You Won't Find Girl Gamers Because They're Hiding
Girl gamers do exist. I wrote an editorial some time ago entitled, Is The Girl Gamer A Myth? and after the massive influx of e-mails in my inbox disabusing me of such an absurd motion, I was forced to issue a follow-up article citing many of the responses.
However, at the time, I noticed a recurring theme in those responses and ever since, that theme has become more obvious. Girl gamers are out there and many of them are probably playing online with you...but you might not ever know it. Why? Because the maturity level of too many gamers is below that of an infant. Has anyone been in PlayStation Home if someone is wandering around with a female avatar? How many times did I hear a girl gamer say they play shooters all the time, but never with a microphone, because it would become an unbearable experience? Some of those gals are just plain unapologetic; they're out there, and they're gonna kick your ass if you've got a problem with it.
But most, I've found, aren't like that at all. Whether it's because older gamers can scarcely believe any normal female would play video games, or because the younger crowd hurl insults while hiding behind the veil of anonymity, many females who indulge in the hobby prefer to stay out of sight (and out of ear). Some don't even like the idea of going into GameStop; if the girl is even remotely attractive, they're creeped out in minutes if a certain clientele happens to be in the store. Things aren't any better in online communities; that veil of anonymity once again causes all sorts of problems, and again, I've heard of many a girl gamer hiding their gender when posting in game forums. This is not a good sign. Immaturity and video games have been linked together for a very long time - a common stereotype - and this really isn't helping.
Oh, they're out there, all right. But you'll probably never see one, because she's either disgusted or freaked out whenever that fact becomes public knowledge. So maybe the best indicator of an audience that is finally grown up arrives when girls don't have to tolerate our adolescent bullsh**. Wonder when that will be?
12/3/2010 9:14:13 PM Ben Dutka