a man. There's no option that a man might enjoy Plants vs Zombies over Call of Duty.

Empowerment RIP.

I just can't wait for the day when it is OK for me to be proud to be a male and proud of my masculinity without being labelled as a misogynist...

Honestly, I've never really thought of games as being "Hardcore" or "Casual" - for me its always been "Casual" or "non-Casual," that is to say that it isn't really a dichotomy for me, "Casual" is simply one of many labels you can put on a game. To me it describes a game that is simple and overall less demanding than more serious games tend to be. I think that's really part of the problem - is we like to create false dichotomies; either its in one category or the other category. That kind of thinking just leads to to missing the full spectrum between the two. To me what "Hardcore" means is something that truly tests my skills as a gamer - at least when used as a label for a game, though I rarely if ever use it to describe a game, in my mind its more something to describe the hardest difficulty levels of a game.

Another interesting point I happened to notice was mentioning how the word "rape" is often used casually. My ex-girlfriend, a gamer (our first break up was largely over her WoW addiction), and a woman who actually has been raped - has in fact used the word "rape" casually in the sense that was talked about in the article. Goes to show just how far changing the usage of a word can divorce it from its original meaning.

This pseudo freudian analysis of gaming centering all about gender and stereotypes really says much more about the author of the article than it does about gaming. You are stuck in some decade long gone, it really makes me sick. There are plenty of female hardcore gamers and plenty more male casual gamers, but those are just examples they don't prove anything (only disprove your claim). Some people like RTS some people like shooters some like RPGs some like sims - it says nothing of them as people, only of their tastes. If I like playing with guns it isn't because i'm a guy its because I enjoy it, and if the whole world around me wouldn't enjoy it, I still would. Hardcore and casual are just general terms to describe our tastes as gamers and our dedication to gaming. Take your head out off your ass, find a time machine and join us in the year 2010.

Le_Lisra:
Snip

Booze Zombie:
Snip.

You missed part of the article's point. It wasn't saying the terms are good/right but that's how they are percieved. Example G.I. Joes are for boys and Barbies are for girls. In thier marketing and sells it's mostly true but not an absolute. Though the majority of the public thinks G.I. Joe can be for anyone while Barbie is just for girls or vice versa. but ones who think themselves at one end of the ladder or the other consciously or sub-consciously think it's true when it's not.

I'm in favor of just "gamer" by the way.

Bay area, huh... Somebody's been reading too much Judith Butler.

At any rate, I liked the beginning - even though the illocutive function of euphemisms is hardly breaking new ground - and the article itself raises some interesting points, but doesn't fully explore them. Still, gender stereotypes do exist, and many people are defined by them.

But the best part of the article, hands down, was the Conan the Barbarian quote.

xdgt:
This pseudo freudian analysis of gaming centering all about gender and stereotypes really says much more about the author of the article than it does about gaming. You are stuck in some decade long gone, it really makes me sick. There are plenty of female hardcore gamers and plenty more male casual gamers, but those are just examples they don't prove anything (only disprove your claim). Some people like RTS some people like shooters some like RPGs some like sims - it says nothing of them as people, only of their tastes. If I like playing with guns it isn't because i'm a guy its because I enjoy it, and if the whole world around me wouldn't enjoy it, I still would. Hardcore and casual are just general terms to describe our tastes as gamers and our dedication to gaming. Take your head out off your ass, find a time machine and join us in the year 2010.

If by chance (no offense on female gamers exsisting or not...) you ever play a few rounds in a FPS multiplayer how many women call each other or thier victims faggots/homos or I totally raped your behind?

this article is the worst load of bollocks

Lucane:

Le_Lisra:
Snip

Booze Zombie:
Snip.

You missed part of the article's point. It wasn't saying the terms are good/right but that's how they are percieved. Example G.I. Joes are for boys and Barbies are for girls. In thier marketing and sells it's mostly true but not an absolute. Though the majority of the public thinks G.I. Joe can be for anyone while Barbie is just for girls or vice versa. but ones who think themselves at one end of the ladder or the other consciously or sub-consciously think it's true when it's not.

I'm in favor of just "gamer" by the way.

Yes, and I think that's wrong.
The comparison with barbie and GI.Joe does not work at all, because they are two very different things. A video game is not a plastic doll. Unless its a very bad game.
To me "hardcore" does not mean male, and "casusal" does not mean female - that's the point.

Lucane:

xdgt:
This pseudo freudian analysis of gaming centering all about gender and stereotypes really says much more about the author of the article than it does about gaming. You are stuck in some decade long gone, it really makes me sick. There are plenty of female hardcore gamers and plenty more male casual gamers, but those are just examples they don't prove anything (only disprove your claim). Some people like RTS some people like shooters some like RPGs some like sims - it says nothing of them as people, only of their tastes. If I like playing with guns it isn't because i'm a guy its because I enjoy it, and if the whole world around me wouldn't enjoy it, I still would. Hardcore and casual are just general terms to describe our tastes as gamers and our dedication to gaming. Take your head out off your ass, find a time machine and join us in the year 2010.

If by chance (no offense on female gamers exsisting or not...) you ever play a few rounds in a FPS multiplayer how many women call each other or thier victims faggots/homos or I totally raped your behind?

Well can't say all of them do since that would be an even worse generalisation, but I have been playing in a british clan with a teen girl (whom I tought everything I knew at the time) who used those terms plenty. Are you trying to say guys are more immature in general? Perhaps, but it doesn't mean that immaturity is 'male' or 'female' its just immaturity.

A really good column, and not a tiring read like some. Even so, I don't think that slang should be taken so seriously; When you "rape" some "gay" in a game, you don't necessarily assert your manliness, you're just talking the gamer's language. Any social interaction betweenn young males (and excuse this snobbish tone) is going to include such profanities.

Le_Lisra:

Lucane:

Le_Lisra:
Snip

Booze Zombie:
Snip.

You missed part of the article's point. It wasn't saying the terms are good/right but that's how they are percieved. Example G.I. Joes are for boys and Barbies are for girls. In thier marketing and sells it's mostly true but not an absolute. Though the majority of the public thinks G.I. Joe can be for anyone while Barbie is just for girls or vice versa. but ones who think themselves at one end of the ladder or the other consciously or sub-consciously think it's true when it's not.

I'm in favor of just "gamer" by the way.

Yes, and I think that's wrong.
The comparison with barbie and GI.Joe does not work at all, because they are two very different things. A video game is not a plastic doll. Unless its a very bad game.
To me "hardcore" does not mean male, and "casusal" does not mean female - that's the point.

That's my and the articles point. The marketing says these games and dolls are for males or females, but it's the users choice to [b]really[b] decide to believe it or know it isn't true.

Though I guess there was a transfering of meaning for Casual/Hardcore gamer being about how often/much someone plays to difficult or violent for Hardcore and simple or not very competitive for casual So some view the terms completely different to being with.

Wow, this article is certainly getting more negative reactions than I thought it would! I feel a bit torn, I wanted to like this article but it left me wanting more. This doesn't mean I agree with the author, I was just hoping for a more concrete argument. The author opens their argument by basically saying "everybody knows that hardcore means male and casual means female" and in my experience an opening like this most often is followed by uninformed bias. The gaming community is too large for blanket statements like the ones made in this article.

Where is the research? What studies have been done? When I read an argument like this I want to know what the author read that helped them form their argument. Yes I see the link to the gender-association study in 9-month-olds and it's multiple references throughout the article, but how does that really back up claims about a group composed mostly of adults? Maybe if the author chose a narrower margin of the gaming world to look at this would hold more weight (ie: how children in their formative years perceive the phrases associated with gaming and theories as to why). If anything this article perpetuates the stereotype that video games are for children.

All-in-all I feel like this is an op-ed piece that wants to be a serious argument.

This article makes me happy :3

There is a kind of gender barrier for some people, and it's bloody annoying!
Personally i love pink and fluffy games as much as i enjoy violent games, it's all down to the gameplay.

Wait til i try to get my friends to play Plants vs Zombies though, they see the colourful box art and avoid it like the plague >.<
It's sad to see that some people are denying themselves genuinely fun games just because they don't affirm their masculinity.

xdgt:

Lucane:

xdgt:
This pseudo freudian analysis of gaming centering all about gender and stereotypes really says much more about the author of the article than it does about gaming. You are stuck in some decade long gone, it really makes me sick. There are plenty of female hardcore gamers and plenty more male casual gamers, but those are just examples they don't prove anything (only disprove your claim). Some people like RTS some people like shooters some like RPGs some like sims - it says nothing of them as people, only of their tastes. If I like playing with guns it isn't because i'm a guy its because I enjoy it, and if the whole world around me wouldn't enjoy it, I still would. Hardcore and casual are just general terms to describe our tastes as gamers and our dedication to gaming. Take your head out off your ass, find a time machine and join us in the year 2010.

If by chance (no offense on female gamers exsisting or not...) you ever play a few rounds in a FPS multiplayer how many women call each other or thier victims faggots/homos or I totally raped your behind?

Well can't say all of them do since that would be an even worse generalisation, but I have been playing in a british clan with a teen girl (whom I tought everything I knew at the time) who used those terms plenty. Are you trying to say guys are more immature in general? Perhaps, but it doesn't mean that immaturity is 'male' or 'female' its just immaturity.

No but I'm saying 9 out of 10 you'll see a guy punch a guy different guy in the family jewels than a girl do the same thing as or apart of a joke/game. But if someone was gonna sell a video of people getting hit in the nuts over and over the 1st audience they'd pick would be a male one regardless of how many women would be interested The game producers are the ones promoting hardcore casual they shouldn't be labels for players gender.

Lucane:

xdgt:

Lucane:

xdgt:
This pseudo freudian analysis of gaming centering all about gender and stereotypes really says much more about the author of the article than it does about gaming. You are stuck in some decade long gone, it really makes me sick. There are plenty of female hardcore gamers and plenty more male casual gamers, but those are just examples they don't prove anything (only disprove your claim). Some people like RTS some people like shooters some like RPGs some like sims - it says nothing of them as people, only of their tastes. If I like playing with guns it isn't because i'm a guy its because I enjoy it, and if the whole world around me wouldn't enjoy it, I still would. Hardcore and casual are just general terms to describe our tastes as gamers and our dedication to gaming. Take your head out off your ass, find a time machine and join us in the year 2010.

If by chance (no offense on female gamers exsisting or not...) you ever play a few rounds in a FPS multiplayer how many women call each other or thier victims faggots/homos or I totally raped your behind?

Well can't say all of them do since that would be an even worse generalisation, but I have been playing in a british clan with a teen girl (whom I tought everything I knew at the time) who used those terms plenty. Are you trying to say guys are more immature in general? Perhaps, but it doesn't mean that immaturity is 'male' or 'female' its just immaturity.

No but I'm saying 9 out of 10 you'll see a guy punch a guy different guy in the family jewels than a girl do the same thing as or apart of a joke/game. But if someone was gonna sell a video of people getting hit in the nuts over and over the 1st audience they'd pick would be a male one regardless of how many women would be interested The game producers are the ones promoting hardcore casual they shouldn't be labels for players gender.

Honestly who gives a **** what the game producers promote? Shape your own opinion and play what YOU like not what the producers want you to, not what your friends want you to. Be an individual for christ sake.
And violence isn't equal immaturity, its just another way to connect to people...physically. And some girls do exactly that to guys for any and no reason just because they run out of decent arguments, knowing it full well that its "wrong" to hit them back (talking about double standards here).

I liked the article; though it was perhaps somewhat lacking in it's argument, but overall it shows a relatively important message which apparently passes several feet over some individuals.

Cheers for the read.

xdgt:
Honestly who gives a **** what the game producers promote? Shape your own opinion and play what YOU like not what the producers want you to, not what your friends want you to. Be an individual for christ sake.
And violence isn't equal immaturity, its just another way to connect to people...physically. And some girls do exactly that to guys for any and no reason just because they run out of decent arguments, knowing it full well that its "wrong" to hit them back (talking about double standards here).

You know I'm agreeing with you right? Someone can call them self a Casual and be completley different from other casual player but by doing so you basiclly say your oppossed to it's oppisite Republicans and Democrats are sorta the same way the individuals can be similar or vastly different but label yourself with a group with a roster not much like your self and all of a sudden your group doesn't appear to include you Like what I assume happened with Republican and Log Caban Republican.

I completely disagree, whether something is "hardcore" depends on how challenging it is, how much of a time investment it requires, and how high quality it is.

I don't think "Wii: Carnival Games" being casual has anything to do with gender....

In short, I think this entire article is wrong.

Gender rules are moronic, lets just say that and move on.

Lucane:

xdgt:
Honestly who gives a **** what the game producers promote? Shape your own opinion and play what YOU like not what the producers want you to, not what your friends want you to. Be an individual for christ sake.
And violence isn't equal immaturity, its just another way to connect to people...physically. And some girls do exactly that to guys for any and no reason just because they run out of decent arguments, knowing it full well that its "wrong" to hit them back (talking about double standards here).

You know I'm agreeing with you right? Someone can call them self a Casual and be completley different from other casual player but by doing so you basiclly say your oppossed to it's oppisite Republicans and Democrats are sorta the same way the individuals can be similar or vastly different but label yourself with a group with a roster not much like your self and all of a sudden your group doesn't appear to include you Like what I assume happened with Republican and Log Caban Republican.

Terms like that are important for fast identification, when you don't have hours for philosophical debates and just want to get your point across within reasonable time limits.
Doesn't mean that you agree with all those in "your" group or disagree with all in the "opposed" group. Its not about dominance its about showing individuality, as paradoxical as it may seem puting yourself in one group does not detract from your individuality it shows it. Its not about "I'm the same as half the population" its about "I know who I am, and what is my view on this topic or another".

xdgt:

Lucane:

xdgt:
Honestly who gives a **** what the game producers promote? Shape your own opinion and play what YOU like not what the producers want you to, not what your friends want you to. Be an individual for christ sake.
And violence isn't equal immaturity, its just another way to connect to people...physically. And some girls do exactly that to guys for any and no reason just because they run out of decent arguments, knowing it full well that its "wrong" to hit them back (talking about double standards here).

You know I'm agreeing with you right? Someone can call them self a Casual and be completley different from other casual player but by doing so you basiclly say your oppossed to it's oppisite Republicans and Democrats are sorta the same way the individuals can be similar or vastly different but label yourself with a group with a roster not much like your self and all of a sudden your group doesn't appear to include you Like what I assume happened with Republican and Log Caban Republican.

Terms like that are important for fast identification, when you don't have hours for philosophical debates and just want to get your point across within reasonable time limits.
Doesn't mean that you agree with all those in "your" group or disagree with all in the "opposed" group. Its not about dominance its about showing individuality, as paradoxical as it may seem puting yourself in one group does not detract from your individuality it shows it. Its not about "I'm the same as half the population" its about "I know who I am, and what is my view on this topic or another".

Edit: But then people can't really complain if they said they're red rather than blue but then people say the group looks pink, your still red but the majority of the color or the loudest of the color group is pink(or lightish red) then people will think most or all are like that.

Lucane:

xdgt:

Lucane:

xdgt:
Honestly who gives a **** what the game producers promote? Shape your own opinion and play what YOU like not what the producers want you to, not what your friends want you to. Be an individual for christ sake.
And violence isn't equal immaturity, its just another way to connect to people...physically. And some girls do exactly that to guys for any and no reason just because they run out of decent arguments, knowing it full well that its "wrong" to hit them back (talking about double standards here).

You know I'm agreeing with you right? Someone can call them self a Casual and be completley different from other casual player but by doing so you basiclly say your oppossed to it's oppisite Republicans and Democrats are sorta the same way the individuals can be similar or vastly different but label yourself with a group with a roster not much like your self and all of a sudden your group doesn't appear to include you Like what I assume happened with Republican and Log Caban Republican.

Terms like that are important for fast identification, when you don't have hours for philosophical debates and just want to get your point across within reasonable time limits.
Doesn't mean that you agree with all those in "your" group or disagree with all in the "opposed" group. Its not about dominance its about showing individuality, as paradoxical as it may seem puting yourself in one group does not detract from your individuality it shows it. Its not about "I'm the same as half the population" its about "I know who I am, and what is my view on this topic or another".

Edit: But then people can't really complain if they said they're red rather than blue but then people say the group looks pink, your still red but the majority of the color or the loudest of the color group is pink(or lightish red) then people will think most or all are like that.

And that my friend is stereotyping (just like the article did, yeah I'm still pissed about it). Everybody has the right to argue their own point, but every opinion does fall into atleast one group. By invalidating the majority of the group one does not invalidate each and every one of its components.
We had a student body back in high school that made terrible decisions for all of us, that most of the students were actually against. Does it mean we had no right to complain about the policies which we considered wrong and stupid? No because despite them representing us they did not in fact truly represented us but rather their own goals, and we had every right to point it out and demand to have things our way.

The article is saying stereo types are bad but they won't likely change so we'd have to change what we reffer to ourselves as to make a less divided or restrained one.

Lucane:
The article is saying stereo types are bad but they won't likely change so we'd have to change what we reffer to ourselves as to make a less divided or restrained one.

Not how I see it - it keeps on connecting dots that aren't there, like hardcore being male and casual being female. I never saw any such connection and it offends me that someone blatantly states that as true, then tries to say "Please don't think so anymore, and forget any terms that you had earlier, lets all revert to chaos". We never thought so, he did, and we need those terms as I said earlier. Should we also not refer to ourselves as gamers? Or human? Or mammals? Or carbon based life forms? Or living organisms? Or as physical objects? Then how do we make any reference to anyone? Unifying everything into one mesh just brings confusion and damages communication. It's one thing to treat each other respectfully, it's another thing altogether to make ourselves blind to the differences.

Freud would aprove of your use of games as phalic symbols. Is it me or does the more manly a game tries to be the more homoerotic undetones there are ala Army of Two? Perhaps games like gears of war are just extended Dick Waving after all.

I couldn't read this article without thinking of George Carlin's routine about how war is basically an international game of Penis Envy.

Really now, must we argue semantics so much. Words have neither power nor meaning unless you think that they do. I suppose that if you want to argue semantics, then here is my definition (kindly written before my reply could be transcribed:)

Gildan Bladeborn:
I take issue with this oversimplification, and not just because all the games used as examples of "hardcore" ones that appeal to male audiences are games I bloody hate (or entire genres I bloody hate in the case of sports titles). For me, the distinction between hardcore and casual games is quite easy to make: Does your game have a narrative structure that gradually unfolds as the player makes progress in the game? If yes, it's not a casual game. If no, it is. Unless it revolves around competitive multiplayer, in which case I will still think of it as merely an 'advanced' casual game since there is ultimately no purpose to your actions in game beyond "shoot some dudes for points" or what have you, but I recognize that others don't see those that way.

If we feel the need to "genderize" terms we are doing nothing more than engendering differences between social groups. I don't play Farmville because it's an absolutely terrible game without any plot beyond "raise a good farm." I also rather enjoy World of Goo a game without any traditionally "masculine" elements.

40% of gamers are women, do you really think that many are just into "girly" games. To make such gender distinctions as this article did is clearly and simply sexist.

"Hardcore" equals masculine. "Casual" equals feminine. It's just that simple.

No, no it doesn't.
Hardcore means Hardcore and Casual means Casual.

I didn't read any farther than this, because it sounds like you really don't know what you're talking about.

NamesAreHardToPick:

I agree with you completely, this has to be one of the most generalizing and sexist articles about gaming I have read in a while.

A lot of my female friends play games and some of them are even with me, if not kicking my ass at games we play. I think this article is rubbish.

I'll join the chorus and say: Great article, too bad it's such a farfetched idea. I'm reminded of that one article that said Portal was a female game because you use a uterus-shaped gun to open passageways through which you are reborn into new challenges, as opposed to the usual FPS in which you use your phallic symbol to dominate your enemies by ejaculating bullets onto them. (While I think it's a twisted view, there's probably a lot of interesting, accidental symbology if you take Chell's relationship with turrets and the cube as metaphors for the usual relationships between men and women. I leave this analysis to be done by one who can do that with a straight face.)

Now let me explain why you are wrong.

Video games are computers. That is, they are a program that runs on a computer. Computers are good at simulating physics. Games are based on conflict. Since computers are good at simulating physics, computer and video games became good at generating physical conflict before they became good at other kinds of conflict (if they have already, I'd add). Because of that, it means that the oldest games are based on physical conflict. The results of that today are:

- The games that have the most ground covered in the matter of game design, and thus are superior in that aspect, are games based on physical conflict.
- The players that have been playing the longest, and thus are the most loyal, taught the newest players, and are now becoming developers, started out playing games based on physical conflict, and as such are drawn to them.

Therefore, games based on physical conflicted are easier to design successfully. Because of that, they are more successful. This success means they can be more 'meta' and forego a lot of the learning curve, while, say, puzzle games can't. Because of that, there is a hardcore niche that enjoys physical conflict and a large, 'soft' market that enjoys other things.

It just so happens that physical conflict is considered to be a male activity. Board games, conversely, are mostly based on encouraging social conflict, but even though social conflict is considered to be a female activity board games aren't a girl thing.

Thank you very much for your input anyway!

Le_Lisra:
It annoys me that everything has to "genderized" like this.

It's nothing new, in fact, it's been done since the dawn of time. At least we speak English, where it isn't woven into the fabric of the language.

I'll just post the message that I just sent to Mr. Limp Dick:

'I am what I consider to be a casual gamer. That means I don't get a hard-on when someone says 'Halo' or 'Gears of War'. I like to play these games, but I don't live for it. As for using it to represent my masculinity, I challenge you to a street brawl, boxing match, or straight up MMA match, any place, any time, bud. I'm 6' 320# and can crush your head with one hit. I'm not called Big Don for no reason. I didn't work as a bouncer because I adore the Sims and other boring games of that ilk (use a dictionary Mr. Rod or Dick as you may prefer. Words like 'ilk' are used when acquiring an education, which you obviously need pretty bad). Think twice before calling people out. You could get hurt.'

Edit: I've taken the moment to realize that I jumped the gun on my response to this article. The author has the right to his own opinion whether I want to accept it or not. I no longer fault him for what I felt was a personal attack of sorts. I am leaving my original response here to show just how ridiculously I responded to the article.

Hum. An interesting interpretation. Games can be seen as a struggle to show masculinity and dominance. I see this only as one part though. There is an oblivious struggle to identity oneself as the most male among certain games (especially those feature over-masculine protagonists and played by teens who call each other 'gay') but there is also the deep rooted fear within the individuals whop play games. For many years, gaming has been had stigmas and negative connotations and it has had to be hidden. Its ranks are populated by social outcasts and misfits. I think that gamers actually isolate themselves in order to protect themselves from others, from those that disapprove. Just look at the resistance of gamers to 'casuals' and 'non-gamers'. "hardcore" players regularly try to crucify these people for no other reason then because 'they're not one of us'. It seems irrational since a larger player base encourages mainstream use and acceptance of games as a legitimate medium, but gamers still resist others. I see it as a mechanism to try and exclude others as a reflection that the other will potential destroy the uniqueness of there hobby, or intrude on there exclusive group. Thus casual vs. hardcore is more a competition of 'self' vs. 'other' and gamers trying to maintain their identity in a world where in the future the term 'gamer' will be meaningless. The quest for masculine is present of course, as you detailed but it is only one interpretation and one factor making up the culture of gaming.

I think there's something to this- maybe not in the term "hardcore gamer" specifically, but there's a lot of really forced machismo in the games industry to the point that it gets silly. It's like there's some faction of gamers, probably calling themselves "hardcore" whether that really applies or not*, who feel insecure in their sexuality if they're not playing a grizzled ugly badass with a giant torso and a gravelly voice and/or the women don't have perfect figures with giant breasts. ("Dead to Rights: Retribution" is the latest hilarious example.)

*Not that I really find much validity to the term anyway- it's really vaguely defined and to me, conjures up images of the bad sort of metal fans who don't so much love metal as hate anything that isn't metal.

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