Why It’s Hard Being A Female Gamer…Or Geek, Really

I love videogames. Seriously, if I could marry an industry, it would be gaming. I would be so good to it, giving it all my time and attention and praising its constant good work, and I would expect it to praise me in return and thank me for hours of selfless devotion. Relationship goals. It’s really that simple.

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Sadly, I cannot marry the gaming industry. But what I can do (and am doing) is having a very promiscuous and exciting affair. I’m hopping from platform to platform playing multiple games at once and I honestly haven’t felt so satisfied as I am now in a long time.

Except for one thing. It’s been bugging me lately and I feel like a lot of other women can feel me on this.We’re not gamers. That’s right, I said it! There’s no way in hell we can be gamers.  I guess it could be because we have tits and vaginas and that automatically disqualifies us from being recognized as a true member of this beautiful forum/media.

I admit, I may be just a little bitter about this.

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More recently within the past year I’ve had more time and opportunities to get back into gaming, as well as being able to fund my habit. I have built a beast of a PC with a small but decently sized library of games courteous to Steam as well as a nice streaming setup, I have a couple handhelds, 3 consoles, and a plethora of old and new games. Honestly, that isn’t very much and I do have several wish lists on Amazon of things that I would love to add to it. Occasionally, I do make my way over to Best Buy or Hastings to curb my cravings and pick up a new title or 3 and head home with extra pep in my step.

Well, that would be the ideal scenario. Instead, I get comments or dismissed as another girlfriend buying stuff for her boyfriend or brother. Or maybe that I’m buying stuff for my kid (WTF, do I look like a mom to you?).

For instance, I was with my best friend, who is a guy, at Best Buy and I was purchasing Mortal Kombat X for the PS4. I had seen a lot of gameplay of it and it looked like a lot of fun and I wanted in on the action. So there I am, walking like Leo DiCaprio in his Inception meme to the register. The lady working the front calls me over and she takes the game from me and releases it from it’s plastic cage and rings me up. Well that’s all fine and dandy with me, I prefer not doing that same ‘ol small talk banter bullshit. I just want to get home and pop that bad boy into my PS4 and wreck my thumbs on combos.

Nah, it’s not going to go that way. She looks at me and says:

“Aww, are you buying this for your boyfriend?”

“Uhh, no, actually it’s for-“

“Oh, for your son! Yea, my son begged me for this game too, but I wouldn’t get it for him. It’s too violent! I bet your son thinks you’re a good mom 🙂 “

“Haha, no, it’s for me. I’ve been a fan of the MK series since I was a kid actually.”

“Oh. Have a nice day.”

…Really? I don’t think it’s uncommon for there to be girl gamers. Especially those that are in their mid- to late-twenties. Is it really so strange that I would want a violent game where I can disembowel people with glee? Or uppercut people in the dick with some One Punch Man force?

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And it doesn’t end there. Maybe this is encroaching more into the general geekdom, but I know I’m not the only girl that has been told/asked about her “boyfriend’s” shirts. Simply put, I like nerdy/geeky t-shirts, especially those revolving around my favorite games/gamers/fandoms. Yes, I have given some of them to my best friend because he really liked them. Every time he wears one out in public, he gets all the comments! That’s cool, and I’m being serious about that. But when I wear it, it’s fucking silent. Or:

“Hey man, I like your shirt” while they are pointing at me but looking at him.

No, hombre, it doesn’t work that way. If I’m wearing this shirt/hoody/ANYTHING geeky and/or nerdy, it’s because I’m into it. It’s not because I didn’t have a clean shirt and asked my “boyfriend” to wear his.

Here’s the thing. I’m in the generation that grew up with videogames, cartoons, and anime. And outside. But really, we all wanted to be inside gaming, admit it. Have you ever played rock wars? Get this, it’s a game you do outdoors! Essentially you’re in the middle of the gravel road with your two older brothers and they throw rocks at you! It was a great way to learn how to dodge. Great times, I tell you.

All that I want today is for there to be more support for female gamers/geeks/nerds. Don’t assume that we’re running errands for a guy or wearing some dude’s clothes. Instead, ask us what we think about whatever we’re buying/wearing! Sure, there might be a few people who are just running errands or borrowing clothes and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But all the other times, I guarantee that we would love to have a conversation about it. We do know our shit! Give us a little credit and some props because honestly, we’re just like you. We love what we love and if given the chance, we’ll brag and talk for days about it.

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