Sorry. I don’t have anything personal against Vinyl_Vixen over at The Kartel, but her recent article involving the many difficulties that us girl-gamers have is particularly intriguing. I don’t know how many of you are here, but speaking from personal experience, there are a lot of ways to avoid…more than half of these issues.
Ms. Vixen lists the following as her major complaints of being a girl-gamer:
–Being kicked from a game/match
–Angry Male Gamers
–Being Mistaken for a 10-year old boy
–Being hit on by nerds
Now I’ve been playing games since I was very young, before it was even remotely cool to play video games. Not a fact I openly advertise. I don’t typically play online matches, but when I have, I’ve been fairly careful to avoid 4/5 of these problems by following one, awesome principle.
It’s a game. You’re playing the game to have fun.
1. Avoid singling yourself out.
What’s the first thing that a potential hater sees when they see you in a lobby? Your gamertag/PSN ID. I’m all for being a proud lady, but naming yourself “badass_awesome_gamer_babe” is just asking for problems. Try going for a for neutral name that doesn’t imply gender or sexuality. If you use your name…well sorry, you’re out of luck there. Sure my current name might imply that I’m a male, but really now….who the f*ck cares? I won’t by griefed as much that way.
Look at members of the glbt community that make mention to their sexuality in their screen names? In all fairness, they probably get a lot more grief than women do. The best way to avoid being griefed is to avoid singling yourself out. A proactive ad campaign was issued to subway riders near where I live asking them not to wear white earbud headphones in the subway. Why? You’re singling yourself out by screaming “I JUST GOT A BRAND NEW iPOD AND IT IS IN MY POCKET RIGHT NOW.” But of course I really didn’t understand how any other colour of headphones was going to state any different.
2. Oh dear…when I talk, people think I’m a pre-pubescent boy.
Who am I kidding? This guy’s probably older than 10.
Well…are you? As a woman, I have a womanly voice–meaning I don’t sound like a dude, but I don’t suffer from this problem. Again, who cares? If you’re smart, you talk like the most f*cking intelligent 10-year old they’ve ever met. They either get pwned by or pwn a woman or 10 year old–whatever they choose. For griefers there’s the mute button. Nuff said.
3. Angry Male Gamers
These guys make me sad, but sadly this isn’t a thing that just women have to put up with. Both Live and PSN are chock full of douchebags who can’t stand to lose, and they’ll let you know, no matter what sex you are, using all kinds of terminology.
Again, mute button–sure it’s a little unfair that you have to miss out on half of the conversation for one or two matches, enough to change the teams around, but–really, if the guy in the subway is flashing you, are you going to stand around and hope he doesn’t do it again on the principle that it’s not very nice (or pretty?) Mute and report if it’s that big of a deal to you–or have some fun with it even, trash talk. But don’t take it personally, after all, look back to the awesome principle listed above: it’s just a game. They don’t know you, they could care less.
4. Being Kicked from a Game
Whatever, find another one that isn’t full of guys that are intimidated by your screen name.
5. Girl Gamer Stereotypes
Above: Results not typical. Thanks, Google, I’m gonna hit the Supercycle…
These exist whether you want them to or not for a wide variety of things. One of the stereotypes that is starting to come about was stated in the very same column that many of these other complaints were listed in by stating that ‘girls pwn boys.’ Not unless you’re married–and I mean that’s another story all together. What I mean is the stereotype that all women are out to prove that they can rape the battlefield because years of gamer oppression has given them uber skills. Men don’t like this–Christ, I don’t even like that, and when you walk into the lion’s den you want to make sure that you don’t smell of…antelope. There’s nothing wrong with being good at a game, or awesome at a game, but try to avoid falling into that stereotype? Please? For all of us? Trash talk is fine, but statements like “girls pwn boys” is just…STUPID.
I don’t care about personal opinions, but if you profusely spout yours out over live or PSN, expect some f*cking grief from your male lio–counterparts. Live and PSN would be so much better if people ‘didn’t’ spout their opinion over the airwaves, but…sigh, it’ll be a frosty day in Lucifer’s Lair before that happens.
And of course there will be the stereotype (and it’s probably deeply rooted in factual evidence) that says women are nothing more than casual gamers, and that sucks because clearly we’re not all casual gamers. But stereotypes exist wherever you go. Cope and have fun :).
6. Being Hit on by Nerds….
Not gonna happen…probably, but thanks for the compliment ‘chainmailwarrior1476.’
This is tricky because not everyone enjoys being hit on when they’re trying to play a game, or when they’re trying to do anything other than get some action. But not only are we stereotyping that all male gamers are nerds with breathing problems, we’re also being horribly arrogant and self-absorbed. Are you really so vain that the possibility of someone who might have greasy hair, thick glasses and skin problems really is something to consistently bitch about that it’s in your top 5? Personally, I take the compliment, but this hasn’t really happened to me too often :(.
Of course they’re curious! The online community is littered with dudes that fake being chicks! Hell, the real world is littered with dudes faking being chicks! And you don’t think men are a little hesitant when checking out women at the club? The guys looking to hit your avatar that follow you around the map? Ignore them and play the game.
Besides, what does it matter if they’re geeks or nerds or are afflicted with those issues that commonly afflict young men? You’re likely never going to see them or talk to them, or sleep with them, like ever, and can silently delete and block them when they’re not looking. Have fun with it–there’s nothing wrong with having your voice/avatar oggled by someone a million miles away. Just so long as they don’t plan on making a trip to your exact location in the next few days :).
Have fun 🙂