Go gamer girls

Go+gamer+girls

Photo credit: Gabbi Bielak

By Gabbi Bielak, Section Editor

The Dream smp (a survival multiplayer Minecraft world) is perhaps the fastest growing internet craze at the moment.  However, the looming male gamer presence isn’t only in the Minecraft industry. The majority of popular Twitch streamers are men. The gamer personas of Dream, Sapnap and Tomminnit are all becoming household names. Even so, there are plenty of women who play the same games. Why are they not getting the same recognition? 

Video games are stigmatized, often thought of as a masculine hobby. Commercials and ads are often directed in a stereotypical male direction.  It’s difficult for a woman to game and get recognized for her skills, and those who try often get dismissed or sexualized by viewers.  Female Tik Toker @anacreons makes point of view videos of these injustices blown out of proportion, showing a girl with a high pitched voice seducing men to buy her games and gaming supplies. She touches on the cliche that gamers girls need to be overly feminine or “one of the boys.” In depth: there is a harmful stereotype of all women gamers needing to either be overly feminine, or act like “one of the boys.” This leads to many girls changing their personalities for views, and when you aren’t yourself, how can you have fun? 

Although it’s hard for women to become successful as professional gamers, it isn’t impossible. Minx (Justa Minx), Sweet_Anita, and Pokimane (Imane Anys) are all incredibly popular Twitch gamer girls. Even though these girls are friends with popular gamer boys, they are not often invited to their streams or games. There are currently no women in the Dream Smp, or really any of the large gaming groups.

A lack of female representation in gaming isn’t just limited to streaming, default characters in video games are often men. Think back to your favorite games growing up: Pac-Man, Mario, Sonic and Donkey Kong are some of the most iconic games of all time. Yet, they all default to a male character. The female characters that are included are often “damsels in distress” whose only purpose is to be saved by the man. Princess Peach needs to be saved by Mario, and she isn’t a character that can be played. Growing up with these cliches is damaging to a young woman’s understanding of her place in the world. I was raised to think of myself as a “non playable character,” or someone in need of saving. Now I understand how awful the lack of female representation is. 

Being a woman in gaming is hard. It’s time for society to move past harsh stereotypes, and accept any gamer for who they are, regardless of gender. I encourage women to claim their spots as gamer girls, and be themselves. There should be no need to put on a persona just to get views. I spend my weekends playing Minecraft Bedwars with 3 other gamer girls, and we are the best team I know. Don’t let men hold you back from playing and enjoying video games. Good luck gamer girls.