01 Jun Girls in Gaming
Don’t you just love coming home from school, eager to turn on your PC and play your favourite video game, only to have it ruined for you? As soon as you speak into your microphone, a guy from behind the screen insistently makes a sexist remark implying that you aren’t capable of playing the video game — solely based on the fact that you are a woman. I know I love it. I can’t think of anything better than to hear the words, “Get out of my video game and go back to the kitchen and make me a sandwich,” time and time again. In all honesty, it just fuels my addiction to gaming even more. Why wouldn’t I want to be told that I’m “not competent” when it comes to playing a game in order to relax?
“Girls can’t aim.” This has to be my favourite stereotype of all. Right from the second you enter the game, it is made clear by the barrage of chauvinistic comments and insults that you, as a female, do not have the right to play a particular character, or even play a particular game. “Why?,” you may ask. Well, it’s clear that women are inadequate when it comes to having the necessary hand-eye coordination to inflict anywhere near enough damage to the opposition. Therefore, women should simply stop playing these mechanically advanced characters or games full stop, right? Women don’t have the capability to aim, so why not just leave it to the male population who all do? Either that, or patronise those who choose to play first-person shooters and expect to have the privilege of being allowed to play more mechanically inclined or male dominant characters.
Instead of trying to be good at something we’re not, we females should just remain within this imaginary comfort zone. Where all that exists is a minute vicinity of characters who fall under the role of ‘healer’ or ‘support’ — why are we confined to this penitentiary of passive roles, I hear you ask? Simply because, the all-knowing and superior misogynists say so of course. Just like in wars, where us women were merely branded with the title of nurse, commanded to do none other than care for those who were wounded in battle. After all, we couldn’t possibly be worthy of obtaining the honour of being a ‘true soldier,’ wielding their weapons and sacrificing their lives.
Would it be too far-fetched to say that guys just created this stereotype to hide behind the fact that girls are good at video games and they don’t want to feel emasculated? Of course it would, because they would rather keep us behind a blindfold and indoctrinate the world into thinking that women are less able in order to protect their precious masculinity. But, I say we should tear off that blindfold so we can appreciate and encourage women for their capabilities. Think about it, if men stopped trying to disguise the fact that women are just as capable as they are, then maybe we would be able to see the true potential that women possess. Perhaps women would even feel more comfortable, or more confident when choosing to play certain male dominant characters in video games.
So, what if their fragile egos can’t cope with the risk of having their virility confronted by someone of the opposite sex? Are we supposed to just stop playing these male dominant characters? Are we supposed to just sit there and be told that we don’t have the ability to play certain characters in certain games? Or is not being of the male sex, a sufficient enough reason for women to be harassed in video games?
So my question is, are females actually inept with regards to aiming? Should they be imprisoned in this niche of only supportive or healing roles, or are they actually capable of so much more and we’ve had our potential suppressed? Just so that these misogynists can be protected from their own insecurities?