Most people have heard or experienced part of this stereotype: females don't game, they're either introduced to it by their boyfriend, gamer girls can't be attractive and they just want to play the social side of any game. The first is an obvious fallacy (we wouldn't be having this conversation if it were true). Even your Great Aunt Madea has been known to break out the twister mat, or shake off the hangover from last night's poker game, both of which are technically GAMES. To be more specific, the term gaming as applied in this blog will refer to Role-playing games, Collectable Card Games, and video games. Most people i talk to know at least a couple females who play D&D, LARP, or other such dorkery, yet the stereotype persists. This is largely due to the idea that such games are inherently a masculine pastime (or so they tell themselves when they're picked last for flag football in gym class.)
Back in the 1970's, Dungeons and Dragons was marketed to the war-gaming crowd (you know, those guys who spend thousands of dollars to reenact the Battle of Waterloo with painted metal figurines..), and to younger players. The typical 'fantasy' artwork from the time was dragons, berobed wizards, muscle-y barbarian types, and chics in various states of undress. Though TSR Inc. never showed too much, and actually toned it down in the 1980's, its another vision that is burnt into the retinas of most gamers in general. This Dungeons and Dragons commercial from the 1980's actually shows an even distribution (gender but not race, hmmm?) of children.It's coming!!
Aside from that, the gaming industries have tried for years to market a successful line of games to girls, but seem to think that research is asking the girl who works at the food court in the mall to come to their office and look at their 'replicas.' The moment that one video game becomes universally loved by all girls is the day that the company makes its real profit. So, why isn't it working? Not only is their research technique lacking, but they rely too much on the idea that male is the default, and female is like some frilly pink expansion of the status quo. The girls i know who game are incredibly offended by the idea that we're simple creatures who can be fooled by a color change, or giving Lidda the wardrobe of Barbie. (Massive props to Bungie and the Halo people for making Spartans without the gender neutral male setting.)
Now, this is WHY some guys think that girls don't play games, and partially why girls have a bit of a hard time getting started. I'm just going to state that i know for a fact that girls play games, and leave it at that.
Myth number two: Every girl gamer (now that we, ahem, know they exist,) was introduced to gaming by a boyfriend or brother. I was introduced to D&D by a female friend of mine and her boyfriend, back in high school. Since then, i've actually dated a few guys who had no idea what roleplaying games were. The reason for this particular stereotype is the social desire to share things you love with people you love. The family that plays together, stays together. This is also true for children of gamers, but not universally so. You can be a gamer spouse, but there are many girls who came into the fold out of curiosity, through friends, and the accessibility of video gaming. This myth is also based on the idea that things like D&D, Call of Duty, and Magic: The Gathering are too violent or competitive for most girls. We know now, as a society, that females are just as capable of mutilating undead, stealing with amazing grace, or just plain noob ownage. Subconscious training from birth is still sticking to a pink/blue trend for the most part. In conclusion, girl gamers game to game... mostly.
The other two, that gamer girls can't be attractive and that girls only want to play to the social side of roleplaying games, are less relevant, but somehow more appalling than the idea that girls don't play games. The fact that women were formerly believed to talk more than guys has a lot to do with this. The truth behind this is that girls spend more time talking about relationships and the politics of social interactions than guys do. But its pure nonsense that girls are any less likely to want to hack and slash, or any worse at understanding the mechanics of the game itself.
The attractiveness of a female gamer is about as important to me as moose nose stew, but i'll bite this one, for the sake of all those guys who've slogged through this article...Behold!! But finish the article.
In conclusion, guys and gals... grow up. We have dice that aren't sparkly, we take our Spartan armor colors seriously, we just want to be respected as the badass fighter who could drain your HP in one hit...