Starting from a young age I have always loved video games. I woke up early on the weekends to be able to play the latest Ratchet and Clank before my siblings could use the PlayStation for movies. My parents could never get me to stop playing.
Life soon caught up to me and I found myself not playing as much anymore. Instead, I focused on sports. After being away from the gaming community for a while I decided to start playing again.
When I was younger I was never allowed to talk online on the headsets. My parents did not want me talking to strangers. As soon as I was able to purchase a console of my own I immediately wanted to be able to communicate with other gamers. I went out as soon as I could and bought my first headset!
I started off with all of the Call Of Duty's and eventually, that evolved into Fortnite. I immediately fell in love with the idea that you can communicate with your team. I thought It was so cool how in any game you were matched with people all around the country, sometimes even the world.
But I soon came to realize girls were not accepted in the gaming community.
As everyone knows to start out at something, you are usually not going to be the best. This was the case with video games. I was never all that good until I was able to spend more time gaming, and eventually, talent came with practice. I ended up becoming really talented and was getting more kills each game than all my other teammates. This infuriated the guys I played with.
I began to noticed there was a lack of other females I was meeting when playing all these games. I ran into mostly guys ranging from ages 12 to 35. Whenever I would play I would notice two different types of guys I could possibly run into.
Half of the guys treat me like I have never played in my life.
I started to notice every game I played the guys would treat me like I have just started playing and I was clueless. Immediately trying to explain the game like I was a four year old just starting out. I get very offended when this happens because I know what I am capable of.
Then you have the guys who make you into a sex object.
A whole new problem came with this new community. Girls playing video games I guess is a foreign concept to some guys because at least once a day playing online a guy makes an unwanted sexual or flirtatious comment towards my direction. It was almost like because I was a girl playing video games it must mean I'm looking for attention right? No.
If you reject the compliment there can be repercussions.
I play video games because I enjoy the competition. It is something I am good at, I do not play to receive the comments I am almost always faced with. Whenever a boy or man makes a comment like that I immediately turn it down. Then I get called terrible derogatory words and I'm no longer wanted on the team.
Just a couple weeks ago I was playing a game of Fortnite and had over 5 kills and my teammate did not revive me resulting in my death and his reasoning was because I was a girl.
Now I rarely enjoy talking to my teammates.
The excitement of being able to talk to other gamers diminished and now I find myself enjoying playing solo and staying out of the toxicity.
I hope that one day as a female gamer I will never have to be told again that "I'm pretty good for being a girl."