AGDQ, Female Speedrunners, and Reasons Why Their Visibility Is Nearing Supersonic

Last Sunday, in the wee hours of the morning with the sounds of Nobuo Uematsu’s score to FFIV lingering in the ears of watchers and participants alike, another AGDQ came to a close. AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) is a yearly charity, alongside its sister event Summer Games Done Quick, that brings together a part of the gaming community that, perhaps, isn’t as popular as some others. These gatherings, while raising money all in the name of good causes, display one of the more technical arts of gaming, speedrunning. If you’re unfamiliar, speedrunning is both when players complete the game at astonishing speeds, and when players have taken it upon themselves to learn where the game is unstable, utilizing glitches to complete the game faster than a normal player could ever hope to achieve (such as beating Yoshi’s Island for the SNES in around three minutes).

Having hit an emotional low, I spent most of last week laying on my couch watching the events and marveling at all this ridiculous shit that I would never have the patience to learn and remembering my own speedrunning dreams.

In addition to adoring this game, I used to be able to run it super fast. Ah, memories... (via kazucrash @ Tumblr)

In addition to adoring this game, I used to be able to run it super fast. Ah, memories…
(via kazucrash @ Tumblr)

On Saturday, watching on and off (because there’s only so much Twitch I can take in a day), something shook me from my haze. I didn’t notice anything strange about AeonFrodo’s 200cc run of Mario Kart 8 at first—except that I didn’t expect that Mario Kart would have been speedrun, especially not 8 because I’m terrible at it and, of course, that means no one else could possibly be good at it either. Suddenly, the announcer read a donation for three hundred dollars that ended with “here’s a hundred dollars for every lady who’s had a run at this marathon”. I squinted at the screen—only three lady runners? Out of the 100+ scheduled showings? Sure enough, though, this was the case, which left me, and many other women gamers, wondering: where are all the lady speedrunners at?

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Not in the Kitchen Anymore

Recently I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled more than ever for articles talking about gaming culture and its effects on its members, in addition to its effects on the people that supply us with our drug of choice (i.e.: game devs). This may come as a shock to some people, but apparently when you keep your eyes open, you actually find things. Today’s Web Crush hits a spot very close to my heart and combines two of my favorite things: Xbox Live and laughing at stupid people. What? I never said I was nice.

webcrush picNot in the Kitchen Anymore is a site that documents fellow girl gamer Jenny Haniver’s day-to-day experiences as she plays games over Xbox Live. This doesn’t sound all that interesting from my description, but it’s the simplest way to explain the layout of her posts. On a deeper level, she’s exploring the misogyny that’s so rampant within the community. Or, well, I wouldn’t say exploring—it’s “exploring” if the temples Indiana Jones “explored” came up and knocked on his door. What’s happening here is more like watching Cops.

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Games for Girls: The Myth of the Gamer Girl

Have you ever witnessed something so utterly terrible you couldn’t look away from it?

Our Summer Gamer GirlA few weeks ago, I went to one of the few cons I attend. I’m not really a panel person—I’m more the type to hang out in the game room as much as possible with a few forays into the dealer’s room—but there was a panel this year that caught my eye. It was called “Girls and Gaming”. Come on, how could I resist seeing what that was about? Before the panel even started, I had already began visualizing some PowerPoint about the problems girls face in the realm of gamers, or games featuring more female-centric stories. Needless to say, I was pretty hyped—this kind of panel really isn’t tackled in general, or at least not at the smaller cons I tend to go to, and definitely not usually run by a fellow girl gamer. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was not what this panel was about. Soon enough, insults were being hurled, from “sluts” to the barely-even-an-insult “gamer girl” (gamers’ equivalent to the “fake geek girl”, which we’ve discussed before here), simply because the speaker didn’t approve of the way these other girls they encountered were gaming. By this point, I couldn’t pull myself away from the wreckage: this panel was set to crash and burn and I could only watch on in horrified awe.

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