There's been a lot of uproar in the past few months about Penny Arcade, the Dickwolves fiasco, and the upcoming PAX East.
I'm not going to go into the entire history of it all. If you've managed to remain ignorant, thank your lucky stars. For those who caught part of it, or who want to know what the hell happened, here is a good timeline linking to nearly all of the relevant players.
Here is my personal stance on the issue:
- The original comic that is at the origin of the whole fiasco is not the most offensive P-A's ever put out. It's also not the most clever work they've also put out. Not the hill to die on, for any side or party.
- Everything the P-A team, but most particularly Mike (Gabe), has done since the original criticism of the comic, is a huge problem. That's where the fiasco came from.
My personal take-away is very in line with what Lesley Kinzel wrote here.
All that said: this is a thing that happened, and it sucks, and was a mess. But what do we do going forward? I agree, and argue, that boycotting is not the answer. If women aren't visible, then we continue not to matter.
This is why we need "Women in Gaming" panels at events like PAX East. I don't know if there's going to be one this year, but I hope there will be and I hope it will be better than last year's. I know of two rejected proposals on the topic, one of which was ours.
So in short: I am going to PAX EAST 2011, and here is why:
- I am going to listen to what is said, and what is not said, and to who is and isn't saying it.
- I am going to be looking to see if anyone questions Jerry on his silence, and Mike on his total failure to adhere to Wheaton's Law.
- I'm going to be seeing if anyone's talking about this and, if so, what they're saying.
- I'm going to the girls' brunch meet-up on Sunday, and meeting loads of lovely ladies.
- I am going to be meeting fellow gamers of all kinds, and by my presence, reminding them I exist.
- I am going to be meeting industry folks of all kinds, and by my presence, reminding them I exist.
- I am going to be having fun, deeply immersed in the world of games and gamers, where I feel most at home.
Also, thanks to my shiny new phone and a well-timed release of the official Blogger App, I will be blogging and Tweeting (@KCoxDC) from the event (March 11 - 13).
What I will not be doing, as mentioned above, is participating in a panel. It's okay; I never really expected we'd be approved. But what I will be doing is spending the next year -- from PAX East 2011 to PAX East 2012 -- blogging the Panel That Never Was. We wrote up a good, robust outline and these are great topics for discussion. So from March to March, you can use the "BTTG Series" tag over there in the right sidebar to catch up on "Beyond the Girl Gamer."