Women gamers

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With ‘Pokémon Go,’ Niantic created a safe space for black female gamers — and I miss it

Pokémon Go was the first title that I played in years which granted me a somewhat-fearless experience in gaming. It allowed me to cast aside some personal doubts, misgivings and assumptions about myself and other people. Not once was I judged for being an adult playing a “kids game”; there were no snide comments about me being a woman in a space that was occupied mostly by men.

The environment was devoid of racist remarks about me being a black player. The unchangeable aspects of myself — the parts of me that were always a “cause” for disruption in other games — weren’t factors among Pokémon Go players. I was just always a fellow player, to whom ridiculous questions like “Do you want to run 12 blocks and three avenues with me to catch a Dragonite?” would be asked.

During my time playing regularly, the Pokémon-obsessed people of New York — comprised of scores of high school kids, financial analysts, journalists, artists, delivery service guys, somebody’s grandparents (seriously), entrepreneurs and more — became my second family.

At first I felt I might have looked the most out of place, based on the fact that I was one of the few women in the streets playing this game who looked like me. But I quickly came to realize that none of that mattered: Pokémon Go created an unlikely safe space in gaming that didn’t exist for me anywhere else.

I was part of that inaugural force of people that made the mobile game into a movement; I invested inordinate amounts of time (and some money) into being the best there ever was. But I haven’t played the game since March, and I wonder if I should find my way back. Read more (Opinion)

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Things Boys Have Said To Me In Online Games:

  • you shouldn’t be here, you’re a ‘chick’
  • girls can’t / don’t play computer games
  • I bet you’re rubbish, girls can’t game
  • ‘do u hav a web cam’
  • I’ll go easy on you
  • you must be ugly to be a girl who games
  • fat bitch always online
  • if I let you win will you skype me
  • I don’t want the girl on my team

and of course finally:

  • don’t tell me what I can and can’t say stupid feminist princess don’t come online if you don’t want to be treated this way (legit)

Now I am always one of the first to believe ‘not all men do this, not all men do that’, but the amount of harassment I have received in the world of online gaming is just unreal. Girls should be able to game without being patronized. Girls should be able to game without sex coming into the conversation. Girls should be able to game and not be insulted. Girls should be able to play what they want and do what they want online and not have sexist, objectifying, rude comments hurled at them. It’s not hard to be respectful. Live and let live.

I’m sick of people like this. And what a hypocrite! They basically said “Hey, I don’t hate women, but the bitch can’t aim for shit after we forced her to play a character she couldn’t.” I mean… okay, one trick ponies are never good, because you can’t always play that hero, but blaming this girl/woman because she couldn’t play Ana when they FORCE her to play her… I mean what the fuck?

Why Ana? Ana isn’t easy to play. Why didn’t they let her play Lucio, or her Mercy that she’s good at? They lost because this jackass made her enter an uncomfortable area, and then blame her it.

And yes, I agree that many female players enjoy playing Mercy, including myself. But who cares? I bet most males (or at least a lot) play DPS, but no one would point out that fact, because that’d be fucking stupid!

Can we not discriminate female gamers on their game choices? We all bought the game, and a lot of us invest time in a game like Overwatch, and we have fun in it. This is not the way.

Observation...

I’m seeing a lot of people ignore gamers of color and lgbtqa+ gamers like they aren’t getting the brunt of the harassment and the least representation. I’ve seen gamers of color talk about their experiences but every debate gets reduced to “we need more diversity…how about a white woman”.  Racism is so normalized in gaming that you can see arguments over eugenics right in your chatbox but people still keep acting like the problem is just white men bullying white women and only wanting to see white male characters.   

Also, interestingly enough, I see many of the same women who complain about sexism in their fandoms (and clusterfucks like Gamergate) being racist and exclusionary towards women (and men) of color and using the same kinds of tactics.  

Browsing through some Horizon Zero Dawn content and I was miffed to see this complaint about Aloy. I mean really? She’s living in a primal post apocalyptic world where survival and saving lives is the sole reason for her existence and you’re complaining that she doesn’t look sexy enough?

I don’t know where that idea came from anyway I think she’s really pretty. Her character, wit and intelligence are her most attractive features though which I love the writers for!

She saves her entire planet from annihilation and you can’t see why that may be attractive? Were you playing the same game as me?
I’m so glad in the last few years the games industry is taking a turn for the strong smart female lead. It’s taken a long time to START getting here nevermind making it the norm. (Sideline shout out to Blizzard for making the face of Overwatch a lesbian btw).

This person has just gone and undermined every woman breaking into the games industry. Every woman who is fighting to make these changes. I wish when I was growing up more of the characters I lived through were like Aloy…

This genuinely made me sad

The Chainmail Bikini Kickstarter is live!!!

Chainmail Bikini is an anthology of comics by and about female gamers! 40 cartoonists have contributed comics about the games they’re passionate about—from video games to table-top role-playing to collectible card games. We’re using Kickstarter to raise the money to print Chainmail Bikini as a 200+ page perfect-bound book, and reward the artists.

Chainmail Bikini is edited by Hazel Newlevant, and features comics by exciting talents like Molly Ostertag, Yao Xiao, Annie Mok, Jane Mai, Mia Schwartz, and Carey Peitsch, and groundbreaking game developers anna anthropy and merritt kopas.

For a complete list of contributors, check out the Kickstarter page. If you can’t donate, a reblog or retweet helps! THANK YOU!