Ah yes, the female, or "girl", gamer. It's a well known fact that girls have it harder in this male dominated hobby. We see a lot of people talking about girl gamers, fighting for their rights and burning bra's or whatever they are doing now a days, but more often than not, the people holding the rifle's are the women themselves. I feel like this is a losing battle. Often times in situations like these, outside help is needed. So, that's what I'm here for. I don't claim to know everything (or anything) about the opposite sex, but I can give you the perspective from your level-headed, considerate, and thoughtful gamer.
The problem starts before it even begins. It may seem small, but we labeled them before they even got a chance. The label being "girl" or "female" gamer. Now, I've never been one for the whole political correctness of society, but I think if we never started this labeling, female gamers all over would be in a much better place. It's a shame however that this can't happen now. Even in these two paragraphs I've used Female or Girl gamer a billion or so times. It's just natural now. Think about it though, when someone say's "girl" gamer, where does your mind wonder? Do you picture an incredibly hot girl with controllers covering her naughty bits? Do you picture an extremely homely girl sitting at home playing WoW for 37 hours straight? Or maybe you picture a soccer mom fiddling away at a DS or playing some wii yoga. We all have these images popping up in our head. Not just about girl gamers either, about anything. It's just a shame that some people can't get past the stigma we have inadvertently put upon them.
Who can blame them though? The industry started out as all male programmers appealing to all male consumers. No one at the time thought things would get this big. So when the first girl showed herself to the nerdy sweating masses, they panicked. Confused, shocked, and horny we started placing them in groups, making assumptions, and even discrediting their opinions. It was a terrible shame.
This isn't to say we haven't made any headway. Girls are slowly becoming a lot more prominent in the gaming community. They are making themselves heard and are starting to garner respect, which is great. It's a shame that all this good still comes with all this bad, because things are still not perfect. I'm still shocked and appalled when I join an online game where there happens to be a girl or two around. It's like taking a step into 4th grade all over again. Instead of doing the right thing and going up to her while she's next to the jungle gym and saying hi, you grab her pony tail and pull it like your the god damn hunchback of Notre Dame.
I feel bad, because I know if every time I joined a game only to be greeted with request for nude pics, or to cyber, or any of the other malicious things 14 year old boys think of these days, it would start to make me bitter and maybe even hate gaming all together. Luckily it seems girls are a lot more resilient than me.
And not to sound selfish, but this doesn't just affect the ladies. It's a philosophy of mine to talk to girls, not just for the slim chance of fornication, but a much better reason. You see guys, women are different. I'm not sure if you knew that. Talk to a woman for once while trying your hardest not to stare at her breasts (although a quick glance here and there may be forgiven) and you'll see they are more than just a man who had a naked knife juggling accident. They have a completely different outlook on life, because they grew up completely different. There's a whole pool of knowledge, insight, and opinions that we can't even comprehend. But this brings me to the selfish part, a lot of girls seem to shrug off just about everyone else when partaking in an online game. Even if a guy is just saying hi, most women seem to think (even if it's just that little voice) that he's like all the rest, just being a pestering little jerk. So, I tend to ignore them.
Now, ladies, don't think you are all free of sin in this little debacle. That's right, don't think I don't know the things I know. You see, it seems some "females" are "attention whores." While the male attention whore basically just throws a temper tantrum until people say something, women are a lot more subtle. Some girls LOVE to have other gamers know they are in the presence of a girl. And like I've stated previously, once guy gamers know of a girl gamer, they became a pack of hyena's, laughing and hooting until all the sane people in the area go into violent seizures. Some women seem to get off on having people talk to or about them, regardless of how degrading and disrespectful it may be. Compare your friends list with that of a girl gamers, see how it stacks up.
The industry itself is another problem. While some companies should be praised for their portrayal of strong women in games (Mirror's Edge, Uncharted, Half-Life 2, Heavenly Sword, and more) there are even more companies going the opposite way. Whether it's sixaxis boob control in Ninja Gaiden or the constant onslaught of Party Babyz games. I'll tell you this right now, giving the player to control which way the boobs sway during gameplay is not the way to get girls to buy your games. In fact, that idea is so dumb, I'd be surprised if that got guys to buy it. It's actually reasons like this that I generally write off off Team Ninja games all together, that and my unrelenting hatred for Itagaki, but I'm getting off track. And as for Party Babyz and Horse Farm Deluxez, girls don't go weak at the knees at the prospect of washing yet another horse in yet another shoddy horse owning simulation. Girls actually CAN have babies, so why would they want to pretend to have one. If you think about it, all these baby sims should really appeal to guys.
At the end of the day, all I'm really trying to say is to be respectful. Think before you speak, and try your hardest not to judge someone. And if you do, make sure you leave your mind open and learn about someone before you act on those judgments. Gamers comes in all shapes, sizes, races, religions, and genders,(mostly just the two) so realize that next time you make an assumption. Just trying to do my part to make gaming a more welcoming experience.
Sorry I didn't have time to spice this post up with funny pictures and the like, but well, it didn't seem to fit all that well, so instead you get a wall of text.
POSTSCRIPT: I'm going to use this as a bit of a disclaimer. I'm not speaking for everyone, this is just how I see things and how I feel. I know not everyone acts the way as I described up there, and there's an exception to every rule, but like I said, these are my experiences. I'm also not trying to take the fun out of games. I know this is a pretty frills free blog, but this doesn't mean everyone should be so uptight, because that might even be worse. See ya next time.