Gamer Gurl – it’s a phrase that’s bound to make eyeballs glaze or roll in disgust, depending on your particular persuasion. In the world of videogames it’s come to mean a lot of things, especially if you take the accompanying photos – usually sultry-eyed “gurls” handling gamepads wearing practically nothing – at face value. Yes, it’s gender-stereotyping at its most base level, but in a world of simplistic public relations fueled by the mantra that ‘sex sells’, few things are easier than appealing to the lowest common denominator: sex, sex, sex!
Meet Pamela Horton, a self-proclaimed avid gamer and gym rat (proving the two aren’t mutually exclusive) who also happens to be Playboy Magazine’s Playmate of the Month (that’s Miss October to you), making the transition from nude model to superstar. From misleading headlines to misleading assumptions, our revealing chat with the multi-talented Horton shows there’s more to her than just high-definition beauty, and what it’s like be a “gamer gurl” in multiple industries known for pushing sex to throngs of randy men.
Curious adults wanting to know more can pick up the latest issue of Playboy Magazine featuring Pamela Horton right HERE!
How did you get your start with modeling? Was it a passion of yours you wanted to follow for a while now? Was becoming a Playmate a dream come true?
When I was 18, a photographer suggested I try to do a photoshoot with him seeing my pictures on MySpace. When I went and shot with him we both discovered my natural knack for modeling. I don’t know method modeling or anything like that, it just comes out of me.
I’ve gotten to know you through several of your interviews that have already been posted as well as the information on your Facebook page and various online profiles. To be frank, the promotional text from the PR blast doesn’t seem at all as if it would fit with your personality. As a gamer, surely you’re familiar with the hostility women face when it comes to the extremely tired “real versus fake” gamer debate.
It doesn’t make sense that you’d say something so blindly rage-inducing, so was that really you? Did you actually say “I love being known as every gamer guy’s dream” or was that straight from the mouths of marketing?
It is implied that I am single to keep the interest up when in fact I am not. I have been in a relationship with my (very supportive) boyfriend for 3 years after having gone to high school together. I believe I said I enjoy being MY gamer guys dream girl. It really does make me feel sexy to know that my boyfriend sees me as his gamer model. The quote was tailored not only to imply I was single but to fit the page. I’m not conceited in that sense and don’t say stuff like that. (I also don’t commonly say I want a guy who’s “not afraid to hit the gym with me”.)
Women who model or associate themselves with sex in any form while also dabbling with other forms of media are often disrespected and viewed with contempt. Do you feel the negative backlash you’ve gotten across multiple video game websites is attributed to this or do you think it was the choice of wording for the press release that sparked a debate between whether or not you’re “genuine” or only looking to curry favor within the game industry?
For starters, I get completely different reactions when I say I’m a nude model and when i say I was featured in Playboy. A lot of people have this misguided sense that playboy is porn when it isn’t. I’ve been doing tasteful artistic nudes since I was 18, and see nothing wrong with it. There was no change from what I was doing before and what I did for Playboy. One is just on a national platform. And just because the chance of a model having a gamer side is so minute in this modern age, doesn’t mean I am any less of a gamer than I am. People have to realize that there are so few “gamer playmates” that media doesn’t really know how to market that although they sure want to. It’s such a rarity. But I have public accounts and streams that I play with my fans (or viewed by my fans) so they can see for themselves.
As a Playmate, do you think video game culture accurately and fairly depicts sexual relationships and empowers women to feel comfortable with their sexuality? The “strong, sexy, gurlz are kickass too” female character opinion is hackneyed – level with me. Does baring skin equate to sexual empowerment if it’s not attached to true liberation in the narrative as a whole?
Not from my stand point. Gaming companies are still trying to appeal to men, not women. Women are still objectified in games. Their breasts are the size of their heads and their waists are pencil thin. They have long long legs and perfect hair. Whereas the men have facial scruff, scars, burns, maybe a bit bigger or “masculine” so guys feel all bad ass when playing. I was pleasantly surprised to see the female characters in Gears of War 3 (even the queen) look “normal.” I imagine people would point fingers and say. “You have no right to say anything about being objectified, you’ve posed nude for playboy!” Even though I have posed nude, I’m not like your average woman. I know nothing about fashion or make up. I wear jeans and a t-shirt on a daily basis and never wear make-up unless I have to.
In short, there is no empowerment in showing skin in gaming. I want to see female characters with scars and average features. That is the true empowerment of women in gaming when women are accepted for what they are and not cup size or conditioner.
What would you expect to see in a game made to explore adult sexuality?
I don’t think gaming is a platform for exploring adult sexuality. The women in gaming are already idolized in that sense. (Rule 34, no exceptions) And plus younger and younger generations are being exposed to these stereotypes and miss proportionate sexual ideals, that making a game out of it is acknowledging that as acceptable and it isn’t.
You mentioned in your spread that you’d love to work for a well-known video game company as a character designer. What’s your dream company and why?
Riot Games is slowly becoming my favorite game company. They do so much for their fans and even though they are growing they have those same core ideals. When Riot has an issue and it causes a problem in a game, you get a Loss Forgiven instead of a Defeat in your match history. They give out prizes and boosts for server problems. They even have a Summoner Showcase to feature the art and creations of their fans. I think being apart of that team would be amazing.
Have you considered parlaying your modeling career success into work for said companies in any related field as a jumping-off point?
I’m in talks with a couple different companies for that very reason. 🙂
Are there any comic series you’re currently following?
Not at the moment. I am a fan of Marvel X-men though 🙂
What new releases are you looking forward to and why?
Games? God of War Ascension, Assassins Creed 3, just got Pokémon Black 2 and am still enjoying Mists of Pandaria.
Where do you see yourself in the next ten years? Do you hope to carve out a path for yourself within the game industry?
I hope to get my foot in the door at a company so I can go back to school to finish my degree in Illustration. Then I can apply to be a Character Designer and enjoy my career and love working!