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Why it's hard being a girl gamer, explained by a dude

[Ed. Note - The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of GamesRadar, nor do they necessarily represent those of Paul Ryan. He did not speak to any actual women while researching this article.]

Take it from me, being a girl gamer ain't easy. As women, we're still the minority with a hobby enjoyed mostly by dudes. And even among fellow gamers, femininity sets you apart, even more than just being the only one with boobs and pretty hair. Unfortunately, guys who don’t read our site see girl gamers as an excuse to try their favorite Final Fantasy pick-up lines, rather than seeing them as legitimate fellow games enthusiasts. Frankly, I’m sick of this out-of-touch attitude about women who enjoy gaming and decided to pick the worst things about being a girl gamer for them.


Why women hate this: Prepare to have your minds exploded: There’s a double standard for female game characters, and while it isn’t fair, it’s easy to see where it comes from. Men like boobs.


Above: With her ankles hanging out for the whole world to see

It’s easy to see that girls in games are proportioned for the discerning gentleman who also enjoys Big Gulps, Double Stuf Oreos and pants with extra zippers. While a certain amount of indulgence is good, a man who only drinks Big Gulps may forget all about beverages of reasonable proportions. Some would say that’s unhealthy, and women would say that it’s unfair competition. Women don’t like videogame girls because they’re too hot.


Above: GamesRadar’s Shane Patterson giving an example of what a typical real girl might look like. Not so great, is it?

What a typical woman would say: Game characters' impossibly disproportionate bodies put unfair pressure on young girls' impressionable woman minds. Actually trying to achieve the female body image we see in games is unhealthy, both physically and mentally. Sadly, as you can see below, this sort of thing happens all the time.





Why women hate this: Another thing is the female body. I’ve been told it’s a mystical, magical temple containing secrets and mysteries that no man truly understands, but the jury is still out on that - I did beat Cooking Mama. Nonetheless, women deserve a controller designed specifically for them and their special temple bodies. 


Above: Yeah, but they also need non-portable console controllers

If you’re a typical guy, there’s a good chance you’re so insensitive that you didn’t know this problem existed until now. Unfortunately, that’s because you live in a world where all controllers fit perfectly into your rough-hewn man-hands and the bumper buttons are easily accessible without standing up or reaching behind your back.


Above: Sadly, two-out-of-three women can’t reach the Y-button

What a typical woman would say: You ever tried to play Wii with boobs on? I didn’t think so. I hate men.



Why women hate this: If it weren’t for boys, women would be the least isolated group of gamers. But until we do something about this problem, they can’t just join a game of Left 4 Dead, pick Zoey and play a match, like the rest of us do. Here’s a typical example of what can go wrong:

Lady gamer: "I just saw a Hunter on the roof up ahead!"

Guy: "Holy zombie Snorlax, are you a girl?"

Lady gamer: "Hunter! Help. He's got me and I’m not physically strong enough to push him off."

Guy: "So… you have boobs?"


Above: …not my real boobs

What a typical woman would say: Guys, even if I only responded to those of you who legitimately turn me on with potent displays of gaming skill, I’d never have time to date every one of you.

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124 comments

  • MarcariaBeelze - August 6, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    http://media.tumblr.com/baf2a487051e41063f2006aa277f5322/tumblr_inline_mif96jocgY1rnvs0g.jpg Definitely my favorite picture pointing out the pointlessness of useless female attire. But it's so sickening trying to play videogames seriously, as a woman. I grew up with 3 brothers, and all of my friends and my boyfriends constantly say I kick their behinds in all videogames (They can't even build a simple house in Minecraft. I only got it because I got sick of using Paint to make blueprints and draft houses.) But the worst thing, THE WORST, is Scarlet Blade. Not because of all the women being practically naked and all having over sized chests as well as nudity. I honestly don't care because bodies are just bodies. I was playing it because it was the only MMORPG that I could find where ALL of the characters were women. But, GET THIS. In the game, you AREN'T the cyborg/android thing. You're basically roleplaying exactly what you are. A being behind a keyboard and a screen, controlling an artificially intelligent being in order to save the world which was screwed up by humans. Despite that I figured that out, here's the guys reaction to it. They called that game SEXIST BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY MALES!!! How many games are there that have NO girls! Even in Call of Duty (I think that's what it was, I don't play it though) I had read and heard on the radio that when they actually put a female character into the game it had less customization for it, and as though hardly any effort was put into it. I like playing Grand Theft Auto games because it's a good game to get your anger out. When I looked up if there ever is going to be a female character (aside from using cheats to change yourself into one... Cuz you still get the guys voice in Vice City.) All of the male gamers on there went "NOPE! Because any females who would do this stuff are completely psychotic, unlike the main characters are." Really? Do they know how many women are in the drug business and stuff simply because they can get past men? It would add a COMPLETELY different side of the story! And maybe teach men what it's like to be a women in a man's world too *shrug*. So far the only game I DON'T feel sexually separated is Stars Wars: The Old Republic. And that's because many women in star wars are extremely powerful Jedi and Sith and they're treated a lot more equally in Star Wars than other things. Not perfectly. But more so. Never hear anyone in there say "You suck at video games because you're a girl!" Just because they think you can keep up with healing them as they run and attract mobs without rest when they're not tank. Surprisingly. As for the color of the ds and whatnot. My first Gameboy, I wanted red. My dad got me pink. I didn't complain because I was at least grateful that I got one. But I wasn't happy because my dad is HORRIBLY sexist (one of the "make me a sammich, that's all you're good for and you can't even do that right." kind of jerks. And he only wants me to be girly. My ds lite, thankfully, was the crimson and black one I wanted with a matching faux leather case. Sadly mine eventually had the cracked hinge issue that some got, my parents replaced it with a DSi a few years later. I wanted the Zelda one, they're my most favorite games and my brothers and friends are hard pressed in beating them (I never even use guides.) Instead my dad got me turquoise. As for xbox 360 controllers, I have one for my laptop for Need For Speed Online. I can reach all the buttons perfectly fine. But I have very long and lithe hands. Also, ARMOR! IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT THEY MAKE ARMOR LOOK OK ON WOMEN TOO??? Any game from WoW to Skyrim there's eventually some armor that looks like they tried to put a male body builders armor on. And helmets almost NEVER look right on a woman. WoW shoulder pieces? Garbage. Only times I got a good one was one design for Pandaria, and I don't play anymore because it's ridiculous bull to pay 15 a month AND 60+ every time they make an expansion. I seriously think they need to put more work into making games equal between male and female roles. Would be kinda cool if Link and Zelda got reincarnated into opposite genders too. Wouldn't even matter for their names, aside from Links appearing more masculine, I have seen Zelda used for both genders. And it would be a refreshing change of pace having usual characters different. Finally, I really wish this would change. But thus far, the only way it could would be to kill all the men and reset the ideal for gamers to being equal. I'm so tired of having to pick gender neutral usernames for games. And when you even SLIGHTLY mention you're a woman in any point in the game, even if they ASKED you, suddenly everything is "You're an attention whore for saying so! You're a bad player, because you're a girl! It's all you're fault that you lost, for being a GIRL!" I've been playing video games since I was FOUR! At least 3 days a week, or so! I'm a gamer. Girl or not.
  • PaytonErik - July 7, 2014 9:42 p.m.

    Hah! Female armor in a game is a fucking joke but i do love the rush i feel when i kick somone ass only wearing what nothing but floss -.- . I think it makes the woman more bad ass to be honest she is kicking ass almost in her birthday suit where as john smith over here gotta stack up on 300 pounds of armor to feel confidant lmao XD This was a funny article i am a female gamer and some of these things ive experienced first hand. its kind of sad to think of how the game industry at least from my POV focus on manily what a man wants to see in a game, even tho there arnt alot of female gamers out there doesnt mean that we dont exsit!
  • PatHan-bHai - April 13, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    WOW! :O Feminists even banging on controllers -_- That's messed up :''(
  • SerpentineZERO - April 9, 2011 9:08 p.m.

    I can't believe people took this seriously. It's satire, you idiots.
  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - April 6, 2011 2:40 a.m.

    i am a man but i play the wii with tits... :(
  • ScorpioMaurus - March 23, 2010 3:37 p.m.

    LMAO I'm a female gamer and I've been going strong for almost 23 years now. I wonder where Paul lives because the thing I hate about Gamestop (Except for the 2 nearest my house where all employees know me by name) is that they never ask if I need any help because they assume oh she's just a girl so she doesn't know what to look for here or like my money is not as good as a man's. In the Fox River mall in Grand Chute, WI they will not speak to a woman unless she bangs the containers down on the counter in front of them. Maybe they are confused because they are told to offer those girly games and you can clearly tell by looking at me with my 23 piercings and gaming clothes (IE clothes with characters on them) that I would not be buying those kinds of games ever. RE5 and DMC4 have become favorites of mine since I never play online. But LMAO at the article any woman who actually took offense at it deserves her little Pink DS ((Snickers)) It was obviously meant to be a joke and not taken so seriously but I loved reading the comments too. I heard they have made smaller Xbox controllers in recent years but yeah when they were new I had trouble reaching the inner buttons. Haven't tried to play one since then because it pissed me off so much. It's funny I never intentionally lose to a man and my male best friend never had a problem with losing to me unless both our health bars were way down to 1 hit either way. But when he lost to my mom that seriously pissed him off. my mom said "Dude I have to play against Amber and you know she doesn't let up" He was surprised though as a seasoned gamer himself that he got beaten by a 53YO woman.
  • RanTheAwesome - February 19, 2010 1:09 p.m.

    P.S. Whether this is 'satire' or not, it still doesn't give these people the right to be sexist. Also, I've never seen a girl cry at games, unless something sad happened in the story, which basically applies to everyone. And we don't have pink DS'. We hate pink, since it's such a stereotypically girlie color.
  • RanTheAwesome - February 19, 2010 12:23 p.m.

    I think I've dealt with the game shopping one, but it happened only once in my life. Anyway, I highly doubt some of us can't reach the Y button, I mean, I have no problem holding a controller, except maybe a Guitar Hero one when playing on Expert, since it hurts my pinkie like Hell. Anyway, this article is very contradicting to the MANLY WAY of gaming. I'll explain once I comment on said article. Bottom line; it's either you're sexist or you're not. Pick one or the other.
  • LikaLaruku - January 31, 2010 6:04 a.m.

    Great satyre article! You should write for Cracked.com
  • DoctorProfessor - December 15, 2009 10:30 p.m.

    Seriously this has been out for more than 8 months and people still can't figure out this is just satire.
  • Jackolyn - December 5, 2009 3:26 a.m.

    As a girl gamer, I have to say that not every single female gamer out there wears 'CAT EARS' and plays on a PINK D.S. I HATE the colour pink, and I think that the games they have out there 'specifically for girls' are a JOKE. Games are universal, and can be enjoyed by ANY gender, just because at least 99.9% of the players on Halo, or Call of Duty are males...dosen't mean that there isn't a female out there who keeps blowing your head off. And while I do admit I am a bit weird when it comes to games, I prefer the FREAKS of characters, so I ignore those heavly armoured men in 500 pounds of metal. I can still kick their a$$ with Voldo. And women characters are a joke. It's impossible to fight as Ivy when her breasts take up 45% of her body weight! I wish that these 'men' who make video games will make a strong woman character who dosen't have a voice that will make dogs bark and tits that cover her face!! Games should NOT have to be such a sexist issue. Just because not as many girls play them, dosen't mean that those who DO, don't enjoy them just as much as the guys. Just throwing that out there.
  • Cwf2008 - December 1, 2009 2:32 a.m.

    That picture of Paul Ryan is kinda creepy. Screw that its really creepy
  • Romination - November 30, 2009 5:43 p.m.

    FUCK YES linked back here from another article and it STILL brings a tear to my eyes...
  • leemaycry - October 9, 2009 6:37 a.m.

    either linkganon is in primary school, or gay.
  • EmmaXII - July 7, 2009 6:38 p.m.

    I'm a girl and I read your site!! Funny article dude but i dont tink its dat acurate:/ I can reach the y button on Xbox I have NEVER cried at a game I don't care if a guy has a pink ds if he doen't care that i have a black one! Games aren't heavy man!
  • Nessrox - April 19, 2009 10:37 p.m.

    I'm a guy and I have a Pink DS, is that a problem?
  • killemall - April 16, 2009 8:12 p.m.

    Lol, as a girl gamer i praise this article and totally agree... you make a great girly man! >.0
  • anit103094 - April 13, 2009 7:29 p.m.

    Personally I think that this article is making fun of a girls "inability" to play video games. Paul Ryan wrote, "Frankly, I’m sick of this out-of-touch attitude about women who enjoy gaming and decided to pick the worst things about being a girl gamer for them." First of all these are not the worst things about being a girl gamer, it's the prejudice! All those guys out there, listen up... if you want to get a date with the hot chick next door, NEVER and I repeat, NEVER, N-E-V-E-R, tell her she can't do something just because she is a girl. That's the first thing to do if you want her to dump you. Guys are always telling me I can't do things just because I'm a girl. I'm not saying that I'm the best gamer in the world. But I'm also not saying that I'm the worst. Guys should just accept guys and girls were made equal and that we can do anything they can. (And vice versa.)
  • SpecialtyDrone - April 11, 2009 7:20 p.m.

    This article is serious fo' realz and needs to be regarded as such.
  • machellx - April 11, 2009 5:36 p.m.

    there might of been a spelling error in my last comment but that's cause Shane Patterkong had me all flustered

Showing 1-20 of 124 comments

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