Thursday, May 31, 2012

What’s in a Game?

I recently found out that my 11 year-old daughter has been playing World of Warcraft.  Evidently, she found a way to play X number of sessions for free.
WoW_babe

Now, I know just enough about WoW that I would absolutely forbid any male progeny I had to get anywhere near it.  Get off your ass and play a sport!  But a girl?  I speak from complete ignorance, but it’s a little less clear to me what the harm is.  Thoughts?
Truth be told, I’m kinda proud that she has the mind for something like WoW, which I understand to be somewhat involved.  I barely have the time and energy at the end of the day for a 22 minute sitcom, let alone managing a whole MMORPG existence.

Apropos of WoW, I got a kick out of this one in a silly sort of way:

6 comments:

Justin said...

There are zillions of things a girl should be doing instead of wasting time on a gateway drug experience like WoW. Think of it as Farmville on steroids.

Dr. Φ said...

A gateway!?! You mean there's worse than WoW?

Yeah, sure, there's lots of better things to do. The trick is getting girls to do them in their free time.

samsonsjawbone said...

It sounds like your daughter is becoming the kind of girl that nerds everywhere dream about! Whether you want her to be the kind of girl that nerds dream about is up to you, I guess.

Dr. Φ said...

That's the question, isn't it.

My first thought is, better that than being the kind of girl jocks dream about, since, being a nerd myself, I don't think of nerds as threatening. OTOH, it's not obvious that girls pay much of a social penalty for being a nerd like boys do. If a girls is cute, smart, and amiable, what else is going to matter? Bbut I could be wrong about that.

One thing I'm working on is pulling her out of her own head when she's around strangers. I've explained, "look, when you're little, and don't respond to people around you, people will just realize you're immature. But after a certain point, people will start taking it personally. I know I do."

samsonsjawbone said...

OTOH, it's not obvious that girls pay much of a social penalty for being a nerd like boys do. If a girls is cute, smart, and amiable, what else is going to matter?

Well, yeah. What I meant was more
like, do you really want a nerdly son-in-law? You alluded to this, of course, saying that you don't find nerds threatening, and maybe you wouldn't really mind.

And there are other variables in all this: for example, "nerd" girls don't always date other nerds per se.

"look, when you're little, and don't respond to people around you, people will just realize you're immature. But after a certain point, people will start taking it personally. I know I do."

I was in medical school, getting the occasional poor evaluation for my cold "bedside manner", before I ever realized that people sometimes mistake my introversion for haughtiness. It's a tough battle to act like you're not an introvert when you are one.

By the way, the music video is straight-up ass-kicking. I was expecting something a lot cheesier.

Dr. Φ said...

[P]eople sometimes mistake my introversion for haughtiness.

My wife told me the same thing, saying that her impression of me, before we started dating, was that I was aloof and standoffish. On one level, I thought, this was so unfair since I took a beating every time I wasn't standoffish. My daughter doesn't have this excuse: as a pretty blonde girl, people will always want to engage with her.

On another level, I realize this is hypocritical, judging other people by a standard I reject for myself.

As for my daugher's future husband, nerdiness is mostly orthogonal to my preferred criteria. And I realize (after repeated disappointments) that male nerdiness doesn't especially inspire the attraction of even female nerds. But surely it is useful for a young woman to be well thought of by nerds, especially when it doesn't otherwise repel non-nerds.