When I accepted the job as a MyCSU blogger, I new eventually I was going to write a post about working at GameStop/being a “gamer girl.” What I didn’t know was that it would ignite such intense feelings, produce a strongly worded blog post or compel me to share it on my other social media outlets. I have strong feelings about women in the gaming industry as I think you will easily pick up by reading the post. Ironically, around the same time I was writing this, a story broke about a female in the game industry being sexually harassed by a games reporter. Reading the article, infuriated me and solidified my believes surrounding the issue. It’s about time that people start speaking up. Whether it’s on Twitter using the hashtag #ThatWoman, a story on Mashable or on blog posts such as these. My hope is that these smaller outlets will catch the attention of bigger outlets causing greater public awareness. The movement for gender equality in the workplace has already been established. It needs voices to carry it to fruition.
Written for MyCSU. Original post here.
As I mentioned in my “More About The New Girl Post,” one of my four jobs is that I work for GameStop. This, along with mentioning I have an Xbox, PS2, used to play WoW etc. cause many reactions, most of which bother me. The scoffing about gamer girls not existing upsets me as much as the extra attention I receive after telling people that I play videogames. The way the Internet portrays women who game, the way we’re treated differently (both good and bad) and my experiences as a Game Advisor all have added to my repertoire of reasons why I hate the stereotype, and consequently the term, “Gamer Girl.”
My feelings surrounding women and video games run deep within me to the point that my stomach is already upset as I begin to write this. This needs to get off my chest. As a result, this blog may turn into a rant and may be long winded.
First of All
This is not a gamer girl! This is degrading and objectifying.
Neither is this! This is rude and hurtful.
Let’s move on
Images such as these flood the Internet enforcing the stereotypes that fuel the gender inequality of gaming. Did you know that women make up 47% of the gaming population? FOURTY. SEVEN. PERCENT. That’s hardly a minority. Wanna know why women appear to be a minority? We don’t broadcast our existence. We don’t want to seen as special. We don’t want extra attention. We just wanna complete Dragon Age Origins on nightmare mode, defeat the Collectors in Mass Effect 2 or pwn some nOObs in Ghosts. Same as you. Sure, there are girls out there looking for attention. And yes, those girls take photos of themselves in their matching Victoria’s Secret undergarments, biting a controller with an abundance of makeup on.
I don’t like the term “Gamer Girl.” Obviously. Why do we need to specify our gender? It’s like the basics of news writing. When covering a story, you don’t specify a person’s race unless it’s pertinent to the story. Is our gender really pertinent to the fact that we like to go on multiplayer binges and forget about nutrition and hygiene?
Why not just GAMER?
The Internet isn’t all bad
The Internet does try to strive for gender equality amongst the gaming community. While Googling “gamer girl” practically brings up soft porn, (really, it’s disgusting) there are some positive, snarky or witty pictures as well.
While I appreciate the sentiment of “learn to like dark hair and glasses” this isn’t entirely true either. I personally don’t have dark hair and only wear glasses to drive at night and see the board during lectures. My point is that as diverse as the male side of gaming is, the female side is equally different. None of us, and I mean men and women both, fit into a small, premade box.
Working as a Game Advisor has the power to boost my ego and tear it down—sometimes both in a matter of a couple hours.
“Dude, you must be in heaven! You get to work with such a hot chick all the time!”
“Oh, you’re a girl. You won’t be able to answer my question.”
“You only got your job because you’re pretty.”
“All you do is stand there and look cute.”
“You must be new. There are usually not attractive women working here.”
Don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was getting into applying for and accepting that job. I also have managers that will stick up for me, tell someone when they’re out of line or even kick them out of the store if need be—occasionally even before I have the chance to respond. I also don’t go around pretending I know everything there is to know about videogames. I don’t. I have gaps in my videogame knowledge too. The optimistic-lets-all-hold-hands-and-dance-and-sing part of me just wishes the world were different. Maybe blog posts like this will shed some light, open some eyes and change some opinions.
For now, Happy Humday Rams. And thanks for listening.
P.S. Former All-American defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock of the Indianapolis Colts’ was so addicted to Call of Duty he was out of the NFL.