Confessions of a girl gamer

I usually try to keep this blog kinda academic, bringing in my experience as a game researcher into the topics I see discussed in the general blogosphere. When it comes to feminism in WoW, I find it hard to stay detached and distanced. As a WoW player and feminist, it just gets a bit personal.

So, I will share a few WoW moments which for me have defined the idea of what it means to be a female gamer.

-         There is another girl in the guild. She is skilled enough, but not really my kind of person. She takes things too personal, and she makes giggly noises on Ventrilo (where I am shouting at people to “STEP OUT OF THE F*** FIRE!”). Other players makes fun of her behind her back about how bad she is, more then she really deserves. I feel sympathy for her, knowing that one of the reasons for her getting so much crap is because she stands out as a female player. If it was a guy I wouldn’t try to defend him, but as it is a girl I feel I should. Feminine solidarity isn’t easy…

-         I lead raids and work hard as an officer. In my opinion I have proven my worth as a player and as a policymaker for the guild. Still, I can see that I have to work twice as hard (or atleast harder…) for people to respect my opinions about the game, strategies, gearing and specs. I don’t know if it has anything with me being a girl, or if it is simply something about my demeanour that they don’t find authoritative enough. The trouble with gender is that it’s always there, but it’s hard to know when it’s a decisive factor.

-         I have just joined a small guild on one of my alts. I don’t tell anyone about me being a girl, as I feel it is completely irrelevant in that setting. After a discussion where I was making a decent amount of sexist jokes, I was told off for being a misogynist. I explain that the jokes were told with a certain amount of ironic distance, and that I am in fact a girl with quite feminist ideals that should be allowed to have a laugh too. As soon as I have “outed” myself as a girl, the GM approaches me in whisper. He asks about my RL name and what I do (which I gladly share, as my work demands a certain amount of openness). He then proceeds to tell me about his depressions and suicidal thoughts. Until that point we have had no personal contact, but as soon as I tell I’m a girl I get showered with unpleasant personal details. It’s not the first time it has happened, and after giving him advice about where to seek help I leave the guild and tell myself that I really should just keep secret about being a girl. But then again, why should I have to keep that quiet? Shouldn’t I be free to tell about myself too?

-         I meet up with a girl at a party, she is really funny and smart – and we have lots to talk about. Then I find out that she plays WoW, does hard mode raiding, and is accepted by her guild based on her ability to perform well. I am over the moon. So rarely do I meet girls who are not only into WoW, but also care about being good at the game (which is kinda given based on how many girls play WoW and how many people are into hardmode raiding). I feel really happy that I have found another girl that I can relate to in this sense, but at the same time sad that I have played the game for more then 5 years and it’s only happened a handful of times.

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a girl gamer

  1. Pingback: WoW-spiller og feminist | Spillpikene.no

  2. Must admit it’s been a while since I have trimmed comments.

    On the other hand, now that I have removed it – how will people know what to do if they decide that they DO want to make some easy money getting naked on the internet?

  3. Hello,
    interesting blog! I am a female gamer myelf (plays WoW). Actually I am the game master of our 10 man norwegian guild. When it comes to how guildies treat me its no big different from the male officers. Althiugh Im pretty sure a lot of it have to do with we are irl friends, and they know me as a person not only gamer.

    I can really relate to the events you have mentioned. A few new members in the guild whispers me “Oh, its so cool that the gm is a girl!”. The depressed gamer whispering me about his problems, and the kinky messages? yep! gotten them aswell.

    I dont want to keep my gender secret, but its not the first thing I burst out with. But when ppl say “Hey man!” og “Kom igjen gutta!” I correct them. Thats one annoying part of the game. A lot of players (not all ofc, and mostly male players), always assume that you are a man. If you se someone in group writing “he/she is brb”, you can be pretty sure thats a girl.

    Well, just wanted to share some thoughts. I have played the game for about 5 years now, been in lots of different guilds and situations. Currently in guild who was supposed to be casual, but leaning more towards semi hardcore raiding. Feel free to contact me if you want someone tho chat with. Er trønder, student på ntnu. Ei venninne (som tar faget du foreleser i) tipset meg om bloggen din.

  4. Interesting post I see girl gaming websites up like hotgamergirls.com It seems people try to make fun of them all the time at different web pages. I wonder what would be a good way for girl gamers to prove they are worthy in the gaming community. And I know guys get up set about me screaming things at them in the online fps games, and I am pretty good. Any thoughts.

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