One thing I want to make clear is that I don’t think this is a simple issue, or that I’m some kind of anti-male…male. Not sure what it says about our society that I have to clarify that but there we go. The fault of this isn’t solely on any one party, but rather on the weird society we’ve built up around gender expectations.
Check out this post by Christina H on Cracked.com for an example of what I mean. Right there we have the whole “Oh btw, I’m a female gamer” commentary.
Now, I agree with Christina that this whole thing is just plain weird to me. It’s a way of seeking attention and superiority, whether from the I’m a girl tee hee or I’m a girl and you aren’t good enough to get with me angle. It serves no real purpose except odd attention seeking, and reinforces stereotypes and this weird culture of separation we have about female gamers.
But it isn’t something that exists in a vacuum. Lots of male gamers shower female gamers with attention at events, on chats, in groups. Female gamers idolize the famous women who make gaming a banner carrying hobby. We’re social primates – we crave attention and affection in some degree, for the most part. If some behavior rewards that attention, it isn’t unthinkable that someone would follow up on it.
Further, not everyone who games is a forerunner of their social or gender class. Really, most of us just wanna game cause we like the gaming. It isn’t a political statement. So it’s hard to fault people, indeed possibly even wrong to fault them, for just seeking out the things that help them enjoy the game. Unless of course that enjoyment comes from hurting people. Which, yanno, again…why do I have to say that?
The point isn’t to indicate who’s at fault, but to ask people to realize that “this is a simple matter” is a phrase almost guaranteed to demonstrate the speaker doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. It’s complicated, with a number of origins and genesises (genesi?).
So before I comment on anything about this subject, the first thing to remember is to stop, think about the implications, and consider it like I would any other complicated subject with emotional involvement – with care, respect, and information.