Posted on August 27, 2007, Andrew What Women Bring to Raiding: Drama
For most games, whether or not someone has a penis makes no difference. Going solo, people are just people in competition.
But something about the mixing of genders brings issues to guilds. Or, at least according to one writer at TenTonHammer.com.
“There is a tendency among some women to try and flirt their way through the top,” Patrick O’Callahan “Ciderhelm” wrote in a recent editorial. “This is terrible because it tarnishes the legitimate business and personal relationships between leadership and other players.”
This is just one reason why he believes that mixed gender guilds don’t quite work as well as single-sex guilds. O’Callahan does a fair job of trying to sound neutral about the issue, and even tries to make it about the whole concept of men and women coming together in a romantic bond as being problematic, not just having women there in and of themselves. But because they are there, it creates a splintered group dynamic.
For instance, when guild members become a “couple,” they tend to act like a clique within the guild. It’s an obvious sort of behavior, as a mutual affection will turn into an immediate defense when one of the two feels threatened.
“If you offend one person in the clique for any reason, no matter how rational or irrational, the others will leave the guild immediately,” O’Callahan writes. “Further, the separation that they build makes them feel distant from the guild, and allows them to reinforce any bad feelings they have with each other. It’s a quick, vitriolic spiral downwards that usually builds from unfounded gossip.”
He brings up a lot of good points, and what it comes down to is it’s not about being sexist, it’s about being realistic. If people are mature, level-headed and understanding when sexual politics are introduced into a guild, then there is a low chance that problems will arise.
Unfortunately, and this seems to be especially true of gamers, people have the emotional stability of a ten year-old. And this is sometimes, in fact, because they are ten years old. But hey, we all can grow and change, and there’s of course hope for the future. Right now, it seems that girls and guys make silly situations a whole lot more serious than they need to be.
With that said, I happen to completely see O’Callahan’s point about girl gamers banding together and working better than a mixed-sex group. I know that in high school I worked at a rest home as a wait person on their dining room staff, and we all got off of work an hour later if there was an equal number of girls and guys.