Video games are one of the most common pastimes that we have today. At least among the younger generations, it is expected that someone can safely ask what video games a person plays in casual conversation or as an icebreaker. But, as commonplace as gaming is, there seems to be some idea that women don’t play video games as much or do not play them the right way. They often get called “fake gamer girls.” Somehow, video games have become a “guys only” activity and it’s considered weird, or at least unusual, for women to play them. But this really doesn’t make sense, at all.
Firstly, there is no “right way” to play any video game. Video games exist for the sole purpose of having fun; you cannot do that wrong. When a person plays a video game it does not matter if all they do is play the main parts of the game, if they try to complete the entire game and do everything possible, or if they aim for the highest score they can. It is a video game; have fun with it.
Secondly, plenty of women play video games. A 2016 report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) found that 41% of gamers in America are women (1). That is a significant amount, and thus, one certainly cannot act like female gamers are a minor portion of video games’ audience. I point this out because it is not uncommon to hear people say that women can’t or won’t play video games. This is very alienating to those that do play them. No one wants to hear that they don’t belong to a community they are really interested in and a part of, and they especially don’t want to hear that they can’t be a part of it based on their gender.
Lastly, probably the main reason why one doesn’t usually hear much about female video game players is because the other people in the community are usually extremely aggressive and sexist. In fact, it’s not uncommon for women to get death threats or rape threats (2). Video games have somehow become a “boy’s world” and there is a strange idea that women aren’t allowed for some reason. Frankly, it’s extremely sexist and misogynistic, not to mention childish. There’s a blatant prejudice against women who are involved in video games and many male gamers seem to think that they aren’t capable of “properly” playing them. The other idea is that male gamers are like children in the sandbox or their own special tree house and simply don’t want to allow females into the community. Women are perfectly able to play and enjoy video games, and they should be able to do so without a bunch of people harassing them for it.