Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Interview with a Girl Gamer

GGVogue was fortunate enough to speak with four female gamers from the tri-state area about what it was like to be a girl gamer. Speaking from the heart, these females talk about first games, experiences, expectations, and desires they hope will be heard. Here are their words. 

At a local game store you see females huddled before the new release section, giggling and turning bright red as if they saw Orlando Bloom. In wonder you look closer to see what the fuss is about and realize that in actuality they are hyperventilating over Skyrim. No you’re not dreaming, it's a reality that has become more evidently real than ever before. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 42% of the gaming population are female gamers. I know what you’re thinking, where are these girls? Truth is, girl gamers will either not talk about their gaming hobbies or men disregard their interests and treat this as a practical joke. But what's so funny about girls playing games?
Gaming ultimately began with Nintendo, Atari, and Sega Genesis, but as the first gaming generation grew up, so did the games evolving into the games we know now. The original ideal that games are specifically a male dominant pastime has yet to completely evolve and this continues to disregard the idea that women could take an interest or even excel in game playing. As the idea of gaming became stereotyped with the coined term of dork or nerd, few concepts of women gaming were formed because of the already low portrayal of gamers. Today, gaming is not only a profession, but also an ever expanding and rich industry that reaps in revenue and rivals movies and music. Every movie turns into a game and vice versa. The heavy ideal of gamers as a social parasite and sociopaths began to die as industries like Microsoft, SONY, G4TV, and ComicCon made millions in revenue and heeded to the voices and interests of gamers. 
Even as the magnitude of gamer printed clothing, brands, furniture, hobbies, bars are catered to gamers, a small avenue of gamers has yet to be untapped: the girl gamer. It must be said now at this point that the same harassment that gamers have had to endure in the 80's and 90's has still not been lifted on female gamers. There is still the notion that many girl gamers feel as if the market doesn't cater to their desires, the gaming population doesn't respect their interest in gaming and being a female, and most importantly many young and old females feel hindered or even feel neglected as people fall into states of when disregard when hearing of a female gamer. Why is there such hostility that revolves around females who play games? There is no need to feel that it is an anomaly that shouldn't be touched, but rather a core market that needs to be attested to. You may ask what's the point if the outcome might be more Final fantasy X-2 games. First of all, not all girl gamers like FFX-2. Secondly, to each their own. Not every male gamer love FPSs (first person shooters) games and not all love RPGs (role playing games). That being said, why can't females have all their dream games become reality too? We too have money to spare and tons of time devoted to gaming, we only don't go to work and boast about how we are level 88 warlock on World of Warcraft. If anything, female gamers are reserved about gaming until you talk about a game they like or an experience in a game they can share. They are an exploding field of land mines with tons of enthusiasm and no place for cover.
It should not matter if a female is as skilled, only that she plays and enjoys games as much as every gamer. Do not shut her down on her status of being a girl gamer either or make her feel foolish if she calls herself that. You wouldn't challenge any of your friend if they considered themselves funny, cute, handsome, etc. Why challenge a girl who loves games? The last thing any gamer wants to be attack with is "You’re not a real gamer and I am going to prove it!” Let's just all grab a beer and play some games.

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