on being a girl. in a game.

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Being a girl is hard. We practically bleed to death on a monthly basis. More things can go wrong with our reproductive parts than you can shake a stick at, and finding clothes that fit when we feel fat is a choice between looking like a couch and looking like someone that should be standing on a street corner somewhere, offering up the goods.

One of the worst things for me, right now, is in gaming.

I’m not talking poker or blackjack, I’m talking online gaming. Yes, I play online games. Whatever.

Yes, I play. Yes, this is my avatar. Her name is Mezmeranza...and I have five more where she came from! Okay, I'm a geek.
Yes, I play. Yes, this is my avatar. Her name is Mezmeranza…and I have five more where she came from! Okay, I’m a geek.

Any girls that play online games know they are in the minority a lot of times. I’m not talking about Candy Crush on your iPhone, I’m talking about those online games like Guild Wars or World of Warcraft where it’s all about your avatar, your gold collection, and how well you can manipulate your mouse and/or keyboard to inflict damage on the computer operated enemies.

So imagine you’re a girl, surrounded by a bunch of guys. Any girl that has been in this situation knows that you have to put on your “man hat”. You can’t have feelings like a normal girl because, well, they’ll get hurt. Almost guaranteed.

Guys in this environment one-on-one can be okay. But put many of them together and they talk to each other – and you – like, well, guys. They say stuff that for them, isn’t offensive or hurtful, but can be to you if you’re not careful. If you’re not wearing your Man Hat.

I get it. But at the same time, it kind of sucks. I get my feelings hurt and have to go off by myself for a while until I get over it because one thing I never want to do is TELL them that my feelings are hurt.

I don’t know if this makes me a wuss. I know there are a lot of girls that play online games and can “hang with the big boys” with no problems, or at least problems of a different variety. Problems like other players that like to pretend they don’t even belong in the gaming environment.

For example, when I google “online gaming girls”, I get:

and honestly…

So we have going to parties, playing dress-up, cooking, babies and sex. Super.

It’s embarrassing, honestly.

It took me until page 3 to get to an article by a female gamer about what it’s like for some women to play the “boys’ games”.

If you have a second to read that article, I recommend it. The author discusses the kind of comments she has received or has seen other female players get while playing online games. I haven’t experienced this type of harassment before. For the most part, the guys that I connect with regularly in my preferred multiplayer game are pretty respectful, friendly, and I can’t imagine them saying some of the things reported by the author of the article linked above. That’s not to say I can’t see it happening with other people I’ve run across in the game…but not to me.

I think it’s sad that girls aren’t always welcomed to the gaming community like guys are. Especially girls that play as well as guys, have played as long as guys, and are every bit as experienced, funny, skilled, and smart as their male counterparts. I also think it’s sad that girls playing online games are an anomaly a lot of times, something odd, and definitely in the minority.

I don’t know if this is an example of men feeling ever more threatened that women are moving into environments that they previously held for themselves, or just these people had parents that never taught them respect for fellow human beings. Either way, it kind of sucks. I hope more women get out there and play despite whatever resistance they might get – and forget these stupid “let’s play dress-up” or “let’s make sure Gabriella isn’t late to her party” games.

FFS.

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