There are several prejudices that exist around the world of video games, but without a doubt one of the most entrenched is that “gaming is for boys.” In spite of that, more and more women choose this hobby, and they say they don’t want “differences or advantages”, because they play as good as men. Several studies indicate that in terms of games in general, at least in the United States and in England, the number of men and women playing is more or less similar , although this changes in the field of consoles, which usually have a higher amount of male audience.
“What is being a gamer girl? Is being a person who likes video games and not only knows the name but also its history. We spend hours playing and know most of his tricks,” summarizes the Chilean 24 years Karin Öettinger, better known in the gamer world as LadyKarin .
For Camila “Kamuchi” Fazzini the gamers grew up with video games and they are an important part of their life. “To some extent they collaborated in the formation of their identity,” he adds.
In addition to gamer, LadyKarin organizes events and uploads videos on social networks, while playing. For her this prejudice of a world that is only masculine comes years ago. “Before many women played anonymously as not to be recognized, because it was frowned upon to play shooting games like Counter Strike,” she says.
“We have to bear the stigma that” women are bad gamers, “curiously something very similar to what they usually say about women behind the wheel. Which makes me think that it has nothing to do with the gamer world, but with our patriarchal and macho society. This is amplified because men are the majority in this environment, and the industry does not facilitate access to women. To give an example, almost all videogame advertisements are still targeting the male audience, “he says. Fazzini Despite this situation, she accepts that she feels more comfortable among men. “That does not mean that many times I had to fight too hard for a place and for the respect of my peers in the games. Even today many tend to be amazed when a woman is good at a video game or even get offended if we beat them. , the number of women we play is growing more and more, “he synthesizes.
Micaela Giagnoni, known in the virtual world as PaRkItA , agrees: “they usually say that a girl plays badly for being a woman but it is not like that, I know many girls who play professionally or are very good in a particular game, and never They will recognize the achievement. Also, when playing in multiplayer modes, which is very competitive and sometimes words or phrases are used to demoralize the opponent, women have to endure being told: ‘Do you have the computer in the kitchen? ‘”.
For Lucia Ruiz Gonzales, better known as Lucia Weird , “they should stop labeling toys or entertainment activities and let children be free to choose what they enjoy most, I think it would be a good way to start ending prejudices, “says this gamer from Lima, Peru.
But sometimes it is the same industry that makes this difference. “In e-Sports or electronic sports, many organizations still continue to do women’s-only tournaments, such as the Electronic Sports World Cup played in France. It is understandable that in traditional sports a distinction is made between men and women, because there is already physical activity, but in electronic sports, which require mental skills, reflexes and concentration, why make this difference? “says Giagnoni, while recognizing that over the years this situation has been changing:” many organizations have women within their teams of professional players, “he accepts.
The words bring back the memory of GamerGate , a controversy that emerged in the middle of the last year in the United States and whose focus was precisely the presence of women in video games, on either side of the screen, that is, the way in which the industry treats women as users and as game characters.
But being recognized in the gamer world is not a simple task; In addition to skill in the game, as with any other sport, they should devote a lot of daily time. “I spend eight hours a day, during the week, and on weekends even longer,” accepts Öettinger. Fazzini, meanwhile, plays approximately six hours a day. “While many of the hours are spent playing and practicing the games of the moment, another large part of that time is dedicated to the production of notes, publications, research and streams,” she says.
Giagnoni takes advantage of all the time he has free, once he leaves his job, to spend time playing. “Since I get home, at eight o’clock at night, until one o’clock in the morning. And on weekends I am all day with the computer, when I have no commitments with friends or family. Luckily with my boyfriend I don’t have problems because he accompanies me and we start playing together, she says.