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

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The internet is such a big place, I hardly ever get bothered for being a girl. At EB Games though, I was once asked "where my man is" by the clerks.

To which you reply, "Duffelbag. Trunk. Do you have any copies of Painkiller?"

I knew a couple of female gamers back in high school. They both moved away. I know female gamers exist. If you were to approach me online and tell me you were female, I wouldn't give you flak for it. I just wouldn't believe you.

Hold on, hold on, stay the flame throwers a moment. I said I wouldn't believe you, not that I would challenge you. My general response to "Of course Im a gurl on halo!" Is a simple nod and maybe a mention that there is a plasma grenade on the individual in question's back. There are a lot of guys on the internet who like to pose as girls. There are also a lot of girls who simply enjoy a good raid or deathmatch. I don't generally try to figure out people's gender online. It should not matter if they are a male or female, and as such, I don't care for the info. I don't care which bathroom you go to, only if you can hold a base in CTF or if you can hold aggro as a tank.

Generally, I've also found that if I'm not trying to find out who is what gender, then the only people who make a big deal of trying to convince me they are a girl when I don't give them the expected "OMG UR HOT LETZ CYBR" response turn out to be 40 year old men.

The game I play most online is Unreal Tournament, and there truly aren't hardly any girls in it. My clan used to have one back in the DAY like 7 years ago when shooters and RTS's were the only online games available, and I think she plays WoW now... most girls do gravitate away from the fast-paced violent types of games, and that's what the bulk of online gaming is (besides MMOs I guess). The online UT community is so overwhelmingly male (200 to 1 gender ratio, no exaggeration) that I can't blame girls from shying away from it. Any time one shows up she's instantly greeted with a mix of the following:

Disbelief (as described in this article)
Overly super-niceness
Plain ol' crudity
Angsty misogynism

All of course brought on by the deep, deep well of pent-up sexual frustration that is a community of 99% teenage boys, mostly without girlfriends.

I personally treat women online a little differently than men, just like I would in real life, but with as much equality as I can manage. Most men change their behavior around girls, and in an online community that's pretty much like a real-life "guy's club" it's a little disorienting sometimes having a woman around. Not saying it's a bad thing, but the problem isn't the presence of females in general, it's their relative scarcity. 50 girls and 50 guys is normal. 2 girls and 98 guys is weird. And as Angel.Slayer pointed out, the ones that can actually handle an atmosphere like that sometimes tend to be people that are desperate for attention, which makes us guys further skeptical. If I was a woman online, honestly, I'd probably just pretend I was a dude and not use voice comm.

I'd love to see more girls on the intarweb, but I wonder if it'll ever happen.

Bleh. One of my good friends be a gamer and cruising internet constantly.

Now, in a complete reversal of all this, I must say that on one forum I frequent everyone believed (for some bizarre reason) that I was, in fact, a woman. *Shrug* I have no clue why that is so, it just happened.

I've seen this exact thing more times then I can count. I don't know why people can't except that girls play games. Most of my friends from high school are female and they all play some type of video game.

In my guild on WoW we currently have 56 people total. Out of those there are three girls that have spoken on vent/posted a picture on the guild site (we never ask them to, all members are welcome to post a picture and a lot of them actually do once they settle in). One of those is our GM who is also married to one of the other members. Another is engaged to another member and the last is single. The first two get attention from a lot of the new members but once they find out they are spoken for it seems to trickle off. The last gets the most attention for the longest.

Sadly its looking more and more like guys just can not (or do not want to) accept that girls are online playing the same games that we are. I hope that those that play will keep there heads down and be smart, don't want you having to deal with anymore idiots then you are already going to have to.

GrowlersAtSea:
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?

Well, those things are still games, so you can say those are gamers, with different tastes.

Anyway, everyone agrees to it that MMOs are being stereotyped. Maybe it's also because of that one ad of WoW, which actually catered more to the ones that played it and let it dust. It was more for guys it seems. And i didn't completely do my homework on this one, so correct me if there is an ad with a female star in it.

But what people tend to forget what that stereotype in mind is that everyone can play it. You shouldn't be surprised to find girls there, now shuld you? People should realize that for one, But it's also something we tend to forget alot. Well, not the people at the escapist, they seem more inteligent and mature than any other community. I'm digressing though, but my point is that people(usually around 12-15 something age) forget that their game can be played by anyone.

So why do we neglect that aspect?

You should go to EVE-online. Girls are much more commmon there and I haven't seen anyone freak out because of it.

It's a weird cycle. Are teh men on teh interweb crude and desperate because they don't have girlfriends? Or do they not have girlfriends because they're crude and desperate? Either way, I'm always ashamed of my fellow man when their whole gaming experience derails because they're horny. "OMG UR A GURL, PIX PLS" Just.....it's just....sad. I always wonder if that's how they would talk to someone in real life. Maybe not, but I bet they're thinkin' it.
BUT, as many webcomics have pointed out,
Normal person + Anonymity + public voice = Complete asswad.

Oh God, there was a thread I read somewhere about how girl gamers were all either fat, ugly, or only played The Sims*, and were therefore worthless. The sense of sheer entitlement was just... Well, the day someone invents an internet death-ray, I know who I'm going after.

(*Also, a guy found out his girlfriend played The Sims, so he 'educated' her as to why she was a stupid bitch for doing so. I bet he gets so much sex, you guys. We wimminz love being called stupid bitches who should just play with dolls if we wanna play house.)

Rule #whatever ("There are no girls on the interwebz") is, IMNSHO, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Girls get hounded off because nobody believes they're girls, so the myth gets perpetuated.

There's certainly no shortage of people who DON'T believe it, either... every big site on the internet, from MMORPGs to social networking sites, always get flooded with cybering requests at the slightest provocation. A lot of the thirteen-year-old boys desperate for cyber fun don't even bother to read profiles before doing so. I am male, but the fact that my username has "cat" in it causes a lot of people to mistake me for a girl even when all you have to do is click on my profile to see the word "Male" written under "gender," and THEY get offended when they find out I'm not what I never even tried to make anyone think that I was.

Then again, I personally am of the opinion that the "ignorant masses" are really just a bunch of twelve-year-old boys ruining it for everyone. Thank you, 4chan.

(just one little problem: Speaking as an autistic, I always get a little uncomfortable when people demand eye contact. I always have trouble making eye contact when I'm speaking to someone, even if I know them well and am comfortable around them, and there are a lot of people like that. I always feel embarrassed when people take it as an offense when it's not).

i have to say for all the popularity of mutliplayer games the biggest complaint of 90% of gamers tends to be the gamers they meet are total cock bites about everything including gender. i'm a dude and i'm tentative about talking in online games for fear of whats going around me. i don't get it myself, most of the gmaers i meet in person or on forums tend to be really cool but in actually playing online it's only my friends and friends of them that are even bearable let alone fun to play with. granted my experience is mostly limited to xbox live but i've never been much for multiplayer given i prefer co-op to deathmatches and i'm not a big fan of fps, i will admit in the days of diablo and starcraft most of the people you met online were fairly decent and even phantasy star online for dreamcast was pretty cool, i think when people have an evil to unite against they actually unite, when people your playing against could be friends or enemies from minute to minute it helps create a hostile environment. not that trash talking isn't fun from time to time but thats all people are doing now-a-days.

i've run into female's from time to time in games and while i can understand their hesitance to admit their gender i thought we outgrew this childish nonsence,

Well, my old guild leader and around 1/5 of my old guild were girls. I also don't mind admitting that I get my beat by girls in games. Also, I never ask for pictures because it is rude. PS: You just made me get an account so I can point out polite guys do exist on the internet.

Having never delved that deeply into online gaming, I've never had people full-on freak out at me whilst playing a game. However I do get questioning looks and snarly jeers when I'm perusing my local EB Games without a man at my side, like they should be checking for the Four Horsemen or something.

In recent months I've played everything from BioShock, to Portal, Crysis, Assassin's Creed and so on. And I play the Sims. Get over yourself.

Not only am I a girl gamer, I'm an all-around girl geek. And it's not just the Internet, people in the actual world have a hard time wrapping their minds around that one. If I'm in Chapters and pull a sci-fi novel off the shelf, everyone (read: men) swivel there heads in my direction like I just pulled the pin out of a hand grenade.

It's a stereotype that exists in all culture (not just cyber-culture) and it's a damn shame.

After reading through the article, and then each of the replies and comments in this thread, I think I'll attempt to add a bit more insight on the topic. I don't know how well I'll do, so forgive me if I don't make some points clear.

The first thing I think that I think is important to remember is that young males, by varying degrees, are inherently nervous around the opposite sex. This is not just limited to the internet or online gaming in general, but anyone in all walks of life. Show me one straight male who at some point has not felt some degree of internal struggle when attempting to interact with the opposite sex. We can get over that, but the point is we experience it at some point.

Another thing to remember is that the internet is a haven for those who have difficulty interacting with other people in general(such as myself), let alone the opposite sex, and as such have not exactly learned what it means to be respectful or courteous to others. There are none of the nonverbal cues or the pressures of keeping up an appearance when you're communicating with others by way of the internet, say, for example, this very web forum. I'm not trying to justify poor behavior when the stereotypical teenage dimwit demands you show them a picture of yourself to prove you're a girl on the internet, but girls, please keep in mind that these guys you interact with probably are not very social people and engage in a hobby primarily enjoyed by other guys such as themselves, so don't take it too personally when a group of guys harasses you. It's very likely that they are simply curious, so clue them in a bit.

I had another point, but I realized I'd simply be reiterating what everyone else has already said already.

Sylocat:
(just one little problem: Speaking as an autistic, I always get a little uncomfortable when people demand eye contact. I always have trouble making eye contact when I'm speaking to someone, even if I know them well and am comfortable around them, and there are a lot of people like that. I always feel embarrassed when people take it as an offense when it's not).

We should be friends. Seriously. I have PDD-NOS(another autism spectrum disorder for those who don't know; basically psycho-jargon for don't-know-what-exactly-you-got-but-it's-something) so we could probably relate in many ways. I know exactly what you mean about the eye-contact thing, I still can't do it.

Heh, it can get even worse in game developing- girls can be real scarce there (sadly). I'm one though. There were only two girls (myself included) in the highschool classes for higher math, chemistry and physics) and the college for gamedevelopment...I was the only one. Where I work there's one other woman.
Though I get along with 'the boys' just as well, it's fun to relate with another gamer woman at times.

I never got a lot of shit. In the past (years ago) a bit on Diablo...especially because I choose male avatars so often. Hell, on roleplaying games I play psychotic terrorists.
And I hate playing priests.

What got quite funny was in a roleplaying game (real roleplaying ;) ) My character got a sort of love interest (not cybering, thank you). The other player knew i was a female player...and the player playing the female character was a male, which was a funny mix and resulted in much oc laughter when I unloaded another bunch of ic sexist remarks.

I just finished reading the article and a few of the posts here. Now, I'd like to respond. Let me first start off by saying that I am a guy. I know what I'm about to write will undoubtedly be taken as straightforward sexism by some, but I really do have a valid point to make here, so bear with me.

First of all, I'm going to tell you all a little story. Years ago, I was sitting around with a bunch of friends (a couple of them young women), playing Goldeneye on the 64. We decided to have a little one-on-one tournament to see who was the best player in our group. It started off normally, and by that I mean it quickly degenerated into a trash-talking free-for-all with every kill. Now when the only one of the 2 girls to participate got killed, no one said much. I noticed this and thought it odd since she was one of the most foul mouthed women I'd ever met. When it finally came to the final match, me vs her for the win, I thought I'd step up and dole it out as good as her. Unfortunately, I didn't have much opportunity since she was thuroughly kicking my ass. Then, my fortune turned and I was able to mount a comeback, trash-talking and all. We fought back and forth for the better part of a half-hour and, in the end, I finished her off.

As soon as I won, I threw my hands into the air, declairing my supremecy to all (all 9 of us, that is) and turned to my defeated adversary to offer a decidedly triumphant "good game." That's when I noticed it... She was crying. Mind you, not hysterical sobbing or anything like that, but there were tears on her face that she tried quickly to remove. I felt like CRAP! And at that moment, my great victory meant nothing anymore. I made her cry.

Now, there is a point to make from all that. No, I'm not saying that all girls cry when they lose or anything like that, so don't even start! The thing all you proud girl-gamers need to realize is that the guys you play against are in fact GUYS. We act differently towards you when we realize your a girl because (now get this) you ARE different from us. You see, most men have this little gene that forces us to accept this and watch our words and actions around you because we know that when you're upset, well, it's just no fun for us. And this goes to the point of the article in that if we refuse to accept that you are indeed a woman on the "intraweb," then we don't have to watch ourselves and can just go about having fun as usual.

Take this all for what you will, but remember one thing:
You may be an empowered young woman looking to cross the proverbial sex boundaries and have fun with the guys, but that doesn't mean that we're going to stop being, well, guys.

Food for thought.

Good point Brimstone. It's another reason I don't always make myself known on the internet, even if I know I am amongst good people. I do notice though that when girls and guys get more at ease with each other and get to know each other better, it changes somewhat, and guys can get to be more...guys again.

I didn't know that the sexism thing existed until i read this =S Generally when i'm gaming (i'm female) i don't tell people what gender i am since it's not really relevant and something i'd think about while trying to complete a mission. I also had no idea that some guys think that female gamers don't exist. I think the truth is that girls who play games just don't think it's important enough to bring up; it's a game, why does it matter?
I never thought there was a lack of female players; i used to go to an all girl's school and most, if not all of the girls i knew played some kind of game. There were the casual gamers; those who played sims or karaoke games in their spare time or before going to social events or clubbing (a lot of these girls were not 'geeky' in any sense) and also those who enjoyed survival horror/fighting/shooting games and some RPGs. Girls playing games are not rare at all.

Though, looking back i did get people questioning my being female, asking for pictures etc. and going 'lolz , liek cyber wif me plz!!111' at random intervals, but i just learned to ignore them all.

Girlysprite:
Good point Brimstone.

Thank you very much.

Now, I need to add that I do understand where alot of you are coming from. When you tell people online that you're a woman, you're just trying to state a simple fact about yourself. You're not trying to get attention, but you have to realize that the attention from males generally goes directly to the nearest female.

I understand this because when I tell people that I'm from America, I'm just stating a fact. I'm not looking for a discussion on why my country is horrible or how we are all fat and lazy.
(STOP! It was, as I said, just a statement to express a point. PLEASE do not list all the things that are wrong with my country of origin, unless you want me to return the favor...)

Now, onto a more useful suggestion:
The next time some guy asks to see a pic of you to prove you're a girl, tell him you will if he shows a REAL pic of himself first. If/When he does, laugh at him. Then, tell him you don't exchange pics with dorks over the internet.

This actually serves a purpose other than being cruel. You see, us guys need various things to keep our egos in check. Generally, we get that by hitting on women in real life and getting turned down more often than not. It not only keeps our heads from swelling, but teaches persistence as well. So, if you do that, any guy who reads/hears you do so will not only be more comfortable with you, but also gain some respect for you.

I know it sounds a bit unnecessary and mean, but it might just help.

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

http://xkcd.com/322/

Love the comic, too funny. :)

On Gaia (yes, I go to Gaia. Call me a faggot if you want, I still go there), someone made a thread advocating a rule stating that our Gaia avatars had to be the same gender as we were. So you could only play the same gender as you were.

One of the great people on there, AnarchoManiac, replied to this thread with a great perspective on the whole "prove ur a gurl" topic:

AnarchoManiac:
For that to work we'd need another rule, that you must choose "obese" or "non-obese" when making up your identity, and your avatar has to reflect that as well. That way I can be sure that I'm only hitting on NON-obese women.

Whitney Butts is the "woman behind the curtain" at The Escapist. Her existence revolves around the fact that Mathematics is the key to the universe, and that she alone is the square root of all evil.

I LOL'd. :)

I think there may be a factor in WoW and other games that 'cyber' goes on; and it may be really disconcerting to find out the "Hot Chick" you were cybering with is actually a Trucker named Derek.

Just read that article. I am male, but I play with several females in EVE Online (that game being advertised all over this site). The leader of my alliance is female. The chief diplomat in my corp is female. And one of our directors is not only female, she's the CEO's RL wife.

I think EVE filtered out the thirteen-year-old idiot demographic with that treacharous learning curve.

Actually, I just had an idea for a pirating scam. Find guys who will insist on seeing pics. Tell them that you'll supply NAKED pics if they meet you at X asteroid belt. Then set a trap, kill them, and take their stuff.

Russ Pitts:
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.

Landslide:
Dammit

lol

The only people that have had a problem with me being a gamer are females. Mainly my year at high school. And maybe my flat mate, when i was moving in a told him I was a gamer, he nodded and said 'cool' then he saw my console and game collection and freaked out.

Online on some rpg i get the 'offers for help for favors' but from what i've been told you get them as male characters too. Never been told to prove my gender, most people ain't bothered.

This topic has to be on of the greats for inspiring endless debate.
In my experience 99% of the people I've met on the internet, less then 1% of the total I know, are too lazy to really care about gender.
You're either knowledable on a topic, or good at the game, or as they say in the vernacular a 'Screaming slope foreheaded knuckle draging noob'
But hey that's just me.

A very interesting read, and some great points made in the article and by some of the people replying.
Alike many of you, I don't understand the obsession with gender in gaming. I play games to escape from reality so to speak. To enjoy myself, and escape the everyday mundane crap. I just enjoy myself, regardless of whether I'm playing with one female or 20 females. It makes no difference to me.
I find it's generally the 'Internet Warriors' who spam the hate/rude/cyber-plx crap. By that I mean the teenagers who happily hide behind a monitor and keyboard saying whatever they want knowing they'll get away with it.
Going to LANs and meeting some of these foul mouthed kids is hilarious, because suddenly you notice their heads drop when they see the guy they'd been swearing/insulting/threatening is not only an adult *Gasp* - but twice their size, a 6'1 200lb black belt in Jui Jitsu.
My point I'm trying to make is...take it with a pinch of salt. Retarded people dwell on the internet unfortunately. It's easy for a horny 12 year old to spam random stupidity because he can't be held accountable for his actions.
However, not all people on the internet are this way - take the good with the bad.

TerribleTerryTate:
A very interesting read, and some great points made in the article and by some of the people replying.
Alike many of you, I don't understand the obsession with gender in gaming. I play games to escape from reality so to speak. To enjoy myself, and escape the everyday mundane crap. I just enjoy myself, regardless of whether I'm playing with one female or 20 females. It makes no difference to me.

Considering your avatar, I find this hilarious.

Wow, this thread just won't stay down. It's a good article though.

So is this one:
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/how_it_works.png

Xbox live is becoming more equal, but as i play less and less nowadays i cant make a point with much evidence. Back in the ghost recon 1 days i played against girls and apart from the camping ones it was just like playing against anyone else.

Thebobmaster - I'm curious why you find my reply hilarious due to my avatar. Are you assuming I look down on women or am some sex-obsessed pervert because I have an avatar of Quagmire. Or is it simply I love Family Guy, and the only avatar I could find was one of Quagmire?

What a great article! It just goes to show you that over the years these topics are still the same. So sad...but I'm not surprised.

One explanation maybe...

I am single and looking, and i guess many guys playing do.
Quite a lot of guys who are single and looking are as faar i can tell pretty much acceptable beside one flaw.

They play games.

That offcourse is a big flaw, because it means that a lot of time is spend on it, you do not get to any decent level anywhere without investing a lot of hours, two hours each weekend wont do.

Relationships often result in the choice "Girlfriend or games?"

If you are casual about games no brainer, if it is your mainhobby it means sacrificing something big.

So what does any middle income, avergae decent guy single and looking for does look for?

A girl who likes to play games!

Do girls in RL run around with a "gamer" tattoed to there foreheads?

Nope.

So where do you meet this extremly precious and someway rare species who fullfills already the one big default every "gaming guy" looks for?

Online games!

I do not speak about "sex", I speak about living with someone and all that stuff.

So yes, girls in games will be as long an issue as long there are few girls playing games, or at least as long it is hard to find girls who are looking and do play games (and you can identify outside online games as such)

(And i consider the 14 year olds on hormones crapping all over the screen with "dirty language" annoying too)

It is a simple fact of life that people look for similar people to hook up with in something like permanent, and that one of the main issues is that booth should share the main interest so it is for booth sides fun to spend time together, and not one of booth yawning most the time.

So if i meet a girl inside a game i will offcourse be "interested" as much as i would be meeting a girl RL i know does game (As soon i get the feeling that i could imagine doing the "growing old together" thing with her)

I do not think that is weird or something like that, it is simply the way that I would like to have booth, a "permanent GF/SO" and play games, and on top of that do it with her together because i would consider that a lot of fun, more fun than getting my eardrums blastet visiting loud dance places, or leave a fortune going shopping, or crawl up mountains or do a lot of perfectly ok and not weird things i simply consider not fun (and no i am neither overweight or skinny)
I consider simply most things "normal" people do no fun, but do not think a girl should sit beside me and get bored out of her mind because i like gaming, or I have to do the same with what interests her, so that is what my rambling is about.

I try to find out in some covert way if "she" is looking too, and if yes if i am "acceptable", if not she is a fellow gamer, period.

The sad truth is i know a lot of gaming girls, all happily married though, dammit!

Just read this today, and yeah, much of it is true from my experience. Being an avid gamer and also an active player of WoW, I have met many [guys] who hold this same attitude of "Oh ur a girl? ROFLPIX?".

Having played WoW for quite a while [read : 3 years] I have been thoroughly cured of any noobishness[everyone is a noob when they start out] and i find that i have become shy(hmm thats not really the word but closest i can think of right now)of telling others of my sex. I now prefer to let them ASSUME that I am male as well, to avoid the "how r u babe?" "been naughty hun?" "can i hav ur msn sexy?" "can i see ur pic plz" "wanta b my GF im 14" etc that I went through in my early noobier 1st server days.

That is the reason why, like the girl you described in your post (@OP) I REFUSE to open my mouth on vent. Even though I am not the only girl in my guild, I AM the only one who is...uh...of a younger age group? Yeah. Teen girl playing WoW on her own? First thing people read into that would be : 1. Fat, Ugly 2. Desperate 3.Internet Whore
All of which is not true(I'm not saying there aren't girls like that, I'm just not one of them). Having a passion for gaming does not make you any of these, I would proudly say, for I myself would be living proof. As a result, on my new server(since 07), only my Guild Master and 4 others [one of which was like CYBORZLOL] knows about my gender. And only my GM and 2 others know my age [again the one who was CYBORZLOL >_>]

I really hope that this sexist way of thought will dissolve in time, or at least the guys will let girls play in peace without thinking derogatory thoughts either cause we are gaming or we apparently 'suk' but I guess it will take a while. A long, long while. (Hope I'm not dead by then)..............

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