Saturday, August 3, 2013
Girl and Boy Gamers
The other day I ran into trouble with a group of gamer guys and one gamer girl. My gaming community has a TeamSpeak channel where I hang out and talk to people throughout the day. When I feel like picking up a game I can usually contact someone and get a group match in either Left 4 Dead 2, Killing Floor, Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombies, Payday, Team Fortress 2, or Infestation: Children Stories.
Here's the deal with girl and boy gamers. Anyone that knows anything about feminism can point to video games as being a male dominant median. This is unfortunate because there might be less people stressing out if there was more play going on. Here's an article where the writer details, from a male POV, what girl gamers hate about gaming.
The other day I walked into a chat channel and inadvertently insulted three people. I was challenged to see if I could insult a girl. In jest, I took the challenge and that's when the males closest to her attempted to stand up for her honor. It wasn't until days later that I realized why. It was because of a girl gamer. Don't get me wrong, I love girls just not girl gamers.
Now before you flood me with hate mail allow to explain a bit. When I was younger I was like every boy gamer, I was in love over the idea that there might be a beautiful girl out that might know me, the real me, and that we might be able to connect through a shared interest. It was a nice dream. (Think Felicia Day type)
However, its been a long time since I've gotten married and had to worry about dating nonsense. Recently, I've encountered several girl gamers on the Geezer's forum. Most of them were just like the "guys." I enjoyed playing with them but the fact that they were girls did not play into what they brought to the group. They revived me when I needed it and were good team members.
So why do I dislike playing with girl gamers? The main reason is that they tend to disrupt group dynamics. I've noticed that the moment I hear a woman's voice everything goes to hell. It's like going through puberty all over again. The other guys tend to get stupid. It is like someone flipped a switch and I get to see that prototypical comic book geek.
They fall over each other to give away hard earned loot and hit on the girl. Guys feel the need to behave in such a way that solidifies their masculinity when women are around. I get it, I think, except I keep wondering why. I've come to expect this reaction when it happens and I am pleased when the girl gamers shut down the flirty attempts and focus on gaming.
In rereading the above paragraph I realize it is incredibly unfair to blame girl gamers for this reaction. It's not their fault. Heck, if I were in their place I might take advantage of it. Truth be told I am filling a social need just as some of them might be filling the need to receive attention. Psychologists would have a field day with this for of subjugation.
As an older gamer, the male/female dynamics are as equally perplexing as it is in the offline world. As I'm writing, I'm sitting in channel that listening to a single geezer hit on a single geezer girl.
It is kind of nice to hear the honesty and vulnerability of this type of interaction. It's like seeing a private moment filled with possibility. Excuse me for yo-yoing around as I try to figure out my real feelings about this topic.
It is fair to say that I have been annoyed by guys when girl gamers appear but now that I'm listening to these two talk I hope that they find what we all seek as some point in our life: love and happiness.
To the girl gamers of the world, join in on the fun and ignore the rants of a middle aged man. Never game alone. The more the merrier!