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Girl Gamers, please stop

Posted by Gameloading Wednesday January 2 2008 at 6:23PM
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Before  every female gamer starts jumping me with knifes, blades, baseball bats and cooking pans I'd like to clarify the thread title first.

If you're a female gamer who enjoys playing games, enjoys talking about games then rest assured, you can sit back and enjoy this entry as this is not directed at you in any way or form. However if you're a female gamer that feels a strong urge to rant on how terrible your gaming experiences as a girl have been and if you feel a strong need to let others know that girl gamers do exists and that they can in fact compete with males in gaming then please read closely and pay attention.

If you visit gaming website frequently then you're bound to come across a few articles that either have girl gamers rant of the 'many' horrible online experiences they have encountered or to point out that there are many girls playing online games and possibly reffering to a professional girl gaming clan like Frag dolls or something like that.

Everytime I read an article like that I sigh a little and I find it difficult to even finish the article, because I already know exactly what the article is like the moment I read the first line.

"guys don't believe I'm a girl"

"guys ask me for pictures"

"guys are flirting with me"

"guys give me items and equipment just because I'm a girl".

I'm sure I left a few out, but you get the point.
I can't help but feel that many girl gamers exaggerate....a lot.

I have known many girl gamers over the years and I rarely hear complaints. Some girl gamers would like to make you believe they are being harassed all over the place, but there is little truth in that.
Yes, we know that you, girl gamers, get crap sometimes. Well guess what: We all do, male gamers included. What, you thought I never got a request to show other people my picture? You think I never had a girl hitting on me online? it just happens, get over it already.

Seriously, so what if a guy or a girl flirts with you and gives you items? I can imagine far worse thing then a person of the other sex flirting with me and give me free items (I apologize for the lack of political correctness in this sentence. If a lack of political correctness bothers you, please don't read the previous sentence)

Now to be fair I don't know of anybody who would suspect of a male character to be a female in real life while many people often question the real gender of a female character. Phrases as "Male until proven otherwise" "MMORPG: Many men online role playing Girls" and "Girl: Guy in real life" are not uncommon.

However the issue here is that there are, in fact, a lot of men who play female characters in games, I think it has little to do with the perception on girl gamers.

Yet some girls insist that there is a significant number of male gamers who believe there are no such thing as girl gamers. They seem to base this on surprising reactions from male gamers when they find out you are, in fact, a girl.

However most men do in fact, know there are female gamers, they just aren't as common as male gamers. I play Xbox live quite often and I don't encounter a lot of girls. It's less worse in MMORPG's, but..the vast majority seems to be male.

Even though I know of the existence of female gamers, I still get to read tons of articles of females who are trying to let me know there are girl gamers. I don't care about professional gaming at all, I wouldn't be able to name one professional gaming clan even if a gun was pointed towards me and yet even I know of the "Frag dolls". Why you ask? Because the Frag Dolls are a female professional gaming team which has been pushed in my face by insecure girl gamers to prove that girls can game...just in case I had second thoughts about the gaming abilities of girls.

type in the words "girl gamer" in google and you'll find tons of websites dedicated to girl gamers, there has even been a gaming show "Girls n game" about girl gamers and girl game development.

Yes girl gamers, we know that there are female gamers out there, you don't have to remind us over and over again, please stop asking for attention.

thank you

Ahnilator writes:

Enid?

Wed Jan 02 2008 7:15PM Report
Tenebroso writes:

..............

Wed Jan 02 2008 8:10PM Report
Zweihander writes:

What shocks and appalls me about the Girl Gamer community is there appears to be a suitable portion whom are somehow obsessed with this dire quest to be noticed, recognized as women, and treated in a different fashion than their male counterparts despite their blatant accusations towards males who give them free items simply because the opposing gamer is a girl. Free item issue aside, I find it most startling that people would even make an issue out of something so blatantly mindless as real-life gender acknowledgement in an online "Role-Playing" environment.

Now, granted that I possess only one perspective in this issue.

First of all, I am a male. I come from a variety of sub-genres of male culture. My perspective is, therefore, one belonging to a male in general. That is to say, there is no definitive "male" culture by name. Both men and women have numerous lifestyles and cultures they follow. Everyone forgets this at times, and therefore we end up with sexist ideologies about how "the way things are" for either gender rather than observing the fact that no two people, male or female, or groups are alike in their interests, ideals, and perspectives. This brings to light the issue that what we face are not exactly "girl gamers" in general, but alot of self-proclaimed "representatives" on the girl gamer subject. And its always the angry dogs who bark the loudest.

It is my opinion that, while some gamers who happen to be women feel oppressed in the gaming community through experiences with stereotypes, it is as this article suggests in the first paragraph: they do not represent the whole. They should not be wholly cast to the wayside either, simply because they feel the online experience for women in particular is generalized in such a way that they are destined for discomfort in their activities there.

One thing we as humans all need to grasp at a concious level is that the societies and the communities we live in do not necessarily bend to our needs. Men tend to adapt to this policy better subconciously because, metaphorically, it's a "Man's World". Now before anyone starts chucking eggs at me, hear me out. What I mean is simply that most guys tend to blend in and accept the fact that they aren't going to stand out for who they are so much as what they do. Some, but not all, women appear to believe that because they are a woman they are entitled to certain types of treatment.

These rules may apply in real life. Chivalry has long been ingrained into our culture for hundreds of years, and certain behaviors and customs are expected based on what gender you are. Unfortunately, these behaviors do not transition well when brought into an online environment. Impressions and discussion, for example, are more easily misunderstood in a virtual environment because we lack such things as body language, which gives our behaviors the "personal" touch. The online world is more sterile in its approach, and therefore demands more tolerance. Virtual worlds are only a decade old, and despite this relative youth, we have seen its culture evolve a hundred times faster than reality ever has, largely because it has copied the knowledge of our current culture and magnified the scope of communication a thousandfold. In spite of this achievement, we have yet to fully "connect" with the differences between the online community and the customs of reality.

Many of these women who are so vocal in their rage for the social crimes they've suffered online are actually victim to their own inability to realize that the online world is an entirely separate culture from reality, with different behaviors and customs. In truth, almost everyone in online video games is oblivious to this simple rule, and the more concerning factor: there is NO standard for online conduct. There are certain expectations, but nothing concrete as of date. 

Heck, in reality we actually have conduct for eating with utensils, which greatly differs even in similar countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. And because there are no standards, the behaviors we encounter are going to be erratic. The only thing everyone in these online games have in common is that their collective behavior is slated towards achieving RESULTS. And the funny thing is, their idea of behavior that leads to results generally doesn't work because of the uniqueness of the virtual environment compared to reality. People who could easily bully others to their will in reality will simply aggravate others online, where it is easier to deal with such threats.

As such, the issue we're looking at is only a problem BECAUSE it is observed by the individual AS a problem, when in reality it is more of a social disagreement. And you would think that we here in America (where alot of this debate is coming from) would have learned that we can all agree to disagree by now. The reason this is so hard for everyone, not just women, to swallow is because they have not yet grasped the differences between an online environment and a real-life environment. Most men won't understand why this concern is a problem because we are already used to the bluntness of the online environment. We often forget that women have different expectations than we do, and while we subconciously acknowledge this in real life, we are brutally honest when we're discussing matters via online communication.

Girls and decient guys alike, please know this: in an online Role-Playing game, it doesn't matter who or what you are in real life. It shouldn't ever come to that. Your self-worth in a game should not be based on what you look like, or whether you are a girl or a guy. And anyone who treats you differently because of the character you play, or your identity in real life is not a truely a participant of the online gamer community because it SHOULD be an unspoken standard that we are what our characters have achieved and treated as such. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But for those who cause trouble over such triffles: they're not even worth your time.

I have been playing online games for 8 years, and predominantly played female characters in most cases since I began. As a role player, I become offended when someone asks if I'm "really a girl", because it means they are less interested in my character and more interested in what's behind the mask. When someone asks me that question, I am insulted. In the online world, we are the mask, as it represents where we stand in that community, and is an artistic exprsesion of ourselves. I do not flirt, I do not pretend or even imply anything about who I am in real life, and I do not question the identity of others (though I frown upon behavior I would rate 17+). I am simply Victoria Zweihander, a brash female mercenary of the Hunter's Guild, or Kyia Hunter the Sylph Knight, heroine of Paragon City, or any number of other identities each as colorful as the last. When I voice chat, I speak in the third-person but never forget to give my avatar its due.

And yes, I have been harassed for the simple fact that I am a guy who plays a female character, in spite of the deciency and the class for which I put into my characters and my behavior through them. Frankly, these people aren't worth my time.

When playing your favorite online game, try to remember that it's not about who you are. If you think who or what you are should matter in an online environment, then I am truly sorry but most communities that have any sort of class will disagree with you. Online Role-Playing Games are not an extension of your everyday chat room, where most have the "illusion" that their real-life identity matters. Until everyone, both men and women alike, understand this fact, we will continue to see more of these inane articles on both sides of the issue.

However, as unspoken standards slowly work their way across the board, we should see a rapid decline of such attention-grabbing phenomenon over the course of the next decade. -Zweihander

Wed Jan 02 2008 8:15PM Report
Selencia writes:

I totally agree that some female gamers seek attention because of their sexuality, but in today's society it's sort of promoted/encouraged.

One issue I do find in most MMOs is that although I don't care about being noticed, but it would be nice if guys wouldn't immediately harrass me because they *THINK* I might be a guy. It's not my fault men don't know how to play as their own gender in some of these games.

Wed Jan 02 2008 9:33PM Report
Nefthis writes:

?¿?

First , i'm sorry , my english isn't good, so i used an online translator...

My comment:

And Are these comments do not seek the attention of anyone?
 I am a FFXI player, and in my clan, the majority of those are boys. I just say that I am a girl when somebody ask me. In an online game no matter what sex you are, but how you use your sword / dagger. I have great friends in the game, and really gives me like they are boys or girls, I just want to have fun ^ ^.
 If a guy wants to give a item a girl for the simple fact of being a girl .... It is his problem. If i'm your friend i'll give you a lot of items... And I don't care if you are a boy or girl. My friends do the same :)

I understand this post but I do not share.

PD. Sorry for my english.... again :(

Thu Jan 03 2008 5:38AM Report
Aison2 writes:

I dont get it, why do people even care about gender ingame? I mean alright it matters in real life but in a virtual world?

I dont care if he/she/it is male female or whatever he/she/it did to himself.. in the end all that matters is how good he/she/it is as a player

if they are a good part of the group i will invite them again to playtogether if they cant behave or try to steal items i just kick themout regardless of gender

is it so hard to distuingish between real live and virtual world?

Thu Jan 03 2008 6:14AM Report
soulwynd writes:

A few points from the official blog bashing jerk.

1. Girls are harassed, used, praised, drooled on, fooled, loved, hated, and annoyed everywhere, not just in games,  just because they are girls.

2. Girls are attention whores. Makeup, fancy clothes, purses, shoes, accessories are all just to impress the competition. Males don't give a fuck about those.

3. Somehow I think so are you, for discriminating girls complaining about their everyday (gaming) challenges while the only challenge you got was reading their post and whining.

4. Zweihander - I play female characters a lot, about half of all my characters everywhere are females. But let me get this straight; You wear a mask in online games, you get offended when they find out you're male (or question and subsequently are like 'meh') and don't like it, you think people who care about who you really are aren't good members of the online gaming community.

I'm sorry to tell you, but my real-life self matters whether it is in an online interaction or not and so it does to any self-respecting person out there. If you stick to a pure roleplay environment, it is understandable to keep OOC out of the way, but please, MMORPGs rarely have true role-play servers and even so not everyone wants to roleplay a character, they just want to play. What's fun for you might not be fun to them, what matters to you might not matter to them. What's even more funny is that your argument about chat rooms is exactly what you're doing, chat room roleplay with visual enhancements. That's pretty much it and you exclude people for not using chat-rooms (or game chat) in your masked ways.

Thu Jan 03 2008 6:45AM Report
Gameloading writes:

@Soulwynd:

I'm sorry, discriminating? Please. What I did was ask a few girls to stop whining about a problem that barely exists today. I can't even do that without someone yelling "That's discrimination!" Every day gaming challenges? More like once in a blue moon gaming challenges.

 

Thu Jan 03 2008 7:59AM Report
noconscience writes:

 i think this discussion isnt really that serious. how do you know the full reality of what female gamers go through? dont u think there are male gamers out there who stops and stares at the female characters? the skimpy outfits that the character has? moving that mouse in all directions, close ups on the butt. whipping out the lotion at times. yea...come on goofball. however, due to all that. female and male gamers do coexitst. play well with eachother and complete many storyarchs as teammates. allies...like in the real world. like work, neighbors...etc.

Thu Jan 03 2008 8:29AM Report
streea writes:

I've been playing games for a long time, and MMOs as well. As a girl, I've rarely ever run across problems. Only once has anyone ever said "you're not a girl" because I had a female avatar. I also normally have female avatars (it's like 95% female to 5% male), so it's not like I'm hiding behind a male face.

The mentality that "only guys play girl avatars" and "there are no girl gamers" is ancient... I'm pretty sure it goes back to when I was very, very young. And even when I was old enough to start gaming (back when there weren't as many girl gamers), I still was never treated differently outside of maybe people being a little nicer when talking to me.

I think the whining comes around because there will always be a handful of "those types of girls" who tend to seek out "those types of guys." The rest of us girls seek out mature groups to play with who could care less as long as you can play well.

Thu Jan 03 2008 9:03AM Report
WSIMike writes:

Well... I've been around MMOs for a while now and can't think of a single incident where I've ever heard a female gamer complaining of any such plight. Not to say it doesn't happen, just that I haven't seen it.

And besides... you really can't ask/tell/request people to stop saying things. Freedom of speech extends to women as well. You can, however, choose to ignore them and not read their comments/posts. Seems right in line with someone reading a post all the way through and then bitching at the poster for "making them read that garbage" and then waste their time responding. Really.. who "made" them do anything? They chose to read it. They chose to respond. It's their own fault.

-shrug-

 

Thu Jan 03 2008 9:20AM Report
BadSpock writes:

All people that feel that they are being discriminated against cry foul at some point.

Those who say they want equality tend to ask for special favors, thus making them not equal, but "special."

People like to be special. People also like to belong to things, to share a mob mentality, to feel they are part of something greater then themselves.

Until people realize that equality and non-discrimination means that they're not special, problems like this (and far worse RL ones) will always exist.

It's also a reality check. Do many boys (and often men) discriminate and/or make special considerations for girls/women in real life? Yes. Will they do so even more when they are hiding behind the annonymity that online existence provides? Of course.

Personally, in almost a decade of MMO gaming never noticed nor heard any female gamer I knew complaining about men/boys harrassing them or giving them special treatment etc.

Thu Jan 03 2008 9:41AM Report
soulwynd writes:

Well, Gameloading. I don't know about you, but since I play a few female characters, I notice the difference in behavior of those around me. You don't see girls complaining about those issues often because they like the attention and they are mostly used to boob fanatic jerkpots. At least last year it was a lot easier to get a team in a certain game as a female character, no questions asked there, but nowadays the "there r no girlz on the internets" scheme went up and people started looking differently at female avatars . Secondly, discrimination is a word with more meaning than just being biased, nitpicking some people to whine (or praise for that mater) about is discrimination. But I'm not going to poke on semantics when there are so many dictionaries online. Just making my words clear enough. Oh, and it does happen on a daily basis, they just don't usually complain about it like I aforementioned.

I'd be one pissed female if I was female irl with my personality. All the pats on the head, the fancy nicknames, the sex begging jerks, and the pretend decent guys would have made me explode in a flurry of rage.

Thu Jan 03 2008 10:21AM Report
Zweihander writes:

  •  

    In reply to soulwynd:

    1. Girls are harassed, used, praised, drooled on, fooled, loved, hated, and annoyed everywhere, not just in games,  just because they are girls.

    Get this: Guys have problems too. But just because one out of ten individuals treat you like dirt doesn't give anyone the right to say everyone of that particular race, culture, or gender is guilty of a particular act. There are alot of guys out there who are garbage, and alot of them exist online. This does not surprise me. What surprises me is that there are girl gamers out there who are, or take it more deeply than they do in real life (and given that the frequency of this issue is likely more common in real life, then the off-chance that they would be equally upset in real life situations probably does not speak highly of their ability to cope with the idiocy of others). I agree that women recieve unique forms of harassment that nearly every male on the planet never has to deal with. But very few to the degree of magnitude that is sometimes emphasized.

    2. Girls are attention whores. Makeup, fancy clothes, purses, shoes, accessories are all just to impress the competition. Males don't give a fuck about those.

    That's a generalization. Though I myself am concerned with several of those articles, having a background as a male and an art hobbiest and thus having an eye for design means that I probably appreciate the application of those aspects differently than women do.

    3. Somehow I think so are you, for discriminating girls complaining about their everyday (gaming) challenges while the only challenge you got was reading their post and whining. But let me get this straight; You wear a mask in online games, you get offended when they find out you're male (or question and subsequently are like 'meh') and don't like it, you think people who care about who you really are aren't good members of the online gaming community. I'm sorry to tell you, but my real-life self matters whether it is in an online interaction or not and so it does to any self-respecting person out there. If you stick to a pure roleplay environment, it is understandable to keep OOC out of the way, but please, MMORPGs rarely have true role-play servers and even so not everyone wants to roleplay a character, they just want to play. What's fun for you might not be fun to them, what matters to you might not matter to them. What's even more funny is that your argument about chat rooms is exactly what you're doing, chat room roleplay with visual enhancements. That's pretty much it and you exclude people for not using chat-rooms (or game chat) in your masked ways.

    I see a few of your points, but you're seriously twisting some of the things that I said. I make no effort to hide the fact that I am a male. "Finding out" is not an issue. It's when people I barely know don't appreciate anything about my character or my abilities simply, out of no where, ask about my gender. Why does this offend me? Because, as a Role-Player, I follow a different code of behavioral ethics and values than they do. Having someone fly across the board and ask about my real identity is to me what throwing salt and pepper on a 5-Star Steak is to a chef. It's a slap in the face. My character is a piece of art to me, so who I am has no bearing on them. That's my view. I don't care if they KNOW I am a male, expecially if I'm a guildmate or a close friend-- of course they'd have a right to look beyond the mask and see what other values I have to offer the guild beyond the skills and act.

    It's not like I do not condone non-OOC communication. However, relying on Online Games AS an online chatroom environment (which I will reinforce the differences between in a moment, since you put your arguement so vividly) will only increase the stakes, and conversely, the risk of disappointment or insult.

    The key differences between a chat room and an Online Game (more specifically, the "Virtual Environment" of an MMORPG) is the presentation. An MMORPG emphasis a different playing field than a chat room. In a chat room, you can make up "masks" if you will for your identity but it does not serve the same purpose. In an MMORPG (Read: RPG), your character is an avatar and an artistic representation of you in a virtual environment tailored to specific themes and settings which you are expected to participate within. The differing social ettiquite aside, point is that chat rooms do not have as nearly as powerful an economical risk involved (as MMORPGs involve virtual money and equipment), and that economy boosts the amount of personal communication and kinship through teamwork. Therefore, chat rooms are an inferior medium compared to MMORPGs because there are less risks involved (as there are no rewards beyond the mental stimulation of text-based communication). Higher risk, and higher reward. But the rewards are not always material.

    Now, if you read the first few paragraphs of my statement: I was not "bashing" the blog article as you so eloquently put it. I was actually reinforcing it while adding my two-cents on the issue. Do women have a right to protest? Yes. Do I think it's going to far because it is now being described as a public concern? Verily. And, I specifically said that this was a view from my singular perspective which (albiet was unspoken but hopefully implied) what I had to say was certainly not what may necessarily be right and I ACKNOWLEDGE that. That sense of acknowledgement also means I am open to discussion and to changing this view based on feedback. Thus and therefore, I am not the bad guy you appear to be making me out to be. If treating women deciently in video games is the issue, then you've had my support long before this article was written. However, the problem here is that we're debating the integrity of some of these outlandish arguements that women are not being treated fairly in video games and, as I said before, it is simply a portion and not a whole of that community but the concern remains for that portion who are making complaints. Some of them are valid, and some of them have had a series of bad luck in games, but some of them simply think their online career has been bad simply because they are girls. This mindset is flawed.

    Furthermore, women who want respect or to be noticed in games for the sake that they are women do not necessarily demand alot of respect from their male peers. One of the strongest female gamers I know is part of my supergroup on City of Heroes. Her whole family is in the supergroup, and not once has she ever reinforced her position as a woman. She plays her characters solidly and simply aims for fun, like the rest of us. Her real-life identity is hardly ever brought up, and even then it's for small-talk, but it's not what makes her important. From this alone, she demands more respect than most male gamers I've encountered, save a rare few.

    Do I expect every girl to behave like this? No. But you should also consider, like my original post stated, that online communities operate on different social rules than real life. If someone refuses to adapt to the different communication environment, then no one else is to blame for their faults. There are guys who have their failings in this task all the time, but they make less fuss because most of them don't make it into a gender issue.

    Also, a little lesson I've learned in my life: Caring doesn't change anything.

    My point has and will always be: If it's an issue from someone who doesn't matter to you, then don't give a rat's tail about what they think. If it's someone who does matter, then they must not think highly of you to begin with and shouldn't be worth your time. The moral of the story is: Too many people care about what strangers think of them and make a fuss over it. The fact that it happens to be a part of the girl gamer community in this case is mere coincidence. I would have given a similar lecture if it were a different issue coming from a good portion of male gamers.

    I've spoken my peace from as a supportive stance as I think can be doen granted that this subject is bound to push some buttons. Any further arguements to my intentions are most certainly done to derive attention or arguement. And as I've mentioned in this post: Caring never changes anything, so if anyone has anything ugly to say about me further, here's what I have to say: I don't care. I know how I feel, I know I'm a good person with good intentions who supports this issue from my own stance and I don't need anyone's approval to be that person. I only wish others would be that strong. Thank you.

  • Thu Jan 03 2008 9:46PM Report
    soulwynd writes:

    I don't think I mentioned guys didn't have problems with their counterparts. I also know it was a generalization and that everything has exceptions, If you'd be so kind to point me to one of those exceptions I'd be very happy to marry her. Actually, no, I already date an exception, I will just keep that one.

    As for the rest, using your own analogy but also keeping it valid with my views towards steak. I sure as hell temper a 5 star steak if I don't like it. A good chef should know they are cooking for someone else and follow their tastes, not what the chef thinks is the best flavor. Everyone has their steak preferences. I like it well done to the point of charcoal, that's pretty much a slap on the face to almost every chef in the world because they make sure the meat is bleeding on your plate.

    As for the chat-room thing. I'm sorry, but... huh? ... Most mmorpgs don't make you lose whatever you accomplished when something goes wrong, specially in roleplay. I happen to have a few hundred bucks invested in shadowrun books and other RPGs and I've had characters die in IRC chatrooms a decade ago. So no risks to your characters or your time spent playing them? I don't think so.

    And to keep this short, I didn't reply to anything you said about girl gamers before, only about your views of how people have to (or will) interact differently in online environments specially in roleplay, so I will just skip these last paragraphs as well.

    Fri Jan 04 2008 11:15AM Report
    Vrika writes: I think the realy problem is, that in MMOs there is a huge number of people who treat everyone like dirt, no matter if the avatar is a male or a female, because they won't ever have to face any consequences for their actions.

    And I also think that the problem is sometimes exaggerated. I play with girl avatars all the time, and rarely anyone has done anything worse than maybe flirted at me. Ofc there are some friends who try to make a pass on me sometims, but on the other hand there are also in real life. Why would MMOs have to be diffirent in that aspect.

    Wed Apr 30 2008 10:47PM Report
    paulscott writes:

    hehehe funny but true article. 

    Wed Jul 02 2008 5:31PM Report

    MMORPG.com writes:
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