Home > Daily Scribbles > August 11, 2011: “girl gamers” is a dead term – finally!

August 11, 2011: “girl gamers” is a dead term – finally!

I’m going to write this here, in my little corner of the internet where it will likely pass by unnoticed.  I recently wrote a blog on Destructoid about the weekly topic of “esports” where I wrote a half assed blog about how I don’t consider gaming to be a “sport” but think that competitive video gaming is it’s own thing… part sport, part art, part game – something totally unique and it should be celebrated as such and not try to be something it isn’t.  Due to the time constraints of hitting the deadline on the weekly topic, I didn’t really fill out my thoughts well, and it wasn’t a very good blog… but nonetheless it got promoted to the front page of the Destructoid website as the weekly topic blogs often are.

Well… a shitstorm hit and the blog garnered over 200 hateful comments in addition to being picked up and discussed on other sites.  I was called a lot of awful names (including my personal favorite of  “mentally crippled”).  In addition to the insults,  people called for me to be fired (I’m just a community member and was never “hired”); that I knew nothing about the topic (which is the point of being given a weekly topic and just writing our thoughts about it); and that I was a shitty journalist (I’m a blogger… not a journalist) among other things.

In amongst all the vitriol I did notice one thing though… there were few, if any, “go back to the kitchen” or “girls don’t know gaming” comments.  In fact I don’t recall seeing any sexist comments.  People did mention “she” so they were aware of my gender, but overall I was treated the same as any other gamer would be treated.

While this situation is just the usual internet shitstorm that will quickly fade away, I did learn a few good lessons about blogging…. but more importantly I think I can officially say that the whole “girl gamer” thing is offically dead for me.  As a female who games, we have finally achieved equality with male gamers and are finally being treated no differently.  I have found this to be true in online gaming for quite some time now, and it appears that even in gaming communities we are no longer being subject to the whole “it’s a girl” thing.   I think we can drop the “girl” in gamer and just be gamers now.

… and I don’t have to make anyone a sammich! 🙂

  1. August 17, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I do agree with Lauren in that we’re definitely getting there when it comes to being seen as equally skilled gamers, and not just “oh, that girl/woman/chick who plays video games”. Perhaps Destructoid’s community just doesn’t care much about gender and games. Still, it’s definitely reassuring. People’s minds are changing and it’s only getting better from here.

    We need more representation in general, I think – whenever I watch videos of, say people playing a demo of an upcoming game at a convention or just a general view of gamers in one place, the ratio of men to women are still skewed. I spot 8 players, and only one of them is a woman. Until the scales even out a bit, being a female gamer’s still going to stand out in general to the majority. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. 😀

    I don’t know.. maybe it’s just my personal experience. Most of my female friends are gamers as well, and so all our mutual male friends. We aren’t treated any differently and still wrinkle our noses when the stereotyped “look at me im a cute girly gamer hi!” female comes around (this is mainly in MMOs like WoW). I usually tell her to quit it, boys aren’t stupid anymore.

    I also read your eSports column, and I agree with you 100%. Video games, just like billiards, chess, and the like, are just games and nothing more. The term “sport” do refer to an activity that requires physical exertion – I just checked the dictionary. Yes, there are chess tournaments, but they’re just tournaments, not sporting events. The vitriol people were spitting in the comments were ridiculous. So much rage over an opinion. Yes, they’re huge in Korea, but it’s just not as big all over the world yet. Will it be in the future? Perhaps. It still won’t make them a sport – excuse me, an eSport.

    Someday we will be able to just go around saying yeah, I’m a gamer, and not have to factor gender or age or any of that into the mix. It just wouldn’t matter. I hope to live long enough to see that day!

  2. August 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I don’t think we’ve hit that yet as it’s still happening elsewhere but it’s good to see that it was your opinion being commented on rather than your gender, even if the feedback was negative.

    It’s a difficult one when it comes to gaming being a sport. I’m still unsure what to think of it myself. It creates jobs and is entertaining – so whatever it is, it’s worth it.

    • elsakelly
      August 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      I think we’re getting closer… though a few days after my own blog did it’s thing, a female guest editor did a piece on the FemShep issue and said in her article that she was a “feminist”… which apparently is code word for “ignore everything else in the article and roll out the feminazi insults”. It seems that if we discuss something of particular interest to the female gender, that there is a reversion to nasty sexist comments, but if we don’t use the words “girl gamer” or “feminist” or specifically note that we are female… we seem to be treated more as any other gamer. 😦

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