So this is a fun topic. And by that I mean this isn’t a fun topic at all, but a rather shitty argument of what shouldn’t even be a topic of conversation, but is. So here we go. What do you call a female who plays video games. Well, does the person in question identify themselves by their gender first, and so is a female who plays games and therefore is a Gamer Girl (the adjective here is Gamer and the noun is Girl). Or does the person identify themselves as a person who plays video games who happens to be of the female persuasion, and therefore is a Girl Gamer (adjective, noun). (I use Girl here for the adjective, but it could be anything from Lady to Female.) Or does the individual who plays games hate this argument as they just want to play games, or perhaps they rail against the “fake” gamers who need to identify themselves as female at anytime ever, as if there was a way to completely avoid being classified in the whole world of gaming. Headache right? I would love to say that the video game world is the playground of the mind and is free from any of the gender arguments of our day, but sadly the argument exists and those who participate can find it rather extreme.
Let’s head to the Urban Dictionary to see the full argument. Parents, if you don’t know what the Urban Dictionary is, learn it now. And then brace yourselves, because not every kid knows this stuff, and you might find yourself agog and aghast at what you think your kids are up to, when in reality they don’t even know most of these terms. Breathe people. You’ve raised good kids. This is just more knowledge to help you navigate the world that your kids are living in.
Let’s look at the top definition of Girl Gamer. This one is the worst and shows what being a gamer of the female gender means in terms of how the world sees you.
Cute, huh? Let’s dissect it.
Personally I love the lack of basic lack grammar skills. Yes, that was a written eye roll.
And how about “attention whores.” Unfortunately, there are girls out there who claim to be gamers for attention, but guess what, people do that in all walks of life, not just in the video game world. And seriously, the guys who fall for that stuff are probably not the guys you want to game with anyways. If the person you’re playing with is more interested in the gender of the players than whether or not they can be a kick ass teammate, you don’t want to play with them. Trust me. What we see illustrated here is simply that the age-old fight between girls exists even in the gaming world. And we need to be aware of it so that we can stop it by not participating. Bring your girls up to know that they don’t need to do this. Bring your boys up to know that girls might try this tactic and that they shouldn’t feed into it by falling for it.
Why bring up appearances? Why should a girl gamer be assumed ugly? And who cares if they did their hair or are wearing makeup or are playing in their PJs? Playing a game is about what your mind is capable of and last I looked wearing something fashionable or smelling good does not make your brain work better. And if your playing in visual sight of other people and want to go all Black Widow, by all means do! That’s a mind game, too. And that is not being an attention whore. An attention whore has placed their self-worth in someone else’s eyes. Some one who goes Crème de la Femme is fully in charge of their own worth and can flaunt it all they want. Both genders should know the difference. Confidence is a wonderful thing. If someone else has it, applaud it and claim your own.
Bonus comment: No one should have to rattle off random facts about the gaming industry or games in general to prove they are a gamer.
Star level comment: Never, ever have I seen a girl play as a male avatar to avoid being classified as a woman. I have run into a lot of men who play as girl characters because they like looking at a girl and if you want to look at a 2D girl’s butt go for it. The flip of this where a girl plays as a guy for the same reason is so rare I have seen it once.
Let’s go down a few more definitions in the Urban Dictionary to the fifth one.
This is a better definition. The problem here is that Girl Gamers still define themselves not only for what they are, but for what they are not, and not nicely either. See above about attention whores. I don’t want to have this argument. I just want to play games. So this definition gets a lot of that right, but it could have cut out all the stuff about Gamer Girls and been an excellent definition. Since we are not there as a society yet, we still need to define one against the other. If we have our girls play games, and we have our boys play games, and we have our boys and girls play games together, it will take the unicorn uniqueness out of the whole situation and we can get to the real fun. The games.
The last classification says why not just step out of the argument all together and call ourselves girls who play video games. Seriously? Do you want to have to say that mouthful every time? I don’t. Ok then how about don’t identify your gender at all. Well, I happen to have told you all I’m a mom which makes me a girl. So there, fine. I’m a Girl Gamer. I truly don’t have a problem with being who I am. I AM a girl. Why should I have to change or hide that? I have kids who are boys. Guess what they are Boy Gamers. Sound weird? That’s because when you say the word gamer, you think boy silently. Which is why no one says Boy Gamer. Ever hear someone identifying themselves as a Boy Gamer? Sounds off doesn’t it. Come in say it a few times. Boy Gamer. Go on, get used to it. Use it all the time. Don’t want to? Tough because when you say Gamer it means both genders. I am a Gamer. That is my core definition. I am a Platform Gamer. I am a Time Management Gamer. I am an Action Adventure Gamer. I am a Puzzle Gamer. I am a Strategy Gamer. I am a Collection Gamer. I am a Gamer. And I am a girl. I go by Greenie. Nice to meet you.