ENTERTAINMENT - The inspiration for this blog post came to me from Amanda Kirby from La'Riot. Give her all the credit.
Ah... girl gamers.
Now there is a rare breed.
Nerdy, addicted to videos games (or cards / board / dice / roleplaying games in the case of Magic the Gathering, Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons, etc), and are metaphorically kittens amongst lions when it comes to the gaming industry. (Kittens with claws!)
Women gamers are very rare. That doesn't mean they're any less good at what they do. Women gamers have sharp analytical minds and can kicka$$ as much as the men do (with the possible side benefit that they don't have the male ego and can sometimes surprise their ego-prone male counterparts with their sophisticated strategy and skills).
The problem however is that because they're so rare girl gamers are often prone to sexism. They're the sex symbols of the gaming industry. What every male gamer wants: A female gamer they can play with and frolic with after the game is over.
Talk about pleasure junkies.
What is interesting is why there is so few female gamers.
#1. Females are not the target audience when game designers sit down. They know most games are action packed adventures or war strategy games... and they're aimed at men. Very few games (ie. The Sims) are aimed at women.
#2. Pink controllers is really just an insult. (Real girl gamers don't buy pink controllers... because they're playing the blood and gore games just like the guys do.)
#3. Women crave more intelligence in their games. Playing a mindless game gets boring regardless of what gender you are, but men will play mindless games if there is the least hint of sexually enticing images along the way.
#4. Playing video games is considered to be nerdy / masculine hobby and many women don't want to be associated with being a tomboy or nerdy. Darn stereotypes.
#5. Women tend to spend their money differently. Gaming is an expensive hobby to get into. Gym memberships are cheaper comparatively, which explains why there is so many more women at the gym.
#6. Gaming is associated with being fat and lazy couch potatoes. (Another reason why gym memberships are more popular.)
#7. Fear of social rejection. "Oh you play video games?" *sound of disgust in the person's voice* Video games is considered low brow. Its not chic.
#8. Sexism in video graphics. This is a biggie. Because so many video game companies market towards men they often make the graphics as sexually revealing as they dare in an effort to sell more product and keep men coming back for more pixelated mammaries. Part of this is because nerds have difficulty finding girlfriends and thus have lots of money to spend since they're evidently not spending it on dates. Don't expect the women in the graphics to be realistic. (Although we could say the same about women on reality TV shows that are less than realistic shapes too. It really should be called Phony TV.)
#9. Videos games often have fantasy / sci-fi / war plots that are uninteresting to many women. Its too macho.
Check out the website girlgamer.com if you want to learn more.
For years now the video game industry has been bigger than the movie industry. Its estimated it may someday even dwarf the p*rn industry because of all the free p*rn now available via the internet. In the combat for the wallets of men, the gaming industry is winning all the way and its just a matter of time before it dwarfs other industries too.
On a separate note:
I have a theory about obesity rates in the USA. Television alone didn't cause obesity rates to skyrocket. But when videos games and the internet became popular during the 1990s obesity rates began to skyrocket. Suddenly more Americans were watching television AND spending time in front of computer games or on the internet. As the internet usage skyrocketed so did obesity in America.
So if you want to play games, go ahead. But try to get outside and exercise more often.
Or better yet, buy a Wii Fit and do both. :)