There are two kinds of girl gamers: ones that want you to know they’re girls and ones that want you to just leave them alone. An extremely harsh generalization, but I’m telling you, it’s true.
I happen to be part of the latter group though I made the mistake of making my gamertag an arguably feminine name and I did do my best to make my avatar really look like me. But I don’t publicly chat when I play Call of Duty or Left 4 Dead or anything for that matter, not because I’m shy, but it’s because I don’t want them to know I’m a girl. If I could do things over, I would have given myself an androgynous name..but I’d still make a girly avatar. I can’t help that, I love dressing up my virtual self, and I don’t care who knows. The thought of making my avatar dudelike, just to conceal my gender makes me feel
Anyway, back to my point, if I can find one. So why do I want to conceal my gender? My boyfriend and I will play the same multiplayer game, and I’ll get a ton of messages and friend requests and he’ll be pleasantly left alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love positive attention as much as the next girl out there (and if you’re a girl and reading this, don’t pretend like that’s not true for you), but sometimes I just want to play the game and be totally left alone. Yeah, it’s not a big deal when I go through my inbox and delete voice messages, friend invites and all the rest, but it is incredibly annoying when some guys say distracting things during game play about me being a girl.
I’m pretty good at playing these male dominated first person shooter games, and I’ve heard everything from “You must be a fat dike” from guys who feel emasculated by me and the fact that they were born to suck (and somehow that’s my fault) to “Hey, so..you wanna join my clan?” and have that guy stalk you into the next 4 games you jump into. If you haven’t already guessed, I own an Xbox.
Surprise! I’m Actually a Man
It’s amazing and I’d be flattered if I didn’t realize that these guys have never really seen what I look like—what if I wasn’t a girl? What if I was a 40 year old man and loved all the attention from these young guys? I wonder if any of these dumbos ever consider that being possible, because I bet it happens everyday.
I’ve played games with other girls who love to talk and while I sometimes envy their bravado, the clear attempt to gain attention makes me sad for a variety of reasons:
1) Girls with Daddy issues become a glaringly real societal problem to me all of a sudden.
2) These girls don’t actually play well, which messes up my gaming experience and
3) Anyone talking all the time is annoying. What’s more annoying is that girls and children think they get a pass.
The girl gaming club, especially for more hardcore games like Left 4 Dead or Call of Duty, is such a small one and I definitely appreciate all girls who are actually playing the game along with me. There’s no room for divisions in such a small demographic, but I will say that I have felt annoyed and have seen this phenomenon happen more than once.
My Temporary (and Cowardly) Solution
But I digress. There’s not much you can do about annoying gamers.
I have found a way to solve the harassment dilemma, however. I hog my boyfriend’s XBox and play under his gamertag. Now I just get to experience the regular douchbaggery that accompanies multiplayer first person shooter games, and I couldn’t be happier. Hiding behind my boyfriend’s gamertag has been pretty stress free and I can just enjoy games and not feel distracted by annoying beeps signaling new messages and friend requests, or super rude douchbags or stalkers jumping into every game I play for 4 hours. But I do miss my avatar. And I think Lorenzo wants his Xbox back.