So the first day of Conquest, Nik and I were in an elevator with another con attendee and we made small talk with him until he got to his floor. Just your average everyday friendliness and I didn’t think a thing of it. Well apparently this meant a lot more to gamer guy than we suspected because he came by our booth the next day to talk to Nik again. And after having had exactly one interaction with her he felt like he could start rubbing her back without invitation. He came back to try the same thing several times over the weekend too. Sadly, this is not at all unusual, but still I must ask: what the hell? I know many gamers are poorly socialized, but what makes them think that a few minutes of idle chitchat is an invitation to lay their hands on someone they barely know?
There was another incident at GenCon a few weeks ago. One of our editors was attending the show and helping us out a bit at the booth. In her free time she was playing in a bunch of games. One was a Star Wars miniatures tournament. She lost a game and when she reported that to the tourney organizer, he snarked, “Of course you did.” People wonder why there aren’t more women in the hobby, well there’s your answer right there. What’s worse is that she didn’t even get into with the jerk. She said, “Oh, I’m used to it.”
Neither did Nik tell Mr. Grabby to piss off. I think she feels that most guys like that just don’t know any better. Both of these incidents rile me up though, because they are typical of the things that drive women out of the hobby. While there are certainly way more women involved now than their used to be, things are still male-dominated and I’d love to see more parity. Showing female gamers a bit of respect would go a long way to keeping them in the hobby.