GGVogue interviewed four female gamers speaking from the heart about their first games, experiences, expectations, and desires they hope will be heard. Here are their words.
Let’s say your at the local game store. You spot females grouped in front of the new release section giggling as if they saw Orlando Bloom. You wonder what’s going on and look closer to realize they are hyperventilating over Skyrim. No you’re not dreaming. It’s evidently more real than ever before. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 42% of the gaming population are female gamers. I know what you’re thinking, where are these girls? Truth is, girl gamers won’t talk about their gaming hobbies as a means to avoid wanting attention. Some male even disregard their interests and treat hobbies as a practical joke which often discourages them more from opening up, but what’s so funny about girls playing games?
The earliest example of a video game was the 1947 “Cathode ray tube Amusement Device” filed for a patent on January 25, 1947, by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann. Gaming ultimately boomed with Magnavox Odyssey, Taito, Nintendo, and Atari, but as the first gaming generation grew up, so did the games evolving into the what we know now. The original ideal that games are specifically a male dominant pastime has yet to completely evolve and this continues to disregard the idea that women can take an interest or even excel in gaming. As the idea of gaming became stereotyped with the coined term of dork or nerd, few concepts of women gaming were formed because of the already low portrayal of gamers. Today, gaming is not only a profession, but also an ever expanding and rich industry that rivals movies and music. Every movie turns into a game and vice versa. The heavy ideal of gamers as a social parasite and sociopaths began to die as companies like Game Pro, Nintendo, SONY, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and ComicCon made millions in revenue and heeded to the voices and interests of gamers.
Even as the magnitude of gamer printed clothing, brands, furniture, hobbies, bars are catered to gamers, a small avenue of gamers has yet to be untapped: the girl gamer. It must be said now at this point that the same harassment that gamers have had to endure in the 80’s and 90’s has still not been lifted on female gamers. There is still the notion that many girl gamers feel as if the market doesn’t adhere to their desires. The gaming population doesn’t show interests in female gamers preference. Most importantly many young and old females feel hindered or even feel neglected as there is a good deal of hostility that revolves around females who play games. You may ask, “what’s the point if the outcome might be more Final fantasy X-2 games?” First of all, not all girl gamers like FFX-2. Secondly, to each their own. Not every male gamer love FPSs (first person shooters) games and not all love RPGs (role playing games). That being said, why can’t females have all their dream games become reality too? We too consider gaming a hobby and enjoy it. We may go to work and boast about how we are level 88 warlock on World of Warcraft.
It should not matter if a female is skilled. What matters is that she plays and enjoys games as much as every gamer. Do not shut her down on her status of being a girl gamer either. You wouldn’t challenge any of your friend if they considered themselves funny, cute, handsome, etc. Why challenge a girl who loves games? The last thing any gamer wants to be attack with is “You’re not a real gamer and I am going to prove it!” Let’s just all grab a beer and play some games.