Announcements, Feminism

Girls, Guts, & Gaming: The FemHype Mission Statement

FIRSTFEM

The concept of FemHype came to me when I was nine, racing through poison ivy with makeshift elbow and knee pads for armor, eventually taking my cousin’s tree castle and winning the day for my Beanie Baby troops. It took root as I tried scaling the side of my garage (spoilers: it didn’t work) with my trusty, weathered notebook filled with concept art sketches and the battle-worn flashlight I wielded exploring new corners of my yard. FemHype was the lifeblood of my childhood before I knew that Fem would set me apart in my interests, and that Hype should be attributed to a skill I thought was already my own, not a space I had to fight to be visible within.

Let me be clear lest a trending compound word sour the point before I’ve made it: FemHype is for everyone. Full-stop. You’re welcome here simply because you’re reading this, just as you’re welcome in a world the moment you insert a disk or load an app.

To me, video games aren’t just a passing hobby like my accidental tea collection or that firefly I kept once in plastic cup captivity. Games shape the way I look at the world; they challenge me to explore parts of myself I didn’t know existed, emboldening me to ask the same of my friends, family, and peers, and if I don’t fight to preserve a space for those of us drowned out by the voices of the many, I’m doing all of us—and myself, especially—a disservice.

On some level, I can only assume I’m also here for that little girl steeling herself every morning before boarding the bus to elementary school. She’s the one who found solace arming herself with a clunky Thompson in Alone In The Dark because pixelated monsters were just practice in the fight of adolescence. When she had her first inkling that she may look at women the way she’s told to look at men, a peppy girl raised by wolves in Legend of Legaia taught her how to preserve the concept of ‘unique.’ Even in middle school, when making (and keeping) friends seemed impossible, she fought monsters, gangsters, spirits, and all manner of enemies because staying true meant more than giving up.

When I gave that little girl permission to be herself, it was with the help of childhood gaming fantasies and half-baked character idolizations. I don’t know what kind of person I’d be today without those after-school Crash Bandicoot explorations or what sort of friends I would’ve made in my adulthood without the steady inspiration of Lara Croft’s sheer force of will. We all have memories like these tucked away within us, but was it really escapism when it helped to shape our perspective of the world beyond our limited viewpoint?

FemHype is here for many reasons, and all of them are yours to shape. We’ll analyze the pitfalls of an industry just barely beginning to feel the effects of growing pains. We’ll support the artists, developers, streamers, and other shakers on the front lines, armed with innovation and the courage to be pushing for more. We’ll reach out to the game enthusiasts and offer them a platform, a community of fellow women who game so that they can discuss what’s most important to them in an art that’s defined our very identities as much as it’s our ongoing hobby.

Let’s build a community of women who support each other in a space so often unforgiving, and challenge others in this industry to listen as often as they speak. It’s about time I fought for something I believe in. Will you be fighting for that with me?

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