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9 things real female gamers hate about gaming

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You've seen the stereotypes. The "GRRL" girl, the "Yeah,-I'm-a-girl,-but-I'll-kick-your-ass" girl, the "celebugamer." While these girls do exist, hey, there're us regular-type girls who play videogames, too. Most of the gamer chicks you see promoting themselves on the internet love attention more than gaming, or are paid to adopt that stereotypical “girl gamer” persona, but what about the rest of us girls –  the ones who actually play videogames? We’re stealthily walking among you like ninjas – and man, do we have a lot to hate about gaming.

Contributors: Lizzie Cuevas, Cheryll Del Rosario


1. "Well, you don't LOOK like a gamer..."

Why, because I showered? See how stereotypes feel? We’re just as varied as anyone else, but most assume we must be hideously grotesque heifers who lose controllers into the folds of our fat palms like we’re made of coconut-scented quicksand. Unless, of course, we’re wearing Fragdolls T-shirts or Zelda tramp stamps, which is the other acceptable female gamer stereotype.


Above: Thanks – FOR NOTHING 


Above: Obvs a grrl gamer 

We don't all wear our love for videogames on our sleeves, just like we're sure you don't wear videogame novelty shirts every day... right? Right?


2. Honey, we've heard them all before

So you're playing an online game, and you hear yet another prepubescent boy over your headset... but wait, that's no boy! It's a girl! So naturally, you tell her to go back to the kitchen. Funny. Slap yourself on the wrist, you bad, bad boy. Your three seconds of stand-up was only funny the first time, when the other douchebag said it six matchmaking lobbies ago. No one laughed then, either, and no one’s laughing now… probably because you sound fat.


3. We don’t always want to talk about videogames

Great, you met a girl who plays videogames – now you can ALWAYS talk about videogames with her! False. Just because we share a common interest doesn’t mean we don’t have other interests, too, and we know you also have other interests.

Guys love to dumb themselves down to ask us videogame-related questions, just for the novelty of talking to a girl about videogames. We’re not Google, asshat. And don’t condescend, there’s nothing worse. That said…


4. Not interested!

Just because we’re interested in videogames doesn’t mean we’re interested in you. Once word gets out that there’s a female gamer in the vicinity, guys lose their shit. We’re forced to leave our headsets muted when playing online to avoid the inevitable “So, do you have a boyfriend?” We wanna play the damn game, not hook up with you, kthx. Want a hook-up? Go to…


5. GameCrush

Earlier this week, GameCrush’s public beta was launched. The service enables male gamers to pay to play with attractive female gamers (“PlayDates”). The guys can choose to have their experience be either “flirty” or “dirty.” Ew. This kind of objectification of female gamers just furthers the idea that real female gamers don't exist, or that if they play, they must be ugly.


6. Most of us don't actually like "chick" games

Because they're all stupid. Either the Lisa Frank-esque box art reeks of pastels, or the game’s title is misspelled, or there’s some combination of the two. Wait, you mean you MEANT to put a 'z' at the end of the game? Oh, howz cutez!!!!1 Tell the LOLcat who works at your company we don’t need literal reassurance that your game isn’t Call of Duty.


Above: Girlzzzz gamezzzz zzz 

Above: NOW it's a girl's game! 

And while Cooking Mama is fun and all, why do most cooking games have a chick on the cover? Piss off and cook your own damn meal.


Above: The sad reality (thanks to AJ Glasser for the Papa concept)


7. Stupid female character outfits

We realize games are largely based in fantasy, but could character designers get a little more creative with how they clothe their females? Male characters in games get tricked-out armor suits, iconic headgear (Master Chief comes to mind) and outfits that fit their surroundings. Meanwhile, female characters are left with only sashes and a smile.


Above: More of Samus, less of… the other stuff 


8. Yes, Paul Ryan, we do hate going into videogame stores

Don’t get us wrong – we get excited with each purchase of a new game. (After all, we do love shopping~!!! LOL!!) But we hate going into a videogame store, only to be directed to the Nintendo section or have the employees look at us like some lost sheep who strayed away from our boyfriends. Bitch, this copy of Halo is MINE.


9. Grrrl Gamers and anything relating to "female gaming empowerment"

Which kind of implies that we hate this article, but it is GamesRadar’s Week of Hate, so maybe we do. HATE!

Just because we're girls who enjoy spending hours in front of a TV pressing buttons, that does not mean we need to join your community, blog, Facebook group or Twitter-feed-sorority-clustershart of gaming-girl goodness. We like playing games. We are girls. These things don't necessarily need to be tied together, nor do we feel the need to have special treatment because we’re both. And if we happen to want to spend 31 hours perfecting our chopping techniques in Cooking Mama instead of having an equally enjoyable Modern Warfare 2 estrogen-fest against the boys, we shouldn't be considered less of a gamer than you.

Mar 26, 2010

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183 comments

  • PixelatedDream - April 12, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    I've seen this article before and every time I read it, it annoys me more and more. First it's incredibly hypocritical. It's apparently okay to go on a rant about how female gamers aren't treated fairly and have stereotypes, while at the same time using male stereotypes. I think what bothers me most about this though is the fact that suddenly if your not just the right kind of female gamer, you're not a "Real" female gamer. I'm a house wife and I spend probably 8 hours a day gaming. But i'm also proud to be who I am. I liked to advertise that I was a gamer, not because I wanted attention, just because I was proud of who I was. I stopped because of articles like this where suddenly I was a "Grrl" gamer and couldn't have pride without being looked down upon by everyone. So now i'm forced to pretend i'm not proud to be a girl who plays video games, because if I show it too much, somebody might get mad. I think "female gamer empowerment" Is awesome, it encourages girls to be themselves and love what they want to and not what society tells them they should, but apparently there is something wrong with that. Next, what if a severely overweight female gamer read this? "hideously grotesque heifers who lose controllers into the folds of our fat palms like we’re made of coconut-scented quicksand" that is a really nice way to give people further body image issues, way to go douche. Also there could be a "real" female gamer who loves Legend of Zelda and does have a tramp stamp. So what? While it is true we all don't play girly games, you made it sound like the ones who do are some how less of a gamer. That's so wrong. Who are you to say who a real gamer is?
  • Plus1Play - April 4, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    We at Plus1Play agree with this completely! There is a lot of sexism floating around in the world, and the gaming community is no exception. What makes us proud of gamers, however, is that we so very often see great faith-restoring instances of acceptance and equality within the gaming community. It is just very unfortunate that the loudest voices are those we really don't want to hear.
  • TheMegatron - March 29, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    I don't agree with stereotyping and sexism on general principle. As such this article seems juvenile and ill conceived. You decry stereotyping at the start and then proceed to use a number of them yourself. Sexism is a 2 way street. Lumping all male gamers into a sexist and immature stereotype is just as sexist as the flipside. Point 1 argues that you don't need to fit a certain aesthetic to be a girl gamer yet a little down the page you use this "No one laughed then, either, and no one’s laughing now… probably because you sound fat." Sound fat? seriously, are u 6? Hard to hold the moral high ground when you're guilty of the same crap. Both sides need to grow the f**k up
  • MasterZoen - February 17, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    #7 seems to be a weird one depending upon who you ask. My girlfriend plays most of the same games as I do, she really enjoys sci-fi fps games and rpgs. While the hyper-sexualization of female characters doesn't bother me one way or the other, it just turns her on; she's bi and a bigger horn dog than I am! However, no matter what, we treat everyone we game with online in a respectful manner regardless of age or gender. If someone starts to upset us, we mute or block them. Simple! That said, when I showed some pics and screens to my non-gaming girl friends most of them didn't like the way female characters are portrayed. When I asked, "Why," they said it was because they felt the need to compete with a female portrayed in an unrealistic manner. I suppose this is similar to the issue with how women are portrayed in magazines, movies, and ads.
  • mary-taylor - February 17, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    I play MW3 with in a clan. The wife of one guy in my clan apparently doesn't like him playing with me. "We play together all the time" according to her. I actually got out of the party last night because last night was the first I heard about her not liking him playing with me. She was being completely hateful. "We play together all the time" according to her. That might be true but we play in a group and never just by ourselves. I play with them because they treat me with respect. They make sure other players do too. I hate that my being in the clan made her uncomfortable but the whole situation is ridiculous.
  • alysia-christina-raine - February 9, 2014 5:51 a.m.

    Yeah, it's a bit irritating when guys hit on you because you are a female gamer. I make game walkthrough videos and post them on YouTube and I don't know how many times I've had guys flirt with me just because of that. They would tell me that I had a sexy voice and that they wish that I'd give them head. Gross! I met my fiance on YouTube and he's always been very respectful. I just don't like how a lot of gamer guys can be so vulgar and disgusting.
  • natasha-lewis - February 5, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    Well, I am SO sorry for being fat and a gamer girl. I should've known I can't be both at the same time our you would have to deal with the mild annoyance of being stereotyped! BTW, I maybe fat, but I'm not grotesque, and I also take showers. And I typically don't lose my controller in my fat folds. Nice try at dehumanizing fat girls though.
  • XenaZon - April 9, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    When I read that part, I inwardly cringed. I'm really thin, so I can't claim to know how you feel, but I do know how disappointed I am when that kind of value judgment comes from another woman. It's bad enough when guys objectify us, but it's twice as bad coming from someone who should know better. I wanted to say I'm sorry that happened. We should be much more careful and sensitive. Ironically - this is about how female gamers are treated, and here you are being shamed for your body size. I was given twice the brains and only half the looks - so I've was never a member of the popular crowd. Kudos for your courage. <3
  • mtRoom - January 14, 2014 10:21 p.m.

    Oh and when I said "'I'm sure it's the same for them", I was referring to the vast majority of female gamers not being attracted to male gamers.
  • mtRoom - January 14, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    Personally, I couldn't give a shit whether another gamer is female, male, intersex, or an extraterrestrial from planet XZZYZYX. I'm there for the game, that's it. In truth, the idea of a female gamer doesn't attract me anyway. And I'm sure it's the same for them (well the vast majority). That said, men will be men (or should I say boys will be boys) and there isn't anything anyone can do to change that; so 'feminine' usernames, posting selfie photos of yourself, it doesn't take a genius to know it's going to attract attention from a male audience. But I think being scared to go into a videogame store is a little ridiculous though. I went to my local EB-Games the other day and not only was I served by a female attendant, but she was nerdier than me. "You want to buy this awesome giant action-figure of Sam Fisher! I think it's really cool!" Um. It's a toy. It's a giant piece of plastic moulded into the shape of a human being. Jesus...
  • Smegskull - January 8, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    "We wanna play the damn game, not hook up with you, kthx. Want a hook-up? Go to…" where? as you said you don't where it on your sleeves so other than in the game where are we supposed to look for a real girl gamer? I ask guys I meet in games to add me so we can hang out and play other games (as I am sure normal guys do with guys they meet in pubs), so why is it wrong for me to ask a girls I meet in game out (as I am sure normal guys do with girls they meet in pubs)? (pubs do ladies night, maybe you can get a ladies server)! you can't have your cake and eat it too, or be a "stealthy ninja" and complain whenever anyone makes a big deal about finding you.
  • juliec - December 7, 2013 12:38 p.m.

    I see a lot of the validity in this article based on my research. I have written a few papers on it for my degree. I'm actually doing research on female gamers, and have a survey out now. Here is a direct link if anyone would like to help out: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/110MT75V56qctswAvUIrJgr_7A950TQ19AhDL5xCuSMg/edit
  • cuzimbetterthanyou - November 26, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    #7 tells you're obviously an idiot. Litterally ALL the girl gamers I know and have talked to online don't give a shit about the "sexualisation" of the female outfits. Your credibility = 0
  • Liquidacid - December 24, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    and I know a ton of girls who do... my anecdote your anecdote... lol come on at least try to make a half way intelligent comment
  • alysia-christina-raine - February 9, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    I'm a female gamer and I have a big problem with the fucking stupid, skimpy outfits many female game characters wear. It's just ridiculous. So, you're argument is no longer valid...sorry
  • XenaZon - April 9, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    Great topic!! I hope it's OK to add my two cents... First, this is my own thing, I know. But as a 55 year old woman gamer, I am not a GIRL. Apologies, but, to me a girl is a 12 year old child. I really resent being patronized and referring to me as girl is a great way to start. Next, I will never understand why choosing to play an action game means I am going to be put on a battlefield wearing two band aids and a cork. Add to that the assignment of a pair of breasts so large I'd need reduction surgery in real life. REALLY, developers, it's nothing short of disgusting that a THONG should buff up my HP's more than real armor. And the more objectifying the article of clothing, the more powerful it is. Meanwhile, I never see male players being forced to appear dressed like sumo warriors. Really annoying! Equally annoying are the "girls" playing who have no clue what I'm talking about when I mention I hate being made to feel like a plaything. Sexism? What sexism? (Giggle, giggle...) They don't mind waging war in a bikini! Enraging are the idiots like the one who made the comment: "Litterally ALL the girl gamers I know and have talked to online don't give a shit about the "sexualisation" of the female outfits." The stupidity of the comment proves my point. Another thing that grates are the constant comments like "he's a fag" or "that sword is so gay..." Are guys that insecure in their own sexuality that they feel they constantly have to showcase their testosterone levels??? Let me add - I agree with all of your points. Thanks so much for writing this, but the people who need to get the message WON'T and the people who already know this aren't the problem. Isn't that just like life???
  • XenaZon - April 9, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    Anyone who is an asshat enough to choose that username telegraphs to the world you are an egomaniac. Your commenting (as a guy) that women gamers don't mind being made to feel like objects is about as lame as my saying, as a white woman, there is no such thing as racism anymore. Considering your attitude, you're getting the answer you are getting from women gamers bc they are BLOWING YOU OFF, fool!
  • XenaZon - April 9, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    Anyone who is an asshat enough to choose that username telegraphs to the world you are an egomaniac. Your commenting (as a guy) that women gamers don't mind being made to feel like objects is about as lame as my saying, as a white woman, there is no such thing as racism anymore. Considering your attitude, you're getting the answer you are getting from women gamers bc they are BLOWING YOU OFF, fool!
  • malik-moses - August 21, 2013 5:01 a.m.

    she said, "Great, you met a girl who plays videogames – now you can ALWAYS talk about videogames with her! False. Just because we share a common interest doesn’t mean we don’t have other interests, too, and we know you also have other interests." But bitch no one cares about whatever you think about and you interest, yeah, girl gamers are attractive, but dont say we lose our shit when it breaks out all over town, yay there is a girl gamer, lets try to fuck her while shes playing video games, thats sounds awesome
  • michael-ormanzhi - August 14, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I remember playing Halo CE and there was a girl who was better than any of the guys on the map. There wasn't even testosterone to defeat her. I only managed to kill her about...twice in the entire round. It's moments like those that are amusing, because there were a few jealous male gamers who were put to shame every single time. xD http://gamingorigins.com/

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