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On Gaming While Female

Various levels of prejudice still exist despite the size and diversity of the gaming community

Ilene Kuehl
Jan 12 · 4 min read

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“Is there any reason you’re looking for a TV with component inputs?” he asked.

“I’m a gamer,” I told him.

“So you play the Wii,” he said.

And so it begins.

The Wii is not a ‘chick console’

It’s not that I have anything against the Wii. I own two, in fact — one in black, and one in white. So it’s not like it’s a console that I never play.

It’s 2021. No disrespect, but the Wii is not a ‘chick console.’ People should not assume that women only play on one console or play only ‘cutesy’ games that have kittens and puppies in them.

We might not look hot all the time and play games in our underwear as you see in all those gamer girl memes, but most of us aren’t that different from the boys. We have our own squad, our own set of headphones, and our own *gasp* consoles and library.

For the record, I don’t mind being called a girl gamer, a gamer, or a female gamer. But it bothers me that someone assumes that I only play Dance Dance Revolution just because I’m not a guy.

There’s nothing wrong with playing games like that, by the way. But women who play on multiple consoles aren’t special snowflakes. In fact, we’ve become the norm.

When I was a little girl growing up, I had to shop in the boys’ section if I wanted video-game related anything. That was in the ‘90s, and the term “gamer girl” hadn’t even been invented yet. Games were mass-marketed to boys, and regardless of how much you loved Grand Turismo or Twisted Metal, about the only thing you were getting your hands on if you were a girl was a cute Care Bears plushie.

Things are different now, of course. I can buy all the nerd gear I could ever ask for since game companies are marketing to both males and females. These days, being a female gamer is standard.

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Image by Batzorig on Dribbble.

Girls play all kinds of games

And we always have. I’ve always been more of a console gamer because I like a big, giant screen. It’s just the way that I prefer to play. (OK, fine. And with pizza rolls and chips.)

I grew up on the PlayStation, and haven’t stopped acquiring consoles since. I’ve also worked in the game industry, both as a tester and a writer, but that comment still caught me off guard.

I understand where these stereotypes come from. There are a lot of people who only play games on their cell phones to pass time when they’re riding the train, which is fine — there’s nothing wrong with being a casual gamer.

So I smiled at the salesman — it was an innocent comment, and he wasn’t discriminating against me or being rude (he was actually very helpful and friendly). But what he said reminded me how women in gaming are often viewed, as ‘soft’ gamers, as though we’re somehow incapable of playing Call of Duty or Red Dead Redemption.

Games are for everybody

We need to get with the times (and be more like SUPERJUMP, actually). There are a lot of women involved in the game industry in some way, shape, or form. We’re your writers, programmers, and fellow gamers.

So next time you run into a female gamer, ask her what her favorite games are. You might be surprised to find that she likes the same ones as you.

Chances are, she probably plays more than just the Wii, too.

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Header image by Julian Burford on Dribbble.

SUPERJUMP

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