Monday, March 17, 2008

One among many

So there's something I realized last night while playing Gears of War that I don't know how to feel about. On the one hand it's a good thing and I'm excited about it. On the other it doesn't make me feel special anymore. And a girl always likes to feel special.

What is it?

Girl gamers.

When I first started playing online I seemed to be the only girl playing in a room. Which is why I would never say anything over the mic. After awhile I started playing with a great group of guys that didn't mind that I was a girl. And playing with their friends led me to more great people who also didn't mind playing with a girl. When one or two of them turned out to be a girl as well, I was excited. Finally, someone else that I can relate to.

As time has gone by my group of friends has expanded and more girls have entered my friends list. There was still a lot more of my male friends on the list than women. I always thought that I was a little bit special with my guy friends because there wasn't a lot of girls on their friends lists either. But now things are changing.

Based on the game play over the last couple of weeks it's hard for me to imagine that there isn't a lot of girls playing video games. Somehow this larger number of girls playing games seemed disportionate to what everyone else in the industry is saying about girls playing video games. But last night it hit me.

I love playing video games with the core group of guys I play with almost every night. Why? Because they don't mind that I'm a girl. To them I'm just another gamer. So why am I not surprised that this group of guys, who so openly accepted me, would atrack and have other girl gamers as friends? I shouldn't be, but I am a little bit surprised at the larger number of girl gamers that these guys play with compared to other gamers. You would think that girl gamers are coming out of the woodwork whenever these guys play.

As a girl, when you play online you're constantly bombarded by sexual harassment and innuendos by male gamers. They're usually Jr or Sr High school students and sometimes in college (although there's been older jerks and younger good guys) and they think "they're all that" and more. So as a girl when you find those diamonds in the rough that don't mind you being a girl or playing better (or worse) than them, you naturally want to play with them. So the fact that those individuals that I call "my group of guys" has a lot of female friends they play games with doesn't surprise me.

It might make me feel a little less special knowing I'm just one of the guys . . . or should that be one of the girls . . . on their lists. It's also comforting and exciting to play with these gentlemen and meet all the other girls they play with. I might be one among many and sometimes that's not so bad.

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