Dr. Taylor’s talk both touched on, and expanded upon many of the points which we had discussed with her earlier that day in class. While Dr. Taylor’s attention to how the traditional model of masculinity is being augmented and changed to include modes of geek masculinity was interesting, I found her mention of the disenfranchisement, de-legitimization, and sexuallization of female gamers perhaps even more compelling. The dynamic she laid out is one in which men question women’s skill, knowledge, gamer legitimacy, and even their heterosexual orientation for no other reason than the perceived incongruence of a woman having and intensely perusing interests such as videogames and competitive games at large. The key point which Dr. Taylor pointed out which I found intriguing is how women navigate, and at times engage in this culture of meager social/gamer capital. From displays of perhaps overly “girly” behavior, to self-conscious mentions of boyfriends, Dr. Taylor pointed out how women try to engage with a gamer community which actively questions their legitimacy. Women have their legitimacy as gamers questioned because they are women and their classical femininity questioned because they are gamers. Whichever pole of this catch22 a woman attending Dr. Taylor’s talk was on we could all agree that the guy who asked if women weren’t better off not wasting their time with videogames was at the wrong talk.
Gabriel J. L