As if getting harassed over online matches wasn’t bad enough, the negative behavior presented by our male counterparts is being carried over to the way girl gamers are treated in public. So you’re a girl, you do average girl things like doing your hair, putting on make-up and making sure your clothes are fitted properly. You do this not because you’re trying to impress anyone but because that’s just the way you do things. Girls tend to like to put on heels from time to time or spray fragrances to make they smell pretty but doing all these things never makes them any less of a gamer. Why do we do it; because that’s just what we do… Not to place females or males in any sort of stereotype but when it comes down to it girls tend to like to look as nice when they venture out in any public setting. Although everyone might not feel the same way, it is common for girls of all types to look their best when presenting themselves to the public despite what shape they are, what color they are or how tall they are. The way girl gamers are treated in an everyday setting by their gaming peers is different because they care about their appearance and are often time judged base off of their gender.
Take walking into a crowded GameStop or gaming department at any store for example. Most likely there will be predominantly males in the area. If a female walks that way at the same time as two guys, who do you think the employee will ask “Can I help you find anything?” to first? Automatically the female is treated as the lesser gamer, she knows less, and she needs the most help in this given circumstance almost every time in others minds. It could be a midnight launch for a huge game, everyone is waiting there for the same reason but still despite the obvious it is the girl that will be stared down and is asked that same annoying question, “Can I help you find anything?”. In that situation the girl could only answer that question rude, “Umm no I am here for the same reason as everyone else…” talk about discrimination.
Taking the same circumstance at the midnight launch, that same girl will probably be asked multiple times, “Where is your boyfriend”, “Do you have a boyfriend” and “I know you’re not single.” So why is it that the girl that is nicely put together automatically assumed to only be there because her boyfriend bought her? Does she look bored or does she wear the same excited expression as the rest of the line? Does it matter if she is taken or single? If she happens to be in a nice outfit, clean cut and pleasantly fitted, that doesn’t mean she is looking for a date. It is sickening to know that females put in this situation are all treated the same despite the fact that they can be just as well qualified and knowledgeable about the game as everyone else. It’s just because she is female so she must not know how to play a game… The kid holding his dads hand in the corner will get more respect as a gamer than the girl standing alone.
The GamesStop situation may be common but not as discriminatory as what happens to females at a convention. You are at an event like San Diego Comic Con or PAX; this is the day this girl has been waiting a lifetime for. Games are being shown before they are released and she can get her hands on some of her most anticipated games of the year. While she is waiting in line she notices players going through a brief tutorial while a man working for the company stands behind fans just watching. It is her turn, she grasps the controller like she normally would and slips on the overused headset. Moments later the man that stands by to keep an eye one everyone is over her shoulder, “Press this button to do that… no no no don’t go over there it’s that way… you can shoot the gun with that button over there.” First of all she doesn’t need to be told the “that button” phrase because she probably knows the names of each button better than she knows that hottest trends. Second, why is it that everyone else gets to play the game and enjoy their experience and it is the girl that gets a babysitter?
Sometimes… most of the time, girls aren’t doing things for attention when it comes to gaming. Although there will be a healthy sum of comments arguing otherwise please understand that between all the girls who do game for attention there are others who game because it is an enjoyable hobby to them. It is important to know that gaming is genderless; whether you are male or female it is ok to love gaming. Gaming has no race, no shape and no religion. It is ok for anyone and everyone to game no matter who they are, how they look and what they believe in. Next time you feel yourself making a judgment about another person for any reason, not only in gaming, think twice because that person most likely doesn’t fit the mold you created in your own mind.
This article is dedicated to the beautiful and wonderfully skilled in gaming, Sarah Spears. It is unfortunate to be alongside someone who is constantly treated in this manner when you witness her knowledge and skill with games each and every day.