Friday, May 29, 2015

The end for Frag Dolls

Sadly, I found out today that the Frag Dolls are ending.  You can read their blog post about it here.

I started playing video games a long time before I played anything online with other people.  I was hesitant at first at doing so because I was a girl and "girls just don't video games".  The first game I played online was Star Wars Battlefront on the original Xbox.  I think I played every night for more than a month before I finally said anything in the matches.  When I did, it blew some people's mind that I was a girl.  They just thought I was stupid because I spelled penguin (Pengwenn) wrong.

I got a lot of flack those first 2 weeks I started talking when people started to learn I was a girl.  People wanted to play with me and just wanted to hear me talk.  They would do everything they could to get me to say something.  They would follow me around and shoot at me, even if we were on the same team.  They wanted to get a rise out of me enough that I would say something.  It was annoying, but I'm more patient than they could possible imagine.

Occasionally I would get fed up and yell at them and then they would talk smack to me about swearing and being a girl, and why was I playing video games, and why I was so bad, and what my problem was, etc.  If I ever got in to a battle with someone and they were watching, they wouldn't help me out.  They would stand back and watch how things turned out.  If I won, they would say I cheating because that's the only way a girl could win.  If I lost, they would say I should stop gaming and get to the kitchen because I was so terrible.

And then there's all the sexual harassment crap I had to take from all the assholes out there because I was a girl.  Don't get me started on that.

There was a time when I wanted to give up gaming online because of all the harassment I was getting.  It didn't last long though because I really loved playing Battlefront . . . and I just stopped using a headset when things got really bad.

I did learn how to find really cool guys, that might be surprised that I was a girl, but didn't seem to care about it.  I was a gamer to them.  Someone who liked playing video games with other like-minded individuals.  As long as we had fun they didn't care if I had tits and a vagina.  And sometimes they even forgot that I did.

I have several memories where one or more of my guy friends stood up for me while playing matches online.  Killafoola was the first.  MasvHdWundHarry was the fiercest.  And Evil Ric, cyberWRAT and NatraZamataZ seemed to be the most welcoming of letting a girl play with them.  They have been my friends since the beginning and they still are today.

I remember when I first discovered the Frag Dolls.  I was thrilled that there were other girls playing video games and that I wasn't alone and there was someone else to relate to.  I followed what they were doing.  Even sought out their advise a time or two.  They gave me hope that things would get better, and to remember to keep playing until they do.

They were right.

Things have come a long way since 2004.  It's still not perfect.  There are still douche bags online that think the only way to talk to a girl is by tearing them down.  Luckily I've gotten older and wiser and know how to avoid and/or ignore them most of the time.  I am a strong woman, and gamer, because I saw in the Frag Dolls that it was possible to become one.

Sadly, I haven't followed them as much as I use to the last couple of years.  I've grown more confident and secure in myself as a gamer.  I was still happy that they existed for all the new girls coming in to gaming that could use the help support that I didn't have initially.  It's sad to see them go.  I hope that support will continue from all of us lady gamers to help another generation of woman pick up a control or keyboard and mouse and kick people's asses.  It's really fun to do so.  Whether your or guy OR a girl.


Zenra Nukenin said...

I've never understood why supposedly heterosexual men take such an issue with women. Whether it's women playing online, or when a man like me chooses to use a female character. And now these same a-holes are crying because, after 23 iterations, EA has FINALLY decided to put women in FIFA 16. Nothing's being removed from the game of course, but their very addition has these "macho" men threatening to boycott. I could bitch about these losers for hours, so it's probably best if I just stop here.

I still remember my first encounter with you. It was on the Yavin 4 (Temple) map, and I had just respawned in the forest near the dry pool when you ran past. I said something to the effect of, "Let's go Pengwenn, I've got your back" and took of after you.

Pengwenn said...

My memories of you Zen are so vast and many that I don't remember our first encounter. And they've all been wonderful memories. I miss you at times. You've always accepted me as being, well, just me. A person. A gamer. I've always appreciated that.