Video Games across genders

Hello friends, Cody ‘Kingblunkers’ Allison here. For today’s topic, I speak not as an expert but really just want to share an observation that has been weighing heavily on my mind. Though I don’t have anything especially profound to say, I wanted to share my thoughts on diversity of genders in those who play video games.

How This Came About

I play a lot of competitive games and for the past couple years had been a pretty dedicated League of Legends player while also playing a few other random games. A trend in most of these games is that there is no voice chat. League of Legends is text chat only; Rocket League has voice chat but I perma-muted that pretty early into picking up that game because it titled me too much. In the past few months I’ve stopped playing League of Legends as much and starting playing a lot of Overwatch and PUBG. In Overwatch, team communication can make or break your match. Blizzard built a pretty nice environment by making team voice chat integrated into the game and as long as you have a mic its easily accessible. And in this voice chat lately, I’ve noticed more and more female gamers.

I’m Not Stupid

I know this isn’t a brilliant observation. I know women have been playing games for some time now and I know there isn’t anything that that should really be shocking about that statement. But after being in the dark and away from voice chat… I sort of forgot about the interaction with others. But now in Overwatch I get teams with females that also have trolls and idiots. And I don’t know if my female teammates give a crap, but the things I hear sometimes only damage the possibility of expanding video games position as a legitimate hobby.

Video games are ART

I still maintain that video games should be considered just as sophisticated as classic paintings, musicals, opera, and novels. Video games tell stories. Video games hold plots and themes, character development and expression both from the creator and the player. And video games as a whole are in the process of kicking down walls from being a toy to being another medium of art. But it is up to its patrons to show the world that this is true. And most of us gamers have given skeptics too many examples and too much evidence of us being closed off and hateful.

Conflict is likely

No matter how much to think that I am the perfect example of being calm and collected, I still get angry at my teammates when we aren’t doing as well as I think we should. Or I blame someone’s Hanzo pick in Overwatch; I blame the goalie in Rocket League for coming too far out. I blame my Jungler for not ganking bottom enough in League of Legends. Whether my insight is justified or not, it doesn’t really support positive team attitude. Now since I am not a pro, while I still disagree with my own criticisms and others for the above reasons as none of the people at my low skill level have enough insight to really be trusted for most of those strategic decisions…its far worse to blame your female teammate in Overwatch… not on her gameplay, but because she is a girl.

genders - banner
genders - overwatch

So what do we do?

I grew up in a family with video games, and everyone played them: brothers, sisters, cousins of both genders. For me it’s not strange to see females playing games and often my younger sister would win. It’s no big deal; she’s been playing first-person shooters for years. She can pick up most games fairly quickly and do pretty well. When I grew up and met more women, I realized they didn’t play their whole lives. And I think Overwatch in particular has been an amazing game for female gamers, because not only does it have awesome female characters, but there are a variety of functions that men and women can play. A lot of women I play Overwatch with are on Mercy and Dva, Winston or Lucio. You can be effective in a lot of different ways that don’t require absolute accuracy. So enough rambling here are my suggestions

-if you are a gamer do your part to share your passion with everyone.

-encourage your sisters, wives, cousins, daughters, girlfriends, and more to play with you. There are enough video games that there is something out there for everybody

-If you are playing with a female noob, don’t be an a**hole… that applies to everyone all genders, races, ages…

-Be patient and understanding if someone doesn’t understand your hobby. I don’t like opera… don’t get it. Doesn’t mean other people can’t be happy, and it doesn’t mean somebody else can’t try to show me something else.

genders - Overwatch

We need this

Every art has amazing contributors from both genders. Tolkien wrote awesome fantasy novels… we’ve had gold from writers like J.K. Rowling and Robin Hobb. And many people’s artistic output comes from a high amount of input. What if we took imagination away from writers and said books are for men, would we have Harry Potter? Would women still write? It makes no sense. And we need women in gaming and in technology. As women become bigger and bigger consumers, more can be more game producers. I apologize if I am oversimplifying this, or making it sound like women aren’t already doing a kickass job. I just want us all to appreciate the growth and differences in order for gaming to continue to be amazing outlet for expression.

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