There’s safety in playing against bots in League of Legends. They’re programmed to say a simple sentence related to their quotes at the beginning and ending of each match, but other than that, they’re silent. It’s comfortable and the games lack complexity, but sometimes I’m not looking for anything but.
I’ve been playing League for a couple of years now. I’ve played PvP on the rift, PvP on Howling Abyss, and—of course—player versus bots. I’ll admit there’s a type of safety when you play with a group of your friends against real people on the opposite of the map, who I most likely know nothing about.
What I do know is that I’d (for the most part) rather not reveal I’m a girl. Players on the other team will automatically assume I’m a “he.” Hell, people on my own team do this far more than the alternative. And at this point, I just let them. There was a time I would correct them—promptly—but that was seasons ago.
The truth is, when I make the grand reveal that I’m a woman (note: this unfortunately doesn’t occur during a magical girl transformation as I may hope for each time I do it) the result goes in either one of a few ways:
1. No one cares.
2. Too many people care.
It’s simpler to sit in the shadows and ignore being referred to as a man. Actually, it’s easier to play with bots, even though their difficulty is extremely low and they run around like the AI that they are. At least there’s no fear of a reaction if I told them I was a “girl gamer.” There’d be no reaction at all. How perfect would that be?
Maybe it’s because the age demographic for League is somewhere in the early to mid-teens, but the amount of times I’ve been asked how my period is going results in more times I’ve actually ever had my period (okay, this isn’t technically true, but you get what I mean). Surprisingly, the “women should be in the kitchen, not on the rift jokes” haven’t subsided—and this shocks me every day.
But to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m complaining about this or not. At one point I definitely was, but unfortunately, many of my friends who I played with just didn’t understand. Now it simply … washes over me. Granted, a lot of their “jokes” do not make any sense. Someone assumed the reason I disconnected from game for a few minutes was because my menstruation was rushing after I accidentally told them I was a woman—but does anyone know what this means? Hello? I can definitely laugh at that. But I’m numb to it now, I think.
Well, no, I expect it. Every PvP match of every game mode has a chance of this happening, and I don’t even blink at it anymore. I’m not saying every single male player has done this. I’m not saying this happens every single time I play against real people, but it does happen—and that is what I’m concentrating on.
Is this a good thing? I definitely do not think so. I haven’t “gotten over it” per se. Accepting something doesn’t mean I’m over it or even unaffected, it just feels like I am. This is a problem, but unfortunately, I’m not so sure how to fix it. What do you think?