No, this article will not be about other gamers, male or female. I’ll just get that out of the way now because I’ve heard countless times how it’s so hard for a female to be a gamer in a community populated mostly by men. The fact is, for me, the men in the gamer world have been nothing short of fantastic. Of course there are the rude, and crude, ones, but the good guys who genuinely welcome a girl into their circle far outweigh the childish or sexist remarks.
So why is it difficult to be a female gamer?
It’s not the big-boobed characters I play. In fact, I’m the girl that goes with the most badass, apple-bottomed chick I can go with. I enjoy dressing any female characters I can in the most sexy costumes possible. Why? Because I’m a woman, and despite what political correctness claims, I think there’s nothing hotter than a woman who can kill it while looking sexy as hell. Do I feel the gaming industry objectifies women? Sure, sometimes. But there’s no difference, in my opinion, between a big-busted female character with an unrealistically small waist, and a male character that looks like a Ken doll on steroids. Physical expectations go BOTH ways. Just because women are typically more vocal about self-image struggles, that does not mean that our male counterparts don’t hate expectations to be jacked and heroic in every situation life throws at them.
My point is this: in my opinion, men are NOT what sucks about being a female gamer. What does make it difficult are my fellow women of the world. I have very few female friends, because we have little in common. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are countless, incredible, gamer women out there, but I’m not talking about them in this article. What I’m talking about are all the females I have met (many… many. A vast majority) that stick their nose up at gaming. The ones that roll their eyes and start to complain about their boyfriends or husbands for how much they game.
I can’t tell you how many times I have mentioned playing video games, or being excited for a new release, and gotten that incredulous look. Yes, I’m a female, and yes, I’m a gamer. So many times I have met their irritated expression, and tried to reason with them. “Have you ever tried? You should! Gaming is so fun!” The response I almost always get is maddening, “I don’t want to. It’s childish. I wish he’d grow up.”
These snide comments just leave me speechless. I don’t understand why so many women won’t even give it a shot. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but it can also help you bond with said boyfriend/husband more. Even if it’s just not your thing, that’s perfectly fine. I respect that. But the rude approach, where they ridicule other women or the men in their lives for having very innocent fun, drives me insane. It is not a waste of time. It is not childish. And gaming has led me to some of the greatest men I’ll ever meet. Fantastic friends that are more like family. I adore them. But I’ll stop the mushy gushing now.
The hardest part of being a female gamer is the lack of female friends. I appreciate the ones I do have, but as a gamer who loves many other “nerdy” pop culture things such as horror movies, it makes me feel like there’s a wedge between me and said female friends. They look at me like I’m weird for the things I love. They continue on with the conversation about how they hate horror movies and can’t wait to have some babies. I have never met a single female (in person) that actually likes the same things I do. There is always a wedge of being looked at like I’m odd. Some have accepted me for who I am, but as they go on and on about their likes and dislikes, it has always become more and more obvious that I don’t belong.
I don’t think I have ever had a female friend in person that understood me. I really hope that as time goes on, more women decide to be welcoming to the joys of life that so many assume are for childish men. Gamers create a fantastic community, and one that I am proud to be in. But sometimes a girl needs some girl time. Sometimes I do want to sip wine and watch the Bachelorette. I love cooking for my fiance. I love Sex and the City. It’s not like I have nothing in common with your average woman, but there is a divide, one that I hope can be bridged sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’ll just be over here playing video games with these awesome dudes.