A Year of GMMaS: Where do we go from here?

So it’s been a year. (Okay, a little more than a year now.) 131 posts and a whopping 5579 comments later, here we are. In the past year, I’ve written about tabletop RPGs, CCGs, console games, PC games, board games, MMOs, gaming blogs… Let’s just say I’ve managed to cover a lot of ground. So much so that I’ve been starting to feel as if I’m running out of things to say.

You may have noticed recently that my posting frequency has been dropping off. Part of that is because, as I have mentioned previously, I (apparently) hate free time. But a larger portion has been the fact that I’ve been struggling to find new things to say. Being visual artist, it’s no surprise that my main focus here would be art and design-based. While I’ll happily get diverted into dealing with other related issues such as fail in the gaming blogosphere, talking about sexism in game art and character design is always what I come back to because that’s my background and it will always inform how I approach games.

But the fact is, there’s only so many different ways you can mock badly drawn breasts. There’s only so many ways you can mock chest TARDISes, or ninja lingerie, or armor with inexplicable boob holes. The truth is that the well just runs dry after a certain point.

Does that mean that I think that feminism’s work with regard to gaming is done? That sexism has been solved now and forever in gaming? Oh fuck no. There have been some positive things I’ve seen in the last year – the explosion of readership I’ve enjoyed here being a very large reason for hope in particular. But there’s reasons for concern too – not the least of which is the increase in imports of Korean MMOs that make North American games look like bastions of feminism. No, gaming still has a long way to go before it even catches up with the base levels of misogyny in mainstream society, let alone before it becomes a place that might be seriously able to call itself female-friendly.

But the truth of the matter is that I never considered this blog to be something without a fixed endpoint. My goal was to highlight the sheer amount of bullshit sexism that pervades game art, game culture, and game design. And I feel pretty good about my success in doing that. I could continue re-hashing old ideas, but that would be tiresome and frankly not all that rewarding. And the truth of the matter is that it’s time for me to move on to other things.

See, I have things I want to do. I have that fantasy novel that I’ve been wanting to write. I haven’t even touched it in two months, because every time I have time to write I feel obligated to post here instead of writing more of the novel. Not to mention that comic project that I am so excited about oh my god but which, yeah, has been playing second fiddle to this blog as well. (And I promise when I can talk about it, I’ll post about it here because – seriously, peeps. You’ll love it so much.) I regret the fact that I don’t have the time or the mental bandwidth to do it all. But at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve said everything that I need to say. And I feel pretty good about that.

Where do we go from here?

Heh. Stupid Buffy jokes rule.

1. Redesign this blog.

I’m going to redesign this blog to be a handy reference tool for those of you looking to maybe get your friends to reexamine why some of the stuff they like in gaming might be kind of bullshit. My goal is to model it on Finally Feminism 101 in making it an easy-to-use resource. So you might see the layout change inexplicably in the next little bit. If the site winds up breaking for a little while, don’t panic. I plan on changing the theme, and that will probably involve monkeying around with the layout. Along with the re-design, I’ll post new stickies and an introduction explaining what this was all about.

2. Look into writing that book after all

The irony is that I started this blog as a way to avoid writing the book that I didn’t want to write about sexism and gaming. And by now, I’ve written more on the subject than I would have if I had just given in and written and the damn book in the first place. I’d like to look into turning Go Make Me a Sandwich into a book. I’m not confident that it will succeed – a lot of what I do here would be… um… challenging, as far as intellectual property is concerned, in book format. But I’d like to try.

I’m not terribly confident that such a book would have a large audience. But I honestly never thought that this blog would acquire such a large audience either. So that’s something I’ll be looking into, and if I happen to make any progress I’ll post about that here as well.

Thanks for your support

To everyone who has read and commented in the last year, thank you. You made this whole crazy journey worth it, and I never would have come this far without you.

36 thoughts on “A Year of GMMaS: Where do we go from here?

  1. Hey Wundergeek.

    If you release a book or ebook I’ll guarantee my purchase, although I can see how not being able to reproduce copyrighted images may hamstring your style. Is there any way you could do an interviews series with designers or do you lack the time and/or clout to organise them? Would you ever consider writing for one of the larger gaming websites or doing some guest articles? I think they’d be crazy not to want you. I think I’ve sent you a few Rock, Paper, Shotgun links and I think they’re smart enough to enjoy your work, even if they’re mostly PC focused.

    Re-skinning to a 101 resource sounds like a good idea. I understand that you’re probably drained from being angry all the time. Best of luck with whatever you decide anyways!

    NR68

  2. YOU HAD TO GO ON AND USE THAT PIC NOW I’M GOING TO CRY

    I’ve enjoyed your blog greatly and it’s sad that it has to end but I do understand why you feel the way you do. Good luck on all future endeavours!

  3. I am seriously sad that the blog is gonna end, considering I only just stumbled onto this from IGN a few months ago. I often check in everyday to see if there are new posts and now I can’t get my daily fix of awesomeness. Because of this blog, I have become more aware of how bad the misogyny is in the gaming world and you helped challenge my preconceived notions about how women should be portrayed (in a good way, of course).

    Sadness aside, I wish you nothing but the best in your projects and seriously, I will buy them books for sure and I look forward to them.

    Good luck and all the best and thanks for the wonderful and educating articles!

  4. Thanks for you time and work. I loved your rants, your Proportion-Corrected-Redraws and your Men-In-Sexy-Poses. All the best for your future projects!

  5. Before you go, do you think you could do one last big send off in celebration? Maybe one blog post that celebrates all the games that do a great job with female characters, and another with (what I personally think makes your blog unique), one massive group gender swap picture. (Maybe Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3? Batman Arkkam City?). Just one last post as a massive Go Make Me A Sandwhich Send Off, with lots of fun and humor: a final going away party.

    While I understand the reasons, I think I’ll still miss this blog. I think sexy abe was a sign, though, that you haven’t run out of unique ways to address the issue. I know you’ve heard this countless times before, but even though I don’t play most of the games you discussed (mostly Nintendo here),you’ve definably opened my eyes to the games I do. Also, I always felt feminists were not as extreme as people try to make them out to be (though as I kid, I fell into the equelist vs feminist trap. Well, not trap, it’s close. Misguidance?), thank you for confirming that most are not, and even those that are still have a good point.

    Best of luck with your future endeavors. Hopefully those you’ve inspired can pick up the torch and keep feminism in gaming alive and strong.

    PS. In celebration, who’s up for feminist trolling Jim Sterling? (Just kidding: that would just make things worse. But it’s fun to think about…) Actually, now that I think about it, wouldn’t it be fun to make a blog post where you pretend to troll other people, after you’ve been trolled so much? As long as you have disclaimers that you’re pretending, it’s just for fun, and that no one should actually do it, I think you could pull it off. I’d be kinda like that “Xbox girls get revenge” video you posted a while ago.

    • Honestly, I doubt it. I appreciate that you’re enthusiastic about what I’ve done here, but gender-swaps are hugely, hugely time consuming. And to be frank, I’ve already written about every female character that I have loved from gaming. I know that Yuna, Lightning, and FemShep makes for an awful short list, but there it is.

      And while I appreciate the sentiment, please don’t troll Jim Sterling. If you’re that motivated, I’d ask instead that you write letters to his employers – Destructoid.com, Modern Method, and the Escapist – demanding that he stop using misogynist pro-rape and pro-abuse language in his paid writing. But please don’t troll Jim Sterling’s private twitter or anything like that. It would be counter-productive, and also a huge waste of time.

  6. I see nothing wrong with putting the blog on a backburner while you work on all the other stuff you’ve been putting off. It’ll give things a chance to simmer. Because, as you said, feminism is still needed, so GMMaS is still needed.

    • I appreciate the sentiment, but there are plenty of other feminist bloggers out there who blog about games. I won’t say that I’m done with blogging forever, because life tends to make a liar out of you when you make statements like that. But GMMaS has already been on the back burner the last few months. Having said everything I know how to say on the subject of sexism in gaming, it’s time to free up the burner for other projects. That doesn’t mean I’m quitting feminism forever. I can tell you that it’s going to pretty heavily inform the creative projects that I’m going to turn my attention to.

      • Can you make a post with recommendations about where we can go if we want more blog posts about feminism? Like a “here’s who I recommend” sort of thing?

        • Well, generally anything in the sidebar is good for gaming-related feminism. I particularly follow The Border House and Geek Feminism Gagging on Sexism is good for anime/manga/pop culture. For straight up feminism, I tend to read Feministing and Feministe.

          • I’ve been searching, and I’ve got to say, you’re blog is defiantly unique. There are other people who say the same thing you do, heck some who even say it better.
            But they’re not as fun.
            You found a way to introduce people to feminist theory while laughing with you at the absurdity in our society.
            You often showed us what was wrong with pictures rather than just told us, often with more fun commentary.
            Also, you were able to make posts about things I’m not as interested in (card games, dungeon and dragon stuff, ect.) just as interesting as the video games I did care about.
            So, congratulations on doing something unique, but it makes it all the more sad for us craving more. (PS, please don’t interpret that as “SHAME ON YOU FOR STOPPING”, I completely understand real life > any blog. I hope you take it as the complement it’s meant to be.)

          • They’re nice, I did look through them, but they’re also very different, and don’t connect to me as much as this site.

            However, it made me realize something else: Forgive me if I’m wrong, and I’m sure there are exceptions, but I don’t remember Wundergeek ever getting super political or religious (or, for that matter, anti-religious) within this blog. She mostly focused on videogames. That was kinda nice.

            • I do think I found something a little similar. http://filmcrithulk.wordpress.com/ Although it’s more film, Film Crit Hulk has also started to look a videogames, including Batman Arkam City. While a blog post from the hulk in all caps is a different type of humor than here, I still would highly recommend it.

  7. “And the truth of the matter is that it’s time for me to move on to other things.”

    http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

    WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT MY WEEKLY GMMaS FIX?

    Seriously though, good luck with your future endeavors. This blog was very entertaining and informative to read.

  8. Wells I hope you succeed in your writing (as I am a wannabe writer thinking bout blogging and what not), and I hope as well that you continue to post on here cause as a dude (and having been slapped down and told I can’t write girl’s) I like to have some perspective on girls’ and women’s opinions.

  9. Okay, so I’ve never commented here before, but I just wanna say that you’re an inspiration. You handle this serious matter with both maturity and humor, and that is just amazing. Thank you for all you’ve done, from your fellow female gamer.

  10. You made me interested in gaming art again, and that was a feat! I’ll remain a fan of your writing, and look forward to your other endeavors. I discovered this blog fairly late, but am glad I did anyway. Thank you!

  11. Well done and congratulations. I always thought I knew how sexist and tacky gaming can be, but I really had no idea until I saw and read some of the stuff you highlighted. The one post you had on the uniformity of woman characters versus the great variety of male characters was hugely enlightening for me. Good skill with your books and future projects!

  12. Oh. And it seems I only just found this place. Wellwell… I’m going to miss your voice on the Internets, wundergeek. It stood out as a very sensible and entertaining one in an ocean of bullshit.

  13. A thought occurs to me. You could turn the blog over to someone interested in keeping it going, if you could find such a person. Someone, obviously, who you trust to stay true to the point of the blog.

  14. Wundergeek,
    I’ll make this comment short and sweet (as opposed to all my other ones in your entertaining blog posts): While I didn’t always agree with you, your posts were nearly always engaging, entertaining, and (for the most part) intelligently written, and I appreciated not only your engagement of a topic rarely broached (sexism in videogames), but your unabashedly slanted views that you made no apologies for. In this world where it seems that people have to constantly apologize for having a non-relativist view on things and where ‘every opinion matters’ – even those that are awful or unworthy of mattering – I appreciated your willingness to step out on a limb and put your thoughts and beliefs right out there, to be judged, appreciated, or anything in between. I really believe that by your doing this, many others felt comfortable also putting themselves out there, which does everything in furthering the discussion. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing what you do in all your future endeavors.

  15. I’m really going to miss this blog. I’ve had a good time reading it, and it makes me happy to see somebody not just shrug off the sketchy stuff in video games. As someone who enjoys the company of people of all genders, it sucks to not be able to comfortably play video games with them. This blog may not have changed the world, but it made my little corner of it seem like a more idealistic and welcoming place.

  16. Good luck on your projects!

    I will miss your blogging.😦

    You might want to see if the visuals are covered under fair use – criticism and parody and all that, if you do turn this into a book.

  17. Well who ever said that a blog has to be a weekly or even a monthly thing? (the way you were going I somehow doubt you will be able to last the next year without posting here at least once because not a year goes by without a new kind of fail showing up)

    If and when you feel like making another post I will still be here in cyberspace waiting for it.

    Good luck with your other endeavors that you populate your life with no matter how many of them there be.

  18. Hey there,

    I just noticed that you’d shifted from Blogger and wanted to say Hi!

    Yes, I know I’m off-topic here but I thought you might be interested in Paizo’s latest supplement “Frozen Wind,” which is set in a pseudo-Japanese milieu.

    It is interesting to note that the male pregens have surnames, but the females don’t – despite the fact that surnames are used by both genders in *our* Japan.

  19. I’m glad I found this blog. I hadn’t thought about how one-sided the entertainment industry was in depicting female characters until I started reading GMMaS. I’ve been following this blog for some time and never posted but I wanted to say now thank you for all the effort you put into this site.
    I’ve become more sensitive to sexist comments and imagery not only in video games but in everyday situations because of it.
    Good luck on that book.

  20. There are some interesting and thought provoking comments you’ve made over the past year and I congratulate you on fending off the trolls whilst coherently making your case. You remind me of one of my English teachers who was so politically correct and so feminist it was ridiculous (especially since she taught at an all boys school), like stand outside the classroom for making a ‘that’s what she said’ or a sandwich joke.
    While I agree that the entertainment industry is very sexually oriented and one-sided, I’m sure as many have told you that you can’t deny the skewed gender ratios in the (targeted) audiences which is why as a company (because remember, these companies make games to make MONEY), you’d naturally want to appeal to the predominant male desire for booty.
    Also as depressing as it may be, males (are given leeway to) express their sexual desires/urges more than women, which is also another reason for the gender bias in many games today – how many magazines are the equivalent of Playboy for females?
    Anyway, good on you for doing this and voicing these views, it’s also a tad gratifying to know that there are girls who play games. You should check out the recently released Lord of the Rings: War in the North – besides the gore you might have something to pick at with the fact that they force the elven character to be female who takes the healer/support role.

    Sometimes I wonder how your husband can deal with a woman of such strong feminist opinions =P

    • My husband shares my strong feminist opinions. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, but he at least would identify as an ally, if not an actual feminist. It is possible for a woman to have a healthy committed heterosexual relationship and still be feminist.

  21. Thanks to everyone who has posted kind comments. It means a lot to me that the blood, sweat, and tears I invested in this blog touched people in a positive manner.

    I understand that some people are disappointed, but real life has to come first. I’m sorry if that leaves you feeling like I let you down.

  22. I posted a list of good feminist sites- some beginner, some advanced. All worth reading. I love this blog, and I eagerly await your book. I’ll be wanting an autograph, though…πŸ˜€

    Keep selling those Sexy Abe T-Shirts, too!πŸ˜„ I and my d00dfriend (JUST friends, really, lol) are going out wearing them as soon as we get them. Goody!

  23. Hey, it’s been a good run. In a way, it’s nice when things have endings. Gives you a sense of closure. Well, I enjoyed myself. Thanks for the blogging, Wundergeek!

  24. *Fist bumps* It’s been a great run. Your site has started a lot of discussions, amusing pose offs, and one crazy argument among my friends and I. Thank you so much for your time and efforts! I hope we still occasionally feel from you.

    Good luck!

Comments are closed.