Monday, February 18, 2013

PHOTOSHOOT: Real Gamer Girls

About a week ago my dear friend Sarah Hiraki and I were talking about how silly the "girl gamer" pics are of women posing seductively with video game controllers. We were discussing the real point: when girls really game, we don't look sexy or glamorous... we look terrifying. Messed up hair, oversized t-shirts, smeared makeup, junk food everywhere... thus, our concept for this photoshoot was born. We wanted to represent how women REALLY look when we game.

So we grabbed Angeline Oliver and the amazing photographer Vince of Darkain Multimedia, ate a bunch of pizza, listened to Jpop and had a pretty hilarious photoshoot.

EDIT 02/20: There's been a little bit of controversy due to this photoshoot, and I guess I felt the need to clarify a little bit more. First of all, when I wrote the above paragraph I did so in less than a minute because I was so excited to get the photos online. I should have taken more time because it's a hot button topic, but I just couldn't wait!

This is the expanded version of why we did these pics: We don't find the 'girl gamer' pics silly because they are 'fake' or 'not geeks enough', we find them silly because of the backlash that they create. Women owning their sexuality is AWESOME and we were striving to do the same thing - showing that as three women who are VERY well known for being "legit" geeks we are still sexy even when eating pizza and cheetos.

Yes, this photoshoot is stylized and glammed up a little bit, but it's a PHOTOSHOOT. But I can promise you that I look almost identical to this when I game - you think I have time to take my makeup off when I walk in the door and I'm almost at a big story arc in Final Fantasy? Psh. I peel my clothes off (bras are uncomfortable!) and run to the couch as fast as I can. And after losing a boss battle five times my eyeshadow IS smeared everywhere because I've been rage crying.

This was a fun, playful photoshoot that we had a blast doing. And if anyone calls me "anti feminist" for being comfortable with my body and showing it off and OWNING MY SEXUALITY INSTEAD OF LETTING MEN/OTHER PEOPLE OWN IT, you may need to re-think your ideals.

Models:
Molly McIsaac (me!)
Sarah Hiraki
Angeline Oliver

Photographer:
Darkain Multimedia




















32 comments:

  1. It may be just me but you all look sexy and glamorous still... they're still pretty funny though, liked the pizza roll on the hidden blade especially. Kudos.

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    1. Ditto. It was a fun and funny photoshoot. Those who did not "get it" are missing out. If the shoot had been guys in t-shirts and boxers, no one would have complained. Sheesh!!

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  2. Doesn't it seem a bit counterproductive to show shots of you guys posing in your underwear when you're trying to subvert that stereotype? Some of these shots are really well-done and the concept is clever overall, but some of the more overtly sexual poses seem to negate the purpose of the shoot. The junk food, however, is a very nice touch, as is the pokeball backpack. Nice use of props to convey the fact that girls are not just gaming for the sake of male attention.

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    1. I don't know about other women, but the three of us NEVER wear pants when we game. In fact, I usually game topless :-/ I just like to nest in a blanket and be able to curl around my plushies however I please.

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    2. duuuuude I am the same way. I am usually no pants or no top. I want to be comfortable when I am gaming at home.

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  3. Awesome concept! I think both sides deserve some flack for the "sexy posing with a game controller" stereotype though -- girls wouldn't do it if guys didn't eat it up.

    To be fair, I have been known to game in a pink silk robe with full makeup -- but I like to inject a little glamour into everything I do, haha.

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  4. "Molly McIsaac February 18, 2013 at 1:22 PM
    I don't know about other women, but the three of us NEVER wear pants when we game. In fact, I usually game topless :-/ I just like to nest in a blanket and be able to curl around my plushies however I please."

    Is this a troll?

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  5. Seriously, this does more to reinforce the disconnected "sexy-gamer-girl" stereotype than fight against it. You say that normal people don't look sexy and glamorous when you play games, so what does this extended photoshoot of three girls looking sexy and glamorous while in the vicinity of a playstation controller do to subvert this concept? This looks like a scene straight from a teen sex movie.

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  6. Even if you are weird out by my comments, I'm in love with your feet. You are beautiful and so are your feet.

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  7. STOP BUSTING MY STEREOTYPES!
    Seriously though, it's sad that real women have to put up with this. It falls into the same category as the models in mainstream magazines representing reality and geek guys being lured by booth babes in fantasy/sci-fi themed bikinis.
    Okay, the last one might be true sometimes...'some'-'times'.

    Go on about your business; I'm just gonna dig myself out of this hole.

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  8. Great photoshoot, but I have to admit it just looks like the stereotype you were describing in the first place - unless you actually do game with your legs in the air. Not that any of it is a bad thing, its all just fun, like how this photoshoot comes across. Because let's face it, photos of people actually gaming would be pretty dull.

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  9. This is idiotic. There is nothing about this that says anything other than that you just wanted an excuse to post pictures of yourself in your underwear on the internet in order to fish for compliments. There's no satirical statement on female stereotypes or any kind of cultural commentary here, and you're completely reinforcing the stereotypes you claim to continually be fighting against. You identify as a feminist, but your idea of feminism laughable. I see nothing in these, or your other photos for that matter, other than desperate pleas for attention and a completely deluded reality. The whole practice of dressing up as SOMEONE ELSE, a fictional person who represents strength to you (regardless of how scantily clad their dress) in order to escape your own insecurities as a woman, is pretty much the opposite of feminism. Practicing all of these things, of course, are just fine, and you can do whatever you want. But don't piss on yourself and say it's raining.

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    1. You sound hostile. Have an ice cold drink and enjoy the discussion.

      Cosplay is about as much harmless escapism as seeing a movie. Do I enjoy being entertained and getting away for 2 hours? Of course, but that doesn't mean I dislike my life. Same principle applies to cosplay (for either gender). Just because I dress up as Power Girl because I think she's cool does not mean I'm insecure about myself.

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  10. Your statement, Enrica, is pretty anti-feminist if I do say so myself. Take your gross misunderstandings of feminist ideologies and ignorance elsewhere.

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    1. You're right, to be honest, that statement was fairly ignorant, as I honestly know nothing about "geek culture" and shouldn't have projected my ideas upon it. I also shouldn't have brought the cosplay thing in to it, partly because it's been beaten to death, but also because I'm neither involved nor informed in that topic either. I also don't really care about it, and it wasn't necessarily relevant to this particular issue. For that I apologize.

      And I appreciate Molly's edit, even if it does feel like a back-pedal in order to save face. I'd love to hear more about how these photos DON'T fall in to the category of objectifying yourselves, especially when you're claiming that their purpose is to fight for the exact opposite. If you ask me, which I know you didn't, this would have been a much more interesting project had it been more editorial and honest rather than about posing in underwear and makeup. (remember this series? http://www.wired.com/rawfile/2011/01/gabriela-herman-bloggers/)

      Again, what statement are these photos making, exactly? None, really.

      Delete
  11. Someday, people will get that sexy & feminist are not mutually exclusive. Someday, people will understand that just because YOU happen to find something sexy, doesn't mean it was made to be sexy for you. And finally, there's no such thing as needing an excuse to be in any state of undress on the internet. It's fun & awesome & real self-respect means doing things that are fun & awesome rather than worrying about other people's silly hangups.

    Also, I now greatly desire pizza.

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  12. Awesome series, just really awesome. But this part troubled me: "bout a week ago my dear friend Sarah Hiraki and I were talking about how silly the "girl gamer" pics are of women posing seductively with video game controllers."

    Maybe you don't realize it, but you basically just devalued those women the same way people devalued you during cosplay.

    So WHAT if they want to pose sexy? You can't just assume the pic is "for men" or a man is taking it just because she did her hair and posed. Also, you're assuming those girls are "fake gamer girls," which is a huge problem already with men in fandom. You can't get clue one from a picture of a girl with a controller her level of skill, so you're judging them based on their appearance alone. It would be like saying if a model posed on a car "and I bet she can't really drive."

    The thing is, I came to this post from the post "Cosplay is not a Permission Slip," where you say:

    "We as a geek community have some of the most rampant sexism and misogyny I have ever seen. Women in cosplay are treated as pieces of meat, on display to satisfy a man's fantasy of that character. We are without personality or interests, and there's no way people will believe that we actually know ANYTHING about the character we're dressed up as (especially if we are hot)."

    Haven't you just done that to them?

    Dunno, love the blog, just saying that that's kind of a disconnect. If you don't think it is, please give me the dividing line so I can know which women I don't have to treat with respect because they're not "real gamers," and which ones I should treat the way you want to be treated at a con EVEN THOUGH you're dressed sexy.

    Thanks.

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    1. I think a lot of the problems here and that I literally wrote that paragraph in about two seconds cause I was so excited to get the pics up. What I SHOULD have said it that we are poking fun at the phenomenon that women who pose sexy with controllers are accused of being "fake geek girls", because we are real geek girls and still being sexy... albeit a little bit more honest and less glamorous.

      However, as far as "those" kind of pics go, there are definitely shoots like that in men's magazines with adult models who have never played a game in their life. But that's okay!

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    2. Honestly it's not even that. The only difference between this and the normal stuff is mussed hair and too much mascara so it runs (so I'm assuming "real" gamer girls like to plump their eyelashes before Call of Duty.)

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    3. "However, as far as "those" kind of pics go, there are definitely shoots like that in men's magazines with adult models who have never played a game in their life. But that's okay!"

      Wow! How do you know they don't play games? Did you go and personally ask all of them? Otherwise you are just assuming and generalizing all of them. When you say shit like this it makes you look like you just want attention and it is hard to take you seriously.

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  13. There's no right way to be a gamer :-) I am a HUGE "geek" and I refuse to leave the house without makeup on. There are a billion candid snapshots of me at home gaming with bright red lipstick smeared across my face.

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  14. So, even if these pictures do come off as sexy to some people (And I personally find silliness and fun VERY sexy, so...) Then SO WHAT?!

    The problem is NOT women expressing themselves in a way that may be construed as sexy. The problem is people viewing those women as somehow less than human or deserving of respect. OR (the flipside) expecting that all women should ALWAYS present themselves in a way that others find sexually appealing, and that they are only for "decoration."

    (And I am glad you added the addendum to your original description. :))

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  15. To everyone saying that this perpetuates the stereotype, rather than subverting it: the difference between the stereotype and THIS, is that this shoot doesn't smack of male gaze everywhere. I see three girls doing what they're comfortable with doing how THEY'RE comfortable doing it. There is no objectified posing here, and lack of clothing =/= objectification either. It can, absolutely, but that's not what's going on here.

    Also, Molly, bless your edit, you're a saint.

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  16. That last picture of you sleeping says it all! Haha. I lost count of all the times that's happened to me.

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  17. You are making the stereotypes worse by posting shit like this.

    As somebody who actually plays video games a lot, loves table top and is also an attractive girl....

    I would be posting pictures of me and my friends in footy pajamas not our fucking underwear.

    OH LOOK TITS completely destroys the authenticity of this post.



    I don't question your legitimacy in gaming, but quit fucking trying so hard.

    WE GET IT YOU ARE A CUTE-ISH GIRL WHO PLAYS VIDEO GAMES.


    THERE ARE LOTS OF US NOW SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

    or at the very least, don't prove the ridiculousness of sexy video game girl shoots by just... doing your own.

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  18. https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/21041_513896814903_8188559_n.jpg

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  20. They are really cute :)

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  21. real gamer girls play Papas Games, absolutely awesome cooking game series.

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