Girls who enjoy video games are often called “Gamer Girls”. We are not a new thing, No. In fact, we have been around for years and years. I like to think that we’ve been around since the beginning of video games. However, as the first 2 video games created came into existence in 1947, I see myself being very wrong in that hope.
(We went over history of video games in my last post.)
Who’s to know when the female population began playing them. Honestly, I have found no documentation, but I would like to think that once they became a public commodity, girls found themselves enjoying a game with moving pictures from time to time.
Back in my day, us gamer girls had to walk up hill, BOTH ways to play video games! Did I mention there was snow? Lots and lots of snow. Then, once we got through the snow, we had to fight off the alien invasions with our blasters….
Then again, perhaps not.
When I was a young whipper snapper, girls who occasionally played a game of Super Mario Bros. or Duck Hunt were acceptable. When it came to be a thing that they talked about with passion and were excited about it? We would find ourselves slipping into the vast abyss that it is to be a social outcast. I can’t tell you how many times I was told that the Nintendo was a boy’s toy.
When I found myself in my teenage-hood and I expressed a love for games of the video variety, I was automatically categorized into a group that ranked below the geeks and the nerds and looked upon with disdain. Honestly, as a homeschooler I was already struggling to find acceptance within the general public. There were many stereotypes and misconceptions about homeschoolers and it was near impossible to survive socially (Outside of church) as it was. So I gave up my love of video games and pursued my love for the male population. As a teenager, for me, boys were a hobby.
Thankfully for me, and much to my father’s extreme dismay, I married a man who loves all things nerdy and re-introduced me to a world that values the gaming skill. For 13 years Nerd Dearest and I have battled each other, both in real life and in game. I find that gaming together is therapeutic. Not only do we get to play the games we love, we get to play the games we love together! Quality time. I can’t tell you how many hours Nerd Dearest and I spent in the process of unlocking characters and items in Soul Caliber or Tekken games or leveling our toons in WoW. So many fun times….
I find that these days girls and women alike are obsessed with the term “Gamer Girl”, but there are a couple of different types of “Gamer Girl”:
1.) The Attention Seeker
Some “Gamer Girls” aren’t interested in living up to the term so much as they are looking for public acknowledgement of the fact: “Yes, I’m a girl. Yes, I have boobs (Wanna see?). Yes, I love to play video games!” They know that this will get them male attention fast. It astonishes me. Especially when it seems like a majority of them only play Farmville or Animal Crossing, which don’t get me wrong I do own and love Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but it requires no skill at all whatsoever to play.
While playing mmorpg (or other multi-player games) games, like World of Warcraft, they always need to make sure that their true gender is known. God forbid someone assume they were a guy? Girls like this, who don’t take the game seriously, give Gamer Girls a reputation of being weak, or not being taken seriously as a gamer. Games are supposed to be fun, yes! But there is an aspect of seriousness to them, especially when you are playing a game that depends on everyone playing and relying on each other as a group.
It is unfortunate that in this day and age, it can be really challenging to gain respect as a female gamer. I honestly place a lot of blame on the attention seekers. Notice I said “a lot” and not “all”. This is because there is the rare attention seeking girl gamer who is actually very good at her games.
2.) The True Gamer
This is all just my opinion of course, but a true gamer girl is a girl who enjoys her game and works hard to be as good as she can be at it. She doesn’t need the world to know her true gender, she doesn’t care. The recognition should be because of her abilities and not her physical attributes. It’s a challenging road to travel, but it’s worth it. Gamer girls like these gain respect as a gamer, especially in an mmorpg. Though, not for the “GG” population, but for themselves. They have a handful of friends who know their gender and even about their personal life. Their dedication to their friends and their game becomes known through word of mouth and they gain a positive reputation. They may get asked to join a raid and when the extent of their abilities are revealed, they are welcomed with open arms. Not to be carried through raids and dungeons, but to participate and contribute to the group. They even get asked to play again. *gasp* Especially if they are easy to get along with and not snooty or snobby.
In all honesty pre-2010 gamers of the female gender truly were a minority. If you wanted to be considered a “Gamer Girl” you really did have to be able to hold your own. Girls who didn’t take the the game seriously enough to put effort and time into it, weren’t taken seriously as a gamer. You really had to work for it. It was kind of like gaining an achievement with a title reward in WoW.
So work hard, learn your game. It’s OK to ask for help when you need it, but don’t depend on other players to carry you through the game. It will only last for so long before they get tired of it. Have you earned your Title?