Internets, as you know, since I address you constantly as “internets”, I occasionally like to get my geek on.
For “occasionally”, let us read “all the time”.
So the other day I went to the comics store (Comics R Us, Bourke St, they are awesome), picked up my holds, and spotted a trade paperback entitled The Guild.
“Oooh!” I said*. “A comic book based on the hit cult web series written by and starring the exceptionally smart and funny Felicia Day?”
“That’s right!” he said. “The comic is actually written by Ms. Day and drawn by Jim Rugg, who illustrated The Plain Janes, one of your favourite YA comics. It is a prequel to the increasingly well-acted and always well-scripted web series that has awesome guest roles from Wil Wheaton and Teal Sherer, the latter of whom upon you have a giant girlcrush.”
“Oh my gosh,” I exclaimed. “A story explaining how the Knights of Good got together! You know, once someone told me I looked a bit like Felicia Day and I was totally thrilled. Although I have naturally wavy hair.”
“Um,” he said. “I can give you a small discount?”
Of course I bought the book and read it on the train home. Of course it is smart and funny and charming and beautifully drawn. And something I noticed, and found totally hilarious, is that the book highlights that the MMO Game that timid Cyd and her fellow Knights of Good play rewards normative feminine behaviours.
“And for killing stuff you get rewards, like clothing!” Codex enthuses. “Whose idea was that?! GENIUS!
It’s an open secret that the Game is actually World of Warcraft. Which I also play! With my naturally wavy hair! In fact, the second I got home from the comic book store, I was loading up much-anticipated expansion pack Cataclysm and taking my werewolf-in-a-top-hat for a ride.
Okay, so World of Warcraft is a game where female characters almost universally get massive racks and sexy /dance sequences. Armour that is full coverage on a male avatar often exposes cleavage and stomach on a female build, and jokes about female players are stupidly common on many servers. (Not mine. Proudmoore for life, yo.)
But it’s also a game where quests are rewarded with shiny new clothes and adorable animal companions. Where, to maximise your character’s usefulness and earning potential, they must learn how to cook food and wrap bandages. Where they can create useful (and pretty!) objects by practising handcrafts, picking flowers, and making jewellery. Where you get a much valued achievement for running around the world and hugging small animals.
Also, you can buy a flying pony made out of twinkly stars.
World of Warcraft. Often sexist. Totally girly.
* This dialogue is made up entirely. But I can assure you the actual conversation was no less informative and charming.