Gaming has grown from becoming a pastime activity to something that actually earns you some money and fame thanks to E-Sports, Twitch and YouTube. People, especially from the older generation, have criticised gaming to be a waste of time with no benefits whatsoever, which research has proven to be wrong.
But what (or rather, who) do gamers themselves criticise? What has garnered so much attention, hatred, and biasness amongst gamers that spread around the globe like wildfire?
Yeah, I’m not joking. Girls who play games are seen as weaker, attention-seeking creatures in the gaming world—and that’s just silly. I personally find the term ‘Girl Gamers’ sexist. I mean, they’re gamers just like anyone else. You don’t call the males ‘Guy Gamers’ do you? If they’re terrible at it, that’s just because of their lack of skills, not their gender.
With the help of Lylia Sylmeria, a female Twitch streamer, YouTuber, and co-founder of Fundeavour, it’s time to get rid of these misconceptions.
In case you didn’t know, Michelle Tan, a.k.a. Lylia Sylmeria is a Malaysian Twitch streamer, YouTuber and a former shoutcaster for League of Legends. She makes gameplay videos, music covers and is currently working for Fundeavour, a gaming community start-up, that is due for a launch sometime this month. With a great voice and great personality, she could very well be the next big thing on the Internet gaming realm.
1) Girl Gamers are horrible at video games
This misconception/stereotype may have been true in the past when video games were still new and video gamers were predominantly boys. In which case, the only reason it would be true is because most of them haven’t tried gaming yet.
You can’t be good in video games since you were born. It takes time and you need to learn the mechanics for each new game that you’re playing. So unlike in the past, there are more female gamers emerging both professionally and casually worldwide.
Lylia herself used to be a shoutcaster for League of Legends, in which she was paid to analyse strategies and predict the team’s next moves. I’m a guy and even I can’t do that even though there are guys out there who can do the same thing as her too.
In other words, times are changing and you can’t say that guys are the best gamers and girl gamers suck. To quote Lylia:
There are tons of emerging professional gamers out there who happen to be female, as well. Don’t worry! We’ll prove you wrong ;)
2) Girl Gamers are only gaming to get boys’ attention
Everyone has their own reasons to play video games. I play it to get immersed in the storyline. Lylia games to take her mind off work and relax. Fair enough, some girls do play video games to get people’s attention, but can you honestly say that guys don’t do the same?
The best example I can give you would be YouTubers and Twitch Streamers. They upload their gameplays, commentaries, and more but they do that to gain enough attention from the public (though not from a specific gender). Look at PewDiePie, he’s a guy and before he was the number 1 most subscribed in YouTube, he played horror games to gain attention.
If you think girls play video games for the sake of getting into guys’ pants, then what you’re practically saying is that girls don’t have anything better to do than to impress guys. Girls have hobbies too, you know?
3) Girl Gamers are Tomboys
If you are a firm believer that girl gamers are tomboys, you are one shallow person. In the past, gaming was seen as a “boys’ activity”, so that notion created a stereotype that if a girl is a serious gamer, she is therefore more ‘masculine’ in nature. This is an overgeneralisation that is very flawed.
As you can see from the picture above, you have a professional gamer.
But anyway, even if some girl gamers are, what’s wrong with that? It’s their style, their preference and they have every right to dress in whatever way they like—as long as it’s appropriate of course, we wouldn’t want a semi-nudist or a full-blown nudist walking around… or do we?
4) Girl Gamers are devoid of social life
There was a popular, hateful belief that females who play video games have no friends in real life, which probably stemmed from the social filths of 4Chan. People would be like, “Why is she playing video games when she could be out with her friends shopping?”, followed by, “She must have no friends.” On the other hand, it’s okay for guys to be gaming since he must be doing it with his buddies and that is a social life.
Just because someone has a passionate hobby (in this case, gaming), it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have no social life. Lylia has a close-knit circle of friends that she enjoys hanging out with from time to time but she’s also made friends online from her stream community.
5) Real Girl Gamers are practically non-existent
This popular misconception most likely came from the meme that you can’t truly know who is behind a particular user on the internet.
This meme was initially used to teach users that behind the computer, it could be a sex offender or someone equally dangerous. So even for online gaming, you can never truly be sure if they are a girl or not. For instance, a female avatar in a game could actually be a guy who chose a female character. So a belief stemmed from there that girl gamers are practically non-existent.
But on a surprising note, according to PCGamer.com back in October 2014, surveys by Superdata Research found that female PC gamers outnumber male PC gamers by a small fraction across most genres. To be exact, the only genres that show males outnumbering females were 1st person shooters and massive multiplayer online games—which gets me a bit worried as Lylia’s warning now holds some credibility:
The plan is to silently, sneakily, dominate the world before the boys notice. Shhh…