What It's Like Being A Female Gamer In A Sexist Gaming World
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What It's Like Being A Female Gamer In A Sexist Gaming World

No gamer should have to feel embarrassed of their gender.

What It's Like Being A Female Gamer In A Sexist Gaming World

There are positive and negative aspects to being a female gamer, and although gender really should make no difference on the experience of gaming, it does due to the social stigmas involved.

The Positive

The positive aspects are the same that male gamers enjoy. These include the actual enjoyment of playing the games and an easy way to make friends. I made my first friend at college registration through a conversation about our favorite BioWare games and I have made many more friends in similar ways. Playing multiplayer games can be a great way to spend time with friends and meet new people. I've spent many hours playing Super Smash Bros, Minecraft, or Gary's Mod in the lobby of my building. Gaming is a great way to find entertainment between classes at school or unwind after a particularly difficult day. I find a lot of games to be incredibly cathartic and others to be incredibly mentally engaging.

The Negative

There is an insane amount of sexism in the gaming world. I recall a particular conversation I had with a classmate at college who was viewing the desktop of my laptop for the first time, which is full of something in the ballpark of fifty games. He asked me why I had them and I said that I liked to game. "But how many of these do you actually play?" "All of them." "Yeah, right, sure." He proceeded to quiz me on a number of the games because my word wasn't enough to prove that I actually played games. This results from the stigma that "gamer girls" only pretend to game to win attention from men, which, in my experience, is just not the case. Very recently, I came across a terribly sexist article on "Why Girls Suck at Gaming" which cited reasons such as "attention deficit" and women being "social creatures". In a world that has been slowly but undoubtedly progressing away from these fallacious stereotypes, why does the gaming community lag so far behind? Is it merely an overloaded router, or is there a bigger issue at hand here? I am continually shocked by the number of people who find my love of games surprising or unbelievable and continually shocked at how many other female gamers are embarrassed by the hobby and try to keep it a secret. This is entirely due to the way that society views the hobby as targeted at males, and there is no reason why it should be.

There is a large gap between what society, on the whole, perceives female gamers to be like (search "gamer girl" on google images and you'll see what I mean) and what they really are. No gamer should have to feel embarrassed of their gender, and no girl should have to feel embarrassed of a hobby.

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