I am a Gamer AND a woman, so?

The gaming industry has a low percentage of females in a man’s world. The reason being that most girls just don’t like gaming, think it’s childish or a waste of time. Those women will be those who won’t understand why their spouse, boyfriend, or husband like it and will sometimes get into a temper tantrum because they are gaming. Fast message here to those girls: Get a hobby too for when they are gaming, or start gaming, guys like to “get away” in those games and likes even more when their girl is a gamer do…And then you’ll get an happy man..  Oh! And get the facts on gamers and gaming through science and surveys here.

Now that I have ranted a bit, let’s get back to the main subject.

Many articles came out about women in gaming, mostly live gaming. Live gaming, for the uninitiated, is when you get online through an internet line and play with people from around the world, or even your next door neighbor. We have a headset/microphone plugged to our system, either Xbox, Playstation or PC, and we are able to communicate. Those articles I want to blog about are those about a phenomena online: Female gamers being harassed, bullied and not taken seriously.

As a woman gamer myself, now passed 30 y-o, I am a gamer. I have been gaming since I am maybe 5 y-o. I started on my aunt’s Atari, playing Frogger, Q*bert, and my favorite, Pitfall!. Then my dad got me a NES. After the NES, I got into a down time in gaming. But I was still playing on my NES even though new systems came out. Then, with the new rage of online gaming, I got an Xbox. I was hooked again. My main game was, and will always be Rainbow Six franchise: Black Arrow, Vegas 1 & 2. But also the Splinter Cell franchise. I have played those also on the Xbox 360, and now, since Holidays 2014, I am a PS4 gamer, playing Destiny, and waiting for Rainbow Six: Siege, The Division and a new Splinter Cell.

After all that time gaming, I have experienced what other women have reported. For example, on Rainbow Six: Black Arrow, I was at the head of a clan. We were doing clan matches and were always either in 1st or 2nd place all the time. Everything went well. I also liked playing what they call “Sharpshooter”, a mode that it’s “free-for-all”, and the one having the most kills win. I have been kicked numerous time from a server because I killed them, and/or won and I was a girl. Only twice have I been called “a bitch” and “a slut”. Or “kid” because since we interact with voice chat, they assume I am a 8 or 12 y-o boy! But it’s all laughs when I tell them I am a girl.

But most of my experiences have been positive when it comes to my gender. Guys are impressed, love playing with me, I even did get numerous marriage proposals! I guess I was one of the lucky ones. My “friends” always were there to “protect me” from those online parasites and it was all fun and laughs.

I don’t say that the other girls are liars, but I would like to know how some are been constantly bullied and harassed, even “sexually”. At one point, I was playing near to 6 to 8h per day, and it never got to the point they are claiming. But, yes, we are not always well welcome in this world. Like in the military, police, firefighter, and all those “men” careers, we, women, are seen as a “threat”, incapable, useless. So it was obvious that in the gaming industry, we are not always welcome.

While reading an article on the subject, I stumble onto a blog that was mentioned in the article named “Not in the kitchen anymore“. A blog written by a woman or a young girl, the blog doesn’t say, who experiences men’s “wrath”. She denounce it by writing the conversation plus adding an audio. Bravo. I like that. But to be honest, I have read a few of them (I have not listen to the audios), and if the majority of female gamers do this, no wonder they are harassed. I don’t like the fact that she “insults” them online or be as bully as they are, getting into their mind game. A gamertag is easily tagged as unfriendly all around the live which can make it like a schoolyard: The word spreads on how you are, and that’s it, you are done. There is such thing as reputation in online gaming. And as women, we have to be more intelligent than them considering our situation in the industry. I never said I never insulted someone that was insulting me. It did happened once. But it’s not the way to go.

Other than the gender, I think that my online friends and I were mostly “bullied” with, on was our country. Them and I are from Canada. The country of origin is often in our online profile. So we got a lot of Americans playing the “we are the best” game with us. And I am not talking about gaming. I am talking about them insulting our country, our people, our culture, the fact that we are a bilingual country, etc. And no, I won’t get into what they exactly said, what I can say is they can be quite rude. They are not all like this obviously, some are really nice, but those idiots makes another point on my list of : Why I don’t like the USA. Well, it doesn’t help, that is for sure. And gain, I don’t put everyone in the same basket and I won’t go and smash our southern neighbor everywhere like they did.

Some video game creators sadly don’t help the case. I get that by creating more “feminine” games, they try to bring more women into gaming. But most of them are almost insulting and it won’t work. I think that you have gaming in you or you don’t. But I wish to thank some such as Ubisoft and Bungie, that thought about us in the character creations in their games by adding female versions of those characters. THANK YOU.

So if you are a woman reading this, and you wish to get into gaming, I have a few advice for you. Don’t do it for your man, but for you first. Don’t go and just buy a console without knowing if you like it. Play first on a friend’s console to make sure you like it. Xbox or Playstation? Both consoles are pretty much the same at the end. Just go with the one that your close friends are playing to have some friends to play with. Don’t put your real name as a gamertag, you never know who you will game with. And mostly, have fun, and don’t get into those little boys games.

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