Women and Competitive Online Gaming

Women and the Gaming Industry
From Call of Duty to Candy Crush, all kinds of people are enjoying the joys and frustrations that come
along with Video Games. Video Games are undoubtedly growing in popularity. Perhaps what is most
interesting is the growing number of women playing competitive online games such as Halo, Call of Duty
and Battlefield. These are games known as FPS or First-Person Shooters.
To most women, these are far different from the casual games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush that many
people like to enjoy on their smart phones and tablets. I would like to point out that it is almost every gamer
guys dream to have a girl who will play games of this caliber with them (myself included).
According to Executive Producer for Infinity Ward - Mark Rubin, “24% of the Call of Duty fanbase is
female.” This was confirmed during an interview for lazygamer.net. This number is indeed a growing
number as younger generations of both genders are now growing up with consoles in their homes. In fact in
2006, Nielsen Entertainment’s third annual Active Gamer Benchmark study confirmed that nearly twothirds of online gamers were women.
Now, I would like to point out that in my previous paragraph I mentioned that almost every video-game
playing guy (at least that I know) would love to have a girl to share their gaming addiction with. However,
you would not think that if you were playing a game with a headset. Headsets are those wonderful devices
that actually allow you to chat with your teammates. This is where many gaming men (that’s right most –
please don’t look at all of us) fail as a species.
As a Suit and Tie Wearing Gentleman who would love to have a girlfriend play games like these,
introducing a girl to such an environment can be painfully difficult. In a survey conducted by a Woman
named Emily Matthey on Pricecharting blog, she confirmed in a poll of 874 women, that at least 35% were
sexually harassed. Yes my fellow men, “Go make me a sandwich,” does indeed count as sexual harassment
you morons. I’m more embarrassed to say that phrase unfortunately is among some of the milder
statements you might hear online during a game of Team Death match. Honestly, as an online gamer of
over 10 years, I wouldn’t even need Emily’s Study (though we gamers do love our stats). Let’s be real; as
gamers we all hear these things and we, as men almost never do anything about it. Luckily, games are now
allowing us to mute losers like these but half of the fun of playing games is the social aspect. The ability to
work as a team, communicate for strategic purposes and crack jokes at other peoples expense is a valuable
feature to a game. I still don’t understand how we male gamers have yet to evolve as a species when we act
so ridiculously in the presence of the precious commodity known as the female gamer.
On a lighter note, not all women have a tough time when dealing with trolls on their game. I’ve seen it.
Girls got game! Don’t believe me? The Frag Dolls are one of the most lethal female FPS teams in the
business (yes it is a business). They tell men to make them sandwiches regularly. I do so love the irony in
that even though I am sure there is a double standard in there somewhere. They are perfect proof that
women can hang with the boys and make you look incredibly stupid if you think just because you have a y
chromosome you are better at an FPS.
Online Gaming is a growing past time for both men and women. The amount of women gamers is indeed
growing rapidly and pretty soon gaming with your partner will probably be as common as watching a
movie together. If there are any take away’s I would like readers to leave with, they would be:
Women deserve respect be it offline or online.
Women can clean your clock in an FPS just as much as the next guy.
Women gamers are growing but how do you expect to meet them if you treat
them horribly when this is the perfect place to meet them?
I hope I have sparked some women’s interest in playing video games online. Rest assured; if you do try an
online game and deal with some of the less favorable men, please remember this.
We’re not all bad.
By Alexander Roman