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Category Archives: Gaming Communities
I know this installment was supposed to be about the greater “boy’s club” of gaming, but getting a new gaming group here has brought some more personal issues to the forefront. In particular, being “one of the boys” (but not really). You see, I can never be “one of the boys” because, well, I’m not a boy. Or a male. Or so much male identified, although I tend to fit more into “masculine” gender roles than “feminine” ones. I am female, and that’s enough to set me apart because my main gaming group consists of two men.
I know of two women here who like games, but I haven’t had a chance to have them over to play yet (one of them was supposed to come Saturday, but apparently her previous engagement went long, so she didn’t make it). It also doesn’t help that the guys I game with live in my building, whereas the women I want to game with don’t. For reasons that I want to explore, it seems harder for me to form primary gaming communities with women. I could brush it off here as random obstacles — physical distance, language barriers (the men are American, the women are Taiwanese), etc — but, I think it goes deeper than that.
Do the sexes game differently? Is my inability to game “like a woman” what keeps me out of primarily female gaming environments? Is that fundamental difference why I often feel like an interloper in my gaming communities? I don’t know, really, but I want to find out. Continue reading
I have been a gamer almost all of my life. I was 4, maybe 5, when a cousin who was staying with us introduced me to Dragon Warrior. I could barely get my character around the world, but I was in love. I played with my mom, I played with my best friend, I got calls from the elder brother of a family friend when he and his friends were stuck in games like Zelda. When I was old enough, I started playing them by myself. I bonded with many of my friends over my Nintendo, or Genesis, and later my SNES.
It wasn’t until high school, though, that I realized I wasn’t quite welcome in the greater gaming community. I would be at a party held by my male gamer friends and they would all gather around the N64 and play Goldeneye or Mario Party and I wouldn’t be welcome. It’s not like they said, “No, Andrea, you can’t play this,” but if I tried, they’d do little things like forget my turn, or gang up on me first, etc. I don’t think they meant to do it, but they still did. So I started just playing games alone. If I got to the parties early enough, I could hog the big TV and play Space Channel Five or whatever, but if not then I was stuck in another room playing whatever PSX game was available. Unless people were in there trying to play Marvel vs. Capcom or Street Fighter or something. Then I just sat around and watched. Which suited everyone just fine. Everyone, except me. Fighting and shooting games are probably the most shitass boring things to watch. Continue reading