Unicorns Don't Exist... Still

Okay, so this is Part the Second.  Jennifer was kind enough to drop a comment.  Let's play, 'Be she female gamer or be she Unicorn?'

In true Dethtron style, my comments are in blue, so you'll have to highlight it to read it.  I didn't want it interfering with her letter.

Jennifer said:

Oh shit, I don't exist. (Only when I turn around; the waveforms break up at that point.)  Well that changes everything for me! Lol, you are right that the majority of females in the game store are just 'female gamers' but the occasional unicorn does exist. (I'm not buying it!)  Just for the record I'm not into cosplay, (That's better for everybody...)  I spend very little time in character on the occasion that I am Role playing, (See Footnote A...) the vast majority of my models are at best primed. I've spent some time on YTTH, although i stopped going there because I like to actually play the game and find out what works myself (Making you more successful than most who visit, I imagine!  I like it there, but then I know whose opinion I'll trust.  Still, it's important to work things out for yourself; it's a different level of understanding.) rather than hear the masses drone on about hyper efficiency and what have you. While I have never won any tournaments I did take 6th (woo, I know) (That respectable!) at my local hard boys and often come in the top 4 best generals at my average tournament. (And that's very respectable!) Keep in mind however that my primary army is my Necrons which might explain my poor record.  (Your Honor, I present Exhibit A: this woman is a female gamer.  A Unicorn would have set aside her half-finished Imperial Guard and started on Blood Angels a long time ago.)

Dear Jennifer,

I never met a good stereotype I wasn't willing to embrace... and then tear down!  I am nothing if not consistently inconsistent.

I suppose there is always the odd exception to the rule - but I can't really go out on a limb on that, given I just wrote an article stressing the opposite view.  I'll meet you halfway: I don't think all the female gamers out there share the same interests.

I also would never say a girl couldn't kick ass over the table, but I'm willing to bet you don't obsess over it the way competitive gamers do.

How's that?  Take you standard political line...

Fluffy Bunny -------------------*------------------- Hard Core

The FB is not to be confused with an artist and HCG is not to be confused with a WAAC.  That's a vertical line-description we won't get into here.  Suffice it to say, everyone falls somewhere in that spectrum.

If you're right of center... say, a Darkwynn or a Stelek, your focus is on the game, be it the mechanics or the flow, the tactics or the strategy.  The farther right you are the more concerned you are with winning.

If you're left of center... say, a Ron or a Big Red, your focus is on the background and the models.  Your interest in the list is on of balance and harmony, your interest in the game one of narrative.

Both sides want to have fun game, and both sides want to have a good game... but the definition of good is different for both, that's all.

(If the public has any interest in my ideas about spectrum and types of gamers, I'll be happy to write it up, but this is really enough to illustrate my point.)

The Unicorn is a myth because I hear her described as basically a man with different plumbing, in the sense of how she's interested in the hobby.  I know it is all semantics - "That depends on what your definition of 'is,' is..." - but it's interesting to me nonetheless.

Female gamers exist.  They are rare, of course, but my contention is they appreciate the hobby in a different way then men do... I've already gone in to that, so I won't bore you further.

It's why I say Unicorns are a myth.  It's important we don't use the same social paradigm in our dealings with our female peers, that's all.

Goatboy stopped by too, probably to check out my banner... more on that soon - and I'm incredibly excited about it!  Anyway, in his comment, he said something I'd like to reply to.

Interesting article. Personally, it is the differences that make life interesting, and talking about whatever game 247 is rather dumb. I like my wife, my wife's friends and some other girls that are friends outside of the normal circle. But I would never go on and on about the nerd game that controls my extra cash heh.

I couldn't agree more, but I'm a bit embarrassed that Thomas thought I meant something like this so I have to set the record straight.  My free time, like many of you out there, is divided between my time with my wife and my time with friends.  Many times, I can combine all that, say when I take Jenn out to eat at our favorite restaurant with my brother and his wife... but that's really not what we're talking about here, is it?

My downtime, my me-time, my hobby time - whatever you want to call it - is when I do all those things my wife isn't interested in.  I'm a man who is never bored - there is literally always something I want to do, always something I'm thinking about.  I take a book to the dinner table because I can't stand the wasted time eating, assuming I'm not chatting with Jenn, of course.

But it's not all 40K; not even close.  I enjoy gaming of all types, wargaming, role-playing, and video games, but I'm also obsessed with chess and with books.  My shelf is literally overwhelmed by history and sci-fi, fantasy and human welfare.  I love to paint, and I don't mean minis, I mean canvas.  I've taken up shooting again.  More than all that, I love to write.

That last is the one I love the most but also the one I get to do the least.

I've always said - and I mean this quite literally - I won't have a friend who's only interest is gaming.  It's nothing personal, but anyone who is one-dimensional is usually a bit backwards, a bit reclusive.  Our hobby is primarily a social one, and I like people who like people.  You've all met those awkward dudes who have a shelf full of expensive game-books but would rather they didn't actually have to deal with people to play them.

All of the people I've ever mentioned, all my friends from the flgs, are huge fans of the hobby... among many, many other things.

Because I think gamers are hobbyists first, and hobbyists love a bunch of different shit.

Frankly, most of that shit seems to appeal to men more than women, which is why I said I'd rather have male friends then female... our hobby interests are different.

But everyone likes socializing, and there is no social occasion that isn't made better by the inclusion of women, God love 'em all, 'cause I do.  There is no party sadder than a sausage feast: give me 55-60% women any day!


Jennifer said...

Wow I never expected you to write so much in response. And you know what, the more I read what you write the more I'm gonna have to go ahead and forfeit the fact that you are probably right. Unicorns, per your definition, cannot exist due to the fact that men and women think on different spectrums (you can thank hormones and such for that) At first I took your definition to mean female hardcore gamers.

One thing I did disagree with you on however, was the comment about switching to blood angels long ago. The way you say it seems to imply that every man who plays 40k should have done so. (At least by my interpretation of your meaning.)

Also I would like to point out that I also play Eldar, Chaos Marines, and Tyranids. The last of which I started playing in January of this year when they were the new hotness.

Thank you for your response and perhaps I will meet you on the tabletop one day. (In other words you should attend Spocon, a stop on the indy GT circuit)

Jwolf said...

I like to think of myself as unrelated to your spectrum. My joy in the game is found in playing armies guys on the far right find retarded and creaming them, while not trying to fit in on the far left (though I confess a certain degree of enjoyment of the history and background).

I don't think it takes a genius (or even a guy with strong math skills) to figure out the theoretical maxima for any army, so I have little interest in that pursuit. I do think it takes a good player to get the most value on the tabletop, and that there is a disparity between the theoretical and practical value of most units, and that this difference will vary significantly between players.

Brent said...

JWolf: you've got to know I love it when you get around to commenting here, because when you've taken the time to do so it's because you have something to say.

And I want to respond - my fingers are twitching!

I'm going to wait a bit though and think this one out. These two articles, despite the limited number of people who've commented, have received a huge number of readers...

...and may have cost me my spot in the blogrolls over at From the Warp! I've been emailing Ron about it this morning.

He's been a perfect gentlemen about the whole thing, and I respect his position. As of now I'm not sure how its going to shake down, but either way he's given me something to think about.


(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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