The Bias Towards Gamer Girls

I’ve been meaning to write an article about gamer girls for quite a while now, but there have always been other things that somehow came in between. When I watched Justin Silverman’s gamer girl video [1] the other day though, I had a lot of ideas for how to expand my report even further and figured, it would be a great time to write down my thoughts.

Most of the things I am going to share with you are either instances I have observed or – being a “girl on the internet” myself – even experienced firsthand.

In Justin’s video, he talks about how the typical gamer girl is portrayed by some hot model, wearing thick nerdy glasses, basically doing some ‘kinky’ things.
Maybe you’ve seen some of those fake pictures, where a chick or group of chicks plays on some popular console having two tons of fun; but if you look closer, you can clearly see how that thing is not even plugged in. Fail right there.

Another example would be all the “booth babes” that many companies hire for expos these days. Barely any clothes on and ‘representing’ these big firms; making sure to use one of the most basic human instincts – AHEMsexAHEM – to attract customers of the – often – male kind.

Now, I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with using “clever” ways of attracting customers and trying to stand out. If anything, you almost HAVE to do that these days. And I am also not some “radical ‘feminist’” or anything, who feels like chicks shouldn’t wear sexy clothes, because first of all I am bisexual, so I will gladly admit that I like to look at all those nice girls myself; but I also like wearing sexy things as well! On top of that, Bayonetta was one of my most favorite characters of a game; and here’s why:
With the example of Bayonetta, yes, she was barely wearing anything and the little she did have on was very revealing, but stuff like that doesn’t bother me if it is not displayed as “ALL” a girl has to offer. And let’s be honest, the sexy witch from the same-named game was everything BUT “just that”. She is absolutely able to kick butts and defend herself; as much as she loves being sexually persuasive. That is exactly why I love her and she is even a little bit of a “role model” for me personally.

In cases of many “booth babes” or other hired “gamer girls”, this is often not the case. They are just there for one reason: decoration; eye candy.
Now, as much as that would normally not bother me, because I am very open-minded, accepting and operate by the rule of “Whatever floats your boat”; what bothers me is that many people will start to get biased and pre-judge girls. Think I’m exaggerating? Sadly not.

As some of you may know, I have a Let’s Play channel on YouTube and I was exposed to a lot of this “girl bias” myself. It starts with people dropping me cheap pickup lines (because they apparently think that this is how they can “get” me); goes over to stalkerish behaviours and even doesn’t end at insults. I’ve had guys overanalyze me; thinking I am dumb or even less skilled than my male counterparts!
There was for example this one dude, whom I wanted to battle on a fun challenge; but he gave me the line of “how he was not interested, because I am not good at games”. Wait, WHAT?
This was not him saying that I suck, based on evidence he saw or anything. He just flat-out ASSUMED that I would suck, just because I am a girl (he even admitted it). Can you believe it?
And this is why I do NOT like the way girls and women are being used by some parts of the game industry.

A few weeks ago I stumbled over a mod [2] for the overly popular game “Minecraft”. It was a “girlfriend mod”, which was supposed to spawn some female company for your game. Now, nothing wrong with that, but I absolutely hated the way girls were – once again – displayed.
First of all, the actual sprites were monsters. Yep, the monsters you know from the game itself (BTW, I DO know that there’s a version of this mod that was “visually fixed” and where the girls don’t have the monster sprites anymore, but instead look more like girls [3]). Second, if you talked to them, their avatar was the picture of an overly sexualized Anime / Hentai character, which – again – I am fine with and I love looking at – but once again that is “all it was meant to be for”; arousement. Lastly, the third thing that really annoyed me is that if you talked to them, after a while they’d get “bitchy” and started attacking you. So what the mod basically teaches you is this: girls are only decoration for sexual arousement and they’re bitchy and will attack you sooner or later, if you talk to them. That, and nothing else. Because sadly, these “girlfriends” didn’t have any other function outside of what I just mentioned.

And before anybody tells me that I am overanalyzing this now, you might wanna sit down and think about this for a bit first; especially given how many players are pretty young and will definitely be influenced in some way or another by the message this mod stands for. The fact that people like me or other girls have to deal with prejudice like from my tale earlier is surely proof of that.

What could the developer of the mod have done better?
Well, I did some research after seeing that video and discovered an actually DECENT “female companion” mod [4]. First of all, the girl looks like an actual in-game person and she was not overly sexualized. And second, which is what I REALLY love: she has an actual function and can help you do certain tasks in the game! Now that’s more like it and displays a girl’s worth as a human much better. =)

In conclusion, I really don’t dislike the sheer fact that the “booth babes” or fake “gamer girls” exist, but I hate how people will start to throw all the chicks who play games into the same pot with them and thus think that they’re just there for sexual pleasures; staring; decoration; flirting or anything BUT equals! Many people won’t take people like me serious on their gamer skills (I am not the best gamer in the world, but neither the worst or even worse than my male counterparts! Go check any videos I’ve been part of and make your own judgement) and will instead always just kinda belittle us or laugh. It just sucks if you are like me and like a nice challenge between friends or buddies; but then you either don’t get a chance at all or the others will HOLD BACK in order to “give you a chance”. I don’t want people to hold back on me! I want them to give me their best and if they do really beat me, then I am not afraid to accept the defeat and go train, so I can battle them again some day. That’s right, I’ll go and step up to the challenge, if I am really too sucky! This is how it should be and it shouldn’t happen that gamer chicks either get tossed aside; made fun of; stalked / harassed or constantly are under trial and need to always proof every single thing they say. If you boys don’t have to, then why do I have to prove my nerdiness 24/7?

To all my male colleagues out there who have never seen it from this angle or who have been kinda descendant to any fellow female gamers, I suggest that you try to break out of that biased thinking and go give it a shot. Don’t let the hired models – who often have NOTHING to do with gaming – let you tell what the whole rest of us is like. You’ll be glad.

Final disclaimer: I am absolutely by NO means saying that ALL guys are like what I described. If they were, I wouldn’t have a friend circle consisting to 99.99% of guys and I love those dudes.

Sources
#hr#
[1] –
http://youtube.com/watch?v=aqUfEbVSug8
[2] – http://youtube.com/watch?v=dCXTTabH7ic
[3] – http://youtube.com/watch?v=AseaDEbjCd4
[4] – http://hopealexander.hubpages.com/hub/Female-Companion-Mod-V2-Minecraft-Girlfriend-Mod

One thought on “The Bias Towards Gamer Girls

  1. Very nicely put! I like how you are trying to get your point across to these misogynistic/ indecent males, and are sticking up for your own sex.

    I see girls of any kind equal to males, and that’s the way it should be. If you treat a girl as just a sex toy imbued with animism, then you really need to reconsider that way of thinking sunshine.

    Anyways, enough rambling. Thank you kitteh, I thoroughly enjoyed this Xx.

    P.s. girls are teh best! hehe <3

    ~croci =3.

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