I dunno about all this “blokes tank” & “chicks heal” business you read about in academic studies (I would find some and link but it attracts the unsavouries *cough* the authors *cough*). I think like most stereotypes it is just that – a stereotype.
If media had more active influence over how peeps gamed then yeah sure I could totally see the gender split falling that way. But for once the whole business of avatar anonymity (and the ‘uncoolness of gaming’ rap) probably has a role to play and guess what – gender statistics are still skewed in online gaming as well. It’s even worse from age group to age group in that the demographics are likely very different in the under 20 players in comparison to the over 30 players.
I’m lucky I play wow where the ages are usually older because the game has gotten older, anything connected to the xbox or the play station via net seems to be filled with the seething masses of unwashed prepubescent teens (and is thus sexist as all fuckery.)
I prefer blokes and lasses who have discovered their sexuality, had sex, preferably lots of it, and moved on to looking around at the world with eyes not drowned in the crazed hormonal urge to get laid. I mean that for both genders. Lol I think I offended/scared or scarred-for-life our Warrior off tank last night by using the blanket statement “Every one in the guild is older and married and knows what sex is.” He was all “Oi, I am not married hold your horses.” Pffft I suppose I can relate; I had to go to a friend-with-the-same-name-as-mine’s wedding… I kept breaking a sweat during the wedding vows.
Blanket statements are the most dangerous thing in the world. I should have said we are almost all in the age demographic to have discovered and gotten over getting laid or something.
My guild is for mature aged players. The only dependents you get are some peeps teenaged kids.
Lets make a gender breakdown of our raid team:
10mN Full Time Active Raiders
- Guild Leader – Female. Plays Ranged DPS Hunter.
- Raid Leader – Male. Plays Ranged DPS Warlock.
- Co-Raid Leader – Female. Plays Healer Priest.
- Main Tank – Male
- Off Tank – Female
- Off Off Tank – Male
- Healer Other Priest – Male
- Healer Druids x 2 – Male
- Healer Shaman – Male
- Ranged DPS Mages x 2 – Male (one mage loot masters and is an officer)
- Ranged DPS Hunters x 2 – Male
- Melee DPS Warriors x2 – Male
- Melee DPS Druid – Female.
- Healer Priest – Female
- Healer Druid – Female
- Healer Paladin – Female
- Healer Paladin – Male
- Healer Shaman – Male
- Up and coming Boomkin Ranged DPS – Female (hybrid heals)
- Up and coming Boomkin Ranged DPS – Male (hybrid heals)
- Ranged DPS Hunter x 2 – Male
- Melee DPS DK – Male
Really people look at that break up; even ignoring the issues such as the fact any officer worth their salt tends to have a raid alt in the background waiting to tank/heal as the war machine requires. Even ignoring the fact that most raiders come with a Swiss army knife application of alts that may be useful for your raid team. Ignoring all that I think the gender breakup here is pretty damn good considering what everyone tells me about how ‘girls don’t game’ but if we do we are what a 30-40% minority?
Of my tanks (3) ones a chick.
Of my active 10mN full time healers (5) ones a chick… woot that is I. It would be 1-2 more but peeps are having babies and nurturing family and stuff.
Of my ranged dps (6) ones a chick.
Of my melee dps (3) ones a chick.
Of the guild leadership roles in and out of raid (4) two are chicks.
I think someone should do a study on how many officers and raid leaders play MS DPS the lazy sods /officer ms healer grumble.
The thing is I don’t think you can just stand back and say ‘chicks play ranged dps and heals’ because they like the distance from the action as is appropriate for their social gender stereotyping. Surely most stereotypical female roles in society don’t include “plays computer games” with friends, significant other-half types and family or solo gaming? I think society believes we are meant to be cleaning the house and raising our kids … and baking or something. Nurturing things, supporting things.
I know society is eager to point to the healing role in the Tank-Heal-DPS triumbrant as the answer to what we are doing in game that is appropriate to the desired stereotype, but nurturing & supporting your raid group doesn’t always mean healing them, it can mean having 3 alts that “can do all the things” so the raids can keep happening and seriously the blokes are as bad for it as our females.
As to partners tanking and healing their way up, yes couples do do that…. hummm but most of them have more than one group of alts speeding to end cap and I bet if you double checked its not always “bloke tanks” & “his chick heals him”. I bet they swap those positions about for a bit of excitement. Honestly eventually the vanilla hes-on-top-and-the-boss sex is going to get boring, most couples experiment… you KNOW this … why the heck would anyone think playing in Azeroth is any different??
I think buying into stereotypes is like buying a phone product without reading the user reviews on some site not the phone company’s site … its really setting yourself up to have your expectations crushed.
Look at me I level on my own for the majority of my gaming, but every now and then I do it with a partner or friends (lol! sounds dodgy after the last example) – and I can tell you I still like to be the boss – so I often tank all the way to end game… except in outlands where the DK build up is thick and you can power though as a healer (should you be hybrid enough and I love my hybrids.) Ima control freak in my own way but I can control a group from the position of tank or healer … pfft and I would probably do it as DPS too.
Actually I did, I levelled with a group of three other peeps in BC and I was neither tank nor heals… I was a hunter. And before you pop the “ahh ranged DPS” comment – I mean when I was a hunter I was obsessed with add control (and PVP see all the people on the map strategizing but that’s another story), hunter utility was the in thing and all the hunters were learning “chain trapping” and kiting for multiple mob control. I remember I used to make our groups paladin tank wait while I silenced one mob, misdirected and pulled groups around the corner onto my prepared ice trap… this was in the BC the beginning of the age of AOE range-pulling paladin tanks… you cannot imagine how dominant I had to be in that group to get that level of control over how they did things.
I prefer druids because I can literally “do all the things”, but in the end I play what the guild needs.
I have another story to illustrate; in Wrath I was healing (tree) though the first wrath dungeon (you remember utgarde keep right with its ground aoe and tank debuffs and other hells) and the tank was a room pulling rushing jerk who kept getting his dps killed by acting as an overgeared level-capped tank would act and worst was he rude about it. I told them to kick him as if we needed a tank that badly I would do it bloody well myself and bloody well do it better. They did, I won my vote check and we requeued with my druid self as tank/heals. I did indeed get to tank them through that instance /woot. My boomkin friend whom I was assisting at the time laughed at me for not being able to just leave it alone… then he took up healing because ‘…if I was going to tank anyway I may as well have someone I could trust in my back pocket.’ – nice fellow that.
I think if you are going to be looking for gender stereotypes to study, it is a good idea to go a little deeper … how much experience do women need before they will tank, do they just jump and “give it a shot” in or is jumping blindly into something still the arena of the under 20 male? What are the risks in this virtual landscape and who is throwing themselves into the breach? If you must look at nurturing how many women are guildleaders, I mean is it more than expected given that a guild leader is expected to lead and that’s like the opposite of the annoying nurture stereotype.
Pfft its all academic anyway. Really there was a heterosexual guy in my last horde guild (dating a RL girlfriend of mine actually) who so liked to look after and care for guild members he would save little bits of blue gear for everyone’s alts … and I do mean everyone and then he would mail them to you or craft things for you level from level. He literally dressed the entire little guild. As we were horde and half of us were Tauren we ended up calling him a milk-daddy, & we meant it in the most PG way possible, probably something like sugar daddy only without the sexual flavour. Where does he fit in to the stereotype? … he also tanked but he liked his healers to lead
Actually the peeps below theorize on all this better than I do 🙂 go read them.
GOOD READS & RELATED LINKAGE:
- Over Role Playing by Neurotic Girl
- The Politics of Tanking & Healing by Hypercriticism
- An Alternative Explanation for Gender Bias in Tanking and Healing by Blessing of Kings
Have at it muwahahahaha I’m taking my stereotypical Librarian butt off to nurture my stereotypical-librarian’s-cat which is screaming for food in the background.