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You can call me Hal.

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Con report.

So, as I said before, I was at a con that was not Vividcon this weekend. It was, in fact, a gaming con where I spent most of my time either roleplaying (D&D) or eating at IHOP. I normally game once a week with my regular group and we all went down to the con together in a most excellent road trip. As the saying goes, I go to cons to game with my friends.

I won't bore you with tales of my exploits, because, my god, nothing is more tedious than gaming stories. But I did have some thoughts about the gaming community and the fannish community and men and women that I wanted to blather about.

So, the fannish community is predominantly female. The gaming community is predominantly male, but not to the same extent. We in fact have 2 women in our 6 person group right now. But OTOH, at the con, aside from one non-D&D game I played, I didn't play with any women other than her.

I remember thinking about some of the women that I did briefly meet or see and saying to myself, the women at gaming cons are so weird. But when I really started to analyse that, I found that it wasn't true. I think there's a greater weird::non-weird ratio among female than male gamers, but still, it's not even 50-50. It was just my perception. And I wondered why I was thinking like that.

In the fannish world, I interact with women just fine. I get along with them, I enjoy hanging out with them at fannish get-togethers and online. In the gaming world, most of my interaction is with men. And when I do meet a woman, I feel like I don't know what to say to her.

I think a good part of it is the Queen Bee syndrome. When you're a female gamer, especially if you're usually the only one in your group (which I have been for good long periods of time), the male gamers tend to defer to you, even if you're not stunningly gorgeous. You get extra attention. You have power. So when you get another woman in the mix, who is probably the Queen Bee in her group, it can be a little tense.

Probably when I meet another woman at a game con, I see her less as a comrade and more as a rival, even if I don't articulate that to myself. You'd think we'd bond, but not so much, at least not with me.

Now we did have an all-female game in our home community last year and there was no tension there, just a lot of booze and hilarity and ribaldry. But there were no men for us to be tense over, so it's not surprising.

And now to my question: do you think the same thing happens in fandom with men? There aren't many men in the slash end of the pool and the ones who are here are, I believe, deferred to, much like the women in gaming. So, when two men meet at a media con, do they bond or do they feel some competition? (I suppose in a perfect slasher world, they'd fuck, just like in a perfect male gamer world, the women would. *g*)

It's curious.

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Heh, people are supposed to be deferring to me? I'm not sure they got the memo.

Now you can point them here. After all, if it's on the internet, it must be true!

Heh. I remember in a long ago fandom, in the aftermath of a con, there was a BNF slash writer on a rampage because Minotaur had been in attendance and had gotten 'undue' attention from the (predominantly female) crowd. IIRC, the jist of her argument was that the mere fact of him being a gay man didn't mean he knew more about gay male sex than she did.

So...uh...not sure what that means, but I think it points out some weird shit hiding under the rocks of fandom.

Well, it is true that some women have a tendency to ask me rather... personal questions as research for their fic. So I suppose in that sense, they are deferring to my presumably superior experience. :)

(And hey, if I went to a con and Minotaur was there, I'd be fangirling him too. 'Cause he's Minotaur!)

I think rarity + biology is a big factor. There are relatively few men in the slash pool, *and* they're the only ones who can actually speak from experience with regard to human male anatomy. (Experience in the sense of 'it's attached to my very own nervous system,' I mean.)

As for the example, I'm still not sure if the BNF in question was more pissed because Minotaur's mere presence was drawing attention away from her own shining light or because the fact that he's a man and she's not meant that she couldn't "win" the competition, ever. (I hasten to add that this 'competition' was all in her own mind.)

Okay, I'm going to stop rambling now!

OMG, it's just like those men taking Women Studies at university, and then telling you to shut up when you're talking about how it feels to be a woman, because they "know better than you" @__@;

LOL -- Sadly enough, I don't think I've had the pleasure of meeting one of those.

IIRC, the jist of her argument was that the mere fact of him being a gay man didn't mean he knew more about gay male sex than she did.


Of course, this is not all that different from the numerous fanfic readers and writers who are saying this week that the mere fact that JKR wrote the HP books doesn't mean she knows more about Snape and other characters than they do....

Our college gaming group (which had a fluctuating core of about seven people) always had two girls in any campaign, never more. And it was interesting to see the different interactions -- in a four-player adventure involving myself, my roommate/best friend, and two boys, R and I completely bonded in a girls v. boys set-up, and never stopped gloating after surviving the other two characters and then winning. I always had a great time playing with R, and there was definite cameraderie.

However, the other girl I would play in combination with happened to the be the DM's very, very possessive fiancee, and she suffered from the Pretty Pretty Warrior Princess syndrome, wherein she had to be the strongest, the sexiest, the smartest, the elfiest, etc. (Her last created character? Aragorn + Arwen = Argawen! "We're not playing in a LotR universe," we told her, but she didn't care.) I played an introverted, grumpy female cleric with her, which was pretty much the only defense unless I wanted to be "competing" with her for men.


Anyhow, I've seen some of the fawning male fans get, but I always assume they're more commiserating with each other rather than competing for attention. "They're talking about period and Regency romance novels AGAIN," etc. *g*


... yurrk. DM's Girlfriend is never good. (IN MY EXPERIENCE. No DMs' girlfriends hit me, please.) And, returning to the original point, I find that it's pretty easy to get along with all-platonic mixed groups-- it's only when you get romantic relationships that it all goes horrible, because people start playing based on their real-life relationships rather than their IC ones. Admittedly, it's more fun to be the only girl, but... that was not the point.

Hee! My partner is our usual DM. But after 15 years together and a lot of gaming, I don't think it's too disruptive to the game. Actually, it's quite interesting -- generally, I can dominate him and have things my way. But at the gaming table, I just can't. When he sits down in that chair, he becomes completely impervious to any of my wiles, blandishments, or threats. It's quite annoying. *g*

Funny -- I usually played with my boyfriend, and except for being physically close during gaming sessions (we sat at a verrrry small table in the dorm lounge) it never affected our in-game play much at *all*. I almost took pains to avoid interacting with him, really, because his characters and mine didn't usually have much in common.

Besides the Mary Sue characters, the thing that bugged me most about the DM's girlfriend was her habit of trying to argue/sweet-talk her way into changing scores, attack probabilities, outcomes, etc. She was the absolute worst DM-challenger I've ever seen.

(And I think The DM's Girlfriend sounds like a Cars song. *g*)


Aiee! Warrior princesses! (In our group, it's the men who seem to play those. *g*)

The women I've got to know, I've been able to build some camaraderie with. But I don't really find it easy, esp with just meeting someone new at a con. Much easier with men, somehow.

Well, we were all friends prior to gaming, and my friendships with the girls didn't revolve around D&D. (With the boys... that's a different story.) But it was very, very hard to play with a girl who was always cuddling up to the DM, joking around when he had to role-play an NPC, and arguing with him over points.

Also, having one of your party's characters act like a living Mary Sue (minus the part where we all worshipped her) = not so fun.


Well, when I was at Connexions there were a total of three men there: Minotaur, Qurinas (or however the hell he spells it), and Some Other Guy. I found that I had absolutely, totally, no interest in talking with any of them. (Partly because I don't really "know" any of them - I mean, I am aware of and appreciate and use Minotaur's site, but I've had no contact with him, and I don't fangirl him or anything, and I didn't know who the other men were at all.) I was there for the girlbonding. (Which is weird, because normally most of my friends are male.) So I have no clue if they were fawned over or what have you. In fact, maybe I felt like they acted as though they deserved fawning over, and I felt contemptuous of this - please note, that this is a reflection on *my* interpretation and reaction, and probably has nothing to do at all with what they were actually doing. Hell, I almost felt as though they were intruding on my girly experience!

Fandom is like this sort of Sekrit Lesbian Experience in a way. IRL, gaming or not, I find men easier to relate to. But I love the femaleness of fandom.

BLJ (before LJ), people would sometimes think -- from my writing, I guess -- that I was a man. As recently as this year, there was a debate about it on an X-Files board. But sadly, no one fawned over me because of it.

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