The Escape Game

Eve Online pod

It’s been busy, and I’ve been thinking of escape. Of packing a few small things, and just driving off…

I won’t do it, though. I’m too well behaved!

In America, there is a literary tradition of men disappearing — shirking their responsibilities, usually to family. Hitting the road. These men — walk-out fathers — are usually canonized for seeking the freedom they desire — deserve, even.

There is no similar tradition that lionizes women making similar choices. The media respond with shock when a mother leaves her children (even if they’re safe with their father) and goes off to pursue her career or life 2.0. It’s newsworthy!

I don’t want to make the mistake of celebrating anyone who walks away from their children. But I also recognize that these decisions are made by stressed out, burned out parents who see no other alternative, no escape.

Escape. The word makes me think of my favorite game genre — MMOs. These, along with other games, can be a healthy way to let off steam, momentarily lead an alternate life, with few consequences.

Cali from Diary of a Guild Leader recently shared a story, Girl Gamers are Cool, about how men — especially ~10 years ago or so, were so impressed to see a woman passionately engaged with the MMO genre. She was a curiosity, an outlier. And cool because of it.

Exciting as it is to be considered ‘cool,’ I’d like to see a world where it’s not cool (or uncool!) for a woman to be an MMO gamer*. I think we’re getting there, too — despite Gamergate and similar nonsense.

Gaming is more mainstream, that’s part of it. I’m no longer surprised to meet other women in-game. Perhaps, the steady increase of women in MMOs will also mainstream the idea that women need and deserve an outlet, as much as their male counterparts.

As a woman, as a mother, I’m still reluctant to admit that I’m a gamer, and particularly an MMO gamer. As if that makes me a worse woman, or mother. As if that makes me a walk-out.

It doesn’t. MMOs allow me to stay.

* Cali will still be cool, in any case!

I’m participating in Blaughust: Reborn, a celebration of blogging for the month of August, 2018. If you’d like to learn more, or participate, you can learn more over on Belghast’s post on Tales of the Aggronaut.

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