Female Gamers: It's our problem now.
I love gaming. My fondest memories growing up involve gaming with my father. He never said that I was a girl so I shouldn’t game, and he never forbid it. But I was still embarrassed to to tell my friends I gamed since it was more of a boy thing. Needless to say, this article is going to be about females in the gaming community, and why we aren’t accepting ourselves.
Female gaming is more accepted than it ever has been. In 2014, The Guardian posted an article that talks about how 52% of gamers are now female. So why is it we still feel the need to defend ourselves as female gamers?
I have never been told that I shouldn’t game unless it’s from a child online that doesn’t know any better. Even if I was told I shouldn’t game I would say this isn’t the 1920’s, I can do what I want. I think it starts with how we're taught about gender roles while growing up. Young girls are victimized in Disney movies and early video games. For example, Mario is always saving Princess Peach making it seem like she can't save herself.
Over the years gaming has gotten better at being inclusive to females. Characters like Lara Croft in Tomb Raider and Tifa Lockhart in Final Fantasy VII are great examples of this. We even get female characters in most FPS games now. I think we are stuck in this mindset that we need to be victims to fit our part in society. Which is why we still feel inferior to men when gaming.
Well, I am here to say that we aren’t victims, and we need to stop victimizing ourselves. Most men -actual men, not children- accept us as gamers. We as women need to stop thinking they don’t.
Ever hear the saying “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt said that and it’s true. This saying doesn’t just include outside influences, but our own internal struggles as well. I don’t think our issues as female gamers are external anymore, but internal. When we accept that we are welcomed in the gaming community then some of the stuff we thought were issues will disappear.
I’m not saying that there aren’t still problems, like over-sexualizing female characters. But being a female gamer is no longer a problem, and honestly isn’t that uncommon anymore. Once we stop self-victimizing ourselves and just allow ourselves to be gamers, then we can really begin to feel like we belong in the community. Which will stop us from feeling defensive about being a girl. There will always be jerks out there that will try and get under your skin. But once again we go back to what Eleanor Roosevelt said. It’s our choice whether to feel accepted and our job to make sure it stays that way.
If you agree or disagree with what I have said feel free to say so in the comments. I respect your right to disagree with me. This is my opinion article and it doesn’t mean that Gameskinny thinks or feels the same way.