Frag... Who?

Recently, the staff was contacted by a member of the press, asking us to give their opinions about the Fragdolls and Ubisoft's efforts to attract girls into gaming, for an article featured in a California newspaper. Now, I've never written an editorial before, but after our opinions were left out of the article (aside from two comments by Nikki), I thought that I would make my thoughts public and what better place to do it than right here.

Until this email from a reporter, I had never heard of the Fragdolls. I spent some time browsing their website and reading the content, and I kept getting this feeling that the entire thing was scripted. I couldn't help but think that it was all just an act, especially the staged photos of the girls in glamour poses.

The scant information on the site about games is written in the form of blogs, and they're all tales of how their gaming sessions went, when it's not a description of how their day went or whatever else they feel like writing about. There's nothing there to make anyone think "Oh, ok, this seems like a good game, I might give it a try". And blogs? Not exactly professional journalism, if you ask me.

The Fragdolls also seem to be promoting only the FPS genre. From my contacts with other girl gamers, I've learned that this isn't a style that most girls are into. Why not promote RPGs or micromanagement games, things that most women really do play and care for?

I bet you won't see any of the Fragdolls leading a successful EQ raiding guild (been there, done that), it seems that something more complicated than run and shoot isn't their thing.

They also state they are here to get guys "used to being beaten by a girl". Checking their clan stats for Halo 2 on bungie.net, we can clearly see that this is not the case, and that they really don't kick that much ass as they say they do.

I dare go even further and compare us to them. There is one major difference between us and the Fragdolls, and to some of you this may come as a surprise too. We have no monetary compensation. We do this because we enjoy it. We play all sorts of games, we write about them and we love every minute of it. We hope our reviews might convince other girls (and even guys) to play these games.

They're in it because they applied (there was a sort of an 'ad' posted on craigslist.com) for a paying job under a company with a big name (Ubisoft).

So let's get real, they don't get paid to play games. They get paid to advertise them. To me, that's no different than the lady in the supermarket offering you a sample of a new kind of pizza. Or better yet call them action booth-babes.

A bunch of "pretty" girls in tight t-shirts playing first person shooters isn't the way to attract more women to gaming. However, they will absolutely attract more guys, which is apparently what Ubisoft is trying to do.Ubisoft is only preserving a stereotype here: that the only girls who play games are good-looking ones, and that those who are not shouldn't make themselves public.

Following this train of thought, maybe if I had a picture of me showing a lot of cleavage on my profile, could I also claim to be attracting women to play video games? Like this is some kind of credibility?

In the newspaper article, one of these girls said that they don't have to leave their femininity behind or give up being a girl to play games. Does this mean that all of us girls should slip into pink pj's and bunny slippers, with a moisturizing mask on our faces and rollers in our hair, and then sit and play a game? And we also need to talk about fashion and boys? Because playing games is NOT feminine, so we must convince the world that as gamers we are still feminine girls? Please...

You know what? I like it when my husband's friends come over and we all sit and play Halo 2 or any other multiplayer action/RPG, even MMOs. I like it when they say I'm "one of the guys". I don't even mind them calling me "dude". It doesn't make me feel any less of a girl, because when I'm playing with them, I'm just a gamer.

Finally, to the journalist who contacted us, if you're not going to use our comments and opinions, why bother asking in the first place? The end result of this article turned out to be nothing but a piece of favoritism. I mean, bad journalism.

The Fragdolls claim they're here to represent women in gaming. I'd very much like to be left out of their representation. I can represent myself better here at and without a big corporate name sponsoring me while I play games wearing lots of lipstick and a tube top.