Monday, May 30, 2011

Games vs. Gamers cont'd: Meta-Blog

You can learn a lot about your audience by looking at the search terms that bring people to your blog from Google.

Other than variations on the name of this blog ("your critic," "critic another castle," etc), the most common search terms that lead to me are "shepard badass" (or also, "badass shepard") and "combustible lemon(s)."  The Badass Shepard variation and the Combustible Lemon variation have held the one and two slots for a while now. I am quite pleased about that first one there; it gives me a definite giggle.  I also like that people out there are actually searching for "beyond the girl gamer."  It's a series I'm proud to be writing, even when individual installments make me bang my head against the metaphorical wall for a while.  In fact, it's already about 1/3 the length my master's thesis was, and I have 3.5 chapters left to go -- so I'm really, really glad people are reading it.

But the folks who are clearly searching for something that isn't me, when they land here?  That's pretty enlightening too, and not always in a good way.

"why does my friend keep talking about combustible lemons"
"i dont understand portal and im a girl"
"evil!wheatley chell rape portal fanfictin"
"chell and glados hintai"
"bangin girl gamers"

The first two are just kind of sad (the first one is funny-sad).  The last three are really kind of sad.  And some others have been lost to me forever, because Blogger only records the top ten in a given time period and I don't care to remember them all.  The bottom four there are all from within the last 36 hours; they are definitely not the first to appear on this theme, nor will they be the last.

For starters, people who want Portal porn, learn to spell.  It will help you find what you're looking for in the future.

Secondly... *sigh*  It's the same games vs. gamers problem all over again, just a window into a different angle.  I get that some people just want pornographic art and X-rated fiction.  I'm guessing there's not a single person on the internet between 18 and 55 who hasn't at some point looked at one or the other, and I'm not out to judge people's private kinks.

In Portal we have one of the truly non-sexual female protagonists and one of the truly non-sexual female antagonists in all of gaming.  These hapless misspellers aren't searching for a topless Lucy Stillman or a modified Miranda Lawson.  They aren't looking for Elena Fisher / Chloe Frazer fanfiction.  They're not making game mods to enlarge the breasts of characters that already have some.  They're out to add sexual content to the one game most reliably free of any that I've ever seen. 

Google gave me a window into the soul of the internet and I wish it hadn't.  At least I can live in hope that the people who landed here, instead of on the porn they were looking for, might think differently about their female characters in the light of the day.  But I'm not counting on it.  Some alleys are going to stay seedy for a long, long time.


  1. Yeah, it's always...something to look at how people get to your site. The weirdest search query someone has used to get to my blog was something like 'naked monday night combat'

  2. For a long time my top hits were searches for d#nkey p#rn  - I made it as high as the #5 google hit (in comments).  Eventually I went back and censored the posts that contained the offending words... because I really didn't want people who were looking for that poking around my blog.

    Also: The soul of the internet is darker than we could confidently confront.  I think.

  3. Interesting post and some amusing search terms :) I don't dare to look at the search terms used to find my websites but might just have to now.  Visitors who are looking for that content will certainly find it elsewhere and not hang about on the site