A friend of mine recently told me a story about how she tried to get hired at a video game store, but was rejected by a male employee on the spot for no other reason than being a female. I don’t know about you, but that pisses me off, especially since I know how much this chick kicks ass when it comes to gaming. Tell me, when did video games become a medium solely designated to the male misogynistic community? If you’re a male gamer who doesn’t think girls can play video games (like the particular employee mentioned above), please…just sit down and shut up.
First of all, I’d just like to apologize on behalf of the male populous to any ladies who have been ridiculed for playing video games. Please, keep doing what you’re doing because video games are not for any one select group, they are for everybody to enjoy. They are a medium just like TV, books, plays, etc. and therefore belong to anyone who fancies them. To say that “girls can’t play video games” is like saying “guys can’t write poetry” or “guys can’t design clothing.” When people say things like this it is an attempt to hinder people’s creativity and passion in life and that is something I don’t take lightly. Bottom line, I’ll fight for anyone who is passionate about what they do, especially when there are others who tell them they can’t. All that being said, I’d like to take a bit of a look at where the problems within the male egotistical gaming community reside.
As games, Halo, Call of Duty and many other first person shooters are great forms of entertainment, but I think it’s safe to say that the online communities within games of this genre can be notoriously sexist and flat out rude to female gamers. In fact, sexism had become so rampant within the Halo community that 343 Industries‘ leader, Bonnie Ross, cracked down on Halo’s online community by threatening to permanently ban anybody who engages in derogatory behavior (i.e. misogynistic slurs). As far as I know that policy is still in effect today and I think it’s awesome. There is simply no reason to debase someone who plays video games for any reason, especially one’s gender. For some reason or another, guys who play these games either feel entitled to them or find it hilarious to troll on girls who just want to play in a civilized online community. Whatever the reason, it’s messed up.
Side Note: I think it’s awesome that Call of Duty is finally putting a female soldier in Ghosts. Halo added a female Spartan in Reach, which was awesome, so I’m glad to see the CoD franchise is following suit.
Girls Who Pretend to Like Video Games…
Before you say anything, I would like to note that I am talking explicitly about the girls who literally take pictures of themselves with controllers, games, etc. solely to draw attention to themselves. I don’t want to start a war over the true definition of a “gamer girl,” but there is something to be said about pretty girls in front of the camera who have no real passion for gaming, while there are a profusion of girls who truly love to play video games and talk about them. The same friend of mine from the beginning of this article said something along the lines of, “I’d love to host for IGN or something, but I’m not an ex-model or a former pornstar.” First of all, I found this hilariously true. Secondly, she’s got a point. The idea that only model-calibur girls are portrayed at the forefront of the gaming industry contributes to the stereotype that “girls don’t play video games, they’re just there to look good.” I’m not saying that every girl who hosts for IGN (or any other gaming company for that matter) is only there for her looks because I’m sure that some of them do have a passion for video games, but it’s hard not to speculate. Last time I checked none of the guys at IGN were exactly models, so why does it seem like all of the females are? It’s just a bit strange.
I’m sure this article will probably piss some people off, but that’s okay with me. There are some things that need to be said, regardless of how either end of the spectrum will react. If you are a girl who loves to play video games, keep on doing what you’re doing. If you are a guy who loves to play video games, keep on doing what you’re doing as well, but remember to give girls who play video games the respect they deserve. I probably sound like a parent or something, but somebody has to play the good guy from time to time.
-Ocarina of Time Nerd
- Why Some Ladies Like to Play as Men in Video Games (gamemoir.com)
- Video Games Don’t Make Teens Violent, Shows Study (webpronews.com)
- Why Female Soldiers Were Finally Added to Call of Duty’s Multiplayer (kotaku.com)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts and Genders. Who Cares? (usgamer.net)
- The Portrayal of Women in Video Games (artasgames.wordpress.com)
- Playing violent video games ‘not harmful to children’ (metro.co.uk)
- A Parents Guide to Video Game Ratings (fatwallet.com)