A couple of things. First, Richard Cobbett has written a side-splitting article that will teach anyone how to write the perfect article about women and video games. If you aren't aware, the consummate article about women in video games is one of the most popular cliches in gaming journalism, and I can't say that I haven't committed some of those cliches myself when I was in gaming journalism. I believe the subject of women who play video games, why they do, and what they look for in a video game as opposed to men is still an interesting subject, but it's very difficult to write about it without reducing it to a page of tired and rehashed bullet points that include Lara Croft, men playing a female avatar for a day in an MMORPG, and how women -- as if we're one amorphous blob of conformity -- want heavy social interaction in their games. Richard Cobbett highlights all of these in his great satirical article.

Recently I was approached by a friend at GameSpy that I used to work with; he and I had talked in the past about a good regular column about gaming and women in games done right, and he recently asked me if I was interested in doing it and if I'd do a sample article for them. To be honest, I've been struggling with writing something that doesn't fit the cliches. I'm still trying to decide what kind of article would fit into such a column that I'd be happy with writing. My feeling is that there's value in an article that discusses video games from a woman's perspective. I do believe that while all women are different -- as Hellchick I, along with Stevie "Killcreek" Case and a few others, have been the token female first-person shooter gamer examples of women who don't fit the assumption of what women want out of video games -- there are some very interesting sociological areas of discussion having to do with gender and video games. How to explore these in a regular column without being a qualified sociologist myself is the trick; I don't want to just write a regular column about what games I'm currently playing.

The other thing I wanted to mention is the cool gaming bracelet featured in the picture above. A friend at work saw this charm bracelet featured on Girlz Gaming House -- the charms are weapons from Quake 4, the game we made at Raven. A bunch of us loved it. It turns out that the web site was having a contest and these were the prizes, so I entered, and apparently a couple of other colleagues did, too. And the shameful thing is that I pulled out all the stops -- I namedropped like a shameless hussy, including "Hellchick" and "Raven Software" and "We made Quake 4" in my contest entry.

The guy running the site wrote all three of us from Raven who entered and said that he'd be happy to just send us some bracelets. We got them the other day and they're fantastic! I'm planning to put mine proudly on my purse.