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Girl Gamer Vs. Gamer Girl

By Carolyn Koh on January 26, 2007 | Editorials | Comments

Girl Gamer Vs. Gamer Girl

Carolyn Koh: Girl Gamer vs. Girl Gamer

Carolyn Koh takes a look at why it's ok to be a Girlie Gamer.

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Is there a difference between a Girl Gamer and a Gamer Girl? Some suggest that the term “Girl Gamer” is simply a designation of the gender of the gamer and that a “Gamer Girl” implies that the female gamer a hard-core gamer. One that can frag with the best of them.

Pffft. Semantics. I say. But former MMORPG.com Snior Editor Dana Massey took it one step further and called me a “Girlie” Gamer. When Laura Genender and I did a couple of debates early last year, Dana opined that we were perfect foils for each other. As he put it, Laura fragged with the best. She enjoyed beating the boys and shoving their noses into it. Whereas I ran like a girl, threw like a girl and would paint the toe-nails of my character if I could.

“So what if you have maxed xp, your epic armor, weapon, mount and raid 5 nights a week? You carry around two backpacks full of robes and spend all your gold on dye pots!”

/em raises hand.

Umm… guilty as charged. I dress up and put the war paint – er… make-up on when I go out for a night on the town. Similarly, I want my in-game avatar to be a most bodaciously delicious babe with color coordinated sword, shield and armor. Or conversely, the ugliest, jiggliest troll babe with a bone through her nose, with a name like Twinkerbelle or Preshus (and color-coordinated bikini by Omar the Tent Maker).

For our first debate, http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/488 Dana searched out a screen-shot of overly endowed, scantily clad, hyper-sexualized female toons to decorate the article with. Something I encouraged and egged him into doing while chortling with glee over his feeble protests of “Laura will kill me…”

Despite the differences in our gaming styles and the outward manifestation thereof, Laura and I actually found it hard trying to find topics on which we could argue opposing sides. Fundamentally, our beliefs were similar. It was the outward manifestations that were different.

It’s this outward manifestation that makes it hard for some gamers (of either gender) to take the “Girlie Gamers” seriously. After all… how serious a gamer can you be if your armor is pink? Tell you what. When I’m wearing a pink robe, my spells do not do less damage then when I’m wearing a black robe. Just because my armor is dyed a lovely shade of rose doesn’t mean that my +200 uber sword of death dealing isn’t any less sharp, or my healing spells any less powerful. One of the top Necromancers on my server in EverQuest was a woman. She enjoyed dueling and she was even a *gasp* role-player!

Different strokes for different folks, but tell us what you think. Ladies, do you think that your gaming sisters who spent the time to dye their armor in coordinating colors are somehow not as good players as you are? Gentlemen, do you think that the girl with the My Little Pony case mod http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/07/11 is any less a gamer? Why?

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.