#3

#3

This week, Dr. Mark tackles questions about kids playing videogames and whether girls really need to hang out with other girls.

Read Full Article

Really great article again Dr.

Its really nice to get your point of view (As someone who knows what hes talking about!), and, the female gamer one...(Despite been male myself) has certainly given me food for thought.

My god, these are certainly two questions that actually sit pretty close to my heart. It's amazing how you are capable of relating to people that have videogames ingrained in their lives. It also helps you played WoW for a year and almost succumbed to it.

Excellent job!

It's wonderful to see an actual psychologist admit that some so-called "violet games" aren't as bad as parents make them out to be. Great read a usual, and looking forward to the next article!

Its a great topic and it applies to more than just gaming. I play D&D with my fiance and she gets quite excited when we are able to convince one of her female friends to play with us just so she's not the only girl at the table

If there was a "gamer girl" sort of forum, I'd imagine 9/10ths of the people there would be guys pretending to be girls to try and get some female contact.

Thank you for printing and answering the gamer girl letter! I was in the same situation as she is. I actually joined a sorority in college, simply because they seemed fun and I was desperate to have some sort of connection to girls. I still mainly hang out with guys, but there are some things you can only talk about with girls. Maybe we should start a girl gamer usergroup here!

I'm letter-writer number two. I just want to say thank you so much for responding and your kind words about my role in her life. In addition, you got it EXACTLY RIGHT about the social aspect of gaming in relating to her peers. Her birthday party was this weekend, at a skating rink, and it was Mario-themed (complete with a homemade and incredibly awesome Mario cake). All the kids invited from her class and her summer camp group were excited specifically over the Mario theme - and it seems to have upped her "cool factor" in her group. I also got to talk with other parents and "sparents" at the party, and it seems like video games really are pervasive in even the five-to-seven year old demographic. Most of all, none of the adults at the party thought this was a bad thing - they were my age group, late twenties to mid thirties, and it seems like they use video games much in the same way we do. It's a motivator, used in moderation, and enhances imaginative play instead of replacing it. Interestingly enough, it seems to be something parents do with their kids and a way for them to talk to one another as equals (we all had a story about how our respective child whomped our butts at one game or another).

Between the party and your response, Dr. Mark, I feel a LOT more secure in the role video games are taking in her life. I just have to keep that balance of time between gamespace and meatspace in check, and make sure she has a new challenge in play now and then so she doesn't fall into a habit of playing only one game over and over (it leads to boredom which is always a bad thing for a smart and mischievous kid). Luckily I can see when it's happening - I have maxed out my skill tree in Re-Direction and Whine Deflection! But I think, as she gets older, I'll start to incorporate other types of games into her play - I might start with the Pokemon CCG. And she's expressed interest in Bakugan as well (I have to admit the little magnetically-rigged figures are pretty neat). And she loves Break the Ice - I have to dig that out of my closet tonight! So I will definitely look into integrating more games outside of the electronic realm.

As a side note, fortunately she was just as excited to get skates for her birthday as her own DS. My favorite thing though, is walking in on her playing Tea Party with her new Beauty and The Beast tea set and her Pikachu, Mario and Toad 6 inch figures.

Thanks Dr. Mark! Can't wait to see your future post about violence in gaming.

Also, letter writer number one - I am in your EXACT SAME POSITION. I commiserate and offer my camaraderie.

I love Dr. Mark!

Nice article, Doc! The second page gives me some idea of how I might go about raising a child in the future, something I find myself occasionally pondering about (being a potentially good parent is something I find important, and sometimes find myself worrying about).

To the first letter-writer:

It is unnatural, though not impossible, but very difficult, to form lasting friendship with one of the opposite sex. By definition, it must be passionless, and Eros is always ready and eager to slip in. Such a pairing of friends requires something that makes the thought of sex unthinkable, or it will be thought by one of them to the detriment of the platonic attempt. Thus, it is very natural for you to notice that lack of friends among your acquaintances and astute of to realize that you might be barking up the wrong gender.

If you can find no women interested in gaming, then it might be time to diversify your interests. As a wise man once said, "If video games and the gaming ephemera are all you know, you are a boring person." Gaming is not a religion, and you will not apostatize in finding something else diverting. If male gamer asked my how to find a lady, I would tell him to go where the ladies are, and I now give the same advice.

I almost missed this great column! They should've put it among one of the three main articles.

I'm in the same boat as the first letter writer to a degree - I've ALWAYS found it easier to hang out with guys than girls and as a result I have mostly guy friends. I do however have some very close female friends who share many of the same sensibilities and interests as me and that does help.

It's sort of strange, but my boyfriend is pretty much the same in that most of his close friends are female, but he has a couple close guy friends as well. (In fact, one of my closest female friends and one of his closest guy friends are married which is rather convenient, heh)

Flying Dagger:
If there was a "gamer girl" sort of forum, I'd imagine 9/10ths of the people there would be guys pretending to be girls to try and get some female contact.

You'd actually be surprised. As much as we like to think that the internet is 100% male dominated there are still and always will be pockets where websites exist that go against this assumption. Even in gaming there are plenty of women gamers out there who while they like to game don't make gaming their end all be all and that is where it is important that gaming has evolved to a more social activity. It is important to realize that it is the person's choice to perceive that they aren't being put into a pen and have free reign even if a hobby and industry of gaming feels male dominated.

Also for the anon woman for the article should you read these comments check out this site. Might help with connecting with other women and while you do have a common interest of games I'm sure if you desire it that you will build a relationship and fulfill those emotional needs that most men would not be able to muster or just plain lack because of being part of the male gender.

http://www.pmsclan.com/

Can't believe I almost missed this one! These articles are really good; Dr. Mark is one of about three professional advice-givers I've seen whose advice makes good sense and doesn't make me want to tear my hair out.


Tenmar:
http://www.pmsclan.com/

Ah! Met two of their members when they were gaming at a promotional event in the store where I work (and mopping the floor with all challengers). Can't speak for the clan as a whole, but those two young women were nice people.

Formica Archonis:

Ah! Met two of their members when they were gaming at a promotional event in the store where I work (and mopping the floor with all challengers). Can't speak for the clan as a whole, but those two young women were nice people.

Yeah meet the right ones and it makes you wonder why they didn't get the same amount of attention like Fatality but I guess it is easier to make a single person famous over a group. But seriously I wouldn't want to be on the opposite team as most of them in a serious competition.

I was shocked as much as I don't like reality shows that apparently one of the top members of PMS was apparently on that sci-fi reality show based on the ultimate gamer. Kinda shocked considering how silly the premise and teasers were that I couldn't stomach.

Anacortian:
It is unnatural, though not impossible, but very difficult, to form lasting friendship with one of the opposite sex. By definition, it must be passionless, and Eros is always ready and eager to slip in. Such a pairing of friends requires something that makes the thought of sex unthinkable, or it will be thought by one of them to the detriment of the platonic attempt. Thus, it is very natural for you to notice that lack of friends among your acquaintances and astute of to realize that you might be barking up the wrong gender.

I see what you're getting at and while I agree in some ways, I don't think opposite-gender friendships are all that difficult. There's been plenty of girls with whom I've been friends where I haven't been the least bit attracted, romantically, sexually, what have you. In addition, I've had plenty of female friends to whom I have been attracted, but for whatever reason was still able to have a healthy platonic relationship. Obviously strong sexual/romantic attraction can make platonic friendship difficult, but it's not all that hard to look beyond it if need be, and even then it's only a concern for that upper echelon (in terms looks/personality/rapport/chemistry) of female friends to whom one might attracted.

There's no guarantees of course, but it's rare that I find myself head-over-heels for someone and I'm sure I'm not alone. Usually that uncontrollable kind of attraction takes a special confluence of events and happenstance, without which I find it rather easy to relate to a woman platonically. Yes, the desire may be there, but that's to be expected, biologically speaking. Perhaps I'm just projecting my own mindset on others, but I imagine many people are similarly capable of overcoming instinctual urges if they're intellectually compelled to do so.

To Dr. Mark: great post again! I'm really enjoying these so far. I think it's these kinds of discussions that have made this my favorite gaming site over the past months. There really are a lot of overarching cultural, social, and psychological considerations with gaming and gaming culture, and it's great to read your thoughts. Keep 'em coming!

Is there a problem with being a girl and not having a ton of girl friends?

I'm in a nearly identical position to the young lady in the post, but I've never really felt that I'm missing out on all that much. It comes down to this: Would you rather have friends who share your gender, or friends who share your interests? I've always had one (or occasionally two) good female friends who share my love of gaming, and that's quite enough for me. I'd rather deal with the straightforwardness and mild social ineptness of males than deal with the complex fakeness and manipulation of what I've begun to refer to as "female nonsense".

runnernda:
Thank you for printing and answering the gamer girl letter! I was in the same situation as she is. I actually joined a sorority in college, simply because they seemed fun and I was desperate to have some sort of connection to girls. I still mainly hang out with guys, but there are some things you can only talk about with girls. Maybe we should start a girl gamer usergroup here!

And you think that there would be mostly girls on there?

OT: Thanks again, Dr Mark. Your insight, as usual, is brilliant,

I found it pretty interesting, especially the first one about female gamers.

I kinda disagree with a few points, although that's the tomboy in me speaking up. xD I find it just as difficult as males to share feelings and soppy stuff like that, although the other stuff may be true. =P
Most of my friends are male too, although I do have a few female friends >.> I guess it depends on the individual anyway.

Thanks for the interesting read though!

P.S Don't take my words too seriously.. I'm running on very little sleep right now D:

Its strange the whole 'female social situation' because my wife (who is not exactly girly) seems to prefer the company of men. I'm not saying that she avoids other women completely as she has quite a few female friends at work but she tells me how other women can get very bitchy and competitive with each other which men don't seem too bothered about, and as long as they (the men) don't see my wife and 'available' (which they don't because I am friends with most of them) then they all seem to have a good laugh and share some real serious stuff.

I guess its also a generation thing - when I was younger it wasn't considered manly to have feeling and to talk about them ment that you were a 'poofter' and would get your head kicked in where as these days I think that alot of that pre-conception has washed away.

Same goes with video games - back in my youth video games were the ultimate geek device and only geeks played them because they couldn't do real games like football or play in the mud. Now gaming is much more socialably exceptable so having knowledge & skill in playing video games can only be an advantage.

I agree that the types of games need to be checked as actions in some games when taken out of context can be bad. In the artical the 2nd post is about a little girl, but generally girls don't tend to go for the violent games which can be put out of context and give impressionable kids bad ideas.

Again its a simple case of being a good parent (or sparent as it was put :P) and making sure that the child is getting the most out of the gaming experiance without exposing them to stuff that itsn't approprate for their age.

ldwater:
Its strange the whole 'female social situation' because my wife (who is not exactly girly) seems to prefer the company of men. I'm not saying that she avoids other women completely as she has quite a few female friends at work but she tells me how other women can get very bitchy and competitive with each other which men don't seem too bothered about

My mom was like that, sort of. She preferred male coworkers to female, because she said most women behaved too much like cats (she didn't like cats either).

kementari:
Is there a problem with being a girl and not having a ton of girl friends?

I'm in a nearly identical position to the young lady in the post, but I've never really felt that I'm missing out on all that much. It comes down to this: Would you rather have friends who share your gender, or friends who share your interests? I've always had one (or occasionally two) good female friends who share my love of gaming, and that's quite enough for me. I'd rather deal with the straightforwardness and mild social ineptness of males than deal with the complex fakeness and manipulation of what I've begun to refer to as "female nonsense".

Well, I think that was the whole point of the first question. Is there a problem? If you're happy, then maybe not. Maybe the guys in your life fulfil your emotional needs. I think Dr Mark is simply suggesting that if you feel something is missing, you might be right, and that it's ok to try to fill that need.

I have a majority of guy friends, and I'm mostly very happy with them, but I surprised myself when I made friends with one of my mate's sisters. She was really nice and gamed and I was SO HAPPY. I suppose I'd been missing something before and had found it...

I agree that imaginative play is important. I still slay "bad guys" in my living room with my lightsaber.

Female gamers are almost always going to suffer from the 'curse' of tokenism. That is, they're the one chick among the particular group of men who share their hobby. Suits most women fine; having the attention of everybody on you is a plus.

Add another female to the mix and things usually start to go downhill very fast.

Having the top %5-%10 of women as avid-to-occasional gamers is a good representative sample for the idea melting pot of game development. Having all of them joining the male communities at once is...a recipe for yelling, screaming, misunderstanding, broken relationships, thrown controllers, and inevitable government regulation. There's simply not enough women capable of the emotional disconnect.

runnernda:
Thank you for printing and answering the gamer girl letter! I was in the same situation as she is. I actually joined a sorority in college, simply because they seemed fun and I was desperate to have some sort of connection to girls. I still mainly hang out with guys, but there are some things you can only talk about with girls. Maybe we should start a girl gamer usergroup here!

There should be a girl gamer group! As a female gamer I found this article interesting, I don't have any female friends who game but I've never really thought of that as a negative because I do have a group of good female friends I socialize with on a regular basis. Gaming with only guys is something I accepted as part of gaming and I've never let it stop me from doing something I love. Although I admit I would love to get together my girl friends to start gaming I can't see it happening.

Both my 2-year old and my 5-year old daughters love to play video games, and their platform of choice is the DS. I let them play whenever and whatever they want, and I have found that they do not abuse the gaming time. In fact, they regulate their playing time themselves very well, they rarely play for more than a half hour each time, and rarely do they play more than twice in a day, usually just once a day. Their favorite games on the DS are mostly non-competitive, like The Smart Girl's Playhouse (their absolute favorite), Electroplankton, Crayola Adventures, and Nintendogs.

I think the reason I can trust them to self-regulate their gaming time is because their generation does not see video games as anything special. It is just another playful activity kids do like going to the park, playing with their dolls, or swimming.

Great advice on both counts doc! I love your column because it gives me good advice to pass along to others or keep in mind for my future. Keep up the good work :)

I'm in a similar situation as #1. I prefer the company of males, and I would like to meet more female gamers/nerds/geeks/whatever term you want to use. But I often feel threatened by females with similar interests to myself. Maybe if I could talk more females like myself, and get used to that, I wouldn't feel that way.

.dragonfly:
I often feel threatened by females with similar interests to myself. Maybe if I could talk more females like myself, and get used to that, I wouldn't feel that way.

I completely agree. I grew up with plenty of female friends, but not a one of them has any remote interest in gaming. In a way it's great because there's no sense of 'feminine competition'. For example - back when I played WoW we had a new female join our guild, and the guys treated her like she was the best thing since sliced bread. It made no sense to the rest of us females in the guild, but that seemingly typical guy response of 'oooh it's a cute sounding girl!' could really ruin a gaming experience.

On the other hand, having a 'real life' female friend that gamed could be quite refreshing. But what can you do :o

And Dr. Mark, great article! I'm loving them all so far, well done sir!

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here