I can’t believe that going to the Spike Video Game Awards is just a sidenote in my week, but I’ve been so insanely busy with the Next Island launch. Been sort of like finals week in college, if you had to fly to California for exams.
Also if your exams were on blogging, Facebooking and videogames. Wah, my life is hard!
There was a multistage mixup with the press passes, which was really frustrating and dramatic at the time. The short version is that I got a red carpet pass, but didn’t get it until after the red carpet was over (and that Figment was pretty fantastic about driving around all day). It’s more than fine, though, I don’t know if I could really handle the speed of a red carpet interview, I’m a writer because I’m so much better after editing.
Going in, I was most interested in whether Limbo would win best indie, I was pleased but unsurprised when it did. I loved the Elder Scrolls / Skyrim trailer (I’m a longtime Morrowind girl) and I choked on my wine laughing at the PacMan TMZ bit, but overall I was a bit underwhelmed by the testosterone extravaganza.
I’ve rewritten this a bunch of times, trying not to sound like I’m just sad because I feel underrepresented in my hobby. OK, I am sad that I’m underrepresented in my hobby, but practically speaking, why emphasize the angry, antisocial, undersexed single guy as the gamer stereotype? It’s even insulting to male gamers — you don’t all fall down and drool helplessly when you see Olivia Munn, do you? I wish Spike didn’t feel the need to embrace the worst stereotypes of our subculture. Sure, the 18-to-24-year-old male is a major demographic, but older players, women, casual gamers, and mobile gamers are rapidly increasing. And I don’t see a disconnect between that and hardcore games at all.
I spend at lot of time at my day job, in my freelancing work, and just in conversation trying to introduce games to people, especially girls, who wouldn’t see themselves as “gamers” but who would get a lot of enjoyment out of playing games. I think games in general are moving away from the testosterone-fest, and it made me a bit sad to see Spike present videogaming as a boys’ club.
Being in the press room was fantastic, half the fun of conferences and press events is talking to other journalists. I sat down near Mike Dodd, AKA the most popular man on Twitter, and Jim Girgenti, a Jersey-based freelancer I’d met at the Next Island launch the night before. Later on, we also met up with Angry Joe (who didn’t seem so angry to me… but I guess Sweet Joe didn’t have the right type of gamer appeal), Chris from the Austin Flashmob, and others. Most of the time, this writing is a solitary activity, and I love meeting other members of our bizarre tribe. Thanks, guys.