Friday, 10 May 2013

Girl's got game: Lucy Collette and Game reviews

I travel a lot by train and at Stupid O'clock in the morning. Sometimes a book is my only companion, most times I nap and other times I scroll through the day before's Tweets and conversations, which is what I did today, and I stumbled on an argument between some Tweeters and Lucy "Vixen" Collette the glamour model and Game reviewer for Nuts magazine.

It did get fairly personal in its nature, which was very uncalled for, but the original question was a valid one;

Does she actually play a lot of games or is she just the sexy figure head with a team of ghost writers?

Lucy claims that she does and what cause is their to disbelieve her?

Well, it is difficult, for some people, to believe that:-

a) A glamour model would be into gaming - after all surely it is the domain of geeks and kids?

b) The self same model wouldn't be able to formulate a review of a game without help.

This is pigeon holing and playing to stereotype. After all gaming is an open recreational pastime and although teenagers and students do predominantly control the market due to having more free time and money, there are also those who enjoy Call of Duty and Fifa games who are not in this bracket.

Gaming is also not gender specific, though mainly (from my experiences) a male pastime. However there are "Gamer girls" and more than you would expect. There are famous examples such as Ann Hathaway, Team Unicorn and Claire Grant. Again, from my own experiences I have met and know  some fantastic "Gamer girls" and even my wife has learnt to play and can use a Sniper rifle as well as anyone if not better. She has even surprised my mates (who presumed as a girl she was there to make up numbers and wouldn't be very good) with her savage tenacity and deadly aim!

I can understand the accusation that she is merely the face of the Games reviews as Nuts Magazine's demographic is teens and early 20s men and Lucy doing the reviews would attract more attention than

Let's be honest if you were in this demographic and wanted a games reviewer who would you want?

A redhead with cleavage and a Skyrim addiction or Miss Collette?

The other thing to bear in mind is that a Games review is a games review and ultimately if you want to read the review would it matter if the review was done by Lucy or by a nameless writer? Her presence definitely "Sexes up" the games section but it isn't a necessity.

Lucy does tweet about gaming - mostly Simpsons online, but there are others including an endearing picture of her beloved pet "Pookie" on one of her Controllers. People have based their judgements on the overall lack of tweets compared to other Glamour related posts.

Well that isn't a great basis, I was/am an avid gamer. My history of gaming stretches back to my teens (and an Amstrad 1512 CGA pc!!!) with addictions to games like Their finest hour, X-wing vs. TIE fighter, A-train, Dune II, GTA III, GTA San Andreas, Star Wars Battlefront (I & II), Force Unleashed (I & II) Fable III and recently Skyrim (blogged here and here) to name but a few.

If you read my twitter feed you will find very little about any of this except on the very rare occasion. Most of my boring stream is about Liberal Democrats, Medway Politics, Trains, my Kids and randomness.

If I started writing Games reviews would I be accused of having a ghost writer? It seems that the basis for the accusation is purely on the fact she is a Glamour model. The same could be said for complaints that she is aiding the objectification of women by writing the column. Forget for a moment that she also poses semi-naked elsewhere in the magazine, take her as the young, attractive woman (with a positive body image) who is breaking the mold of adolescent male Games reviewers and therefore a role model for "Girl gamers" by showing the world that women do game and they are as good if not better than many guys give them credit for and actually know what they're talking about. Gaming isn't about gender or background it is about your achievements and abilities in what ever genre of game you are playing - be it platform, strategy, sports, simulation or RPG. I was once outnumbered 15 to one by enemy fighters and still fought them all off and landed back on the air field with only minor damage to the 109. My wife made a head shot from across the Siberia map on Time Splitters future perfect, these small feats are to be celebrated why fixate on the gender or the background of the player?

I don't believe there is evidence to support the claim that she doesn't write the column or that she isn't a gamer and I think until given solid reason you should give her the benefit of the doubt - I believe Lucy is a gamer, I have also enjoyed her column so what's the big deal?

It is a sad commentary on today's culture and society that we immediately judge an attractive woman by her occupation and disbelieve that she is capable and must have ghost writers.

1 comment:

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