The perils of being a female gamer online

Hey guys. I saw a friend of mine post a cartoon this morning and wanted to discuss it. It’s meant to be about the labels women face online; but i’d like to concentrate mainly on how I’m treated as a gamer.

Picture courtesy of: http://chipperwhale.tumblr.com/post/36699623610/a-lot-of-dumb-people-in-the-world-ive-been-told

Despite being from a poor family, I’ve been a gamer since I was big enough to hold a controller or reach a keyboard. Home computers weren’t popular til I was about 12 though (small country town in the late 90s), but I jumped straight into it. I soon figured out a lot of things when I got online…

The first thing was: Divulging my gender was a bad, bad idea.

Before this, I had been hanging around and interacting on certain forums, and online games. No biggie. People treated me the same as everyone else.

As soon as I let it slip that I was a girl, all hell broke loose! Suddenly, I wasn’t a person, I was an object to abuse. I suddenly had no respect from a large majority of the male players around me, and even some other female players too. My achievements or skill in the games didn’t matter, because apparently I was incapable of achieving that level/skill/acquiring nice gear by myself.

I was told my boyfriend did it, or levelled my character for me, or did my PvP matches, or bought my gear. None of this was true. Yes, my boyfriend was usually playing alongside me, but he never actually played my character. (He did buy me a set piece as a birthday present, but that’s different, haha)

I did it all myself. I did the time just like you guys did. So why are you hating on me for it?

Slut, attention-whore, bimbo, gold-digger. I’ve heard them all before. None of these guys knew me personally, so why were they calling me names?

I still haven’t figured that out. I’ve heard the same experiences from friends of mine. It’s gotten to the point where I try to play ‘gender neutral’ and not mention it unless it’s absolutely necessary, and usually it’s when I find another female gamer.

Have you had a similar experience? Comment below.

 

-Dannielle

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