OMG Girlz Don't Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1

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Geoffrey42:
Just read this today, and it was WAY too appropriate to this conversation.

http://xkcd.com/322/

Many lols, very good. I am the man in the hat.

Not to excuse this sort of behaviour, but it should be taken into account WHY this behaviour formed, which for most of these guys is because of a pop culture mindset that gaming and computing is a dorky guy thing - and most women they would have met would have had a *strong* aversion to such hobbies. Hence, bitter bastardry ensues, and these people make a poor assumption about all women - that they suck at technology, and hence when a girl gamer shows up, they're resentful of their little internet treehouse being invaded.

I think I'm in love with the author of this article.

Lol exagerated, but I can't say these things aren't true. Happened to me more times then one, and sometimes it's even more ridiculous then the quotes listed in your article.

"Omg it's a girl kick her" happened just a few hours ago. I'm not even joking.

Well now that I calmed down a bit, I guess those people have met some pretty bad girl gamers or something.

I won't say I'm a "1337 gurl gamer", I'm not pro at FTS, I barely touch the consoles, and I don't build my own custom computers (I'm starting to learn though). However I doubt the fact that all guys are born with "l337 sk1llz" and are all programmers who build their own computers or whatever.

meh, just rambling, nice article. I would go tone down on the exaggeration though, it will make your article stronger.

What I also find interesting is how few single female gamers there are. Most of the women I can think of on my World of Warcraft guild are paired up, with only maybe one or two exceptions. Then again, that's out of a total pool of maybe 8(of 100ish players). However, we don't get any crap - we talk on vent when we need to, and we've derailed gchat at least twice to talk about matters that are more girly (hair length, and monthly female issues) I've only had a few occasions where I speak on vent and then get tells - "how old r u?" "ur voice is hawt", etc. However, there's four creepy asshats who won't leave me alone, despite being discouraged.

As for the "you're a girl, you suck" thing, I get that more IRL when I say I play video games for fun, particularly WoW. The usual response is a long silence, a blink, and a really, really confused look as I ask them if they play, what server, what class, where they're raiding, etc. If they manage to answer that, and I explain that I'm a lvl 70 feral druid in t4 gear killing Mag, Gruul, VR, and Hydross, the confusion only grows. They're not sure how to treat me, as I clearly know what I'm talking about, but I'm a GIRL!

In my old guild, I was an assistant GL to the GL who was a woman. So, girl power :D

When I think I've met a girl online through gaming, I'm normally skeptical because it's all text, and some guys just get weird ideas sometimes.
When it's voice, and I'm fairly sure, I'm still skeptical. How do I know she's not a fat emo person with no real friends, pardon my French? I suppose one could say I'm pessimistic about the situation, but I'd really like to be, since generally because of this sort of thing I feel the internet should be someone's LAST stop for dating. Yes, lower then going to a swamp and trying to pick up possibly female alligators.
In the end I'm usually treating girls the same as guys, though, which I suppose was the point of the whole article.

What strikes me as the most troubling about the issue in the article is that sex in gaming really isn't relevant. Does it make a difference if you're playing with someone who is a girl versus someone just pretending to be a girl? Not really. My theory on the subject is that if people treated an announcement of gender as irrelevant, without going into some shocked or skeptical tirade, there would be a lot less impersonators, anyhow - you know they just do it for the reaction.

How a girl-gamer (or any gamer, really) looks is also completely irrelevant. People can generally play the same way whether you know what they look like or not, and asking for pictures is a good way to encourage fakers who will post whatever picture they've snagged off the internet to get a reaction.

Oddly, once you tell people you're a mother of three, you gets lots of respect. The crap starts, and I mention that I'm a mom. Suddenly I'm cool.

"I wish my mom played video games."

"If you beat DMC on DMD mode, you would be the coolest mom eva."

Riiiight. I'm a MOM. That means I don't have time to beat DMC in DMD mode.

Back to your issue, I suppose that female doctors were once met with such skepticism. I bet female car salesmen--er, salespersons--- still are.

I think the guildmaster was right in asking you to speak more because I think the anonymity of the internet fuels the sexist and stupid behavior. I mean, I doubt these idiots are treating girls in RL so cheaply. By humanizing yourself through your voice, I think the guys will begin to treat you differently. Of course, that places a huge burden on you to "represent" as black quarterbacks were once told they had to "represent" in the NFL so it would be easier for the next guy who came along.

Your story when I read it showed me how the male mind processes. We can't live with the simple fact that girls play the same games we do and in alot of cases, they kick our ass. So if we meet a girl online it's like she can't be hot but in most cases they are very pretty. I have a few female friends on WoW and on Xbox so i usually never seconded thought a girl playing. So i think if people read this they will stop being whiny b*tchs when they get owned by a girl. Great job on the story!

From, TankaX your underground gamer

Roisack:
I talked about this topic last Saturday on my internet radio. I have seen girls mostly on gaming business, but never on demoscene. Girls seem to be more interested in graphics than in programming and they are more like "users" than "creators" on computer related topics. This is my opinion. But so true, girls do not exist on demoscene.

Oddly enough, I suppose, it's things like this that get me annoyed/interested enough to go look at something new. After this comment, knowing I knew nothing about demoscene, hadn't even heard of it before, and this lack of knowledge rendering the above comments completely valid, I went and looked it up. So, I am not versed in much of anything in terms of graphics or programming skills. I like videogames. I like a lot of them, and I am willing to give benefit to the doubt for trying any game, genre, more than once until I can give a decent critique of why I wouldn't play it. Most PEOPLE, male and female are not like me, I have found. I like what is behind videogames, the making of them. It interests me totally. You could say I was completely green in terms of having any skills, or really having much depth of knowledge, but I want to know more. If anyone out there is interested in demoscene and is willing to put up with someone who knows nothing but is interested in learning, consider this a call out to get a girl doing demoscene stuff. I want to break the lines drawn. Because that kind of thing, that kind of ignorance in me is ignorance I can't stand for.

In terms of the actual topic, and girls in WoW + other online games, I play a proc speced warrior, rally groups together for instances pretty much all the time. My warrior is a human male, and I get a lot of hilarious comments about that once they figure out I'm a girl and what my avatar is--which is usually after I tell them, if I feel like it. Especially as my pet priest--ahem, best friend, is a guy, and plays a human female priest. People are always asking us why we aren't playing avatars--NOT classes strangely enough, that reflect our sexuality, which I find interesting. I heard girls are supposed to play priests--I do, I'm just better at tanking. And our respective names are really silly basic household objects and accordingly get a lot of attention when we're hanging out together. It is a comedy bistro. Our guild is just happy to have more female players, as far as I can tell. I talk so much on vent and in chat some of them actually thought I was another 70 when I'm still just 56--got an invite to Botanica when I jokingly said I'd tank for them. Oddly, I have never run into the pix please or the existence thing, but I'll not be surprised when it happens. I've been a girl on the internet since like, 1996, crawling around aol chat rooms and roleplaying white wolf games. However, in terms of WoW I can generally, usually, always from behavior, right down to use of emotes and how they talk in the chat channels, tell when a guy is playing a girl avatar. I must admit, I don't look for it in the boy avatars much, but I noticed that when I play my guy it looks odd to other people because I am more expressive about giving affection to people, and that he looks odd doing it. I can't help it though, I'm just very affectionate in general and online more extroverted than introverted. I theorize that it makes me more "Girly" to other players, so they question it less when I "Come out" to them as to my actual gender. I don't know why it should be, when my friend is just as affectionate with people he plays with as I am, and he is not, to my knowledge, particularly gay, and even has a real life girlfriend to even prove this. But maybe that's it. The barriers of affection are broken, and he has a socially acceptable excuse for open doors of affectionate behavior, and my excuse of affection is that girls are supposed to be, and are supposed to be nurturing, naggy, and slightly teasing in a sisterly way, which I do with my guy friends anyways. The ones with sisters or strong bonds with their mothers respond better to it. The ones without, don't like it at all and think I'm being aggressive or dominant over them and get real competitive with me. Go figure.

I haven't tried out some of the harder FPS stuff, mainly because the aggression/competition doesn't really allow for much cooperative play which is why I like WoW, and it intimidates me. I am not hardcore enough, etc. and they would find out I'm not hardcore--not the girl thing as much worrying me there. I would worry if the room was full of hardcore women just as much as I would worry if it was full of hardcore men playing counterstrike. I like the cooperation. I like doing a cooperative halo team where we try to go for another halo team with friends in the same physical room. I like having other people at my back, on my side, especially if I'm not very good at a game. When I feel that, I play better, and I mind less when I don't play as well, because I feel like I am being allowed to learn. That's just my own psyche, though. And I have guy friends who realized when they met me that I really hadn't played videogames, ever, and they better back up and clean up their act and change tactics if they wanted me to bother playing them, and that they should try becoming teachers as well as players. But my theory is, the better relationships they have with women in their Real Life, the better they are at dealing with women in general, in Real Life, or Online.

Loving the xkcd link. :D. Bobby Tables, lol.

You've also got to consider that:

a) A lot of guys on the net are single
b) A lot of guys on the net would love to talk to girls on the net
c) A lot of these guys are scarily homophobic, infact it constitutes one of the largest cuss downs available in some places.

Therefore they are caught in a delicate balance of desire and mistrust, they _want_ to speak to the female yet do not want to be gay. They do not want to speak to a girl that is actualy a guy because if they said the kind of things they wanted to say to a girl to a guy they would be gay through their own definition of gayness (absurd, I know but whenever were human relations logical?).
Therefore they hunt for proof, for pics for anything to prove the fact that the female is infact a female and then probably mistrust that evidence even if they get it.

I think the issue is that they are more scared of coming across as gay when all their friends are around then they do want to speak to a girl.

When it comes to gender in video games, I just go with what people tell me. If you identify yourself as a woman, I will treat you as such. If you say you're a guy, I will treat you as such. If you tell me later "lolz I was guy u gay now!", I would respond simply with "Okay, cool."

I don't care what people think of me on the internet. So someone attempted to create a trap to somehow prove homosexuality. So what? I don't hit on women, I don't ask a/s/l, I don't participate in "e-weddings", etc. The most different I'll be is cleaning up my language due to me being raised as a gentleman. I do the same thing IRL. I'm sure no woman would be opposed to that.

I also meet people at E3 and various other conferences. I go to these conferences and I enjoy myself, but I've noticed that very few people actually talk to me. It's almost as if there's a giant bubble around me or I'm completely invisible. Wherever I go, the crowd splits or I'm not seen at all, and someone comes running into me, knocking me over.

Y'know, sometimes, I just don't know what to think.

For the most part, you can't just simplify the type of guys you are running into. Some will be the mainstream/casual/jock gamer that only plays Madden, Halo and Counterstrike, who likely view it as a competitive men's league. Plenty of guys will play sports with girls casually, but if they want to compete, it's men only. Same goes for games with a lot of them, even though it's totally different.

Then you have the high school or middle school kids lacking maturity. Either they are reacting off of hormones or off of the attitude that 4chan made ever so cool (basically that if you're an asshole on the internet you're awesome). Even the boys with brains and good intentions may make mistakes here, as they just haven't learned yet.

However, things like what you ran into? I seriously don't know what to think. Then again, at my gaming club, I really don't know what to think either. I know a few gaming girls, and I have played with some of them. To answer the person that brought up the Halo scenario, I act the same against girls as I do against guys: I shout, yell, exclaim and have fun. I do not trash talk, but more utter out "FUCK!" and "COCK MONKEYS!" as if I'm a man with tourettes. In the end, though, most of the girls that join the club in the beginning of the year end up not coming to the meetings shortly after, and I see it as a fault of some of the other members as well as the current E-Board: in the end, if you have a brain, you don't want to be part of the club because it doesn't foster any real intellectual thought.

Me, personally, I see nothing wrong with a girl playing. I rarely play on Xbox Live myself anyway, but the only shock I've really reacted with was when I was playing Shadowrun and a girl's voice spoke from the mouth of the other Troll on the team. Don't quite expect that. :P I'm also an advocate of allowing both mail and female models for characters being available, and was quite disappointed when Shadowrun, a multiplayer only title, lacked female models.

I will admit, though, that the few times I hear a girl gaming online or see a girl in public wearing gamer apparel I would actually like to talk with her. I admit part of it is hormones, but most of it is simply that I've spent so much of my life hanging with other guys and speaking with guys that, in the few times I get to speak with a girl about things, it's a little different. While gender makes a minor difference, the difference is there. So, I wouldn't mind finding out if these gamer girls have a brain or not, what their interests are, etc. Unfortunately, the gamer girls that have depth don't like being treated special simply because they are girls, while the ones without depth soak up all the attention and crave more (funny note: I could've ended up dating the latter type last year if I didn't think "screw my friends telling me to go for it, I need to learn more about her first". Man, I made the right choice, because I can't stand talking to her now...).

I think that whole attention thing ends up making things worse, though. Girls with intelligence and depth hide away, making their presence less. At the same time, when a guy discovers they exist, they give attention to them because such a thing to find is rare. I mean, look at this thread. There are several girls here that have commented only once or twice throughout the entire forum just for this article, yet there are plenty of guys I've seen in other threads posting more commonly. I'm intrigued that each of these girls is posting with their brain, as the gaming girl I come into contact most is annoying and honestly a complete ditz. If the smart girls spoke out more, wouldn't it become more normal after a while? Sure, you'll get lots of attention at first, but over time won't it change?

Which actually goes to the conclusion of the article. Remember how the Guild leader asked Whitney/Teleios to speak more? The result being more girls joining, which will inevitably result in less crap to deal with? Granted there are still adjustments to be made, but honestly, if girl gamers start talking more and tell the assholes to stick it where the sun doesn't shine, then gamer girls will gradually be more accepted.

Anyway, apologies if this doesn't make much sense or seems rambly. I actually rewrote it all, and I'm getting tired, so I may have just written poorly in the end. Also, is it just me, or is there a lot of revival of the "girls in gaming" articles here? Not saying that to knock it, as I'm glad to be discussing it at all for a change, but it's more than I expected.

Don't mind the immature asshats, not all of us are creepy like that.

This is a good article and i've met people like that all too often and they usually want to know where I live so they can kill me by the end of the game, the girl forgotten (i"m a guy).

But unfortunately there will always be some people who twist facts way out of proportion, and me verbally assaulting them doesn't change the way they think, unfortunately. We just need more female gamers. I personally only know one.... well I know a few that play guitar hero every now and then, but they don't count really.

Anyways I don't think you'll find many of the immature pricks at the escapist, but maybe if you posted at some other websites and they saw it they'd believe in you.

Geoffrey42:
Just read this today, and it was WAY too appropriate to this conversation.

http://xkcd.com/322/

That's exactly what I was thinking of when I read this article.

So...I'm a tomboy, and I've enjoyed video games since I was old enough to hold a controller. Since I was little, a lot of my friends have been boys, and almost all of them have shared my love of gaming in all types and forms. In high school I was part of a large group that always talked about the latest games and anime and just really soaked in the geek culture. Having just started college, it's kind of a culture shock. A significant portion of the girls in my dorm building are more interested in socializing with other girls, and only express interest in boys when they're looking for sex. The boys are out to drink and cause mischief, but interestingly enough they really want to socialize with the girls, and they're really very friendly.

I don't mean to spout my life story, but I'm trying to illustrate a point. The internet is a traditional haven for the type of people who prefer to spend a lot of time online because they are either not capable or don't choose to spend most of their time and effort on meaninfgul, face-to-face relationships. So I think what might be happening, is that when they're faced with one of those imaginary women of the internet, one of those beings who are so well known (rightfully or not) for focusing on empty socializing, you wind up inadvertently representing a threat to that cultural haven. Not to mention, there are countless men who prance about with female avatars expecting to get free stuff. It's unfortunate to be accused of being someone like that, but in reality it's reasonable for a person online to be wary of those types of characters. That's not to excuse their behavior, as sexism is prevalent in all forms of society (just perhaps more blatantly displayed online), but just to say that you should consider what circumstances a male online is dealing with that would bring them to this short-sighted perspective.

I think it's a bit conceited to think that you're being harrassed chiefly because of your sex. Many of these same people harrass /everybody/, as any boy who's been wrongfully accused of homosexuality, sexually harrassed, bullied and ganked online can attest to. It wouldn't matter if you walked around with a male avatar talking about tits and beer, you're still going to get some unnecessary attention.

Here's the thing, if you don't appreciate how a community treats you, find one that you actually enjoy. I would imagine that writing an article like this could serve to spotlight an ongoing issue. However, since you apologize for speaking as a woman online and feel self-conscious as a visitor to a gaming convention, it's hard to imagine that you're really doing anything other than whining about it.

I can honestly say, this is a curiously fascinating subject to me. I wrote an essay of my own on the subject once, but I think I can understand to a degree, all sides of the debate.

The evil side = I don't quite understand why women in games resent the notion that they are rare. Even if it is a patently false notion, it doesn't keep them from doing what they presumably want to do. (playing games) Unfortunately, the ungodly truth is, according to my own experience, they are rare. It's not often you see a ferrari in the parking lot at the Wal-Mart. It doesn't mean the ferrari doesn't have a right to be there, but it still stops you in your tracks for a moment until you realize just exactly what it is you're seeing. The simple fact is, in multiple decades of gaming I've met one woman who's gamed with us on a semi-regular basis; and she's known to throw down at Unreal Tournament about once a fiscal quarter. Give or take. I have respect for her as a person, but I don't buy the notion that makes her a gamer.

If it's any consolation to would be female gamers out there, I've experienced those moments of surprise when a she speaks up on xlive; and as much as my gut reaction was "whoh", I bit my tongue. I will continue to do so if it makes the sisters of gaming more comfortable with speaking up.

the good side = I've come to believe that no one who matters cares about it really. You just have to get over that initial curve ball. I have no doubt in my mind, that if I ever do meet a female gamer, she's going to blow my mind for a little while until I get used to her. Eventually the mental switch will flip and she'll stop being (insert name)-female gamer, and just be (insert name). After that, I'm sure I won't care - that's just how my mind operates. Wonderful thing about gaming is it can be an amazing equalizer. Doesn't matter who just killed you - you're still dead. I had a WoW experience of my own for a while.

I ran with a couple Orc Warriors (used to call them the smash brothers). They were both people I know in life. After a while one of them met a rogue, and he introduced her to us. We brought her on some instance runs for a while. At first, everything was great. She was good at what she did, and didn't lose her head in a fight. Can't ask for allot more. Problem was, eventually personality conflicts started popping up. She was just a little too interested in calling attention to herself as the only woman, and the truth was we just didn't care. (So? What? You want a cookie?) Had a couple incidents of basically immature behavior and personality conflicts with one of the warriors and it fell apart. To this day, I'm not certain she ever really understood that we didn't want a man OR a woman, we just wanted a rogue.

On a broad, philosophical level, I hope women in game culture can keep from seeing us all (men online) as the enemy, but I suspect we left that behind a few miles back.

I've always been mildly ashamed of my fellow man, as one would be when alot of them think you can actually get a woman to have intercourse with you by dropping sexual inuendo that's slightly more obvious than saying, 'I want to have sex with you.' While I would greet a girl found in a video game with mild surprise, I would drop the subject instantaneously and continue killing whatever it was I was killing.

Good article there, Teleios.

I've been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2. A little less than a week ago I heard my first female voice while playing. I was surprised, but I didn't really care. Then a conversation started...people were hitting on her, in a small way, just chatting her up and being overly friendly. I ignored it up to a point, but it became a real distraction, and finally said "Will you please SHUT THE FUCK UP!". I was bombarded with accusations of being gay and other droll hateful crapola that permeates the chat on the internet and game servers. I finally gave up and logged onto a different server.

I was actually glad to hear a woman's voice, I had been waiting to hear one, and hoping for it for a while. But the incidence said something to me about maturity in these situations, and I don't think anything like a good etiquette exists for dealing with this. Or if it does, people don't bother to use it. But the point is that it is an unusual thing still, to find women on some game servers, and when it happens there are lots of things to make it into something messy and stupid. A lot of those things revolve around maturity and intelligence and a sense of urbane-ness. This is actually a reason that I want kids carded for video games when they go to stores. Teenagers hitting on the girls on the server was just an awful thing to behold. And I'm sorry if any women who games has ever had to put up with that.

the_carrot:
But the incidence said something to me about maturity in these situations, and I don't think anything like a good etiquette exists for dealing with this. Or if it does, people don't bother to use it. But the point is that it is an unusual thing still, to find women on some game servers, and when it happens there are lots of things to make it into something messy and stupid.

Seconded. I find it curious that we even NEED an etiquette, but clearly we do. And it is pretty hypocritical of me to believe I'm any better. Last time I experienced something similar, my gut reaction was "Whoh"; and I did have to bite my tongue. Ever consider that maybe it's a self-perpetuating cycle? Maybe Tel's guild leader was right when he asked her to speak up more so that more people would get used to it. Chicken or the egg problem here, can we somehow make it easier for them to speak up, or by speaking up do they make it easier for themselves?

Ok... you're on WoW and you're wondering why they feel akward around girls? These people have probably never met a real girl before! They don't know how to respond.

PurpleRain:
Ok... you're on WoW and you're wondering why they feel akward around girls? These people have probably never met a real girl before! They don't know how to respond.

I see what you did there.

Joe:
I see what you did there.

But does he?

Jenny Decimal:
There are ostensibly frontline restrictions on female troops, but the front line is hard to pin down, and plenty of female troops see combat. That said: fair enough, for WWII shooters, it would be historically inaccurate - but at the same time it remains a factor in the gender balance of the audience, and one that cannot be discounted. Medal of Honour lost some of it's appeal to me when it lost Manon.

Actually, it wouldn't be historically inaccurate to have female soldiers in a WWII game. Remember, the Soviets had both male and female soldiers, and some of their best snipers had been women.

The short answer: People are stupid. Add in a good dose of the stereotypes listed above (games are for ugly geek boys who can't socialize; girls don't like games, competition or violent activities; online gaming is simply an arena for digital machismo) and it's no wonder this sort of thing happens.

Is it right? Not at all. Online competition is truly a level playing field; you don't need big muscles to tote around that AK-47 in Counter-Strike, or to swing that claymore in WoW. All you need are a sharp mind and good reflexes, and women are just as capable of that as men.

Do I care if I'm playing alongside or against a woman? Not in the least. (However, that may have as much to do with me being a misanthropic cynic as it does with me seeing women as people rather than sexual objects.) I play online for two primary reasons: To interact, or to compete. When I'm interacting, I want different sorts of people to interact with; that makes it more enjoyable. When I'm competing, I want different sorts of people to compete with; that way, I learn more and get better. So when I round a corner and take a trio of 9mm rounds to the back of my skull from "Princess_Pain", I don't go "Ah f***, I just got owned by a girl", I go "Ah f***, I blew that and just gave her an easy kill". Then I wait for the next round and try again.

Then again, I'm a lot like that in real life as well. I don't really have the time or inclination to care WHAT you are in most situations. If I suffer massive head trauma in an accident, I don't need the EMT to be a man- I need the EMT to be competent. Similarly, I don't need the main tank in a raid group to be a man- I need the main tank to be able to hold aggro on that boss so we can get things done. If she's witty and interesting and likes to crack jokes over the raid chat, all the better.

jadedcritic:

the_carrot:
But the incidence said something to me about maturity in these situations, and I don't think anything like a good etiquette exists for dealing with this. Or if it does, people don't bother to use it. But the point is that it is an unusual thing still, to find women on some game servers, and when it happens there are lots of things to make it into something messy and stupid.

Seconded. I find it curious that we even NEED an etiquette, but clearly we do. And it is pretty hypocritical of me to believe I'm any better. Last time I experienced something similar, my gut reaction was "Whoh"; and I did have to bite my tongue. Ever consider that maybe it's a self-perpetuating cycle? Maybe Tel's guild leader was right when he asked her to speak up more so that more people would get used to it. Chicken or the egg problem here, can we somehow make it easier for them to speak up, or by speaking up do they make it easier for themselves?

I actually do think it is a good thing for women to make their presence known and speak up, If it becomes a commonplace thing, people will learn to deal with it in a mature way. Maybe we can deal with some of misogynist crapola getting enshrined in culture at the same time.

Some good points are getting brought up in the discussion here, but I wanted to raise a few of my own. To begin, there's this weird sort of dismissive attitude towards all those girls that "only play Sims and Guitar Hero". I see it all over the place, and it rubs me the wrong way. It's like the only valid form of REAL GAMING is the manly, headshotting FPSes and stuff. The Sims is still a game. Guitar Hero is still a game. Dance Dance Revolution is still a game. RPGs are still games. Heck, all those little Popcap Flash games? They're games, too. At my current place of employment, my team members are mostly women in their 20s and 30s and 40s, and I'm gleefully overjoyed that one mom plays DDR every night, another mom recently dusted off her old NES and got her Mario on, and that pretty much everyone is gushing over how fun stuff like Guitar Hero is. Not to mention, I swear, at least half the building plays WoW, men and women. There are gamers everywhere! But apparently not the right sort of gamers? Yarrrgh! Can this stop?

But that sort of digresses from the actual "Interwebs" part of the discussion...

I don't draw attention to myself as a girl, when I play online. If the question comes up, yeah, my gender is admitted to. And for the most part, guys go "Oh, okay" and more or less behave themselves. I've had more than a few sexist piggish jerkwads request pics and then immediately ask if I have a boyfriend and where do I live and... maaaan I can hear the heavy breathing from here, please to be taking your hand out of your pants, kthx? I hate it. I just want to play a game! I don't want to date anyone! I hate the assumption that so many guys online have, that girls are there for sex. I'm not a person, I'm a GIRL, a mysterious and incomprehensible thing, that also has magical sexyparts that GASP, they may have access to if they play their cards right!

Thankfully, this is infrequent. But less thankfully, this means I talk a lot less when I play online games. Less typing, less vent, less actual interaction unless I can find a very compelling reason to do so. By shutting myself off, I suspect that I'm not making the situation any better.

jadedcritic:
I've come to believe that no one who matters cares about it really.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Generally attributed to Dr Seuss

being a girl gamer i find that artical hysterical. she didnt mention the obessive way guys get when they find out you are a girl gamer. its like they feel the need to pertect and serve. lol like if we where really out on the battlefield that he would have to feel the need to cover my ass just because i am female. its sweet but i could hand you your own ass back to you before you ever covered mine. but then you get the other guys who just give you crap all the time. the crude comments and never ending requests for sex or other random acts. but then you cant competely blame all the guys on this. you get thouse guys who do pretend to be a girl and well yeah some guys do get fooled. no one likes to play the fool so you cant blame them for never believeing it. but then you get thouse girl gaming whores. the girls who go in and are all talk and no action. they go in to mess with the desperate gaming geeks. they whore themselfs to the males of the gaming community and gives the rest of us a bad name. the ones who get the girl skins when it is clearly an act screaming for attention. the ones who start the guys into all the sexual content. its ridclous. its almost like girls on any server is a legend. heard of once but never really seen. girls either get confronted by a wave of jack asses or a wave of thouse who want to protect and serve, or well pretty much stamp their name on your ass. -.-'

umm, maybe i should jump on the bandwagon? Anyway, Maybe i'm a hypocrite, but i do think that when playing with IRL girls online, i just don't care.

I just wanna play the game, and that's it.

However, i am kind of shy, so when playing a multiplayer game wit ha girl next to me, is very unnerving for me. But i think i have to adjust to it.

Anyway, i don't get it either why men will obsess over girls in an online game... It's online, don't think you can go and visit her... and try to win her over, that's not what a game is for, most likel. Allthough some MMOs seem to encourage this with marriage, in-game. Which i think is stupid.

Maybe they are actually not mature enough, so the ystart doing that, or they want to show off what they did. Ummm ok?

"But I can't talk to the top of someone's head. Am I really that scary? Or was the boy just afraid to face the truth that I am a girl?"

Maybe he loves you? : )

People off the internet are not uncommonly unsure of themselves.

Hey, even I have a hard time keeping eye contact with people I've only just met sometimes ~~ Just a 'lil nervous. It goes away.

I find it interesting how extremely rare good grammar and politness seems to be in the circles you frequent. I guess it could suggest that they are more mature and believers of equality, but some of the more well-spoken people I've talked to on forums turned out to be facists or even religious extremists (and I'm not exaggerating! I'm talking war-loving torture endorsers here!) As for the L337-SP33K:ers, I personally would draw the conclusion that they're all 12-year old dimwits, but they can't ALL be, can they? I don't play WoW, but most of the people in my clan in wc3 use good grammar. We've had female members come and go without any more notice than an average male clan member.

Rather than girls no existing on the internet I'd say that getting on the internet lowers your IQ (in lack of a more accurate scale) by ca 40. When you can't take any real physical or social damage from being a complete idiot it's easy to go there. ~~

"It's like the only valid form of REAL GAMING is the manly, headshotting FPSes and stuff. "

I think you're getting it wrong. The point is that much of the male fps-community considers The Sims to be the only game that girls can play. A genre is a genre, and every fanbase has preset views on the fanbase of all other genres.

I love being a girl gamer and playing online. I've been playing games online since the ps2 network launched and now play most nights online on ps3. Since I started playing online I have gradually seen an improvement in peoples attitudes to me. I chose a very girlie name (princess_uk) simply because when I started playing online games I regularly came across the attitude that girls couldn't be good at games and so I decided to prove people wrong by being obviously female.

I think the thing that annoys me the most about being a girl gamer is the lack of female characters to play as, currently I'm playing Call of Duty 4 online and can only play as generic male. I also get annoyed when guys either hit on me over the comms(I'm happily married), or (and this has happened plenty of times) say "let's look for princess_uk, she's an easy target, she's a girl." I think people are surprised when I end up in the top 3 on the scoreboard lol.

I hope that one day peoples attitudes will change but I think that developers need to encourage girl gamers more by including female characters in their games.

About the points brought up by Lampdevil...

I think that has a lot more to do with the line (a mostly imaginary one) between casual gamers and hardcore ones, rather than having much really to do with gender politics. The distinctions out there people like to draw, some out of long term loyalty to their hobby (video games are decades old but many gamers feel that they've only been becoming mainstream recently) or just plain old elitism. Is someone who can get and maintain 200 Actions Per Minute in StarCraft, or land headshots against a running enemy halfway across the map while jumping in Unreal Tournament more of a gamer than someone who plays the Sims and Guitar Hero? But that's an issue for another day, I guess.

The point AnGeL.SLayer brought up about some male players trying (often too hard) to look out for female players I find fascinating. I suppose there are a lot of motives behind that, from some strange sense of chivalry to the ever-present tail-chase that some guys are on. I've seen a bit of both in almost ten years of online gaming, but on the internet you never know who anyone is, even less why they're doing what they do.

Honestly though I think people should care far less. Most of the time from what you can tell of people is based on between 4 and 16 characters on a screen and whatever they might type. That's the person, there's little to go on and usually little to take interest in unless they have an exceptional playstyle. More recently with VOIP features in game you can hear people too which can add an interesting new dimension to online gaming, which by it's nature has been very impersonal.

The purpose of gaming I guess comes up when you think about this issue in depth. Why do people play games with others? I see two primary reasons.

The first, is competition and honing skills. You see this a lot in action games and strategy games, where competition can be fierce and leaderboard standings count a great deal to many players. Getting better and having fun are the goals here. So what does it matter how old your competition is (although kids often have better reflexes, which can count), how tall they are, where they live (aside from ping) or what's between their legs. If you game for this, it really shouldn't matter much, just the skill of the opposition.

The other is social interaction. Some people game for a unique social experience, since you cannot go out to your local cave with Night Elves and kill baddies or clear the warehouse district of Russian Ultranationalists with your friends. Some games online are as much about teamwork and knowing the other people you're with as they are about succeeding, and fun can be derived from that. I think that's most common in MMO's, a genre I'm not a fan of, but I know many people who love to play partially to just interact with friends (online or otherwise), people in their Guilds, or just random people. In games or gaming where an integral part of the experience is just interacting and getting to know people (not trying to put a 7.62 through their skull) I think gender can matter about as much as it matters in life. That's not to say that people are defined solely by it, but rather it is part of who they are and why they are who they are, and when you're trying to get to know someone, that can factor in.

It's a funny issue all around.

Addendum. This post lost it's way when my mind began to wander, sorry for the lack of coherent structure.

I just want to jump in on this thread real quick and point out that if we find anyone pretending to be a female just to get their rocks off, or using this forum as a cyber club or hookup joint, there will be ban hammer bloodshed. That is all.

/mod.

Dammit

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