I mentioned back in November that I’d gotten a day of play with the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO due out next year from BioWare. The embargo finally lifted last week, and my hands-on article was gobbled up by fanboys everywhere. Overall, the response was ego-bloatingly positive, but I did get one comment that gave me pause. On the official SWTOR forums, a poster noted that it was “(n)ice to read a woman’s POV.”
Wait, what? Is that a compliment or an insult — I can’t even tell! I read over many of the competing articles; none of their authors’ points of view seemed particularly male. I don’t think mine was particularly female. The only things that set the articles apart from each other were writing quality and breadth of MMO knowledge — the topics were basically the same. When I was writing the piece, I was writing it from the POV of an editor, gamer, and long-time Star Wars geek, not the POV of a *zomg* gurl. Maybe I could understand it if Star Wars were intended for one gender or the other to begin with. I would like to hear male perspectives on intentionally girly IPs like My Little Pony. But Star Wars frequently transcends gender norms and makes them irrelevant, especially when the budget allows. SWTOR, like many games, has done the same.
So why the obsession with gender, peeps? Why act like female Star Wars gamers are some curiosity? If I had signed my article Brian Royce, would you have remarked how nice it was to read a man’s point of view? Why assume that just because I wear lip gloss, my take on an upcoming MMO is any different from that of someone without matching chromosomes?