Just from my name alone you can pretty much tell that I am a girl, a woman or you know, a grill? Jokes aside, yes I am a female (What a twist!), and I’m here to talk about my thoughts and feelings on why, especially nowadays, women in gaming are seen as equals and gamers… Well, to be honest, in my opinion, we’ve always been equals, but it seems some people love to play on the idea that apparently we suffer all these abusive and derogatory comments online… In reality, do we?

Hello once again, it’s Clarice here bringing you another opinionated piece, and what some might feel to be a controversial yet completely valid opinion on women in the gaming world.

…So what inspired me to write this? What gave me the drive to delve into this area that I have such strong opinions on? Well, mostly what’s been happening recently in the gaming world – Remember a few moons ago with the release of ‘BullyHunters‘, and how they addressed online bullying and ‘helped’ those in need, when in reality it was just a completely awkward stream along with some poor acting and fake scenarios..? Or even remember the incident with Amanda Farough who got upset at PAX east about being teabagged by a developer, leading to people unfortunately going on a witch hunt directed towards said game’s development staff (Please note that Amanda herself didn’t instigate for her followers or fans to witch hunt, but rather the outcry and her response as detailed in her Tweets unintentionally spurred her onlookers to take up extremely unnecessary actions)?

Stuff like this is what gives us girls a bad name, makes us seem weak and that we can’t handle shit when in actuality, no one really cares. It’s an insult to those who have suffered similar issues such as assault (Both physical and mental), abuse and rape, yet some people feel the need to make what is a small problem into a massive debate and argument (For instance, referring back to the incident with Amanda Farough, claiming teabagging is digital sexual assault).

Moving on to what my opinions are on the matter; do I feel there is an issue or a problem that others complaining about? Well, not really – Sure I’ve had my fair share of abuse online, but nothing more than a few swear words and the occasion “Your balls haven’t dropped yet”, and for me I take it all in jest and find it laughable… However I’m not denying that some people do take it a bit too far and direct a lot of unnecessary hate towards girls in gaming with serious and malicious threats – In all my years of gaming and playing online I have never heard anyone say “Get back in the kitchen” or any of that bullshit; for me, gaming is part of who I am, and just like real life you’ve got to learn how to deal with people and how to take their comments with a grain of salt – Not everyone in the world is nice; yes there are some sexist and vile people out there, but they only affect you digitally as much as you let them.

Now onto a point I really can’t stand, when doing any event or something related to gaming, people have the need to tell me “Girls make up over half of boys who plays online” and what is my response? Good for them. I honestly could not care less… So what if the event or industry is predominately men? Who cares if I am one of 5 girls in the room? I go to these events to have fun and bond with others and talk about my love for video games; I don’t get intimidated or feel out of place or discriminated against because I know in this day and age, women ARE accepted and have always been, you just get a few arseholes who want to troll you. As I have previously stated, I don’t deny that there are more than a few sexist people out there that will say some hurtful comments, but to say that the abuse only happens towards women is wrong, instead of making a big deal that women are the only victims is the wrong approach, we should be working towards making everyone feel safe and happy… Or better yet, teach people to ignore those who are hurling abuse towards you.

After all you don’t know these people, and more than likely won’t ever speak to them again, so just mute or block them. Let me just readdress on a point I made earlier. The whole teabagging situation. Seriously… Have you never played a game where you’ve teabagged someone or been teabagged? It’s been a running joke since the dawn of FPS titles, and nothing more, and I have proudly teabagged others and been teabagged for my mistakes – It’s part of the overall experience, to show dominance that you are a skilled player and can take on the world… That is until you get quickscoped and then someone teabags you… Oh what a rollercoaster of emotions your typical match of Halo or Call of Duty can bring. It is not sexual assault nor is it malicious, and sexual assault is not something that should be taken lightly… So really by making a big deal about an action done on a video game and relating it to the real world is damn right insulting. Let’s be real here, just because you are a woman does not mean you get special treatment and does not mean you are excluded from getting virtually teabagged. Do I want special treatment because I’m a girl? Hell no. Do I deserve special treatment because I am a woman? Once again hell, you treat me the same as everyone else – Oh wait people already do!

Writing for Respawning in an all male environment and being the only girl in the team doesn’t make me feel small or that I should feel I need to do more to prove that I too am a ‘valid’ gamer, I just get on with it and have a laugh. Moral of the story? Women have always and will always be equal in the gaming world, and we should also understand that not all women like games! Some just find it boring or as some would put it “I hate video games. They appeal to the male fantasy”… Ha! Classic right? I hope you enjoyed my little rant, and if you feel that you agree with me, or even sternly disagree with me, let me know and we can debate it!

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