There is fairly little that will make me take to my soapbox in a knee jerk reaction to something I see, but when I do you can bet it’s probably got something to do with gender issues.
I’m not one to use or throw around the term feminist often because personally I think there is too much emphasis placed on definitions and unfortunately often it creates a negative stigma and can create too much focus on female aspect of the gender divide when it should be discussing equality for both sexes but I do hold very strong views surrounding gender issues. I firmly believe that in public forums there needs to be equality especially in views expressed from people or companies that are in a very prominent public position.
So when a company like blizzard, which has already gaffed and highlighted their attitude towards gender inequality issues recently by referring to the upcoming expansion as a “boys trip”, goes and posts, on a public forum, something like this:
They’re your brothers, they’re your guild! What are your fondest memories of them?
I tend to see red. This is not a person posting a photo of their toon and their guild, this is a public entity asking you to celebrate your fellow players… except they have managed to exclude a significant number of that player base by yet again only showing male toons.
Not only does this annoy me as a female playing predominately female toons, it annoys me as there are a ton of males who play females toons. Take a look around the shrine next time you’re there I’ll guarantee you’ll see just as many female toons as you do males, not every one of them will have a female’s hand on the keyboard. So why in the hell, Blizzard do you not show or acknowledge female toons more?
With statistics floating around the web stating that female player base is as high as 48% across gaming genres and platforms, completely ignoring a portion of your player base is a pretty ignorant and rude tactic to take. Add to that, by not showing representations of female toons Blizzard is now choosing to ignore the percentage of the male player base that chooses to play a female avatar as well.
I just simply do not get why a company, that can surely see a significant amount of their players are either female or prefers to play a female representation, time and time again choses not to portray the female representation of the game.