The Mind of the Girl in the Game
Long ago, in a decade far, far away, there was a ruthless stereotype known as: the girl gamer. She was tom-boyish, exceedingly competitive, defensive of her gender, perhaps even unattractive. In fact, her overall demeanor and attitude shrouded her sexuality enough to allow her to comfortably hang out with the guys relatively undetected, or at least, she didn’t pose much of a threat to the raw, unbridled manliness of her companions.
With the advent and rise of online gaming, and the current capability of the modern console to rival (and, did I say exceed?) PC’s around the world in their comfort and ease with the game-play experience, did anyone doubt that the market would eventually shift? Did anyone really believe that you could keep us pink-nailed, cozy-fluffy-sock-footed, mascara-wearing, eye-batting hotties downtrodden forever? Hah!
Welcome to the new millennium, boys.
Of course we like console gaming better, for the most part. You see, our nails don’t slip off and get caught in between the keys of the keyboard like they’re prone to do during an intense PC match. That’s so time consuming and irritating. And there are less cords involved – we always like less cords - or cables, or whatever you call those messy things that always get tangled up and dusty and traipse across our living room floor. But despite the differences in décor, shoe needs, and tactile rug selection, we do have something in common: the love for challenging competition.
Now we don’t boast so much when we are with our friends about how we kicked you’re a** as we’re bouncing around the mall or getting a pedicure, but don’t think for one second that we don’t secretly revel in our accomplishment all the same. We do. Chalk it up to another battle of the sexes (won).
Now you’re thinking “yea right, whatever”. Not you. You’ve never been beat by a girl. Come on, that’s just ridiculous. Not on the servers you frequent. You know those guys there. You know them. Besides, you can tell by the way they chat…
So would it surprise you to know that a survey way back in 2004 by the Entertainment Software Association showed that 40% of online gamers were female? That’s right – 40%. And that was so 2004. You think fashion trends move really fast? So, just to make you aware, there is a new trend that has been picking up speed and infiltrating your most sacred serving grounds.
But before you get too suspicious and upset, please understand. We’re not totally insensitive of your need to maintain a solid grip on your masculinity. Our online screen names may just be ambiguous enough that you do not question us at all. We do that on purpose, by the way. It’s just a fact: a satisfied man is more inclined to help with house work and car maintenance. Though, yes - it is true - we do sometimes like the notoriety that comes with tackling your worlds with the finesse and grace of a killer feline. So don’t be too put off when you lose pathetically to “PonyGirl42”. I mean, we do have to keep you on your toes. Besides, that will only make you stronger for us in the long run.
Nor are we fooled for a second that the thought of us running around your post-apocalyptic landscape wielding an AS50 or RPK machine gun scantily clad in short- shorts and a ripped up, tiny Tee doesn’t turn you on. We all loved Lara. Well, surprise. It turns us on too. So maybe, then, there is something else that we have in common.
So please, don’t feel too bad or hold any grudges for too long. We don’t want to de-sacredize your holy sanctuaries of mindless slaughters and strategic zombie annihilations. We don’t want to belittle you and mock your genius or admirable fortitude. We only want to join in the games that keep you from noticing our new nails and shoes, and from taking out the garbage and changing the oil in our cars. It’s nothing personal that we’ve honed our skills and made lithe our little fingers for your ultimate destruction. It’s simply a matter of self preservation.
And, besides, after all - it’s just a game.
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