Writing on a predominately male staffed site can be trying at times. There are the posters, the jokes, and of course the cosplay “articles” that give them an excuse to post half-naked women dressed up as game characters. It’s something I’ve accepted because I’m still new to gaming myself. I understand that even though there are a lot of female gamers out there, the community and culture is designed for and by men.
Being new to the culture of gaming and wanting to find a female niche or group - I was very excited when I heard about the Frag Dolls. One of my bosses gave me the heads up and said she had heard of them and they’re supposed to be all about promoting the concept of females in the game industry and gaming as a whole. So once I got a little down time I hit the trusty Google and found their site immediately. I wasn’t too enthused by the row of images below the first search result though (Google shows you image results if there’s a lot related to your search).
I quickly found out what I’m sure most already knew since the group has been around for almost six years and now exists in three forms thanks to a new “French Team”. They appear to just be an advertisement tool by Ubisoft, used to attract male gamers. Wanting to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions, I checked out their website and the “About Us” section where the site claimed the girls are, “…female gamers recruited by Ubisoft to promote their video games and represent the presence of women in the game industry.” So my boss was right, I guess? Except what exactly is it about a group of girls wearing tank tops, baby Tees, or half shirts that promotes women in the industry?
I again wanted to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions about these “girl gamers”. The Frag Dolls do seem to do semi-well in tournaments with Ubisoft games they have access to 24/7 well in advance of other teams in tournaments they’re guaranteed entry to. But outside of that, they’re really nothing more than booth babes (with some more meat on the bones) who travel to game shows to promote Ubisoft games. That part makes sense because Ubisoft is footing the bill and put the whole thing together. But it begs the question, Isn’t there a large enough number of actual female gamers in the industry and gaming community now to be well beyond this kind of fake advertising?
There’s nothing wrong with booth babes or using sex to sell your games. I minored in marketing and completely get what sells product. But I also learned honesty while studying journalism and Marketing at TCU. Does anyone really think Ubisoft put together the best possible female team? Simply put, I was able to find female gamer groups like the interestingly named “PMS Clan” which is almost as well known as the Frag Dolls. However the Frag Dolls only serve to be semi-decent gamers who wear half-Tees to attract young men to games. They’re far from what they claim to be, which is “…female gamers recruited by Ubisoft to promote their video games and represent the presence of women in the game industry.” Based on the images on their site, the only females they might lure to their site are ones interested in the same thing as the men who visit FragDolls.com.