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Ambassador to Catland

Continuing a SpiderWeb tradition

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Today I am two months into HRT. Also I came out to both my parents during the week. My dad took it well, which I would consider a minor miracle if I were religious.

 

No way am  I ever going back if I can help it. *shudder* I have no idea how I survived up until now, and I've had it (and continue to have it) pretty easy vs. most of my current friends. Hope insurance keeps paying for hormones so I can be functional, ha ha. I beseech thee oh Demons of Capitalism, please don't take away my lifeline...

 

And, uh, to everyone else here traveling this path. Thank you for existing, and being visible, and talking honestly about things the mainstream doesn't want to believe in. It helps.

 

... Okay. That's all. Back to reading books, tampering with software, and failing to actually play Spiderweb games.

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Serious congrats!  Glad things are going so well for you, and hope they continue to do so.

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sylae   
Posted (edited)

congrats on coming out and HRTing :). glad to hear it went well.

 

hormones aren't too crazy expensive without insurance/a prescription. i was getting them online for ~$50 a month (spiro, finasteride, estradiol valerate + needles) in bulk. i would assume going with a prescription but no insurance would be cheaper than that? i dunno, but i wouldn't be too worried.

Edited by sylae
please accept this complimentary gift of pickles and/or soy sauce

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Thanks all (and anyone else who comments). Mmm, pickles sound good, I may have to go and get some. :/ When the thunderstorm here peters out...

 

And yeah I'm also very glad I'm doing better, though it would be nice if my country didn't despise my guts oo many different counts. I resent that so much of my life got buried by dysphoria, and hope I can survive long enough to make up for it, but am not greatly optimistic.

 

Oh, re hormones. From what I've seen, even old off-patent drugs tend to be unreasonably expensive without insurance. I suspect some heavy duty price fixing going on. Ordering overseas is something I've considered if for some reason my clinic decides to dump me. But I worry A LOT about quality control, and how to tell who is legit vs who is selling filler if not actual poison. Also, ordering prescription drugs overseas is still go-to-jail illegal IIRC, and I expect more enforcement of such stuff coming down the pipes...

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Lilith   

oh hey, you're back. glad you were able to figure things out and take action

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Posted (edited)

And thanks, Lilith. Yeah, it's been interesting, and disturbing, seeing some of the common threads in how The Closet messes people up, as I've talked with and befriended more trans folks.

(And might as well mention, a certain recent SF novel helped a lot. Though almost as much from a "wow the protagonist's relationship with her dad is just like mine" validation standpoint, as from "yay the protagonist is trans and feels a lot like I do".)

Edited by Ambassador to Catland

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The good news is that you are in the state whose insurance market has some extra insulation against anything congress does, due to the state laws that predated the ACA, and the longer time the economic & medical dynamic has had to entrench itself there.  So while everything is still sort of a churning vortex of awfulness, at least there's that.

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Congratulations! :)

I'm not trans but I'm schizophrenic which makes me also medically vulnerable, and all my freaking out about the Republican health care legislation has also consistently been met with "You'll be fine, our state will shield you from the President." Even the Republican governors we keep electing are more liberal than some states' Democrats. Which is not to say there's nothing to worry about but it at least is probably not going to be catastrophic around here.

I've forgotten who you are though. I feel like I should know, especially since we're in the same state. The cat avatar is familiar but "Ambassador to Catland" is not.

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@Didolatry: true, OTOH I've already seen some ridiculous insurance hijinks pre-Chump. One time when I was on COBRA, the provider cut off my insurance without reason or prior notification. Left me completely unmedicated for a week, and I had to switch one of my meds to make things affordable without insurance. It was a REALLY close call, and I still don't know what happened.

 

@The Almighty Doer of Stuff: Charlie Baker may be relatively liberal but he's still dreadful, even if he did eventually turn against the AHCA.

(And I'm formerly known as Tevildo, and before that as Miramor. Avatar is Lacey, one of my fluffbabies. <3 )

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Iffy   

Coming out as trans is a spiderweb tradition now? :p

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sylae   
Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Iffy said:

Coming out as trans is a spiderweb tradition now? :p

I mean, I know at least 8 trans people who frequent or have frequented this board...if we put all the trans people into our own subforum we would probably have more activity than, like, all of nethergate.

Edited by sylae
NOW I WANT A SECRET SW TRANS FORUM WHERE THE CIS CANNOT BRING THEIR CISNESS

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Wrath   

As long as we're talking about it. I've also been on HRT(since last August).

I guess there's a lot of trans people on SW these days, sorry for adding to the statistic.?

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I suspect something about SW games attracts closeted trans folks. Not sure what it was for me; I think the escapist worldbuilding/fantasy tourism aspect of BoE, and maybe the freedom to build gender nonconforming characters, something something escaping from reality something something being a dork when I was a kid. :)

 

Edit: also almost every trans person I know has some kind of autism diagnosis, and some aspects of SW games seem tuned to that? IDK.

Edited by Ambassador to Catland

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Iffy   

I don't think it was SW itself, but more that we're more drawn to online communities since connecting with people IRL is hard as a trans person who hasn't realized. I mean, now that I'm out and living as a woman, I find myself talking to people and friends outside more than I do online.

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Wrath   

I mean, another theory is just that it's something that seems like it's okay to talk about here now? There's a few other forums for games I go to, but I obviously don't plan on talking about it there.

 

Like, I've been frequenting this site for ten years, and I still didn't really plan on saying anything. But there might not be any harm to it, so I did.

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It may just be there are enough people here talking about something they all have in common.  Like the  seeming large number of Finnish players that started a topic in Finnish years ago.

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Scorpius   
1 hour ago, Randomizer said:

Like the  seeming large number of Finnish players that started a topic in Finnish years ago.

 

Shhh they might hear you

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Posted (edited)

@Iffy Yes that's definitely true for me. Most of my friends now either know my girlfriend some way, or are people I met at political protests.

 

@Wrath, @Randomizer I suppose it might just be that kind of "critical mass" thing. IDK. Neither of the two roguelike forums I'm (sometimes) active on have much trans representation (and the guys there tend to be casually sexist).

 

Edit: BTW, kosher dill pickles are amazing. Like seriously, AMAZING. I don't remember them tasting like that before I started taking Spiro...

Edited by Ambassador to Catland
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Edgwyn   

I think that part of it may be that RPGs (even before computers were involved) attract people who want to escape reality by being someone else (the macho warrior, the wizard, the cat/human hybrid, the male, the female, the neuter, etc, etc.).  Then you add to that the anonymity that the computer aspect gives and then bring in the fact that Jeff has a no bullying policy in these forums (that the mods do a good job of enforcing) and then it becomes a safe place that allows critical masses to build.

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With these additions that were new to me (btw -- serious congrats to all of you as well!) I think I can count at least 11 current and former members who identify as trans.  I think that's too high to be observation bias (or "expression bias" kind of like what Randomizer described).  And these members span the whole history of the forums -- including the earlier years when more unfriendly behavior was tolerated.

 

Probably there are many factors involved.  One more that occurs to me: the indirect impact of the story of Spiderweb's flagship franchise, Exile/Avernum.  The first trilogy revolves around the premise that people who let others see that they are different, are not just mistreated but in fact wholly excluded from society.  And the games cast the player as someone fighting against that: fighting for justice against those who have excluded them.

 

It's not hard to see how this could resonate.  I think that attracted a certain kind of people, a certain kind of openness, that agglutinated over time.

 

Also, the first trilogy included several queer characters, including a lesbian couple.  This is not the same thing as including characters that are not cis, and I don't mean to blend them together.  However, in the 90's there was not a lot of media regularly consumed by kids, and approved by parents, that even acknowledged the existence of anything other than male-female couples.  Even in the oughts you rarely found that in video games, and while Spiderweb dropped this element entirely in its later games, it remained in both sets of first trilogy remakes.

 

All of this just sets the stage.  But I think it makes sense that with a backdrop like that, you attract people looking beyond the surface of societal expectations.

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Kelandon   

A couple of possible additional factors:

 

* The Spiderweb community has leaned to the left from the beginning. (This may have something to do with the premise of the early Spiderweb games, too.)

 

* Although we've tolerated some nastiness in the past, hate speech has been explicitly prohibited (and that prohibition has been enforced) for as long as I can remember.

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mung   

Is it possible that the fantasy genre, or more, the escapism inate in it, has something to do with it? 

 

I know too many people that poo-poo fantasy simply because it's "unbelievable", but that's precisely why I'm drawn to it. 

 

I could read non-fiction and be constantly reminded of daily life, sci-fi and fear for our future, or fantasy and wander off and beat up a dragon. Some people need to get away more than others. 

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sylae   

i dunno. i for one was a terrible, terrible person when i was an egg (arguably i still am :p) so I don't really subscribe to the whole "drawn here from an early age" thing. especially because i didn't really follow the plot in exile much, just went around killing stuff. maybe i'm the exception though, I dunno.

 

honestly, at this point I've basically accepted that statistics and probability regarding GSM people have been warped into some unrecognizable horror in the SW community. I mean, we've definitely got an above-average trans population here (maybe i'll run some numbers for fun to see exactly how off it is), but, I mean, most of my friends are some sort of something, and unless we all came together as eggs unknowingly, that's pretty weird.

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Wrath   
Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, sylae said:

i for one was a terrible, terrible person when i was an egg (arguably i still am :p)

 

Yeah, this is me too. I've changed so much from where I first got here, past me would not be able to recognise me now. Nor would old me believe you for a second if you would say where I am in life right now.

 

All I can say is that I ended up talking to everyone here and sticking around because they seemed so much better than any other place I'd been. They're less intense, friendlier, and like the things I like. Even when our interests don't line up, it's still rewarding and I'm more likely to have deeper conversations than people I've met elsewhere. I don't know if that means those people are more likely to be trans, but obviously that doesn't change things for me either way. It's just how things ended up ^-^

Edited by Wrath
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sylae   
Posted (edited)

Numbers! because i have no life.

 

okay, so for a sample I grabbed a list of all the members who were active between 2017-01-01 and 2017-05-09 (according to IPB, which i think means at least visiting?) and had > 10 posts[1], which gave me 139 members.

 

Then, using my powers of Creeping (tm) I went though the list and tallied the number of people that I Know to be trans (or at least not-cis). 9 people[2].

 

So, that's ~6.4% of active members are trans. That's A Lot More than the rate of tran in the US[3] which is 0.6% (assuming, of course, that the US is the average transness for our global audience).

 

Is this a big deal? I have no clue! But it seems like it is, especially when you take into account I'm only counting people as trans if I personally know them to be trans. How many eggs, stealth trans people, or people who only post on Geneforge do we have?

 

[1] arbitrarily-chosen parameters, please suggest better

[2] plus a few who i'm not sure about but am not counting because i'm not sure about them

[3] from this study made by some (i assume) smart people.

Edited by sylae
calref, for comparison, is almost exactly 33% trans (based on who the chatbot has :tells pending for them because i have no other useful number for who is active)

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Wrath   
Just now, sylae said:

That's A Lot More than the rate of tran in the US[3] which is 0.6%

 

I doubt very much that any statistically examination of how many trans people there are in the US will have any degree of accuracy at this point. I mean, if a creepy survey person asked me if I was trans, I would say "No, I don't want to be sent to a concentration camp in Kansas. It's nice of you to ask, thanks." So I'm not sure how that number is derived.

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sylae   
7 minutes ago, Wrath said:

 

I doubt very much that any statistically examination of how many trans people there are in the US will have any degree of accuracy at this point. I mean, if a creepy survey person asked me if I was trans, I would say "No, I don't want to be sent to a concentration camp in Kansas. It's nice of you to ask, thanks." So I'm not sure how that number is derived.

i dunno, i assume the creepy survey people took that into account with their statistics math (the most powerful kind of math).

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Creepy survey people said Trump would never win so there is survey bias and just asking the wrong sample.  Still I doubt it is high.  There might be an underestimate just because people don't answer surveys or talk.

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Lilith   
1 hour ago, sylae said:

i dunno, i assume the creepy survey people took that into account with their statistics math (the most powerful kind of math).

 

tbh that study is doing a lot of extrapolation in other areas already. as far as i can tell from reading it, only 19 states actually asked the "are you trans" question and the authors estimated the percentage of trans people in other stats by the responses on other questions that are correlated to being trans, which seems like a methodology that's pretty prone to the influence of confounding variables. so i'm not sure i'd trust the figures for individual states where the question wasn't asked

 

the overall figure for the US probably isn't too far off at least though, in the sense that the answer is "some significant fraction of 1%"

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Kelandon   
56 minutes ago, Randomizer said:

Creepy survey people said Trump would never win

This is a myth. People who weren't really looking at the data said this, not people who were. There have been big polling misses in history, but this was not one of them.

 

I think it's pretty fair to say that trans people are significantly over-represented here on Spidweb compared to their numbers in the general population. There are more trans people here than I've ever met in my life, and I grew up in San Francisco in the '90s and '00s.

 

Are the trans people here all trans women? I can't say I've been keeping track, but it seems sort of imbalanced. (I vaguely recall reading somewhere that it's imbalanced in the general population too, that trans women are several times more common than trans men, but I don't know if that's actually true or if that's just something that someone said once.)

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Lilith   
1 hour ago, Kelandon said:

This is a myth. People who weren't really looking at the data said this, not people who were. There have been big polling misses in history, but this was not one of them.

 

I think it's pretty fair to say that trans people are significantly over-represented here on Spidweb compared to their numbers in the general population. There are more trans people here than I've ever met in my life, and I grew up in San Francisco in the '90s and '00s.

 

Are the trans people here all trans women? I can't say I've been keeping track, but it seems sort of imbalanced.

 

No, not all. In particular, there are a number of non-binary posters, including both AMAB and AFAB people.

 

Quote

(I vaguely recall reading somewhere that it's imbalanced in the general population too, that trans women are several times more common than trans men, but I don't know if that's actually true or if that's just something that someone said once.)

 

The thing you read probably based its data on records of sex reassignment surgery, which biases the result toward trans women because SRS for trans men is far more expensive and has significantly worse outcomes. Population surveys that base their data on self-identification produce results much closer to 50-50.

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Something I've noticed (and this is all anecdotal; no hard evidence) is that the segments of geek subculture based around older, more niche things have a higher rate of transwomen. While geek culture is slowly becoming more welcoming to women (trans or cis), this certainly wasn't always the case, and that acted as a filter against ciswomen... but not necessarily transwomen who had yet to identify as such, or come out. So while women picking up D&D 5E today will have a trans-cis ratio similar to the general population, I've noticed that the women who've been playing since the eighties are a little more likely to be trans.

 

Spiderweb Software? Not only does it make non-mainstream CRPGs, it makes games that are homages to the CRPGs of the early to mid eighties.

 

Again, just my speculation, and I agree with the points others have made. Also,

Spoiler

champagne.jpg for everyone!

 

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That's an interesting point.  I note that all the people I can think of came to SW long before they came out (and I would guess long before most identified as trans, though I don't want to make any assumptions there).

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Lilith   
15 minutes ago, Twee Pinks said:

That's an interesting point.  I note that all the people I can think of came to SW long before they came out (and I would guess long before most identified as trans, though I don't want to make any assumptions there).

 

Well, part of that may be that we're more likely to know someone is trans in the first place if they come out while they're a member of the community. It's entirely possible there have been trans people we don't know about who just never felt the need to mention it.

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Edgwyn   
Posted (edited)

 

Kelandon, I spent four years in the Bay Area in the 80s/90s and I knew one.  But the area that I spent all my time in was rather limited (not H-A or Castro) and of course anyone is orders of magnitude more likely to be out today than they were when you were there, much less when I was there.

 

Sylae, I do not have any improvements to your statistics.  The only thing that shocks me is that 139 separate people posted here 10 or more times in the last five months.  My impression would have been of a much lower number of active users, which would of course make the percentage of trans users even higher.

 

Dintiridan, I think that different aspects of the 80s geek culture were a little more open to women than others.  Dumping some unrelated groups in together, the SCA/Renaissance Fair/Berkeley neo-pagans seemed to have a relatively healthy number of females.  The SF community was not as healthy, although the Star Trek community (despite ST:TOS's lack of good female roles) seemed to attract a fair number of women and a very good number of women authors.  D&D and the computer culture seemed to be at the very bottom of inclusivity which of course makes the Spidweb numbers and the number of women active members of the forums more interesting.

Edited by Edgwyn
corrections

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Lilith   
3 hours ago, Edgwyn said:

Dintiridan, I think that different aspects of the 80s geek culture were a little more open to women than others.  Dumping some unrelated groups in together, the SCA/Renaissance Fair/Berkeley neo-pagans seemed to have a relatively healthy number of females.  The SF community was not as healthy, although the Star Trek community (despite ST:TOS's lack of good female roles) seemed to attract a fair number of women and a very good number of women authors.  D&D and the computer culture seemed to be at the very bottom of inclusivity which of course makes the Spidweb numbers and the number of women active members of the forums more interesting.

 

Interestingly, I've heard from a number of people who were into D&D in the very early days, back in the 70s, that there were quite a lot of women playing D&D back then and their numbers gradually declined throughout the 80s and 90s. There are some specific events you can point to as contributing factors, like the rise of V:tM (which tended to attract a higher proportion of women), but I think it's also an example of a more general cultural pattern where a new hobby or industry can resolve into a boys' club. (You can see similar statistics in the number of women studying computer science in universities, for example: initial numbers on par with the number of men, followed a sharp decline that's only now beginning to reverse.)

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Dikiyoba   
On 7/9/2017 at 7:04 AM, sylae said:

I mean, I know at least 8 trans people who frequent or have frequented this board...if we put all the trans people into our own subforum we would probably have more activity than, like, all of nethergate.

 

"Having more activity than Nethergate" means very little, though. A subforum consisting entirely of posts made by cats walking on the keyboard would have more activity than Nethergate. :p

 

 

On 7/9/2017 at 7:00 AM, Iffy said:

Coming out as trans is a spiderweb tradition now? :p

 

Coming out as a woman is an old Spiderweb tradition. Being trans as well is just a new wrinkle to it.

 

Dikiyoba thinks that's the reason we have more trans women/CAMAB non-binary people on SW. Before people starting coming out as transgender, the community was significantly biased toward men, with women being something of a rarity. There's just not nearly as many members who could theoretically be trans men/CAFAB non-binary people.

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Edgwyn   
1 hour ago, Lilith said:

 

Interestingly, I've heard from a number of people who were into D&D in the very early days, back in the 70s, that there were quite a lot of women playing D&D back then and their numbers gradually declined throughout the 80s and 90s. There are some specific events you can point to as contributing factors, like the rise of V:tM (which tended to attract a higher proportion of women), but I think it's also an example of a more general cultural pattern where a new hobby or industry can resolve into a boys' club. (You can see similar statistics in the number of women studying computer science in universities, for example: initial numbers on par with the number of men, followed a sharp decline that's only now beginning to reverse.)

I started playing D&D around 1981 or so, so I missed the 70s and the boxed sets.  I was taught by my female neighbor who was 8-10 years older than I.  The group at the local hobby shop was all guys.  Of the people who I played with (all within one year of my age), you probably had 6 active male players, 1 active female player and a bunch of casual male players, so the one female player was pretty out numbered.  Of course this is all anecdotal.  I went to three or four conventions in the mid to late 80s and while there were females there, the ratio was pretty off.  I had the impression that some of the other RPGs at the time (like Champions) had a few more female players than D&D did, but again, I do not have any actual statistics.

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It's interesting that there were and are differences both between genres, and within genres.  CCGs have always felt to me like one of the most gender-unbalanced geek genres -- and pretty sexist and you-name-it-phobic even in the oughts -- but that was less true of L5R or Pokemon, say, than it was of Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh.

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4 hours ago, Lilith said:

 

Interestingly, I've heard from a number of people who were into D&D in the very early days, back in the 70s, that there were quite a lot of women playing D&D back then and their numbers gradually declined throughout the 80s and 90s. There are some specific events you can point to as contributing factors, like the rise of V:tM (which tended to attract a higher proportion of women), but I think it's also an example of a more general cultural pattern where a new hobby or industry can resolve into a boys' club. (You can see similar statistics in the number of women studying computer science in universities, for example: initial numbers on par with the number of men, followed a sharp decline that's only now beginning to reverse.)

It's a definite pattern, yes. If you read scans of Golden Age comics, you'll see ads targeting men and women both (or boys and girls, at least). But that changed over time, and the switch from newsstands to the much more insular comic book stores certainly didn't help. The rise of digital comics has come with a surge in female readership.

 

And now I'm wondering if the rise of arcades had a similar effect on video gamer demographics -- how would the split for Magnavox or early Atari or other pre-arcade consoles compare with the split for post-arcade consoles like Nintendo or Sega?

 

Re: CompSci: not only is that the trend over the decades, it's also the trend as the degree progresses. Female enrollment is high (relatively speaking) in the early year, but drops steadily in years two, three, and four. In graduate programs, female enrollment jumps up again for year one, but then drops over time.


As for the general trend, there's been no lack of speculation why this is the case, and agonizing over how we should try to reverse it. One major cause (in my mind) is that the focus of the field has shifted. In its infancy, it was a lot more mathematics-based, and female enrollment matched what you'd see in other math departments. Over time, it's become more and more like engineering (certainly when it comes to public perception), and female enrollment has dropped to what you usually see in engineering. The other major factor is that while there was no "computer culture" among the general population in the fifties and sixties, that stopped being the case with the advent of consoles, arcades, and personal computers. CompSci began to draw from people who grew up using those things, and since they were predominantly boys...

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Golden Age comics were directed at an older demographic.  While children read them, they were meant for adults as were newspaper comic strips.

 

Personal experience when I started playing D&D in 1979 in college, the only women in groups were girl friends of men playing the game.  A few years later in off campus groups, there were more women but there were about half playing with a boyfriend or relative in the group.  Even in what I read online in Knights of the Dinner Table about groups emphasizes family members and relationships for women players as a way of getting introduced to gaming.  With men you hear more about them entering from friends or location like school, military, or prison. 

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Sudanna   
Posted (edited)
Quote

With these additions that were new to me (btw -- serious congrats to all of you as well!) I think I can count at least 11 current and former members who identify as trans.  I think that's too high to be observation bias (or "expression bias" kind of like what Randomizer described).  And these members span the whole history of the forums -- including the earlier years when more unfriendly behavior was tolerated.

 

Clearly, it's just that both trans stuff and video games tend to have disproportionate numbers of people on the autism spectrum.

Edited by Sudanna
typo. also i don't think i've ever done a coming out thing on spiderweb? or anywhere, i try to avoid it. i'm nonbinary amab and have taken anti-androgens for 5.5 years and estrogen for 1.5.

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mung   
On 7/9/2017 at 3:45 PM, SLARTY/SLARTY said:

 including the earlier years when more unfriendly behavior was tolerated.

 

I thought we were pretty friendly back then? Only negative I can remember is getting yelled at for asking what the password to that damned cave was in Exile II. 

 

Or are you referencing to after they took out Misc? 

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It's not that most people weren't friendly, but there were nonetheless more unfriendly pointy bits on the map.

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Edgwyn   

This weekend I happened to be looking at the few comic books that I retained (all bronze age).  The older ones were purchased in a more accessible location, but their ads tended towards tween/teen boy oriented (toy soldiers, x-ray glasses, Mr. Atlas).  The later bronze age ones were purchased in specialty stores and had more ads for computer games and TSR publications (a lot of D&D).  

 

For 1970s/1980s arcade games and home console games, there were very few that were considered "appealing to females", and I remember the arcade culture as being primarily male with the occasional girl friend being present.  That said, my wife had an Atari 2600 until the mid 90s, but I do not remember them being nearly as common with my female friends as my male friends.  For computer games, Sierra-on-line was female owned, and I remember in being a big deal when King's Quest iV had a female protagonist.  

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mung   
Posted (edited)

Try as I might, I can't imagine a thing about video games that would make it lean towards one gender or the other (excluding "recent" trends of oversexualization and ultraviolence, etc.). I wonder why it was staked out as "male" even at the very beginning? 

 

I can only find pretty skewed articles about it but it appears that it began as a product marketed at adults and children separately, pong at the bar, pong at home with the kids, etc. Then due to cost, they had to pick a single target audience. Maybe it's just a symptom of the rigid social norms of gender at the time? 

 

20 hours ago, The Color of Her said:

It's not that most people weren't friendly, but there were nonetheless more unfriendly pointy bits on the map.

 

I was just a little'n back then. I probably didn't even notice. 

Edited by mung

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Edgwyn   

I think that it had a lot more to do with expectations of gender roles than caring if women wanted them.  A lot of the early games involved sports or shooting things and "women/girls don't like sports or shooting things", which while not true on an individual level still has a degree of accuracy on a statistical level (the cause for the difference in preferences can of course be debated).  I do believe that certain games, like PacMan did better and of course Ms. PacMan was "radical" in that it put you into a female character. 

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Kelandon   
4 hours ago, mung said:

(excluding "recent" trends of oversexualization and ultraviolence, etc.).

I mean, sexualization and violence in video games are trends that go back to at least the '80s. They've gotten more extreme as games have gotten more elaborate, but they were there a long time ago. (Was that what the scare quotes were intended to indicate? It seemed unclear.)

4 hours ago, mung said:

I was just a little'n back then. I probably didn't even notice. 

It's hard not to notice when two-fisted fury is directed at you.

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I agree about cultural expectations of gender roles -- and if you look at game content you can see just how deeply these were embedded.  Nearly every game featured a male protagonist, and once more games were released targeting children in the mid-80's, damsel-in-distress setups became ubiquitous.  For example, here's a list of some seminal NES games that all involved rescuing a captive woman (often a literal damsel, and usually the male protagonist's love interest):

 

Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Ghosts n' Goblins, Wizards & Warriors, Bubble Bobble, Ninja Gaiden, Kid Icarus, Kung Fu, Hydlide, Dragon's Lair, Double Dragon, Adventure Island, Adventures of Lolo, Mickey Mousecapade, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tiny Tune Adventures, Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers, The Battle of Olympus, River City Ransom, Battletoads

 

As you can see, this runs through many of the most prominent games.  Metroid subverted this with a female protagonist -- but then turned her into a sex object by creating an ending where she takes off her clothes.

 

So I think there is some intentionality here: the intentionality of adults wanting to pass on their concept of gender roles to the next generation.  (We can be glad, I guess, that  it didn't work as well as it might have.)

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