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I really dislike the term "Girl Gamer" though mostly because I'm 47 and it's been a long, long time since I was called a "girl". I'm a gamer and I happen to be female. I don't feel that I should have to hide the fact that I'm female because this is who I am, just as being older, being married and loving FPS online games is part of who I am.
When the monthly musing topic of love/hate came up I had lots of various ideas but the one that I kept coming back to was the topic of female gamers because it's something that does have a consistent impact on my gaming experience. Ironically, I never knew that being a female gamer was unusual until I started playing online and joining gaming communities. Prior to that, I just assumed that people gamed -- all kinds of people. I had no preconceptions or stereotypes of who gamers were. I hope that one day we get back to that idea, though, not because of ignorance, but rather because it's simple reality.
I hate those females that try to use their sexuality and slutty pictures of themselves to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry rather than letting their knowledge speak for itself. I hate that they create a stereotype that makes it more difficult for the average female gamer to game online or join gaming communities without getting sexually harassed because apparently all girls game naked and we use controllers for bras. I hate that so many "top 10 female gamers" or "gamer girl" contests are based entirely on the quality of those slutty pictures and have little to do with their gaming skills. I hate that I have a hard time accepting that women have and always will use their sexuality to get noticed and that in this day and age of the internet, exposing oneself with slutty "gamer girl" pictures works -- they get exposure so who can blame them.
I hate the Wii soccer mom/Japanophile-cosplaying-Final Fantasy addict girl/the "my boyfriend makes me play" girl. I hate all the stereotypes of girl gamers and mostly I hate that I probably am some kind of stereotype and just don't realize it. (and the first person that drags out that "granny gamer" stereotype will get killed in an unpleasant manner).
But I love that things have changed and are changing. I love that being a female who games is becoming more "normal" and not an oddity, an anomaly, or a potential opportunity for hot PSN cam sex. I like that both males and females are less often stereotyped and that the gaming industry is starting to see that playing the "hot girl" marketing card isn't working as well any more. I like that the diversity that are real people and gamers is starting to show on gaming sites. Sadly, some things will never change. I'm sure that females will always get those "gotta pic?" messages, I'm sure that there will always be assholes in online games, but for the most part, things are getting better.
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