I just read the Bossy Pally’s post called “I Had No Idea this Required a License” where she talks about this whole fake gamer (girl) concept that has been a topic of discussion for a months or so. I haven’t seen these discussions around lately myself, but then again, I’ve been M.I.A for a good while, and I’m still slowly creeping my way back in.
Yet, maybe it was no coincidence that this picture was shared on Facebook just a few days ago by one of my acquaintances:
Because we all know that there’s a wrong way to do “it” and there’s a right way to do “it”. In case you are not sure what’s wrong or right, the picture will inform you, and if you are not sure what this “it” is, then I’m not either… because it does seem awfully confusing.
See this one for example:
I used to play The Sims – all of them – a lot – all the time. I was obsessed with that franchise, I spent several days in a row doing nothing but playing The Sims. I could have told someone (and probably did) “I game all the time”.
BUT WAIT!!! The Sims??? I must have misunderstood! The Sims is not a real game, it’s a simulation management game, similar to so many others, but it doesn’t count!
Playing The Sims just makes you into one of those (per the top illustration) “gamer gurls“. Remember, a “gamer gurl” is always either fat, ugly or slutty!
But there’s also the “girl that plays video games“! She must be doing it the right way, she must have that license Bossy Pally (and I) are wondering about! Here’s a real “girl that plays video games“:
What I keep thinking when I look at those two photos, is that the big difference seems to be a matter of performance. And the funny thing is, “the girl that plays video games” also has to perform said position perfectly. Because… you know…. playing games in and of itself doesn’t count, despite the neutral title, it’s actually a matter of subculture! And the fact her title is not even “gamer” or “gamer girl” says a lot. She’s just some girl who happens to play video games.
And you thought belonging to a subculture was all fun and games? It takes extra work to convey your legitimacy if you fall outside the subcultural stereotype!
So what is she doing right, the “girl that plays video games”? We know that playing video games is not enough, so she must be doing something else too. Is it the display of anger, which is seen as a sign of authentic dedication? Is it the trash-talking? Is it her casual clothing?
Is it that she doesn’t flag being female? Because, the femaleness is actually the initial problem, you see, it’s what forces everyone to figure out what kind of (fake) gamer she actually is, because she might just be one of those girlfriend-of-a-gamer types (always a healer)… or a Sims gamer… or Wii gamer. You know, the fake kinds that walk amongst us, who needs to be unveiled, lest they think they can actually claim to be real gamers. Us and them, baby, us and them!
Okay, okay, I understand that subcultures need to constantly define their boundaries, especially from the mainstream, but the game is totally rigged.
… and old. Yawn.
What it really does is creating a conflict amongst female gamers to scrutinize and judge each other to weed out the fakes, because if we don’t, they bring a bad name to us as a group. Lets not fall for this superficial scam!
And if the gaming police actually does show up, then you pull out the “shut your whore mouth” … well, just maybe without the whole whore part … “Please keep your despotic orifice closed” works too.