Hello? Yes, Girls Exist. Are You Listening, Video Game Industry?
Dear gamer culture,
Yes, “gamer girls,” that is, people who play video games while having two X chromosomes, DO, in fact, exist. It turns out, people don’t typically use their genitalia to manipulate controllers or keyboards, so women are just as a capable as men at playing and enjoying games. We really mean it when we say we like games. It’s not something we pretend to like to get attention, impress boys, or entertain our boyfriends.
“Gamer girls” may occasionally play games in various states of dress within the privacy of our own homes, just like boys do. However, we don’t typically lie around naked in our own beds, using only miscellaneous console controllers to cover our bits. That’s a fantasy, and a silly one. Sure, you’ve probably seen images of women posing suggestively with video game accessories, but you can blame the industry for it, not us. Using women to pander to immature, sexist males is nothing new in advertising That is to say, marketers think male gamers are stupid. You should be as insulted by it as we are.
We would like the industry to recognize our existence. You shouldn’t be afraid of this. When we say that we want game developers to recognize us as a demographic, we are NOT demanding that game companies put out Barbie games. We already like the games that exist pretty well.
We don’t want every game to feature female protagonists, or protagonists with selectable genders. But SOME would be nice. Why should every story be about the same kinds of people, right? It would be nice if at least a FEW “Game of the Year” titles reliably passed the Bechtel test.
We do have an issue with sexism in games (see earlier commentary about advertising ) and so should you. Games shouldn’t be insulting to their audiences, and if games weren’t so frequently hostile to women, the existence of “gamer girls” wouldn’t be such a surprise. Addressing this issue can only lead developers away from lazy design and on to better games as a result.
Watch these videos. Shut up and do it.