The Elder Scrolls isn’t for Women?News
When critic Tom Bissell wrote that adult women most likely have not heard of The Elder Scrolls, he struck a pretty big nerve amongst some women gamers. It was later stated it was intended as a joke, just a silly little line, but the damage was already done.
This is a quote from his review for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from the website Grantland:
If you have no idea what the Elder Scrolls franchise is, you are probably either (a) an adult woman, or (b) the sort of person who once beat up the sort of person who likes the Elder Scrolls franchise, so herewith a quick primer: Bethesda Game Studios made it; its genre is the genre that has elves; and its subgenre is the open-world RPG.
Here are just some of the responses this review got on Facebook in the comments section:
“A number of adult, female gamers play and enjoy The Elder Scrolls games! Woman have always enjoyed RPGs!”
“The line about adult women is completely out of line.”
“Another adult woman here chiming in to say WTF. I can count on one hand the number of adult women I know who DON’T know what Skyrim is. It’s very hard to take the rest of an article seriously when it opens with “But hey, we’re not writing this for YOU, just for the guys who play it.
Then, he responded with his own comment on Facebook in the comments section:
“Okay, to everyone who was offended, my sincere apologies. Mortified that the line could have animosity or dislike of anyone read into it. My joke was this: Running around with a digital sword slaying digital dragons seems much more like a male activity to me. I stand by that. Not *all* fantasy games skew male certainly, but, in my mind, The Elder Scrolls always have. Also, for the record, I play as a lady Argonian. :)”
So, did this make everything better? Was he instantly forgiven especially for the smiley face at the end? Not really. Everyone who writes reviews for any game always has a risk of making someone upset about something. This is especially true when throwing your personal opinions into a game. When you write in a review how the game is more geared towards “hardcore” gamers, or even “males not yet in their 40s,” and not for “adult women” then you shouldn’t be surprised when you are criticized. While a game may cater to a certain audience, it does not mean that a 60 year old lady cannot play the game too.
But it seemed like this has started to be theme in some articles that is why one reader got particularly upset with her comment which stated:
“Between this and the NYT “Game of Thrones is for boys” article I’m curious as to what, as an adult woman, I *am* allowed to like.”
The New York Times article she was referring to was Ginia Bellafante’s negative review of HBO’s Game of Thrones, in which, she wrote:
“The true perversion, though, is the sense you get that all of this illicitness has been tossed in as a little something for the ladies, out of a justifiable fear, perhaps, that no woman alive would watch otherwise. While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.”
Obviously, this has upset many people, women and men alike. Of course, most men who are gamers generally know one woman gamer that is bad-ass and enjoys games such as Skyrim, Call of Duty, and other games as well. But of course, it does not make it any more right when these things are stated and it almost seems like some people are trying to push back women in the gaming industry. At least the opinions are out-dated none the less. Both way, boys, women are here to game, and we can enjoy these amazing games like Skyrim just like you. But do not take these reviews so personally either, men or women. Reviewers have their opinions, and sometimes take their jokes a little too far, as we all do every now and then.
Take the internet with a grain of salt.
Out of all of this, what do you think of the articles? Do you think it was taken too far as well? How would you have felt reading this as a man gamer, or even a woman gamer? Let us know in the comments below!