Today while I was checking the tomato meter for my weekend movie picks, I was perusing through the reviews on Letters to Juliet. (Yes…I like chick flicks and I will likely cry like a baby watching it, get over it!). In doing so, I came across a commentary from Kerry Lengel of the Arizona Republic, a “cream of the crop” reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes, that not only caught me a little off guard, but I think also somewhat offended me.
In her review she states “’Letters to Juliet’ is a guilty pleasure for the ladies, perfect Blu-ray fodder when their significant others turn them into World of Warcraft widows for the evening”.
Ok, I’m totally fine that she called a chick flick out for what it was…a chick flick, even though I’m going to go see it anyhow. I mean, I am fully aware that the only reason Brade is going to see this movie is because I drag him to it. But what did raise my hackles was the term “World of Warcraft widows”. Um…WTF? Did I miss something here? Is this a common term that I’m not aware of? Do women really feel widowed by a video game? And if they do…is it really the video game’s fault? It’s almost like a bad B film: WoW – The Widowmaker. But I digress.
I think that what bothers me about the statement is that it was made by this supposedly respected journalist and she all but stated in that one phrase that WoW is a man’s game and that it takes up all of your time (such that your woman must entertain herself with bad chick flicks because you won’t give her the time of day). It blatantly feeds two stereotypes about gamers (and is a movie review for Pete’s sake!) and is completely unsubstantiated by any factual data! I mean, I know it’s only a movie review, but isn’t it somewhat the equivalent of my going around and saying that the only people who will enjoy Iron Man 2 (/drool RDJ!) are comic book nerds who have their glasses held together with masking tape?
I guess as a very avid female gamer, I’m finding myself annoyed. Sure, the number of men that play the game is greater than the number of women…but the number of women who also play is not so insignificant that WoW should be categorized as a “man’s game”. I’m also finding myself annoyed because I game and I do other things. I also game with my better half. Sure, I’ll admit that sometimes when he’s playing other games for extended periods of time I can feel a bit lonely…but do you know what I do?! I talk to him about it and request some time together. I know that communication in a relationship is a novel concept and all, but seesh. If a video game is “widowing” you, your marriage likely has more problems in it than WoW. But I digress again! (dammit!)
Having been in a relationship where gaming is a part of it, and being surrounded by people in my life who accept and support my past time, I guess that I never really understood the stereotypes that gaming has in the larger, non-gaming world. But to have a journalist, likely un-educated on gaming, just toss it out there as one giant stereotype like that irks my sensibilities. And the fact that she’s a female journalist who sees gaming as a “mans” past time just seems a bit like a slap in the face to a group of people who already have to work hard for respect in the gaming community.
Somewhat doesn’t this one sentence in a movie review speaks volumes about how a large chunk of society views gamers? Male and lacking social skills. To me it’s very interesting. I would also wager a bet that this woman has never played WoW…but has someone close to her that does. While I know her statement was meant to be innocent, and I’m probably reading way too much into it, there is something to be said about it, isn’t there?
So I’m curious, do women really feel like they are “WoW widows” when their significant others get behind the computer for a raid? Is WoW really viewed by non-gamers as a male dominant activity to the point that frigging movie reviewers are all but referring to it as such? Am I the only one that got a bit of a rise from the first sentence of this woman’s movie review? What do you think that sentence says about your past time?