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contemporary engenderings

2009 April 19
by Ruth Goodlaxson

I’ve been thinking lately, we spent the past few weeks talking about video games and Second Life mostly. Like Anne, I felt somewhat relieved when we started talking about the effect of our gaming on the world. One of the reasons why Gold Farming is so disturbing to me, and maybe more disturbing than other sweat shops, is it’s based on seemingly nothing. Money is earned through interacting with moving images on a screen. Gold is created in the game, and then translated into real money – like exchanging Canadian dollars for American. But, other than this exchange, the game itself is not real in a physical, tangible way.

But there are engenderings of technology other than video games, and I’ve been wondering about those. We have mostly talked about things which are manifested on a computer or online, and seem to create an entire other world separate from our own, and we’ve blurred that distinction a lot. But there’s a lot of other gendered, contemporary technology out there. I’m curious about how things like gym equipment or cookware are differently gendered, and what effect that has on the world. Especially when you think about who has access to what – it’s much easier to get a solar cooker in the US than in the Sudan, but they would be of much more use there than here. I don’t think I have a solid point yet about this, but it’s something that I’ve been thinking about!

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