By Stephanie "Bobbi" Bergman
First off, let me say that I had serious misgivings about writing this editorial. Writing an editorial purely on the problems I found in another magazine seems sleazy, petty, and seriously not something either me, or loonygames, would want to be associated with. However, when I stepped back from this situation, and looked at this in terms of a game, or an ad, or anything else I have previously written about in the past, I found more than enough content justifying the editorial. And letís face it, itís probably the ethics involved here that has kept other sites from doing the same...itís incredible that this magazine has been around for this long without anybody saying anything. So, falling under the "If I donít do it, who will" category, here I go.
Iíd probably be called a feminist by most. I work, and play, in a male dominated community. And because of that, more by reaction than intentional action, I have spoken up for women within this community. I have blasted many a thing within the gaming world, being that of pixelated breasts, or that of a game thatís been labeled sexist. But never have I been so disappointed, I think, is the word, as when I first saw PC Accelerator magazine.
"SEXIST SEXIST SEXIST!"
The magazine, to be blunt, belongs in another decade. With columns like "Manly games," and "How to get a gaming chick," it seems to set out to be the Mademoiselle of the gaming industry. With one huge problem.
Mademoiselle doesnít have to worry about discriminating against 25% of itís possible market. Because, you see, men A) Donít buy lipstick. B) Are not in the same market as Ďfashion-oriented, makeup obsessed teenage GIRLS.í C) Are not insulted BY Mademoiselle.
However, over 25% of gamers (I heard a 50% number quoted today, in fact) are *gasp* WOMEN, and are revolted by what is printed in this magazine.
So, itís a safe bet that the magazineís given up on that 25%, and is shooting for 75% of the gamers out there. Kind of like Mademoiselle deciding to take an editorial stance on the stupidity of all teenagers and still hope to sell to itís audience. As GriMalken pointed out: "...my first impression of the mag is that it is definitely geared towards men (and young men especially). Definitely not female friendly.....(as if no one else noticed this..) Let's see....The swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated meets PCWorld?"
Itís probably safe to say, then, that the magazine is targeting that 13 - 18 mythical bracket of young men with hours at Burger King behind them, a great machine their parents bought them at home, and tons of money burning in their pockets. And what are they gonna grab? Well, hell, the magazine with the chicks! And if theyíre going to combine that with computer games, well, then, little Timmy is in heaven. Check out the "Babe" section of their website for an example of what I mean.
Now. What mother would approve of her 13-year-old son being handed a swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated?
Where's the adult content warning? Of all the games sites I have ever looked at this one needs a warning more than any. They do realize that's illegal.. ???
Really.. what do lace bras, black panties, Christina Applegate, "vital stats", and bikinis have in common with computer games? Absolutely nothing. However a good look at their website tells you the stud muffins (who actually link to their staff page with pics for their female audience) at PC Accelerator seem to think they are both one and the same. Please, Playboy online already does this in their COMPETE section.. and might I add they do a better job, since they actually relate the girlz to games and sports.
- Vangie "Aurora" Beal
And itís a great point made. Behind the name, and the Ďgame websiteí meta tag, whereís the gaming content? Sure, their magazine has some games related content. But thereís nearly none to be found on their website.
Iím being unfair, I should point out I did find some fans of the magazine. As Dave "Fargo" Kosak put it, "Actually, I think the writing is a little bit juvenile -- okay, it's really juvenile -- but in a refreshing way. It's fun to read. It's a guy magazine written for guys. It sorta grows on you -- the website is of considerably less quality than the magazine, though. What they pull off in print doesn't work on the web, really."
As for the print edition, itís just dripping with testosterone. Games are rated in certainly, interesting ways. When doing previews,, a game is either "interesting", "exciting," or "arousing." When doing reviews, a standard Ďout of 10í format is used, but with some clarification given...a 10 is "Better than that sex dream with Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow."
The game reviews themselves arenít much better than the ratings. One game is described as being "...as unpredictable as an LSD trip." Now, while it may be just that, is THAT the kind of thing we want to show kids? Comparing a game to LSD? Well, gee, since Timmy liked this game (although for the record, it received a 5 in the magazine, meaning "The definition of mediocrity, this game doesnít comit any major crime other than being ordinary."), maybe heíll like LSD too? Maybe thatís an extreme exaggeration, but itís a fine example of the irresponsibility shown by the writers and editors of this magazine. This is a magazine marketed to CHILDREN. To teenagers at just the right age bracket to think like Timmy.
Oh, I should point out, it appears that the magazine is in some financial trouble. They will have to let their babes go unless they get 5,000 subscriptions by January 1st. Well, on behalf of the babes, I can only hope you donít find enough children whoís parents donít pay attention to what they read to buy those subscriptions. Because I canít imagine any adult in their right mind enjoying this garbage.
PC Accelerator is a really cool mag that seems to cover the gamut of what is involved in PC gaming today. Not only that, they find a way to mix the technology discussions with real world humor to make the articles very entertaining to read. I especially like the Fantasy Frag section as well as their online messageboard for people to discuss the lastest of what is going on in PC gaming. Good job PCXL!
- Brian Ritchie
And, well, let me be totally honest. The real reason Iím angry? Weíve been here working for years now trying to break down the gender barrier in gaming. Weíre trying to teach women that reading a gaming magazine is fine. That playing a shooter Ďmanlyí game is acceptable. And look! Youíve gone and put the damn barrier back again by creating a publication not only unappealing to women, but down right sickening to most of them.
No offense, of course. Iím just another chick. What do I know. :)
- Stephanie Bergman is an associate editor for loonygames, and the host of Lilith & Eve, a Real Media show by women gamers, for women gamers..
|Credits: Guest Editorial logo illustrated and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. This Guest Editorial is © 1998 Stephanie Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited and not nice.|