So, continuing on with Sexism in Gaming, were I have admittedly been rather harsh to male gamers of a certain ilk. Now, I turn my focus to a contributing factor to sexism in gaming that isn’t something that falls directly on the fellas, but rather upon female gamers of a certain sort. These gals might even be good gamers-though usually this is not the case, they are often average to bad-however, regardless of their skill level in whatever game(s) they play…they do not help the rest of us in the least…
Now, I am all for anybody, male or female, using everything in their arsenal to succeed if they so choose. People do it all the time: folk who are very smart will use that to their advantage, and this holds true for gaming as well as anything else. Same goes for folk who are charismatic, or devious, or sneaky, or charming, or good looking, or funny- those qualities can be used to get ahead, do well, “win” in gaming as well as in life. I have no problem with this. I would not expect a very clever person to dumb it down in a Political Game, or someone who rocked at strategy to not use that skill in War Gaming, or someone with religious or occult knowledge not to play to that in a Supernatural Based Game…not for a second. I wouldn’t expect a person who is a musician or very social type to never play a bard…nor a person who was really in their daily life into working out or martial arts or what have you to play a character who is an ass-kicker…and yep, sure enough, I would never expect someone who is good looking to never play a good looking character….
However, sometimes, with a certain sort of women gamer…there are some…issues… and I shall now get into that…
Because gaming of all kinds is still dominated by men, and because of everything from the way the gaming industry often depicts women and well, the way women can just be socialized anyhow, there is a section of women gamers (both girls who game because uhhh, their men/male friends do, and real life…I guess…Gamer Girlz) who are truly one trick ponies and have but one weapon in their arsenal…
Well, two maybe….usually stuffed into a push up bra, tight t-shirt, or corset
And that is all they ever use. Sex. Sex Appeal. T&A. Giggly flirty bimbo action. That’s it. Regardless of the game, regardless of the genre, regardless of anything…In or Out of Character- this is what they do, this is what they use, and this is all they ever present as what they have to offer. They are involved in a Live Action Game? Every character they ever play is in the heels, short skirt, Fredrick’s of Hollywood corset and fishnets or a skimpy leather deal or chainmail bikini. MMORPG? Their avatars all look like they wandered in from a porn set. Table Top games? Their characters are gorgeous, they often dress sexy/slutty to the game, and they flirt with every other player, character or npc to the point where its distracting. Strategy/Card/Console Games? “Oh, tee hee, can you (male gamer) show me how that works?”
Now, why they do this? Well, that answer is obvious. They enjoy the attention they get by doing so- even if after people grow wise to their One Trick Pony M.O., that attention is negative. But, for other girl gamers…who actually have a lot more going on as gamers and can play everything from a Sexy Siren to a Bad Ass Leg Breaker to a Brilliant Mastermind -in any sort of game- and are actually
there to GAME and not flirt with/frustrate/pick up men? Well, this shit ain’t doin’ us, as Women Gamers, any good. In fact, it don’t help at all. And since Women Gamers can have a real rough time getting taken seriously in the first place…the reaction of the Actual Woman Gamer to a One Trick Pony can be…incredibly hostile. There is not going to be any love shown for a gal who comes in, shoves her tits in the face of every man there, and gets ahead by blowing the ST/GM/Event organizer. None at all. I have seen One Trick Ponies get their asses stomped for this (after all, really hard to fight back in corset and heels!) And sure enough, it is likely, especially in LARPS or at Con’s and such, ALL women are going to get looked at, hit on, take some sexist BS…but actual Women Gamers will prove their legitimate right to be there by their gaming…not their flirting and boobs. Such women are there to Game, dammit, and for every inch the One Trick Pony gives, for every stereotype she fufills, for every bullshit bit of bullshit Women Gamers already have to put up with they fall into or live up to or reinforce? Well, every woman gamer who actually is there to game, and can do so, then has to undo or put up with….and frankly, many of us already take enough shit really…just for being female.
And sometimes, I can’t really blame the dudes for thinking the only reason women game is to turn dudes on / be flirty/ show themselves off blah blah blah when this is the kinda thing they see outta women in their gaming…espeically if those women gamers never show them anything else.
This is not to say I’ve never played characters in any genre I play who show some skin in an appealing way…but usually? I don’t. In my gaming days I have played everything- in larp to TT to MMMORPG- from a dude to a gal in tactical gear to a gal in a suit to a “we’re not sure if that’s a gal at all” who generally dressed like this guy, right down to the braids and jacket. Short skirts and such? Yeah, I’ve played characters who wore them, but those sorts are definitely in the minority. Because I am there to game…like a great many women gamers…and we’d really enjoy less bullshit when we show up to do so… And some gamer gals?
They don’t assist in that Quest at all…even if they are playing healers!