Agile Thumbs a Plus, Testicles Not Required
(Dec 17, 2007)
by Anika Cunningham
There are a slew of controller accessories you can buy in order to play a video game. In addition to a standard controller, there are light guns, dance pads, guitar controllers, microphones, and countless other techno-toys. Oddly enough, nowhere in the prolific list of gaming accessories will you find "penis holster." This is because, oddly enough, you do not have to be male to kick gaming ass.
So many people have a very distinct image of what a hardcore gamer looks like: Scrawny, pimply, and slick with the sort of grease that can only develop with 48+ hours in front of a TV screen or computer monitor - the kind of guy who hasn't touched a breast since his mother nursed him. That stereotype is insulting enough to the legions of sexy men who spend their weekends with a controller in hand, but it's even more ridiculous to those of us who understand that "Wii" is just the name of the console, not a euphemism for the genitalia required to operate it.
Yes, women play video games. In fact, we play them just as well as any man. Breasts do not impair our ability to wield a controller. There is not a magical signal emitted from the PlayStation that disrupts our menstrual cycles and forces us to maintain a 30-foot safety radius. We can play, and we deserve the same respect that is given to any male gamer.
Perhaps that inspires a giggle from those not familiar with the gaming crowd - I mean really, who respects ANY gamer, right? Fellow gamers, for starters. Few things are more frustrating than trying to legitimately discuss gaming, only to have a circle of bemused faces smile condescendingly and tell you that yes, it's cute that you played around on your boyfriend's console once, but they're talking about SERIOUS gaming.
Then there are those who run gaming retail locations. Walk into most game-centered stores without facial hair or a visible bulge in your pants, and you will likely hear this gem of a question:
"Are you looking for something for your boyfriend?"
Even better, when you explain that you are there for yourself, you get subjected to the most horrific gaming recommendations imaginable. Dear lord, I am 23 years old, I do not want to play "Hannah Montana Music Jam." The best you can usually hope for is someone who will point you towards "DDR" or "Super Paper Mario," because hey, those are easy and mild enough for women, right?
Not to knock Mario and his many fabulous incarnations, but that just does not cut it. Some of us lady gamers want first-person-shooters where we can blast our way through a company of enemy soldiers and splatter their blood on the pavement. Some of us want a good hack-and-slash fighter where we can slice through hordes of zombie warriors hell-bent on gruesome destruction. And some of us just want to play any damn game we like and get respect for our gaming prowess.
We grew up on Atari and NES just like the boys. It's time they started giving us a little credit for it.