This year has come and gone, and with it, a full month of trying my hand at this whole running a website thing. (Spoilers: It’s harder than it seems, but well worth the effort.) With FemHype‘s successful launch and many new, exciting opportunities ahead, I found myself reflecting on what brought me—and really, all of us, readers and writers alike—to this point. As women fighting for our voices to be heard in a rather tumultuous industry, I wondered how each of us personally identified with gaming and how we saw our role in the bigger picture. Thus, I posed a question to our writers, which I will similarly pose to you to hash out in the comment section.
What does being a “girl gamer” mean to you? To no one’s surprise, least of all mine, our little team of gamers had quite a lot to say on the matter—and no shortage of insight into what it’s like to carve a space for yourself in one that postures to have no room for you to begin with. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more proud of the team assembled here, and I’m committed to dedicating myself to this cause for as long as there are women (and men!) who need it. I welcome you to join us.
With all that said, from everyone here at FemHype, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday this season! I look forward to your responses after you’ve perused the following between your snacking and holidaying. Happy gaming!
My being a gamer is, for all intents and purposes, the same to me as being a reader. I play games for the same reasons that I read books: I love the stories that can be told, the vast and expansive worlds that I can participate in, the characters that I develop very real affections for. More than that, being a gamer means sharing these stories with others, and spreading these narratives around so they can become part of a collective memory that helps me make new connections and strengthens the bonds I already have with the community.
I’m a gamer first and a girl second. Maybe I was born a “girl” but I forged my own identity as a gamer long ago, so I’ve never really thought of myself as a “girl gamer.” I guess I’ve only claimed that title after recent events made me realize how important it is to show the world you can still p4wn them, no matter your sex.
So I’m proud to be a “gamer girl” (gamer first, who happens to have a vagina second). More importantly than what is or isn’t between my legs, I am a Social Justice Warrior (SJW)—at least when it comes to sex/gender/queerness and gaming. I know, I know, they get terrible flack internet-wide and the term has come to mean something shallow and annoying. But who cares? I say let’s hack and slash for society!
I’m proud to be a girl gamer when I see the sort of wonderful networks and support that is being created for and by people just like me, both on the internet and real life. Being part of a community like FemHype helps remind me that being a girl gamer is more than than being just a statistic; I’m a living, breathing member of a vibrant community of people who want to enjoy, critique, explore, and game just like I do. And I’m proud to stand among them.
What makes me proud about being a “girl gamer” is the ability to have a voice. There’s a lot of crap us girls endure, even just when we’re trying to play our favourite games. There’s barriers in front of us when we try to make it in the gaming industry. It’s difficult and needs to be addressed. Some other “girl gamers” don’t feel like they have a voice when playing games or when they talk about gaming news. Some don’t even think people want to listen to their opinions. How sad is that? So being a “girl gamer” and a part of FemHype (hopefully) shows that we can be heard and people want to hear what we have to say!
I’m proud to be a “girl gamer” because I find the term empowering and motivating. I think the fluidity of the term, and the fact that it means something different to every woman, is great! Girls who game aren’t a rare breed, but I always feel like there’s a special kinship when I encounter a girl during online play. It’s kind of like that silent head nod to the other player, you know?
I conceptualize a “girl gamer” as being anyone who identifies as a woman and has a love for games of any kind. I am proud to be a girl gamer because my own experiences have urged me to strive for kindness, compassion, and acceptance in an industry that often forgets it. I am proud to represent my gender within games and am both grateful for the progress being made towards representation as well as eager to see and support future progress.
Heather O (✎)
I am proud to be a “girl gamer” because enjoyment of any game, digital or tabletop, is not constrained by gender, age, or anything else. Fighting the good fight is a lot of fun and there is no call to limit that because some people feel like I shouldn’t play such games. Interactive storytelling is addictive and the challenges games present, whether RPGs, shooters, or even Angry Birds, are fun for anyone.
Well, first off, I identify as a woman, so that helps a lot. Other than that, I just really love video games. That’s all a girl needs to be a girl gamer. You could totally stink at every game you’ve ever tried your hand at, but as long as you enjoy the games, you’re a gamer. I certainly had my fair share of being terrible at games, I’ve been playing them as long as I can remember. That goes back to standing next to my brother on our parents’ computer to play the first LEGO Star Wars. I’ve been hooked on games ever since.