Something that came up in one of my classes the other day was the notion of modern gamespaces as being male-dominated. Obviously, this is, and has been the case in a number of sports through history (Football being the big one that comes to mind). But some of this seems to have transferred over into the virtual gamespace as well. Spending hours and hours every day playing video games (be they PC or console) has come to be viewed as a masculine trait, adopted by a few "cool" avante garde "gamer" females. A girl who can kick your ass gaming is seen as "hot" in the same way a girl who can fix your car is: its unique, and therefore sexy.
The rest of the gender, those who aren't deep into the FPS, the MMO RPG's, have been relegated to Angry Birds and The Sims, stereotypically more "female" games. Games which, by the way, tend to be seen as more mindless, or requiring less skill.
So why is there this polarization between skillful "male" game spaces, and less skilled "female" game spaces. Is it time for women to claim the male game space as their own, or perhaps we should just acknowledge that men and women game in different ways for different reasons? Or do they?
I don't have the answers. Its interesting to note that during the women's suffrage movement, according to this article, suffragettes set out to make their own game space.
"Interestingly, these games were not simply a way to convey their ideas about womensʼ rights but it was also a strategy for ﬁnancing their struggle"
The connection between women's rights and game spaces seems to have a history, then. I can't quite put my finger on why there is this important connection between play and gender issues, but there does seem to be. Maybe this is something I will explore more at a later date.