Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why do I have to be a Girl Gamer? Can't everyone be a Girl Gamer?

All the big questions in life. Even though I love Rookie to bits, I feel like I have to mention that some of their posts concerning video games make me cringe a little. Here's the issue: gaming is seen as a traditionally male dominated thing. Yet so many girls game, and have for a long time. In mainstream media, that whole 'Beauty and the Geek' thing is still being pushed (VOMIT. VOMIT SO MUCH.) and so non-gamers might think that there aren't any girls gaming. Which is typical of mainstream stuff anyway so who cares, whatever, right?

My issue is that people from awesome, progressive places are still making jokes about the fact that there are like three girls waiting in a line of geeky, nerdy dudes for a midnight game release. I mean... is that even relevant anymore? And is it helpful? Because I would say no to both. Maybe it's just me, but as a gamer I am pretty sick of the whole "OMG ur a grl who games lol no way there are none of those!" Because COME ON. Ever since the internet, we've known that there are millions of those. We are girls, we like playing games, and we're everywhere. Even if you're writing an article addressing people who you assume are majority non-gamers, I think it's MORE important to stop suggesting that there aren't many girl gamers, because otherwise how will they learn? A more helpful message would be Yes, there are lots of girl gamers, it's not a big deal. I am proud of being both a girl and a gamer, but I don't think my gender has anything to do with my urge to play games, so can we please stop mentioning them together like it does?

And while we're at it, the phrase 'Girl Gamer' annoys me when it's used outside of a context where the gender of the gamer is relevant. Why is it Gamer and Girl Gamer? Why can't everyone just be Gamer? Or, if like me you hate the neutral to always be male, why can't everyone be Girl Gamer and be done with it?

Of course, when talking about things where gender IS relevant, I'm totally happy to be a girl gamer. I am so happy for stuff like Geek Girl Con to exist, because the convention is a celebration of specifically female 'geeks' in an industry where they aren't celebrated enough on their own, or given a platform to speak about what they do. You see the difference? Women may not be celebrated enough in most industries, but that doesn't mean they aren't there, invisible, in their homes at 2am smoking a jay and playing Skyrim. And they don't like being mentioned in passing like they're a rare breed, or like they know what it's like, being the only girl doing something. That just serves to promote Girl Competition, the thing that occurs whenever more than one girl is doing something, and everyone makes a big deal about how there's already a token girl doing that thing.

For example, when booking bands at festivals, female fronted or all-female bands are usually classified as Girl Bands and all the other bands are just called Bands, leading to a quota of Girl Bands being filled but leaving unlimited space for Bands. As if being a girl is a GENRE. This happens like aaaalllll the fricken time. It makes girls feel smug and righteous when they're doing something conventionally un-girly, and makes them hate all the other girls who try and take their spot. And as I have already said, girl hate is the plague. It was started by rats and ends up with huge pustules in your throat. (Sorry rats, i was jk.) (Oh god, rats probably hate that stereotype, I am sincerely sorry.)

On an unrelated note, here is my outfit for today. I love this skirt but never know what to wear it with, so I'm glad I managed to find this combo:

My camera was all NO EYES ALLOWED and so I was like whatever. My top is crocheted and shock horror, only a bra underneath. I thought (wished) it was kind of 90's Gwen Stefani. The skirt is kind of 50's so I thought an icecream brooch made sense. It has cute Spanish-y people on it, the girl at the shop said it was made from the material of a 50's dress. Aaaand my fav $5 shoes.

Crochet top: WE, icecream brooch: A Japanese clothing shop in the city, Skirt: Some vintage store in Canada, Socks: Buffalo Exchange, Shoes: Kmart

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