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Cassandra Khaw's blog

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Cassandra Khaw avatar 3:43 PM on 12.27.2010  (server time)
The Asian Gender Divide

I'm a girl gamer, hear me roar!

No, wait. That's not what I meant.

Calling this a response piece to some of the articles I've seen written on Destructoid here would be stretching the truth substantially. From a recent diatribe on why one person cannot stand hearing about girl gamers anymore to one woman's impassioned speech about her love/hate relationship with the culture, there's a lot to think about it.

It's 6.00am in the morning and I'm sort of stuck in a cybercafe right now and feeling rather whimsical. I live in Malaysia, a country that's a veritable melting pot of cultures and thought streams. We feature picturesque villages and skyscrapers within bare hours of each other. Our national monuments are flanked by buildings from World War 2. We're a growing country, a country I'm actually damn well proud of in spite of how many issues it has but you know, we're still Asian.

Sorta. Kinda. Hey, I'm allowed to stereotype! I'm squinty, yellow-eyed and incapable of pronouncing the word 'three' too.

In spite of how there is a growing acceptance of female gamers within this region, it's still something that is often greeted with curious expressions and dubious looks around here. Worse yet, if you're a competent player, you'll often be challenged to a duel to the death. And you know, I do mean, duel to a death - these guys don't let up.

I have a close friend who will but one squawk in indignity when I've achieved a winning streak and will pull all stops to win. He stares at my screen, he'll poke at my ribs, he'd do pretty much everything to gain an advantage. Another friend is less blatant about his stance on women. He tells me it's perfectly normal to see girls play but won't fail to express his indignity when he gets gunned down too many times at Counterstrike.

When they tell me about all-girl gaming teams in a competition, the sentence always sounds something like this, 'they're ACTUALLY all girls.' What's wrong about women lacking extra genitalia? I wasn't aware that was something that should be held against us.

I could rant about this more, but I think it's something more than a few people have bashed to death. Looking at everything that's been written so far, I'd like to believe there'd be a day that a similar amount of acceptance will dawn over here in Asia. Failing that, I'd just like to observe there's a legitimate reason behind our complaints, damnit! It's not just us attempting to hide behind the gender.

Well, not around here anyway.

Most times.

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