Tara Voelker's thoughts. A lot about video games, a little about life
Yeah, that picture is of me. Did it get your attention? I hoped it did, because that is all it is there for. I put that picture there because sex sells. Sex sells everything, and yes, that includes video games. If it didn’t Tera Patrick wouldn’t be involved in the DLC for Saint’s Row 2. If it didn’t the girl on girl sex scene in Mass Effect wouldn’t have been a big deal. It was though, because sex sells… big time.
This happens to put girl gamers in an awkward place. We want your attention and are trying hard to get it, legitimately. We write articles, reviews, walkthroughs… We kick your ass on XBox Live and even help develop the games you play.We explain that we are legit as any other gamer and we’re all the same, just with different equipment. But you don’t hear us, and that’s where things go down hill.
Like I said, sex sells. Sex sells a lot. To make matters worse, there are people who understand that they can use it to get attention. There are girls, who play games, who use it to get attention. As a friend of mine recently said, “Success in a capitalist society is determined by number of hits on the site, and midriffs generate traffic.” You can see where this is headed.
While looking for a banner for the site, I learned that google image searching “gamer girl” is not safe for work, especially if you don’t have safe search enabled. Most of the pictures that pop are naked women with conveniently placed controllers or game cartridges. To make matters worse, on the first page there was Raychul, the inspiration, or more appropriately the frustration, that led to me making this site. (Note- originally the blog was made because I was angry over a poorly written review by Raychul on Saints Row 2, which I worked on. I wasn’t mad she didn’t like the game, I was mad that the review sucked. So I saw this sucky review, and then the half naked girl who had written it.)
I won’t lie, I was curious as to what Raychul was up to this time. So, I followed the link. The first image that pops up is the little blondie herself with her hand and a Guitar Hero guitar over her breasts. The first lines of text under her picture are “Raychul Moore loves to be scared, she loves video games, and was stoked this year when she went to the Adult Entertainment Expo and got her boob licked by her favorte porn star.” Raychul’s article was full of pictures, but no worth while content. I had just wasted five minutes of my life.
It really sickened me. It’s sad the girls getting the attention are the ones flashing their chests and not the ones saying something worth listening to.
There are a lot of things that you can say in response to people like Raychul. Can they really be satisfied knowing that their site is being visited because of their bodies and not their content? Is it really okay to seduce people into hearing their thoughts? Is it worth degrading the name of all girl gamers every where to get website hits? Probably not… but in the end, none of it really matters. Sex will always sell and there is no way to stop anyone from using their body the way girls like Raychul do. It does bring up some interesting thoughts though.
There is a ton of stuff on the internet. What am I supposed to do to get my stuff noticed with people like Raychul around? Pay for advertisements? Spam emails to people? Or fight fire with fire and show off my body? It just makes my head spin as even more thoughts start creeping into my head.
Is it okay to flash some skin to grab someone’s attention and then hold their attention with real, full, interesting content? Should I use being a girl to my advantage? Should I move some of my personal boundaries so I can grab your attention? What if I posted the picture I have above as my site banner? Would I resent girls like Raychul so much if what they what had to say beneath their half naked pictures was actually worth reading? Should I become one of them for attention?
I don’t think it’s something that I am going to do… again… after this article that is. I’d rather show you the faces of the girl gamers trying to get your attention. They’re interesting and fully clothed.
I’d rather give the more modest (and most likely more intelligent) ladies the voice they need.
I know that sex sells, but I’m not ready to to sell out and join that crowd. Although I hope my picture above grabbed your attention, I really hope that this article is what kept it. I hope that I have raised your consciousness and you’ll look beyond pictures to explore what really matters; content.
EDIT note from a later date: So, I still don’t like girls with nothing to say who just want attention. And in this piece, I attacked one person in particular I thought did that. Raychul. Since this was written, I do have different views on her in particular. Read the follow up here.