Hi, I’m Angela Washko and I’m an artist making work in performance. I make interventions in both public spaces and digital public spaces.
For a long time I’ve been operating as the Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
I was going into World of Warcraft and talking to players about the way that the player base informally created a kind of culture around excluding women and even within this world that has this like incredible fantasy landscape—so many different types of characters that you can play—there was kind of a shift in that all of a sudden I was like, there’s so many women avatars running around.
I was like, Wow! There’s all these women playing World of Warcraft again. It’s amazing! But they’re all played by men.
So I started interviewing players specifically about that.
So at first I was really excited about this whole like “men-playing-women” thing. I was like, Oh, like they’re going to have such an interesting experience in WoW. People constantly whispering them sexual comments….—stuff like that.
But when I asked them they said, “I play a girl because I don’t want to look at a guy’s butt all day.” I have like a hundred screenshots of this answer.
That sort of shift in identity and in representation, and sort of projection in this space was super fascinating to me.
So a couple of the videos in the Council series are fully dedicated to discussing that phenomenon.