How Much Of A "Gamer" Is Playboy Model Jo Garcia?
You're just going to have to forgive me for this. I recognize the fantasy for gamers; I understand it better than most, as I've been part of video games since the Atari days, when girls and gaming went together like oil and water.
So yes, I get the fascination of an attractive female gamer. For those of us who grew up during a time when games were stigmatized and stereotyped like crazy, it's like finding an avid Dungeons & Dragons player who also poses for Playboy. It's like striking gold on Mars. I get it.
But there's this highly realistic and somewhat cynical part of me that won't shut up. It has to ask questions. It looks at all angles, it considers the nature of our society and most importantly in cases like these, the nature of business. Justin Bieber can't sing a note. Never really could. It's just artificially enhanced digital audio for the sake of selling an image, which results in a gajillion dollars by preying on naive teens. And no, it's not a generational bias; none of the New Kids on the Block could sing, either.
The point is that we sell packages when it comes to entertainment media. And while Jo Garcia would've received plenty of attention simply for being a Playboy model, the question remains- would she get as much attention without adding the unique appeal of "nerd love?" Look at the picture here: a "Tron" t-shirt and an Xbox 360 controller. Obviously, the packagers in this situation are aware of their targeted demographic, and by the way, so is Playboy. Check out the magazine's Gamer Next Door blog for Jo.
For the record, I am not questioning Garcia's video game past. I'm not doubting her when she says she grew up playing video games. However, I have to call into question her "hardcore gamer" label at the current time. It's just too convenient; she had the perfect opportunity to give herself a singular sort of attractiveness and she took advantage (either that, or her agent/manager did). Given her lifestyle, I find it difficult to believe that she hangs around the house playing video games and preparing reviews.
Of course her reviews are in video format. Everyone's going to watch that analysis. And I'm not saying she shouldn't do them, and I'm not saying she doesn't play the games she talks about. I'm just saying it might not be a big hobby for her anymore, and it might be a mistake to assume her gaming habits are just like yours. And as far as being a journalist goes, she isn't one, but that doesn't bother me. I have no problem with personalities being in the limelight; it's kinda what they do.
But when all is said and done, we may just have to accept that the "Gamer Next Door" is spending a bit more time attending events and in general, being outside the house, rather than sitting in front of a TV. But by all means, if you'd rather consider her a true-blue anomaly, feel free. I'd hate to pop the fantasy bubble.
P.S. By the way, Jo, your Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception review on the front page actually links to your Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 review. ...I could say something about Activison's involvement, but I'm sure it's not true. ;)
11/23/2011 9:01:40 PM Ben Dutka