Yesterday, Microsoft announced some shocking news: they're promoting Julie Larson-Green, who is a FEMALE HUMAN BEING, to the head of Xbox. The online gaming community is shocked. Reddit is shocked. The guy from "Red Dead Redemption" is shocked.
As has been extensively documented by the denizens of the web, having a penis is a prerequisite for enjoying and knowing things about video games, so whose genius idea was it to give this coveted position to a set of ovaries (plus a central nervous system, every other body part, consciousness, 20 years of experience with the company, a really impressive résumé, whatever, guys, she's a woman which means she has NO GAMING EXPERIENCE)?
According to Bloomberg, under this month's Microsoft reorganization, Larson-Green would "oversee hardware engineering for all devices, including Xbox gaming consoles and Surface tablets." As several commenters have pointed out at Reddit, the software side is more integral to the gaming experience anyways so tons of gaming experience isn't really a prerequisite; furthermore, she'll be overseeing game developers and consulting with marketing researchers — something she has a great deal of experience with, having overseen the development of Windows 7 and 8 — not just sitting around by herself in a room surrounded by the charred debris of Xbox Ones and saying, "Durr, what is video game, pass me tampon now?". That hasn't stopped some forums and gaming sites from devolving into sexist shit-shows, though. Over at N4G:
Great... Now their will be apps dedicated to baking and knitting...
A women may be at the head, but that isn't where most of the decision making gets done. You can bet your bottom dollar that there are plenty of people at MS working in the Xbox division who are highly skilled and passionate about what they do.
Just another figurehead. Easy on the eyes, too...
And at Gamespot:
love to get her in front of the Kinect spycam
HOT M.I.L.F GOT MY ANALOG STICK READY
why cant they get someone hotter... she looks old and wrinkly
Also, the argument of "she's not a serious gamer" is a bit ridiculous, because 1) what evidence does anyone even have for that, and 2) you know who doesn't have time to play a lot of video games in a very serious manner? High-ranking employees at Microsoft, that's who!
Considering all the sexism in the gaming community — between the sexual harassment female gamers experience during actual MMO gameplay and at conferences, the rape jokes, and the inability of the gaming community to take women seriously (even though they comprise half of all gamers!) — it's refreshing to see a woman in charge. And only time, not her chromosomes, will tell if she's up for the job.
"Gamers Can't Handle the New Female Head at Xbox" [The Atlantic Wire]
Image via AP.