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Ashene

"Gamer Chicks" - Take Two!

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Someone who commented on my last entry the typical stereotypical role-player: acne-ridden teenager, maintaining the opinion that as a "gamer chick" I was seen as something gamers are not. It would be seen as me "getting in bed with those who are the stereotype."

Is it justified that gamers have to be acne-ridden teenagers or middle-aged men who still live in their mother's basements and play WoW or D&D all day? Why can't a somewhat successful woman or girl with a passion for writing and fantasy get the same sort of accolades? Are women gamers that rare?

I personally might not "go to bed with" said stereotypical gamer, but I have been role playing for close to twenty years in one form or another, and writing since I was 10. I'm not the greatest writer, nor am I the world's worst...but I am entitled to a fair shake when it comes to being on equal footing with the gaming world. Women can be knowledgeable about table top games and other things related to video games.

I've never actually considered developing a game of my own, but it seems to me that there haven't been many female game developers out there. I mean, the first sort of female superhero I had seen was Wonder Woman, but I'm sure it was a male that had written about her. When I have more spare time on my hands, I plan to write a novel...though I might think about writing a gaming system instead. All I need is a bit of pixie dust...for inspiration...the magical dust, not the sugary treat.

It's not a matter of being female, it should only be a matter of being knowledgeable or even willing to learn everything there is to know about a certain system and having a good time with it. I've seen and heard a lot of people nitpick about editions and debate about different gaming systems. Play what you prefer to play and don't knock other systems. They have a quality that appeals to some people and not others. That's the way it goes.

Do we all like the same foods? No. I, myself, love mushrooms on pizza, in soup and even raw with dip. Would someone else feel the same way about mushrooms? No...but I certainly don't debate it to the point of shoving a mushroom down their throat so they could see what I'm talking about.

It's fine to have different opinions about gaming systems and you can downright hate something so much it makes you sick, but what really ticks me off is when people are so stubborn they don't see the other person's reasoning behind liking the food or gaming system. You don't have to be rude about it, just politely give them an, "I'm sorry it's just not my style." and move on.

*takes a few deep breaths* /end rant.

I'm done for now but I will be back with more...when the spirit moves me.

Ashene.

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  1. Anachronist's Avatar
    The person that introduced me to gaming way back in high school was a woman. I've played with women in RPGs all my life. And gaming conventions have both Y and X chromosomes represented, so far as I have seen.

    So I think you're right, and people shouldn't judge a person by the games they play. I'm not going to assume someone's a dumb jock because they like football. Lest we forget, Vin Diesel plays D&D, and his image does not include "geek" in any way.

    So I agree with you; stereotypes are bad. We gamers hate when we're pigeonholed by non-gamers because of our leisure activities. So we should not do the same thing to each other because of gender or game type.
  2. Arkhemedes's Avatar
    In my 20+ years of gaming I have seen just about every kind of gamer, from the junior high school dropout to the college professor, and from the very unpopular nerds to the very popular chick magnets, and yes woman of all varieties as well. So I agree about the unfortunate circumstances of the stero-typical gamer. But you know what? I still laugh whenever someone makes a joke on TV or in a movie about people who play D&D, because, although these jokes may be exaggerated, they still remind me of people I know or even myself. And I have no qualms with a little humor at my expense.

    And Ashene, the sad truth of it is - Yes, woman gamers are that rare.
  3. cigamnogard's Avatar
    I game with five guys and one gal - my gf - not great odds. In most other groups I have there has been the token female. The last group before my current was my favorite - we were all couples (literally).
    However, while these "token" females may not have been 100% up on all the rules they were all great gamers!
  4. Sascha's Avatar
    My own experience supports the hobby skewing male. I can count on one hand the number of women in my gaming groups over the years. (Anecdotal evidence, plus sampling bias, yay~)

    Con attendance may suggest larger numbers of female gamers, in the sense of greater visibility, but how well does the sample (attendees) represent the population (gamers)? I'm not qualified to answer, though I'd be curious to see the analysis.

    Based on my experiences (very low women:men ratio), I stand by the response in the other post; I'd love to *see* a more normal distribution of gamers along gender lines, rather than hearing of others' experiences. Which means more women.
  5. michael's Avatar
    I have been gaming since 1988 and in that time I have rped with 6 females and ~75 males.
    Updated 01-24-2010 at 11:39 AM by michael (organize content)
  6. cplmac's Avatar
    Well, I don't know that you can really say that female gamers are rare. In our tabletop group here, we have 11 people. 7 males and 4 females. Lady gamers are out there, it is just a matter of making them feel as if they are part of the gaming community.
  7. templeorder's Avatar
    Some systems and the culture and experience that surround them promote a higher % of gurl gamers. WOD is one of them. When i played that, over 50% of the gamers were female. The ST's were predominantly male and the women mostly never expressed any desire to ST or design anything. Can't speak as to the why. In my early days, Roleplaying was the outlet for the nerds - its still is but its come a long way since then and the female gamers i've seen grow as a % of the population - but seem to have dropped off after a peak in early 2000's. My experience is that they are usually more transitory (just my experience) and, as in WOD, they are far less likely to design, develop or GM in any way. They do often bring a totally different perspective and i miss that when i don't have it. All my players have always been very accommodating to different gender or ethnic perspectives when needed... but it WOULD be nice to see a strong FM design presence. The few times i've seen it have always been tinged with romance plots and rules - so i would hope to see something outside my current experience.

    Write an adventure. Post it online. Maybe just an excursion/side-trek. I would love to see play scenarios done by women!