Monday, March 16, 2015

Gamer Girls (or Female Gamers)

I am going to begin this with the proclamation that I am a Gamer Girl. And I am going to cover two questions in this post. Can a girl be a gamer, and what makes a girl a gamer? and also, Is Gamer Girl or Female Gamer more correct? The first question may seem like a no-brainer, and I agree, but it happens so often to girls playing video games (myself included) that I felt the need to address it. This isn't even a sexist guy thing, I have heard girls saying that a female cannot be a "true" gamer, and honestly, I just don't understand. How on Earth does a person's gender affect if they can be a gamer? The stereotypical gamer tends to be a guy who sits on his butt with pizza boxes and empty cola cans surrounding him while he plays Call of Duty or Mortal Kombat for ten hours. He probably gets into heated arguments about whether XBox or PlayStation is better, and screw Nintendo because they aren't real games anyway. I propose that the opposite is true though. The definition of a gamer (in the sense that I am speaking of) is this: a person who plays a game or games, typically a participant in a computer or role-playing game. Hmmm, so you mean a gamer is a person who...plays games? It doesn't even specify what type of games someone needs to play (save for the fact that it is TYPICALLY an RP and/or PC game) or how long you need to play to be considered a gamer. It's like saying gender plays a role in how good a musician is, or saying that in order to be considered a musician, you need to play your chosen instrument 24/7 and be a jobless bum who eats junk food in his/er mother's basement. And you can only play certain types of instruments, like piano? Are you kidding? That's beginner's stuff, come back when you can debate whether or not wood winds or brass is better. Do you know how ridiculous that would sound? Back to the issue at hand though, can sex actually affect gaming talent or interest? Well, the obvious, and biological answer is no. Traditionally though, video games above the age of teenage years (as in rated M) were intended for a male audience. With eye-candy female characters, bad ass male characters, and tons of bloody violence and in some games sex, it was everything a stereotypical man would want in a game, and that tradition stuck. Even in an age of gamer girls and geeks and nerds, as of 2014, females only made up 45% of the gaming demographic, with males slightly above with 55%. Still, the girls are catching up and it is predicted that in a few years, the female gamer population will rise, possibly taking over that of the male. I have already gone over the dictionary-definition of a gamer, and obviously a gamer girl or female gamer would just be a female version of that definition, but I feel there is more to the population of "Gamer Girls" than we see. If you type in Gamer Girl to any given search engine, chances are you will find this: A girl posing with a controller or video game case or whatever in a sexual manner, sometimes with a "duckface" expression or blowing a kiss. This will pop up about a million times. Of course, I am not going to say that she is not a gamer, but as a female gamer, I can tell you that I have never once in my memory put a wire in my mouth or sucked on the sweaty controller that has been in my hand all day. Maybe some gamer's are into that, I for one, am not so convinced. SO why doesn't something like this come up more often?: That's what I generally look like on the weekends. Many times the chicks don't even look at the television. How are you supposed to save the world if you aren't seeing what you're doing unless your name is Kenshi or Daredevil (or many others, I suppose but that's beyond the point). It's not going to work.
These girls are seldom ever true gamers and are generally the ones giving real gamer girls the bad reputations and stereotypes attached to us. That being said, what is your idea of a gamer? That is what a gamer girl is, just add boobs and your set to go. Another thing I hear a lot is some girls (generally not even actual gamers) saying it is offensive to call them a gamer girl. Alright, I guess that makes sense. It implies that it is unusual or uncommon for a girl to be a gamer, I suppose, and may make them feel insecure or feel like they don't belong or fit in with the others. SO what do they want to be called instead? Female gamers. Personally, I don't see a difference in the two terms except the fact that I think Gamer Girl sounds cooler. Either way, I don't think either is correct or incorrect (politically or otherwise) but I advice any dudes out there to heed their wishes for a title, because some glitches be crazy. Now that we got that covered, don't forget to be awesome.