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5-31-2009 @ 4:54PM
"...they are obviously a very confused individual who probably assumed that the only way to get fast attention was to be a "OMG HAWT GAMER GURL!!!!1!!!!111" "This is obviously not the first time this has happened on the internet, and it won't be the last. But the situation -- and your comment on it -- reminds me of a political blogger some years back who called herself "Cute Conservative Chick" (or something very similar, if memory serves). That particular blogger saw a female identity as a way to rise quickly to the top of the political blogosphere, and he was right -- within a few short weeks he was getting links from Instapundit and the other major right-wing blogs, and became a fixture of the Pajamas Media blog circuit until it was revealed that he was in fact a guy. In that case, like this one, the fatal mistake was in getting the details wrong -- he'd claimed he was a recent graduate of Vassar College, and as his female blogger identity began to be called into question, some very basic legwork on the Vassar campus and with its student directory proved the blogger was definitely not a female Vassar student. Ultimately, the guy behind the ruse was revealed.I have a journalism degree and a minor in linguistics, but I am no Noam Chomsky and I am frequently wrong, so take this with a grain of salt. But it seems to me, by intuition only, that the current mea culpa on Ferraro's blog was written by a man. The phrasing, the choice of words used in reference to the female gender, and the aggressive tone of the post all play into it, but again I stress this is intuition only. For what it's worth, I ran the post through The Gender Genie (http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.php) and the analysis leans toward a female author, with an unusually high number of "male keywords" as well. Take that with a grain of salt too, because the Gender Genie has been known to identify some male bloggers as female, and vice versa.I've called Ferraro's gender into question before, and I know others have been questioning Ferraro's gender for some time as well. It's been my experience that the majority of female gamers try to remain ambiguous about their gender, for the simple reason that they'd rather not be bothered or singled out, but WoW is almost an exception to that rule by the very nature of the game. In other words, in an MMO a person who's perceived as female is more likely to get help with quests, more likely to be excused for things like subpar DPS and more likely to get "free shit." But in a genre like RTS, aside from in-game tributes there's no concrete advantage a player can gain from claiming to be female. That's due to the very nature of the genre -- everyone starts out with the same stuff, everyone has to make due with the same stuff, and if a teammate is getting hammered he's no more likely to be able to devote resources toward a team member if that teammate is female instead of male. You're either in a position to help, or you're not. But in an MMO? Possibilities abound.Lastly, I'm sure the WoW Insider staff has at least one or two people familiar with the concept of subnetting and classful addresses, but I would caution that any IP analysis should take into account the range of dynamic IPs associated with Ferraro, and whether they all fall into the Class C node partition of the octets. I'm not saying you have to break it down into binary (although that would be helpful) but it would tell us for certain whether those dynamic IPs are indeed part of the same subnet, and it would be worth knowing whether that "small ISP" is entirely local and who it shares the remainder of the classful octets with. Although I do not think the alleged "eight Ferraros" would go to such extreme lengths as to use a tunnel, it would be interesting to know if they did.Either way, solid work on investigating this. Let it not be said that I don't give credit where its due, and Holisky has done a nice job backing up his assertions with fact and hard data. If for nothing else, this is a very interesting story.
5-31-2009 @ 6:11PM
I have replied to my own comment on the first page, the one you quoted, if you're at all interested.
5-31-2009 @ 11:31PM
Meh, as a female gamer, I'm going to have to call BS on some of your assumptions. Yes, there are some "gamergurrrlz lolz!" who have no compunction using their boobs and whatnot to get ahead in online games, or to draw attention to themselves as an egotrip to bask in the worship of lonely fanboys. But, in all my years of online RPG gaming, from PBeM Planescape and Shadowrun campaigns to MUDs and MUSHes to the modern MMORPG, it's been my experience that the vast majority of female gamers want to be judged on our skill and gaming abilities alone and not our gender. We want to be treated like everyone else, and not ride on some dude's coattails.More often than not, those of us who are ambiguous about our gender in-game do so because we don't want any of that alleged special treatment. Some of us, particularly those of us who are conventionally pretty, really struggle to be taken seriously, precisely because of the sexism and stereotypes out there. If I do shitty DPS in a raid, judge me as a bad warlock/mage/pally/whatever, not as a yet another incompetent broad. Conversely, if I top the meters, pick up mobs when the tank dies or otherwise save the group from a wipe, I don't want to hear, "wow, you're good for a chick". Fortunately, I'm in a guild and on a server where I don't feel uncomfortable being open about my gender or getting on Vent. Sadly, there are a lot of women on WoW who play in environments where that is not the case.Personally, I've always played both male and female toons as a matter of course in my gaming career, both for RP and also aesthetics (I hate how most male toons look on WoW so I only have a pair of male belves). But I also have a thick skin about this kind of thing simply because I've been doing it so long, I play what the hell I want where the hell I want and I don't let anyone give me grief about anything, whether it's my gender, orientation or anything else. OTOH, my GF has had so many bad experiences with sexist jerks over the years that she intentionally rolls the least attractive toons possible so the troglodytes will leave her be.My first reaction to this story, after "lol internet", was "Jesus, 'lady', way to set us back." Which is probably unfair, but that's the truth. What annoys me about this Ferraro kerfluffle the most is the usual suspects will point to it as proof of their various effed up ideas about women gamers.
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