Although the FPS hardcore put on a show of unflinching bravery in the face of scary horror games like Doom 3, there’s one thing that’s always sure to induce nervous cold sweats, and that’s the presence of the fairer sex. Indeed, at this year’s QuakeCon event in Texas, competitors were distracted by an unprecedented number of female attendees.
Feeling disenfranchised by the misogynist nature of the online FPS gaming community, a faction of 30 lady gamers decided to set up their own unofficial competition within QuakeCon – the Ms. QuakeCon competition. Although there’s no inherent biological reason why females can't compete with males on an equal playing field, apparently the initiative was intended to protect the insecurities of certain male players. Reminiscing upon anecdotes of being booted off gaming servers just for winning, bronze medal winner Keri Collier said in an interview with CNN money “You don’t have to worry about someone getting upset just because they got beat by a girl!” Tsk, as if!
Whilst the winners of the full tournament scooped $25,000 each for their respective Doom 3 and Quake 3 Arena skills, the winner of this year’s Ms. QuakeCon - a certain 14 year old cheerleader tagged 'Suga', took home a measly $150 along with a few other goodies. However, next year’s event may be a more extravagant affair.
Observing the way in which the hordes of over-excited adolescent males were gawping at every girl at the show and setting up involuntary online beauty contests, the event organisers are keen to build on this new focus of interest. Acknowledging the fact that plenty of females do occasionally play games like Doom or Quake (not just The Sims and Mary-Kate and Ashley titles), iD plans on taking the obvious next step.
Marty Stratton, in charge of iD’s business development, made the logical comment, “The ultimate goal of the sponsors and the Quakecon staff is to grow things that the fans enjoy, and it has become apparent that they enjoy the Ms. QuakeCon tournament.” So it would seem that this time next year, Quakecon will fully incorporate female entrants, and presumably put some more substantial prizes up for grabs.