There are many things that ruin the gaming experience for us. Your game glitching out in the wrong place. Forgetting to save before facing down the big boss. And, my personal favourite: Having to deal with the constant stream of misogyny from some people who love to scream slurs and make rape jokes while mashing away at their buttons.
The lists of things that ruin gaming are endless. But the trend of using nerd culture to appear hot and sexy is not one of them. I’m talking about “those” girls who take photos of themselves with thick glasses or funny t-shirts to look attractive. I’ve seen it posted many times: A girl will have a controller in her hand with the caption “~~I’m a gamer~~” underneath the photo. And people, usually boys, will tear it apart. The most recent comment I saw was “ppl (sic) like you are ruining video games.”
I beg your pardon?
Look, I get it. Those pictures are ridiculous. But a lot of things are ridiculous. I am kind of sick of seeing this trend of people tearing down girls for partaking in silly activities. It started with the duckface photos. It was funny for about five seconds, but then I noticed there were far too many men making fun of those girls who pose in those photos. And I have to start wondering if they spend half as much time making fun of other men and their stereotypical poses. I think the answer would be no. The misogyny aimed at female-targeted or created media from well-meaning individuals never ceases to frustrate me.
But back to that misogynistic comment. I really want to know how someone posting a photo, meant to be serious or not, is ruining video games. I feel almost that this is “indie-band syndrome all over again – as if suddenly the wrong kinds of people are going to pay attention, “make video games popular” and then you won’t have anything to separate you from everyone else. My response to them is the same to you: Get over it. The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar cash cow that is not going away anytime soon. You should be grateful that people are paying attention, because then you have new and exciting games to play just about every month.
This is just one more way for gaming to be declared a boys-only club and for girls to be held up to a higher standard. Don’t do anything that might make them mad, because then you ruin the whole experience. It sucks that women have to watch themselves in the virtual world as well as the real one.
I get it, though. Video games are your territory and you’ll be damned before someone comes in and ruins it for you. But if you are clinging to something so hard that you are threatened by someone taking a picture, maybe it is time to take a step back and think about what you are doing. Video games will still be there for you when you get back.