When I agreed to write this article, I was fearful. The Gamer Girl Archetype is probably the most controversial in the gaming world, and I knew it would be difficult to neutralize it. I have never been one to vocalize my opinions on controversy, but in this case, I feel obliged.
The video game industry has always exuded an inequality between males and females – both from the consumer end and the business end. Not only has this become a disadvantage for many females, but it also has put a strain on the video game culture we have today. Now, the Gamer Girl Archetype has become an ill-ridden label among video-game consumers all across the world.
Perhaps the term Gamer Girl is too crude to describe the average female gamer. I, for one, feel this way. The term has been constantly used to emphasize sexuality in women rather than their gaming skills. Gamer Girl just seems so corrupted now.
Even though females take up forty-seven percent of the consumer demographic, gender discrimination is still very common to video-game culture. Sexism plagues online communities and gaming forums and it’s really nothing new. Yet many tend to forget the other types of discrimination that rule these networks as well.
Despite their gender, many gamers have experienced some form of discrimination online. Racial, crude slurs are tossed around like common language. Mean taunts and nasty messages are the norm.
Why then, is female discrimination only emphasised in gaming journalism?
The answer, of course, is never that simple. From personal observation and research, female gamers are definitely subject to ridicule and mistreatment in the gamer community. But in my humble opinion, male gamers face this as well. That being said though, being constantly questioned and judged on your passion can easily become an extreme form of bullying.
I call this Game-Girl Shaming – the practice of degrading a female as a gamer. I’ve witnessed men and women shame female gamers based on their appearance, knowledge, and opinions. It’s become absolutely irritating for me, because I do not see why these women should be scorned for their gaming hobby – whether it is an obsessive one or a casual one.
Professional model, Tara Babcock is a prime example of this phenomenon. When posting her scantily-clad images on aggregator website Reddit.com, Babcock received many comments belittling her status as an actual gamer. (See featured image.)
Frag Dolls, Ubisoft’s all-female team of gamers, have also become a controversial group due to their gender-specific personality. Judgements on whether or not this group promoted sexual discrimination towards women was constant – and it probably still is.
Moreover, there is a disturbing trend among some popular female gamers today. These women display a crude disrespect for their own gender. Just a while ago, a female gamer on YouTube mentioned how her virtual wife in Skyrim ‘knew what she was good for’ by cooking her meals in-game. It is disgusting comments like this that demoralizes these women for the price of a few more fans. I’m not one to overreact, but watching that moment really made me cringe.
The negative label of Gamer Girl has only distanced ourselves from gamer equality. Perhaps this is why females in gaming have now obtained a negative aura.
If we were all a little bit nicer to each other, I think, the stigma of this label would never have been a reality.