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The Fake Gamer Girl Myth

/ Feb 7th, 2013 No Comments

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Sarah Hyland is the world’s greatest “Stylist”

The ‘fake gamer girl’, as well as the ‘fake geek girl’ are two popular concepts targeted by territorial men, memes and now advertising. While there are a few females who choose to fake interests in hopes of attracting men, they are a very small minority. While it is a minority, those women who truly do love video games and ‘geek’ culture are subjected to the intense backlash these ‘posers’ leave behind. Interrogations, harassment and general negativity seem to be perfectly acceptable once a girl admits to enjoying video games. A t-shirt with Captain America’s shield is an invitation to grill the wearer on every obscure detail ever known about the hero. Any wrong answer ‘proves’ her to be fake.  Even if an individual does in fact own every single comic written about Captain America, that person still doesn’t own the franchise. That person can’t decide who is ‘worthy’ of being a fan or not. That is not how it works.

Why are women questioned when they choose to display their love of certain fandoms? Why is it okay to assume every girl is ‘fake’, when any given guy may be no more than a hipster in disguise? Even if one wears a logo, or a piece of merchandise he or  she isn’t extremely familiar with, that is not an excuse to berate them. A girl with a Batman shirt is a target, while a guy in a New York Yankees baseball cap isn’t questioned. No one demands him to name any other player on the team besides A-Rod. No one demands him to reveal which Boston and Indians players were recently traded to the team.

So why do people care so much when a girl likes geek culture? Why do people automatically assume any girl who plays video games has a collection exclusively made up of Kingdom Hearts and American Idol? Apparently, women are incapable of liking games such as Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2. We can’t play Batman: Arkham City because we can’t name every villain the caped crusader has ever faced. We can’t slay hordes of the undead because we might break a nail. Seriously?

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I’m Not a Gamer…

To make matters worse, Nintendo has joined the fight in the form of a poorly-executed marketing scheme. The ‘I’m not a gamer‘ series is nothing short of nauseating to girls who really are gamers. It features popular stars playing a Nintendo 3DS as ‘artists’ or ‘fashion designers’ instead of actual gamers. What was created in an attempt to attract more female gamers has only stereotyped and alienated the fans Nintendo already had.

Another warrior in this crusade against women in the geek world is Tony Harris, who has worked on popular comics like Iron Man and Ex Machina. Harris went on a rant about girls who cosplay at conventions. According to him, they are all secretly predators just waiting for an unsuspecting geek to come their way. He also goes on to belittle the men at these conventions as well, effectively alienating himself from his entire demographic audience. On the other hand, much like Halloween, cons provide a unique opportunity for fans to dress as their favorite characters without fear of judgement. I know some girls who literally make their costumes from scratch. They love the character and the story so much that they buy the fabric, stitch the patterns and create the look by hand. I highly doubt a girl would go through all the trouble of actually sewing a costume if her only purpose was to attract guys. There are plenty of clothes that do that already. Plus, they’re even pre-made. I hate to break it to you, Harris, but any girl who goes out in a skimpy outfit just to hit on guys probably isn’t doing so with the local comic convention in mind. Just saying.

Girls are gamers, girls are geeks and they have every right to be! So don’t be that jerk, and don’t sit there and wonder why girls who share similar interests keep their distance. Don’t immediately judge any girl who declares a love for gaming or comics as a ‘poser’ in disguise. Some of us grew up gaming and enjoying the same fandoms guys so venomously defend, and we will not hesitate to dominate in stats to prove our point. Share the games, share the fandom and share the love. There are plenty of zombies, soldiers and aliens to aim our controllers at instead.

Bri Haller

Bri Haller

Associate Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Bri is a newcomer to Gaming Illustrated and works with the Editorial team.
Bri Haller

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