No Girls Allowed: Why are We Making Video Games a Boys Club?
I’m a gamer. I started playing games when ‘Gizmos and Gadgets’ was released in the 90’s and gaming is still something I love doing to this day. The technology and the types of games have drastically changed since I first began, yet the place in my heart that they hold still remains. However I always seem to hesitate when people ask me what my hobbies are because when you say you're a gamer you’re generally perceived as a nerd, and a bit of a loner who doesn’t know how to communicate with people who aren’t in a virtual world.
Since gaming has gone more mainstream, this stereotype of the gamer that lives in his mother’s basement isn’t so common among the younger generations.
With games like FIFA or Call of Duty appealing to a wider group of people with every release, it’s becoming increasingly possible that one can be acknowledged as both a gamer and someone who is capable in the ways of human interaction. In fact most of my friends play video games and are usually up for a quick game of FIFA , but don’t venture into the worlds of Assassin’s Creed, Sleeping Dogs, PAYDAY 2, or Resident Evil.
This leaves me in a bit of a predicament when I’m trying to explain the pure awesomeness of the double takedown in Assassin’s Creed, or how Maya (the Siren from 'Borderlands 2') totally destroys everything with her elemental damage when you’re fighting against Hyperion robots. Sure I’ve got my best mate who enjoys the same games as me, but I find that you never really find that many people to talk about video games with.
This is why I was absolutely shocked to find that some people detested the fact that there were females playing stuff other than ‘Farmville’ and ‘Plants vs Zombies.’
What's going on here?
A while ago I noticed David Goldfarb (the game director for ‘PAYDAY 2’) having a heated argument with a few people about girl gamers. Some people didn’t seem to agree with the OVERKILL team adding a female character to the bank robbery game, and voiced their opinion in a not-so-eloquent way.
Apparently there are a lot of guys who don’t like the fact that girls are playing the same games as us males. It’s common knowledge that most girls have played a video game at some stage, the most common one among my female friends being Sims. No one seems to have a problem when females play Sims and the like because it’s deemed as “acceptable”, yet some people lose their minds when a female plays shooter games, racing games and all the other genres unofficially deemed as "male-only."
Maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t understand what the issue with a girl gamer is.
when there already so few females interested in gaming don’t you think we should stop pushing them away?
As a male student gamer, I feel like there only a few girls who don’t switch off the moment I mention video games. It’s seen as a mindless, brain-numbing, time-wasting male addiction which results in you becoming unpopular with the girls because you’re a “nerd.” When I do come across a female gamer on the rare occasion, it comes as a welcome surprise. It’s refreshing to speak to a girl about a game which you both seem to enjoy and it’s something both of you can relate to, which doesn’t happen very often anyway. I actually find it rather attractive if a girl can play video games, even though I only know a couple of them.
I’m not saying that there should be a ratio of 1:1 between male and female gamers. There are many things that annoy me considering some of the double standards that women can have, (that might be due to the fact that I’m a male and that the female’s mind is unfathomable to all us men) but when there already so few females interested in gaming don’t you think we should stop pushing them away?Originally Published Feb. 20th 2014