Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Friday Night Magic and the Feminine Mystique

Over at Red Site Wins, there's a bit of a kerfuffle brewing over the gender imbalances present in the Magic: the Gathering organized play scene. There are more men than women. By a lot.

And since Magic uses none of the strength and dexterity requirements sport organizers have traditionally used to ostracize women and remove them from participation, there must be something else.

I don't go to Friday Night Magic, because it's a huge drain on money and time. But I never stopped to consider the other negatives…you are playing against complete strangers who many or many not even like you. If FNM is anything like the standard prerelease (which I try to attend), the social element of magic is almost completely absent.

Unless you are playing sealed 2-headed giant. Every single one of those folks get a free pass, because that format is just awesome.

I've never been propositioned to get into the back of someone's truck…but even in my limited play experience I have had interactions that were decidedly uncomfortable. Players who really did not feel they lost to me fairly, and players who took an unusual level of glee in beating me. Usually over a single pack of cards. And since I'm male, I have none of the bizarre situations dumped on me in addition to these struggles.

The article on Red Site Wins caused me to do a bit of research last night, and there are more than one blog (all much better than mine) focused on calling out misogyny in the broader gaming world.

There definitely needs to be more people talking about this because otherwise the problem will never go away.

It has made me all the more determined to shore up a gaming group among my friends and try to get together a little more often.

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