So I have a few friends that are starting up a Dungeons and Dragons campaign soon, and we’ve been in group chats in Skype hyping ourselves up for the game. Conversations sometimes get off topic, so we have separate chats for DnD and general stuff. The topic of the terms “Gamer Girl” and “Girl Gamer” came up, and the resident female taking up my torch of the Cleric position asked me to write an article on these terms. So, my unnamed female clerical companion, here’s to you.
In the recent years, females have been identifying themselves in video game communities with the term “Girl Gamer.” Obviously enough, this denotes that a girl plays video games; however, the term has now 180’d in the sense that identifying as a Girl Gamer is a plea for attention. Usually the kind of person with little to no video game experience, they’ll play casualized mainstream games and try to combine their ownership of boingy bits with their little game time to garner attention from lonely white knight idiots to feed their need of attention whoring.
Many females who play video games as their main hobby are trying to distance themselves from this stereotype to avoid backlash from the major population of players. To do this, they simply go by the term “Girl gamer,” which implies a female who doesn’t feel the need to flaunt their gender or hobbies. Girl gamers are usually very low key about their gender and simply prefer to play their games in peace, blending with the average “Gamer” crowd for a normal game experience. They still, however, insist on putting the “girl” in their title to show some sense of “individuality.”
So, what am I here to talk about? Am I trying to choose between a Gamer Girl and a Girl Gamer? Well, if I was, it’d be safe to say which one of these I’d prefer, but not really, I’m here for another reason today.
I’m here to talk about the concept of labeling. Why do people feel the need to slap their gender/sexuality/whatever labels onto everything, regardless of the medium? Why does everyone feel the need to make sure everyone within a million square miles of themselves know your age, gender, what groups you support, what you’re against, your favorite foods, blood type, and, generally, a bunch of shit that no one honestly cares about? When I fill out a profile, I don’t slap “HEY EVERYONE I’M A BOY GAMER. YES’ I’M A BOY, AND YES, I PLAY GAMES. I LIKE COD AND SKYRIM AND I PLAY ON TF2 MLP SERVERS ONLY. I’M A REVERSE RACIST AND ABSOLUTELY HATE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD. MESSAGE ME FOR A GOOD TIME 1-352-326-2145 XOXOXOX” onto everything like some kind of resume. Not that the chosen nouns in particular are the cause of this negative vibe I’m giving off, even though they have their own horrible reputations to take care of, but because it’s pretentious. You know “that guy?” “That guy” who will tell you something even if you say you don’t want to hear it? Yeah. Imagine that, but he cloned himself a hundred thousand times and each clone has identity issues and an internet connection.
So, returning to the subject with that in mind, how the fuck do I refer to girl gamers and gamer girls? Well, I just use the label they insist on using. Why? Why go through all of this attempted justification and hoop jumping to use those labels anyways? Because these people actively insert their gender in various degrees in order to point out that they are female, I’ll refer to them as whatever label they want and whatever negative public taboo that it carries. If I was a cyclist or a baker, I wouldn’t call myself a male cyclist or a boy baker because I’m not insecure enough to feel the need to stick my gender on everything I touch.
If you haven’t noticed after 170+ articles, I don’t use the term girl gamer, or hell, even gamer in any sense. If you play video games regularly, you’re not a Gamer Girl, or Girl Gamer,or Hardcore Gamer, or Gamer in any sense; to me, you’re a person who plays video games. Seriously, try flipping through some old articles and see how many times I use “people who play video games” rather than “Gamers.” It’s because I want to avoid any negative connotation that these popular labels have garnered for themselves due to mainstream interactions involving a desperate need for attention. My clerical gal pal said in our Skype chat, and I quote:
“Your [label] doesn’t matter; you’re just a person who enjoys a medium”
And for the most part, it’s pretty much what I’ve been trying to weave into my writing for a while. As stated in my Feminism article, gender identities aren’t something that really bothers me personally. i don’t have a problem playing any kind of serious, playful, charismatic, shiteating, bitchy, bitchin’, nameless, faceless, boring, exciting, or swagadoochy male or female video game character, because gender labels honestly don’t mean anything to me. It’s the person’s character and personality that people should be looking at, and not how they appear. I’d rather play a likeable female character than a dickhead male, and I’d prefer a charismatic male over a whorish female.
I really couldn’t articulate this properly without sounding like an idiot, which I already did, but I really hope that someone out there gets what I’m saying at. If I had to boil it down to a sentence, I’d go with:
“Nobody fucking cares about your labels, so just play the damn games you gooch-gargler,”
as my general response. You guys know how bad my organizational skills are; they’re worse when I’m tired, typing, AND doing homework all at once. I’ve been off on my game lately, but I promise to do better next time guys. I just need a break for now!