First of all yes, being a "girl gamer" is VERY different from being a "gamer girl." Girl gamers actually enjoy playing video games, and will likely put a new release before going out to a party on a Saturday night. Gamer girls on the other hand are online for the attention; they aren't there for the games, but rather the guys that play them. With that being said, studies are beginning to show an increase in women playing online games and although it's common for some areas, I believe it should be normalized everywhere. This is what I've learned from being a female who games online.

1. There is a community out there for everyone. 

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No matter what kind of game or fandom you like, there are people for you to befriend literally everywhere. It is so easy to connect with people and get talking, playing, and hanging out because that's what it is, a community. You'll meet all kinds of people, some you may only talk to once and never again, and others you may form an actual connection with.

2. Most of your real life friends are guys.

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If you're like me, you discovered that you liked video games at a fairly young age. Growing up (and even now) there weren't many girl friends that I had that willingly wanted to talk about video games with me, and I did not care to talk about the new application of their mother's makeup that they had tried that day with them, so making friends with other females was challenging to say the least. Because of the fact that I was tracking the upcoming drop of a game and the fact that, of course, I wanted to talk about it, I ended up becoming friends with a good amount of guys. Yes, girls and guys can be just friends, but that's a story for another time.

3. There is no such thing as stereotyping.

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When asked "why do you enjoy playing games?" it never fails that one of my initial thoughts is the people that I've met while online. When you meet people through nothing but a microphone and a mutual favorite video game it's usually a good first impression because you're both just hanging out and meeting each other. Inevitably you will be introduced to someone new and you guys will actually become friends. When you're online, you meet someone for their personality most of the time before you even see what they look like. I've met some of my closest friends through Xbox parties and games, you learn about people over the span of talking for years and I actually met my first online friend earlier this year. I'm not the only one that can say that although these people are miles away, they are some of the closest people to you.

4. Don't join a party of randoms without a little caution.

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Of course there's a downside. I can speak highly of my online experience because I have been very careful when meeting people, but everyone has their experiences. There is no doubt that there are people online trying to bait others. I've lost friends because of critical character flaws. I've witnessed women try to convince my friends to buy them things. I've had sexist comments and assumptions made about and towards me. Most people when looking for others to play with are open and conversational, but be aware that not everyone is. Being a girl online can have one of two outcomes when you join a random party (chat): outcome one, everyone is normal and you go on with your day and outcome two, there's one member that has an issue for no good reason. We all hope for outcome one.

5. Why your man disappears every September through December.

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One of the things I actually pride myself on is the fact that I do understand the craze and the love for video games. It's a community full of people with interests similar to your own. September is the season for new games, franchises release their newest continuations of their series, and gamers all over the world can't wait to spend 48+ hours straight on the binge. September through December the ones that purchased preorders and played on day one are grinding away, come December 25th, the "Christmas noobs" get their games and the binge starts all over again. Point is, cut them a little slack, we wait for these games sometimes for years, and all we want to do is play them with our friends.