Women and video games

Bri Riney

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Gamer girl, girl gamer, or just simply, gamer? Whatever you want to label us, believe it or not, both women and girls play video games. Us women also exist inside video games themselves. Some strong female characters include, Faith Connors (Mirror’s Edge),  Jill Valentine (Resident Evil), and of course, the legend herself, Princess Zelda (Legend of Zelda).

The role as a female in and out of the gaming community is over-sexualized. There seems to only be three types of video games. Overly and unnecessarily violent shooters, puzzles, or over sexualized, female protagonist led games. When you picture a video gamer, who or what do you imagine? You either picture a teenage boy or an older man. Why? Because females aren’t represented in the community positively. For example, the Dead Or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball series. This series within a series takes the once strong and powerful women of Dead Or Alive and throws them onto an island owned by the only male character in the game. Gameplay consists of mini-games and, well, volleyball. The goal is to win the games and gamble at the island casino to earn money to buy  ‘barely-there’ swimsuits. On the other hand, there are plenty of strong, good role model characters. Take Samus Aran from the Metroid series. In the original 1986 game, no gender was directly given but everyone assumed that Samus was a male. Well, if the game was completed in under five hours, they were revealed to be a young woman. Samus Aran is an ex-soldier turned bounty hunter; Sorry boys, your princess is in another castle.

‘Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better’ (Chief, Animal Crossing). The role of a woman, whether it be on or offline, is a major struggle. Many women have received harassment, sexual assault threats and even death threats. Some get it if they even remotely show interest in the hobby. The type of harassment women face is more violent than the normal video game insults. We are constantly told to ‘get back in the kitchen’ and that ‘girls aren’t supposed to play video games’. Others receive ‘ When I think gamer chick, I think of big, fat, nasty –’ and ‘Shut your mouth girl, before I put my — in it’. Female Youtube Gamers have it even worse. The comment sections and twitter making it even easier for predominantly male watchers to leave absolutely hateful and crude remarks. Female Twitch streamers receive the same amount of hatred, if not more. Twitch is a live-streaming video platform where people can live-stream them playing video games. The term “twitch thot” is a sexist term that refers to any girl on twitch based on her looks. Kaitlyn, otherwise known as Amouranth on twitch, has experienced this type of name-calling.

“I believe everyone should be able to play. They’re fun, and that’s what they’re there for,” junior, Shaun Edmonds said.

Being a woman in the gaming community is a rough job. Everytime you log on, you have to worry about being harrased. It shouldn’t be like that. Afterall, us women are gaining popularity in the community. You should show us some respect. 

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