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Today In Obvious

Apparently, Women Gamers Spend As Much Time And Money On Gaming As Male Counterparts. This is Surprising?


A report shows that women gamers spend as much time and money on consoles as male gamers do, and that gamers are not, in fact, all teenage boys who lock themselves in their rooms to play Xbox Live for hours on end. Wait, gamers can be women? And adults? Gasp!

The social media network Pixwoo.com commissioned the search, and had this to say about their results:

The image most people have of a gamer is usually a young boy, holed up for hours in end in their bedroom, only stopping the game for food, drink and toilet breaks. But these results show that the stereotype couldn’t be more wrong. Not only are women just as likely to be gamers as men, but we are talking about fully grown adults who work, have a family and are in a relationship.

Go under the cut for statistics, commentary, and lots of exasperated sighing.

From The Daily Mail article:

The average gamer, who will spend up to 12 hours a week glued to their console, is actually 35-years-old and married, and earns £23k [approximately 34k USD] a year, according to a new study.

…It also revealed that gamers have one child, work an average of 32 hours a week and drive a Ford, Vauxhall or BMW.

What is frustrating about this information being touted as a “new discovery” is that it isn’t new and it isn’t a discovery, and treating it as such is reflective of the fact that the general public actually knows incredibly little about the real demographic of gamers. As glad as I am that someone is putting out more accurate information about the gaming community for people to see and absorb, the fact that most people still consider gaming to be a passtime for undeveloped manchildren is disheartening.

Furthermore, considering that the headline expresses surprise about the habits of female gamers it is apparent that women are still not accepted as “people for whom gaming is expected,” even while women make up 45% of the gaming population.

Well, at least we’re moving in the right direction.

(via The Daily Mail, image (c) Ryan Stewart/Moodboard/Corbis)

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  • http://arewerobots.libsyn.com/ DarthBetty

    When Oblivion came out, I didn’t shower for a week. 16 year old me.

    When Halo came out, I didn’t shower…..at all? 11 year old me.

    Getting married in 3 months to my co-op partner for life. So I’d say this is accurate.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    YES YES YES!

    I don’t hole up with games when they come out, I’m too poor, but when I do finally get my hands on one I’ve been dying for, I play for hours. I’m notorious for “a few more minutes” turning into “a few more hours”

    While supervising my child, doing laundry, cooking meals, etc.

    TBH, I play more than my partner.

  • RMCoyote

    I know out of everyone in my WoW guild, when I play I play the most. Hands down. (And by that I mean when I am not taking a 2 month break for real world reasons and etc.) So yeah, not surprising.

  • LifeLessons

    And “Duh”. Glad people are figuring this out.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never been able to get my wife to play either PC or console games, though she does have numerous iPhone games she plays, some of which I’ll also participate in.

  • Anonymous

    I had this rather amazing experience a while ago – I was at a party and started talking to some guys about gaming. The discussion got heated, we were really into it, and suddenly I realized that there were four guys and me, and most women there were staring at me as if I was an alien. And then the bizarre part came – I went to grab a drink and another girl came up to me and said something along the lines of “I’d like to join you, but then the guys won’t think I’m attractive anymore. You’re so lucky you’re gay!”. I think I stood there with my mouth open for a full minute, thinking “is that really how it works?”.

    tl;dr Gender stereotypes about gamers are stupid and make people unhappy, and if anyone tries to tell me it’s wrong that I don’t leave my room for a week when an Elder Scrolls game comes out, I’m going to punch their stupid face.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    My boyfriend only plays Civ and Machiavelli. I’m the one with the Steam account and dining room table full of consoles. All of my friends are gamers. All of them, male and female.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I’d have asked her why she’d want to spend time with guys that’s judge her on her hobbies.

    The messed up thing is, is that this comes from the other side too. People will also tell girls who aren’t finding guys, to start gaming to appear MOAR attractive.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Words fail me… I mean, not only that she thought boys wouldn’t be into her any more if she “gasp” liked the same things as them, but also that she was so focused on guys finding her attractive.

    Sad, sad world…

  • Dessa Brewington

    Well, to be fair, most of us want to be attractive to the people of our preferred gender, and i don’t know anybody that hasn’t been a little obsessed with it from time to time.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I don’t know anyone in my age bracket that doesn’t play computer games. How is this news to anyone under 50? Hell, my mother is a gamer and she’s nearly 60!

    She just completed MGS2, I’m so proud!

  • Anonymous

    TMS, I love you guys (gals).

  • Anonymous

    Question: are you actually gay or was that another stereotype she threw on top of that pile?

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    It was the “so focused” on boys in general finding her attractive that I was, er, focussing on. All boys? Any boys? Is that how it’s done? You go out trying to be attractive to anyone that fits your sexuality rather than being who you are and finding someone who likes that person?

    This whole courtship and mating thing has never made sense to me. I have been me, always, and never tried to be anything other than the person I am or the person I myself want to be. Sometimes people have liked me and one time I liked a person back. Somehow we’ve been together for ten years but it was all pretty much by accident.

    My friends tell I’m weird…

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    That sounds a lot like some feminist dating advice I received awhile ago.

    Instead of meeting guys, liking guys, and THEN informing them that you are a feminist, make it clear from the get go that you are feminist, to narrow the field.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait for the gaming industry to look at this and go “…Yeah, but it’s still risky to cater to them.”

  • Anonymous

    That’s it exactly – I think she had this idea that she had to aim for the “target audience” and do anything to appeal. What shocked me was not that someone was so focused on being attractive to potential partners, but that she had this extremely clear and obvious (to her) image of what “attractive” means, and “gamer” was the exact opposite of that image.

  • Anonymous

    Bi, in a relationship with a girl at the time, so she wasn’t actually adding “you game, you must be a dike” to it. ;)

  • Anonymous

    As long as it’s “them”, it’s going to be a problem.

  • Miriam Breslauer

    I am a straight female gamer and have never had a problem getting dates from the guys I was interested in even after I was blatantly geeky about my gaming addictions. In some cases, my obsession with board games got me better access to the guys I was most interested in.

  • Anonymous

    Good. I was afraid for a sec.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but that is your experience. It’s also a privilege that comes with being straight.

  • Miriam Breslauer

    My mother is a gamer as well. My mother is 59 years old.

  • Jesse

    the general public ARE gamers, they just don’t want to admit they spend as much time on farmville/temple run/etc. as others do on WoW :P (true fact: WoW is better)

  • Melynda

    Maybe if they do enough studies saying the exact same things, people will start to realize that the unwashed teenage boy living off of Mt. Dew and Doritos in his parents’ basement scenario isn’t what’s happening in the gaming world.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    I’m unsure which bit of that counts as straight privilege. Elaborate?

    EDIT

    Actually, I’m also confused as to why talking about our personal experiences in this area is a problem.

  • Anonymous

    Is it? That girl was actually envious that I was free to talk about my interest, precisely because I didn’t see the guys as potential partners. I think in this case it’s not something to do with privilege of not being a member of minority, but the problem of what we’ve been taught to see as desirable, and how that lesson can stick in our heads, even when it doesn’t make any sense.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    Yea, I’m confused too.

  • Anonymous

    I was seeing her response as “this is my experience, therefore this is the way it is”. That’s more what I was commenting on. I see confusion in the responses to me, I hope that clears it up a bit.

  • Bryant Francis

    A few years back I was going to the Video Games Live concert in Wolf Trap down in Virginia with some friends. Along the way we swung by a grocery store to grab sandwiches, and we were still talking about video game stuff as we made our way up to the counter. The woman behind the counter, (who I wouldn’t have pegged as a gamer merely for age, not for anything else), immediately jumped in and started talking with us about World of Warcraft, and how much she and her husband played. We wound up swapping raid stories for about 10 minutes, and then went on to the concert, where I would have pegged about 50% of the attendees to be women. Maybe even more.

    The sort of “aha” moment I had there wasn’t that there are female gamers, (I grew up playing games with girls), but that EVERYONE’S a gamer now, and there’s no one stereotype that encapsulates us. Growing up only people who were maybe 8 years older than me were hardcore gamers, but now it’s everyone. All classes, genders, races, income levels, we’re all playing games, and we don’t fit neatly into anyone’s narrow worldviews.

    And personally, I think that’s kind of awesome. =D I just wish publishers would catch up with reality here.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    You’d think they’d see market potential and jump on it…

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t surprise me in the last that The Daily Mail thinks this is a new discovery! They are an incredibly backwards and sexist paper that is about on a level with The Sun. Have you ever taken a look at The Daily Mails ‘FeMail’ section? Dispicable! There is a reason I get most of my news from the Guardian instead. :/

  • Anonymous

    Oh come on, media and entertainment people still haven’t realized it’s profitable to try and sell stuff to people from outside the “10 most wealthy countries” list (and then they wonder why everyone pirates Game of Thrones), don’t expect them to abandon the “gamer=has a dong” association so fast.

  • Anonymous

    This is HI-LARIOUS! After a particularly rough day of being Miss Sunshine and Light Elementary School Teacher Extraordinaire, sometimes I NEED to go home, have a beer, and blow up some heads. To be honest, I’m not sure how people twenty-five years ago would have de-stressed. TV? Shooting tin cans out on the mesa? Dunno…but this is not new information to my generation.

  • Anonymous

    That was my first thought, too. “Wha?! Who would put out a study like this, it’s an insult to journalis—oh, it’s the Daily Mail. My bad.”

  • Anonymous

    ZAP! BANG! POW! Video Games Not Just For Boys Anymore

  • Becky Cunningham

    My 60+ mom loves Popcap games and gets addicted to the occasional arcade game. She played a ton of the old text parser adventure games back in the day. She doesn’t like games with violence in them, and I think to a lot of people think she’s not a “real” gamer because of that. I say “pfft” to those people.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Well you said “but that’s your experience” as if you thought the comment was invalid because it was merely personal experience.

    I can see where all the confusion has arisen, on both parts, on that bit.

    I still don’t get the straight privilege bit.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Hah, very good point. Although I think half of the problem with not marketing outside the G8/10/12 is lawyers; all these stupid trade agreements.

    It’s the same reason Netflix etc has rolling contracts on a lot of the shows. Very annoying when I go to watch a show on a streaming service and it’s no longer there.

  • Anonymous

    Trust me, it’s even more annoying when you get a “this service is unavailable in your country” message instead. That’s not just saying “we know what you want better than you”, it’s “you no American, your money no good, understand?” in an unnecessarily loud voice with long pauses between the words (before someone bites my head off – I know, it’s not just Americans, it’s most of the developed West).

  • Samuel

    Exactly, my GF is addicted to Zombie Farm (necromancer simulator) or w/e and doesn’t see the distinction that she is actually videogaming all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunatly I think its just the men who are surprised. OMG women like games? Women are people?

  • http://yourdangerousmind.tumblr.com/ PebbleInTheSky

    People won’t let little things like facts get in the way. I remember a few years ago, a study came out saying women tended to play videogames as much as men, but were slightly skewed towards playing browser games, rpgs, sims games, handhelds, and apps. So, I noticed a lot of studies after that just coincidentally started to count browser games, phone apps, and handheld gaming in a separate category from games, which coincidentally lowered the amount of women playing “games”. Occasionally, sims-type games were counted out as well. Funny, that.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    The UK’s mostly moved past that bit in the last six months. And I mean the last six months. Ridiculous. World wide, simultaneous access = cash. Why won’t they just take my money?!

    Netflix, for their part, don’t care. Get a proxy *cough*Tunnel Bear*cough*, sign up in the US with paypal; boom, done. It’s all the lawyers!

    “Developed” and Western countries suffer too. Australia? Japan? Oh, you want your TV and films the same time as the rest of the G8 or English speaking countries? Tough, you’re in a trade area we don’t like.

  • Anonymous

    I did. Intention not being magical, etc. Also, I forget sometimes that people on the internet can’t read my mind :p I pointed that out because in a conversation where a marginalized person is expressing their view/experience, it can come off harmful to state “well this is my experience, as a privileged person”. Then again, I do not want to speak for dzio either. It seems I was the only one who saw it that way. It’s not that my view isn’t valid, but it’s more important that a marginalized voice is not drowned out.

  • Dessa Brewington

    I went through a long phase before I ever had my first girlfriend of jumping through all kinds of hoops to get girls to like me. Then I got a little bit older and over that.

  • Dessa Brewington

    My mom is 60 and addicted to solitaire and variants.

    But, c’mon, y’gotta admit a mom who can finish MGS2 is pretty badass. That’s no noob’s game.

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    That’s messed up and the opposite of my experiences. Usually guys talk to me about how “hot” it is that I play games. Still a stereotype but a different one.

  • Curuniel

    It doesn’t help that so much of the gaming industry (mostly the wealthy, high-profile parts) insists on continuing to market games to “undeveloped manchildren” as if that IS the main gaming demographic. A consequence of this is a lot of gamers who seem to assume that being a gamer means they should embrace bigotry and immaturity as part of gaming culture, because that’s what’s still being sold to them.

    I’ve read a lot of rather old literature about online gaming, specifically, and for decades now people have been pointing out that women played those games DESPITE how hostile they were to women – you don’t have to ‘feminize’ a game, just make it less antagonistic and think how many more women might have been interested!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, there’s definitely some “but those aren’t real games” snobbery among gamers. That said, it is a bit misleading to lump people who play mostly browser games (particularly things like Farmville and other social media games), social sims, etc. in with people who play mostly games like CoD, ME, God of War, Tomb Raider and other “traditional” PC- or console-style FPS/platformer/fighter/RPG games. It’s not that the former aren’t “real games”, but usually, when people say “gamer”, they don’t really mean “people who play any type of video game”; they mean “people who play traditional PC- or console-style games”.

    By way of analogy, in the US, the major sports are things like football, baseball, basketball, hockey, (maybe) soccer, (maybe) tennis, etc. If I didn’t really follow any of those major sports but was nevertheless an avid fan of competitive ping pong and synchronized swimming, I think it would be a bit misleading to call myself a “sports fan”. At the very least, it wouldn’t make sense to lump me and the classic football-baseball-basketball fan into the same marketing demographic.

  • Anonymous

    Here in Poland the only way to legally access a lot of media content is by paying for the most expensive cable plan possible, waiting a year for a DVD or ordering a package from England or Germany. It’s like they’re saying “you’re so far behind what we consider civilization, that we believe only a top 3% of the wealthiest people in your sorry little country could possibly want or afford anything any New Yorker can get for 10 bucks”.

    Who cares that Poland is on the freaking list of 20 world’s largest economies, my stable, 40MB connection allows me to download that content in bloody HD from TPB in 3 minutes flat and I can easily afford to spend 10-20 extra dollars a month on games, shows, music, ebooks and all that fun stuff on my lousy part-time salary.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve seen that too, thought unfortunately it often was “Babe, that’s great, now The Man is going to show you how REAL gamers do it”, rather that “I’m so happy we like the same things, you’re cool”. ;)

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Ooooh, I see! Yes, trying to show that a minority experience isn’t legitimate because “pft, that’s not how it happens to me, obviously you’re wrong.”

    I don’t think @miriambreslauer:disqus meant it that way (and the rest of us didn’t see it that way, as you say). It seemed more as just adding another voice to the table saying “boys (who like girls) like girls who can talk about things with them. Here’s an example, me! What was this other poor girl thinking, saying boys don’t like girls who play computer games??”

    The internet, huh?

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    It’s even more ridiculous that countries within the EU have such varying access scales. Why should Poland have to wait longer than Germany?

    And don’t get me started on manga. For the longest time Italy (and probably other countries, but Italy is the one I was in when I found out) got manga way ahead of the UK. Why? Lawyers. The US would get it first, so it was already in English, but Britain would have to wait many more months after other EU countries due to some thing in our trade agreements because our government doesn’t like the EU (the EU keeps telling our government what to do).

    It’s getting better now, with ebooks, and with the trade discussions at the G8 hopefully breaking down some trade restrictions and then the G20 should follow suit in September.

    Who knows, maybe this time next year we’ll all have legal access to everything at the same time! Meh…

    Yeah, I have a beef with lawyers.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Older is, apparently sometimes wiser XD

  • Laura Truxillo

    I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed this too. I know guys who can have in depth discussions, and even debates or flat-out arguments about nerdy things with other guys, but joining in as a woman, especially with your own opinion, gets on their nerves. (And God help you if your opinion ever involves feminism or LGBTQ rights–then that becomes your schtick, and every time it comes up, eyes will roll.)

    They’d never say anything like that. They’d sure never say it’s because I’m a woman–they’d say it’s because I’m abrasive or what-not. But what comes off as spirited discussion of opposing viewpoints from a guy is comes off as abrasive from a girl.

    I’ve kinda just gotten to the point where I don’t care. Screw ‘em, I’ll say what I want, and I don’t really care if people don’t like me for it. Which is good, because…well, abrasive.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Always seemed like the best option to me.

    I mean, yeah, it narrows the field pretty much down to nothing depending on where you live, but what’s even the point of getting something started if you’re always tamping down on something as fundamental as personal belief like that? Seems dishonest.

  • http://yourdangerousmind.tumblr.com/ PebbleInTheSky

    If you go by the numbers for consoles in general, that would be super misleading to a company like, say, Bioware, considering that more women play rpgs, but the numbers for how many women play on consoles actually would hide that because of other types of console games being skewed in the other direction. They would not know their market if they relied on those stats, because console gamers do have different tastes.

    In my experience, though, console games ARE typically lumped together in these sorts of conversations to try to “prove” that game companies shouldn’t market to women. It’s not a clarification for the purpose of marketing. It is a diversion tactic for when people start asking “why is X female character wearing no helmet in space, and why is the camera always hugging her spandex clad butt? Can you cut that out, please?”

  • bucadonebuvi

    мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kkEj

    By way of analogy, in the US, the major sports are things like
    football, baseball, basketball, hockey, (maybe) soccer, (maybe) tennis,
    etc. If I didn’t really follow any of those major sports but was
    nevertheless an avid fan of competitive ping pong and synchronized
    swimming, I think it would be a bit misleading to call myself a “sports
    fan”. At the very least, it wouldn’t make sense to lump me and the
    classic football-baseball-basketball fan into the same marketing
    demographic.

  • Mina

    I also dislike when the snobbery goes in the other direction though, as in when people act like video gaming is a silly, childish hobby but they themselves play phone games for at least an hour a day.

  • Mina

    I also dislike when the snobbery goes in the other direction though, as in when people act like video gaming is a silly, childish hobby but they themselves play phone games for at least an hour a day.

  • Anonymous

    Indeed :)

  • Anonymous

    Wait… in what world is being honest about the things you like in hopes of attracting someone who also likes the things you like… straight privilege?

    Evidently I have imagined the several girlfriends I have met specifically because we were both into games, or other mutual interests.

  • Jason Hunt

    It’s not men who are surprised. It’s people who don’t play games that are surprised.

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I think it’s entirely possible that next week The Daily Mail will feature an article about the scandalous new trend of women wearing trousers.

  • Ampa Pantages

    At this point I just kind of laugh at stuff like this. There’s always a new “shocking discovery!” by some survey or study that either debunks a previous study or brings up old news.

    All I can say is, where is my BMW?!

  • Anonymous

    People who don’t play games arent the ones making the games…

  • Jason Hunt

    Watch “Indie Game: The Movie”. People who play the games do make them. Women making successful games for a female player base can be done.

  • Anonymous

    I said people who dont play arent the ones making them, meaning people who dont play games dont matter, because they arent part of the industry. The people who are part of the mainstream industry just dont seem to care much.

  • Jason Hunt

    Still doesn’t change the fact there’s the opportunities there for games to be created by women, for women. All it takes is one huge indie game success for a female creator and the market will open up.

  • Anonymous

    Of course, Id love it if that happened, but I think were seeing a similar trend with the film industry where even success isnt enough. People in business dont like to take unnecessary risks, even if someone else was successful.

  • Jason Hunt

    Fortunately the gaming industry can be a different beast to that of the movie industry in so far as getting a product to customers can be done by a small team on a limited budget. I’d hope many young women into gaming/game creation creation get to watch that Indie game movie. It shows average people creating their own games can reach huge markets with the right product. With so much now possible through self publication/promotion of products there’s an opening there in the gaming world to be filled.

  • i hate twittter

    My favourite is when people tell women that they’re going to lose all their friends because of their argumentative style. Not for having a horrible opinion or personal attacks but because their tone isn’t nice/polite enough for a woman.

  • i hate twittter

    Is this a console experience? I play PC games and I don’t think I’ve ever run into the ‘let a man show u how it’s done’ crap.

  • Anonymous

    Im hoping it does happen, and Im hoping there will be games created by women that are just as culturally relevant as Super Mario Bros. or Halo. I just dont see it happening any time soon for the big consoles.

  • Joanna

    I’m so glad I don’t hang out with assholes.

  • Anonymous

    This study brought to you by people who think The Big Bang Theory is an accurate depiction of nerdy people.

  • Jessica Fisher

    Women like various forms of entertainment???!!!! Whhhaaaaa???

  • Jessica Fisher

    Women like various forms of entertainment???!!!! Whhhaaaaa???

  • Anonymous

    In the responses below, my conversation with Shard Aerliss, I explain. I wasn’t thinking about my words very well at the time.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Some men are assholes. Some aren’t. You’ve just not come across the first variety. I’ve never had this experience either, console or PC.

  • i hate twittter

    Trust me I’ve come across plenty of assholes… just not the “show u how its done” kind. I was figuring it might have to with multiple people playing on the same console.

  • shadowobsessed

    But the publishers who are in charge of much of the way the game turns out, and how it’s advertised? THEY certainly don’t play games.

  • Anonymous

    We cant necessarily assume that. Im sure some of them dont, and some of them do.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Even when I truly suck at a game (and I do at many that I still love dearly) my male friends and acquaintances haven’t used such lines. Gender has never come into it. Oh sure, they might say “you suck! Let me show you how it’s done!” But they won’t blame it on my gender.

    I’m just lucky enough to have never come across someone who would do that… well not to my face… not after witnessing the vicious, foul mouthed hatred I can pour at a collection of pixels >_<

  • Rai

    Well… I’ve been gaming since I was a kid, and I managed to I balance it out with study (and now with work) and sports. I game more than my partner (though occasionally we have to race to the console or battle it out in a few rounds of Tekken to see who gets the console – I kicked his butt numerous times). We’d help each other out when one of us get stuck in a part of the game (thankfully we play mostly the same games), or we’d compare our scores/trophies – I’d score more headshots than him most of the times. LOL. I had no problems finding dates/boyfriends in the past even when they don’t know that I’m a gamer. They’d find out about it later when they get to know me a little better.

    Most of my close girlfriends know I’m a gamer (one of them is one too), and one time one of them took a candid picture of me in a pretty dress and heels (looking lady-like) ready to go out but was gaming with the boys (I had my serious game face on) while waiting for the other girls to be ready. LOL. Others who don’t know me wouldn’t guess that I’m a gamer.

    I still get the occasional evil looks from other women when their partners got engaged in an in-depth conversations about games with me (even when I have my partner by my side joining in), and I also get it from some other women too because I tend to talk more to the guys and actually have a lot of fun conversations while they can’t join it because they had no clue what we were talking about, then when we have normal conversations, those women still gave me the stink look! Yikes! Well I enjoy gaming as much as I enjoy my sports and sci-fi, it’s a way to unwind after a hard day at work or when I just simply feel like it :)

  • Anonymous

    To the small (yet oh so vocal) subsection of male gamers shocked by the size
    of the female gaming group.

    It’s fine, it really is. Your community hasn’t suddenly changed composition. You’ve probably been thinking that, if we were here at all, we were in the ‘casual browser’ section, and could be safely ignored. But over the last couple of years something has changed. And it isn’t what you think.

    It’s voice chat. Voice chat became standard for multiplayer, and, as an
    unintended side effect, it outed us. You think things are changing but they’re
    not. We were always here. In your Counter Strikes and CoDs, in your WoWs and your EVEs, even back to the halcyon days of PreNGE SWG, your community has actually always been our community.

    Our numbers grew steadily with changing attitudes over time, but you didn’t see that becasue we were in the closet. We were the ones who responded to your A/S/L? request with:

    “Why would I tell you any of that? And why do you need to know? What
    you need to know for our purposes this evening is: Can I sheep the ranged
    baddies? (yes), Can I remember to do non-AoE spells until the mobs are
    cleared?(yes) and can I synchronise my bathroom breaks with the rest of the
    group? (yes, but I do have random cat demand issues).”

    We were the decently clothed, sensibly haircutted female avatars skipping
    past the 7 foot Valkyries armoured with metal boob tape and gyrating for silver in ‘Age of Conan’ while snickering ‘totally a dude’ to ourselves.

    No more. No more artfully avoiding the gender question or outright lying
    because you don’t want to have one of ‘those’ conversations while you’re trying
    to locate a sniper so you can blow his sneaky damn head off. Your voice is out
    there, identifying you as clearly as that laser sight.

    But, like all our self imposed closets, it’s so much better Out than In.
    Inside there’s a constant weight of self regulation and mild deception, but
    outside there’s a vast mass of male gamers ready to express mild surprise,
    followed by treating you pretty much the same way they treat everyone else (extra points to the guy from EVE whose first reaction was ‘Wow, you’re British’). And a minority of really shocked men, which contains a tiny subset of raging assholes.

    I suggest dealing with such assholes thusly:

    “No, I don’t know about that obscure Japanese game that never got an
    outside release, about which encyclopaedic knowledge would somehow prove to your goddamn satisfaction that I’m ‘not fake’. No, I won’t meet you in another
    game you’ve been playing for three months solid, and that I’ve never played
    just so I can ‘show you I’m for real’, But I’ll tell you one thing, sonny. I
    was playing Psychonauts when you were still a fetus, and I AM THE MILKMAN. I. BRING.THE. MILK.”*

    * Yell last part while firing/slashing repeatedly, if kill=success, then
    conclude with a rousing chorus of ‘You’re dead and you know you are.’ It’s
    the only way they’ll learn.

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    I’m definitely a perfect example female to what you’re talking about, Pebble. Before I got roped into PC gaming (via MMORPGs) I was 100% a playstation girl because the other consoles sucked for RPGs, which were my favourites (I also like fighting games, but I tended to like the ones on playstation more anyway).

    Edit to add: Though I was a nintendo and SNES girl before that, but my mom refused to buy us one so I’d steal every chance I could convince friends toward if they owned a console lol.

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    I’ve thought so many times on how cool it would be to tackle that project, but all I know is story and character building…I enjoy voice acting…I don’t know a whole lot about everything else that needs to go into a video game though so I don’t even really know where to start other than…well…I have this video graphics artist friend studying 3D models at college and whatnot…but we live pretty far apart and she’s pretty busy right now.

    If I’m thinking it and know hardly anything about making games, I guess it’s only a matter of time before someone out there does it, right?

    Any girls out there looking for a distance-working storyboard character person? I enjoy voice acting but don’t have the money for good equipment, but I would so love to write for video games <3

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    Public executions and gladiator arenas sans happy endings come to mind. Video games seem far less violent and graphic in comparison XD

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    O.O

    I sometimes get odd looks from other girls too, but mostly it’s because I’m an adult and mother now. “You need to grow up now looks” I’ve never been confronted with an actual girl who actually believes you have to be gay or will be unattractive if you’re into video games.

    I’ve honestly experienced the opposite of that assumption…guys becoming more interested/attracted to me after they discover I can relate to a whole lot of different gaming experiences and am more than eager to try ones I’ve not played yet that they like a lot…it’s how I got my husband who invited me to wow from EQ ;)

    Edit to add: Well that and a shared interest in writing fantasy that introduced us in the first place hehe

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    I’ve experienced that too, but usually I’ve already noticed that I don’t even have to argue with those kinds of guys before I’m treated with the similar to kiddy gloves. Aw, she thinks she’s a gamer, isn’t that cute? What, do you like to grow a few flowers on your phone with farmville? Or they note you actually play their game but they act in such a way that you know they’re convinced you’re not as competent as a man at it.

    I actually had one guy yell at me in a raid once because I apparently had no idea how to play my class…except I was above him on the damage meter, not drawing aggro, playing my role exactly as I should have been (and like the other rogues in the group)…see I’m explaining it all just in case someone assumes that, since a guy yelled at me, I probably was doing something wrong and just didn’t know it, woman that I am.

    It stinks.

  • Anonymous

    See, I hate this whole “my gaming penis is mightier than yours” thing. I prefer Single Player and don’t do MMOs at all (well, there was this one week with WoW, but that’s all), but I still run into this competitive BS from time to time. Example – I play Skyrim with the SkyRe mod on Expert difficulty and I had a guy tell me once that I was a lame n00b, because I wasn’t playing on Legendary, like the big boys do… And when I started explaining (yeah, I do that to) about the increased difficulty with SkyRe, he asked me if I got it because it added “pretty dresses and flowers”, for all my girly needs. I was talking about changes in sneak mechanics and how the mod altered the calculations behind effects of stamina on chance to block, and he dismissed it with “you have boobs, you’re obviously talking about kittens and lacy lingerie”.

  • Anonymous

    No, I’m on PC as well. And I’m not talking about my friends (I try not to associate with insecure pricks), it was mostly people on gaming boards, which can be at least partially explained by common internet assholery, and a few random people I met at pubs and parties, which can be partially explained by drunken posturing. It’s just statistics – if you talk to enough people, especially in an douchebag-rich environment, you’ll run into an insecure prick sooner or later. ;)

  • Melodia E. McIntyre

    Oh it’s not always an innocent “I’m so happy”… sometimes it’s more creepy or they think it’s “cute” that I play. Even when it’s a nicer one, there is still this level of surprise to it that’s annoying.

    I also get sometimes a “Oh but I bet it’s just the Sims” or something like that, too. Like games where you kill people are somehow more substantial?

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s notable here that this survey was conducted only among people who self-identified as a “gamer,” which is not an appellation frequently adopted by folks whose gaming experience begins and ends with phone apps, regardless of gender.

  • http://musesings.wordpress.com/ Saronai Aldarion

    Yeah, it sucks dealing with far more of them in MMOs but I enjoy my MMOs anyway. I have a damage meter only to make sure I’m keeping up, rather than for competitive reasons (unless someone’s being a jerk, then I can’t help but notice when they’re ranked below me). For one thing, it’s about more than damage anyway.

    I don’t really do player vs. player. I prefer cooperative or soloing (or playing a single player game). I’m also a completionist, so in a lot of games I’ll play through ALL available modes, unlock all endings, play through the game trying to catch everything on my own, then play through again with a guide’s help to be sure I do this time (provided I enjoyed the game enough anyway).

    I just like getting to enjoy the game and not having to deal with the stupid assumptions, reaction, and treatment we’ve all been mentioning. I definitely find solo games like that a nice break when I’m just so tired of either being treated like a “girl” or being referred to as a dude ’cause I’m not messing up…even though I’m playing a girl character ><

  • Anonymous

    *pastime /nit-picky

  • Anonymous

    Actually, don’t blame the lawyers. Blame the media companies who lobby for stupid copyright laws, the governments who create trade treaties on that basis and *enforce* them. The lawyers are only making money out of what has been set up for them by the big media cartel stranglehold on these things, and who is hiring them.

  • Eve

    That’s me too! The ones who seem the most surprised that I play video games are my female co-workers, not my husband’s co-workers. My students usually think it’s neat, although we don’t take about MA games at school.

  • http://amidstdancers.blogspot.com/ Shard Aerliss

    Did they get hired to do these things, or did these things happen because they were on retainer?

    Chicken, egg.

  • robert s

    I am in my late 30,s and I love games have done for over 30 years love them and since we can play online I have met and made many female friends and some women are good others cr4p but its the taking part that counts. games to me are like someone waiting for the next music out by their fav singer or group or someone who cant wait for their next movie out in the cinema so games to me are my entertainment and remember it says on a lot of games 18 and over on the covers to play it so why does a lot of people think you have to be a kid to play them that’s ridiculous I will play them in my 90,s if I am able to do that come the time lol. I also know people over 50 on my ps3 as well its all good and you get to chat to people you never would in your life if it wasn’t for games so its all positive I hope this message wakes people up that gaming is good..what ever your age who cares..