Women and girls who play video games are up against a lot: one-dimensional female protagonists, sexual harassment by male gamers, objectification, and a litany of weirdly specific — and impossible to fulfill — criteria for what “real” gamer girls should be.
If male gamers and nerds have always, to some extent, been challenged to prove their “authenticity” to others in the community, those tests have been based in knowledge and skill. With female gamers, it’s quite a bit more complicated — and more than a little sexist.
What gamer girls (and, relatedly, their comic book cousins, “fake geek girls”) should and shouldn’t do (and what they should and shouldn’t look like) is a frequently heated topic of Internet discussion, particularly on Tumblr. (See the gamer girl tag in particular.)
Here are just a few of the confusing, and often paradoxical, rules set forth by Internet people (gamers and non-gamers alike) on what a gamer girl should be.
2. … gamer girls shouldn’t identify themselves as girls or make themselves known as such.
3. Real gamer girls don’t ever play Mario Kart or use pink controllers.
8. Instead, gamer girls are submissive and quiet — “the heroine to complete your story.”
This, from a truly remarkable (but not in the good way) piece of writing called “Date A Girl Who Plays Video Games.”
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