Gamer Girl? I Hate the Word

It’s frustrating when politics worms its way into one of your favorite things. One of my favorite things is playing video games. I am not a social gamer — the only MMO I play is Destiny — so I have about zero experience with a lot of the riff-raff that other gamers-who-are-women run into. And believe me, they run into it.

I am a woman, and I play video games. This fact should earn me neither respect nor derision. Gamergate, anti-Gamergate — just, ugh. I do believe that gaming journalists should be more ethical in their profession. I also believe that harassing and threatening women is straight up evil. But I don’t like being asked to play identity politics. Part of me wants to scream, “Just leave me alone and let me play Dragon Age in peace!” But the other part of me wants to see men stand up for women who are being verbally and emotionally abused just because they want to join in the adventure.

A woman is a warrior too—but in a uniquely feminine way. — John and Stasi Eldredge

A lot of this raises questions for me. Do men feel threatened by women who game? Like, are we intruding on your territory, bro? Seriously, if you’re a guy gamer who knows what the deal is, please let me know. Because as far as I’m concerned, gamers are gamers.

I personally know guy gamers who literally do not care. My best guy friend helps me find new games I might like. Another guy friend and I are playing through the Portal 2 co-op (and are totally killing it). So… yeah. I know that there are still wymyn-haters out there who are abusive and cruel. But there are also men out there who are stand-up guys.

I think part of the problem men face in all of this is that many of them don’t know how to respond to it. Some don’t see it as a big deal (it is). Some think women should be able to take it like a man (they shouldn’t). Some are afraid that if they try to interfere they’ll be labelled a White Knight or scolded with, “I don’t need a man to rescue me.” Well, which is it?! Do you want men to stand up against abuse or not?!

Personally, I do. Actually, I want two things. I want men to be brave and courageous and to stand up against abuse — not out of white-knighting (which includes an expectation of sexual payback) — but out of integrity and honor. And I want women to recognize that those men exist, stop hating, and stop emasculating. Think we can do that? Ok good.

Whew. Now that that’s over with, I’m famished. I’m going to make myself a sandwich and play some Destiny. If you want to join me, my PlayStation ID is Kumachaaan018.


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