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CHAT: RPGs & Women

From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Thursday, March 18, 1999, 14:55
Another reason why gamers are rarely female - and rarely non-white? Many
RPGers start with a group of high school or middle school friends; most
scifi fans in the past were white males; high school groups tend to be
sex-segregated. I know my own experience was that in high school, even
though my friends and I tried to get others - male and female - interested
in RPGs, many were afraid they would lose points in the endless
status-games of late-middle to early-high school. As I recall, being a
teenager is like suddenly finding yourself a chimp in the zoo - you smell,
you are suddenly hairy, and your entire world revolves around trying to get
status and fame so you can score. The bit about scoring may be under the
surface, but it's the prime mover, and loss of status is feared like
nothing else. Death is worse than loss of community regard. Being not
normal - ie. weird - directly equals being low-status for all but the lucky
few; how then did people respond to RPGing and scifi? They may even say
they are interested, but they all backed out. Low status is contagious, and
they didn't want to be associated with the long-term scifi fans.

By the time senior year rolls around, many people have matured out of this
status-freak stage and may be more willing to say "I don't care what others
think, this is interesting," but by then they are busy with senior year and
so set in their ways they aren't thinking about taking up a new hobby - and
freshman year in college is when the status-game begins again ...


"You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society!!"
        - Moe, "The Simpsons"

Everyone thinks I'm psychotic, except for my friends deep inside the earth.

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