Hey everyone, I’ve noticed a trend lately of girls (usually cute girls) cashing in on the rise of geek culture.
Making spoofs about gaming culture, particularly Table Top Gaming, is nothing new. A lot of you out there may know of a really funny comic book called Knights of the Dinner Table, which satirizes an RPG group.
And of course, there was the awesome 40K focused Turn Signals on a Land Raider, chronicling the exploits of the Emperor’s Pointy Sticks chapters!
But the first of the female focused gamer lifestyle media that came to my attention was The Guild, a popular YouTube series about a group of MMORPG players, the star of whom is the attractive Felicia Day. MMORPGs like WoW really helped to catapult gaming into the mainstream, and its massive popularity, plus the huge upsurge in Comic book movies, etc. has created a large market for what us geeks have been enjoying our entire lives.
The Guild turned out to be popular, and is credited as being one of the inspirations for Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, also featuring Felicia Day (which by the way, is funny as hell).
And there are a slew of similar style shows on YouTube, blogs, promotions teams, etc. that seem to be riding the same wave. Here are a few examples:
An interesting thing to note, is that the creators of Roll a D6 openly admit they don’t play the game, apart from one of the crew, and don’t know the difference between D&D 3.5 and 4.0. Once again, we see a cute girl featured front and center.
We’ve actually worked with these girls before, the promotions group, Team Unicorn. They helped us hand out awards at Comikaze 2011, which was rad of them and I know it was a big hit with the guys in attendance.
And yeah, they are super hot in real life, too.
So my question is, is this a good thing? I see a lot of these girls as pretty damn smart from a certain perspective. They can get into a demographic that is largely male, 14-35, with disposable income and that would love nothing more than to see their fantasy of a beautiful nerd girl come to life. It gives them a pathway to fame and wealth if they play their cards right and have the talent. Getting into entertainment/fashion/etc. is tough. They’re using any advantage they can to give themselves a leg up. From that perspective I have to applaud their initiative and ambition.
We’re seeing geek culture really, really explode in the media and that means money. Money means those that seek it out follow closely behind. When you have folks cashing in on the popularity of geek culture who don’t actually know anything about it, will this ultimately hurt or help the community? When you really get down to it, it is being false. People are pretending to like something in order to gain something from those they are being false too.
Is this really a bad thing? And does that question even matter? Is it something we could stop even if we wanted to?
I won’t lie, I LOVE having pretty girls involved in our games/hobbies, but if it’s just a front, is it really all that great? If they’re thinking to themselves that they can’t wait to get out of the Con/Tournament/etc. they’re at, is it really all that great (and I’m not saying that is how they all feel, although I am sure plenty of them do)? I think a lot of geeky guys don’t care for the same reason guys go to Strip Clubs: even if she knows, and we know, she doesn’t REALLY like us, it still feels good to have the attention of a pretty girl, even if it’s false. And that my friends, is why you always see hot Booth Girls at events, in the ads, etc. Sex sells. We males are weak, weak creatures! hahaha
As Geek culture becomes more and more mainstream and commercialized, we will for sure lose some of what makes it genuine and unique. People who don’t actually care about it will use it as a means to further their careers, make money, etc. That is just the way things go in Western Culture. I don’t see it as something we can stop, and probably shouldn’t in this case. For as obnoxious as this can become (are there even Comics at ComiCon anymore?) it brings more money into the industry which means more talent, more products, more of what we crave. I am willing to trade in some of what I love in our hobby for movie studios creating things like Batman and the Avengers, for having hotties asking us to come to our events instead of the other way around, and for more acceptance in the mainstream. Some may call that selling out, but who cares.
So you know what? Get after it Geek Girl entertainers. Even if you don’t actually like what you’re promoting, you’re laying the groundwork for girls to feel more comfortable in embracing geek culture, you’re advancing your own careers, and creating some really unique, fun entertainment for the rest of us.