Oh, gaming community, I just don’t know what to do with you. One part of me wants to embrace you and never let you go, another part of me wants to set a select group of you on fire.
Allow me to explain.
I have three brothers. Two of them share a PS3, on which all they do is play Battlefield and watch YouTube videos. The third is considered the most hardcore of the gamers in my family, armed with his XBOX 360, which he just told me he hasn’t touched in a year. However, he actively talks to his friends about the games that they play (or once played), and therefore he is considered a “gamer”. My parents take their gaming hobby quite seriously.
Meanwhile, I am the eldest of the offspring. I have a N64, a Wii, a PS2, a PS3, a PSP, and a Nintendo DS, though in the past I have owned every incarnation of the Nintendo GameBoy family. I also have a PC, on which I play several games such as Minecraft, Amnesia, Portal, Civ 5, emulators for various games I once owned ages ago, and I have been looking at MMOs (though I am rather particular about them). I don’t have an XBOX because so many of their games are graphics-based or action-based, and the games I play are story-based. RPGs such as the Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, or Kingdom Hearts franchises win my praise, and I spend most of my days being influenced in one way or another by those games (Examples: I wear a chocobo t-shirt as part of my pajamas, my bed is covered in chocobo plushies, my dad bought me a Yoshi plush when I was little, I have a Chocobo Anatomy poster in the mail as well as a SOLDIER shirt, every day I wear a necklace that bears one of the three Spiritual Stones from Ocarina of time, and I take my Aperture Science Dihydrogen Monoxide Containment Unit to the gym.) I cosplay as my favorite video game characters, and I talk to others who celebrate the same games and fandoms. At one point, I was writing a Legend of Zelda musical. It was I who got up to watch E3 throughout the day, sending my brothers text-message updates while they were still in school.
And yet, I am not considered a gamer by the community. I don’t own an xbox (and by extension, I have never played xbox games), I don’t play FPS or multiplayer games, I don’t own the latest console (now), I have two large mounds of fat on my chest, and an extra hole in my lower extremities where I don’t have a penis.
Developers have been asked numerous times to produce games with strong female protagonists, but they come back saying that there simply isn’t a market or an audience for them.
But we are righthere.We are vocal, we are loud, we are strong, and we keep being batted away and ridiculed if we are even acknowledged at all. We get told that we should go back to the kitchen, that we will never be able to have relationships due to our “feminist activist” behavior (because apparently that is the most important thing in a girl’s life). We are demanded photos of us (clothed and otherwise) online as soon as we say that we are girls, or we are kicked because we “devalue” the game (a reason why I don’t play multiplayer online).
I am not a “casual gamer”. I am a gamer. And I am a girl. But apparently, I can’t be both. So, gaming community, I just don’t know what to do with you. I want to be included, I do. But unless I either mask my identity as a woman or we have a major revolution within the community, I can’t. And do I really want to be associated with people who are so terrible?
Ladies of the Rumble Pak, of the Memory Card, of the Red Ring of Death, we need to put a stop to this. This is real, this is cruel, and these are the obstacles we face.
TL,DR: Fuck you, you don’t get a tldr. Read the damn post. I took the time to make it, you can take the much shorter time to read it. Also, can we please collectively call ourselves the Rumble Pak instead of Gamer Girls?