Poster for Xbox GamerchiX, a LIVE community several thousands strong.
Ask any gamer of the typical variety (male between 18-34) how he handles female gamers, and he'll probably tell you it's all the same to him. He'll take her down just like anyone else. He might also say that there are no female gamers, that the entire demographic is simply a lie concocted by the CIA or women's rights organizations to establish equality in their holy virtual sanctums of frags, headshots, experience points, and the word "breasts" are called by any other name but that (you know what I mean).
To be fair, the male portion of the gaming population is diverse, as I've come to learn. To some of them, it really doesn't matter that we don't have the same reproductive organs, but I have never once encountered or even heard of gamers who act like gentlemen around the fairer sex while duking it out with their controllers and keyboards. One might argue that true equality dictates against such kinder, favorable treatement (e.g., going easy on someone because she's a girl or woman), but then how do you justify the complete opposite behavior on that equality spectrum -- the sort of behavior that's driven most female gamers to keep their mouths shut or spam the mute option.
Now for the neanderthals out there, let's go over a few things:
1. Yes, I am really a girl, for those of you who have to ask.
2. We're looking for a group, not a boyfriend, so next time you find out the priest or dps is a lady, and a female voice pops up in team chat or on Ventrilo, please back off.
3. No, we do not have hot friends who would be interested.
4. Just because your girlfriend finds you endearing doesn't mean we do too. Of course, this only applies to those who have, by some miracle of God, snagged a woman of their own. In real life.
5. Asking us if we're hot won't always warrant a response. It's not that we're ugly; we just know what most gamer guys look like, and it scares us a little.
6. Most women don't obsess over our genitalia, so we probably don't care about yours, how big it is, or what it can do.
7. Sometimes we talk about menstruation just to freak you guys out.
8. We haven't seen it before, but we don't really care about your car as much as you think we do.
9. "Make me a sandwich!" No, go make your own!
10. Pix plz! You first.
For those who have never seen real ones.
A little flirting may be tolerated or welcomed depending on the individual. Hell, it's actually pretty funny watching some of you get so worked up over little ol' us. But most of you don't know where that fine line is or how to detect polite rejection and until you learn, it may be safer to keep things civil and clean.
Now I'm aware men (or boys) don't often treat each other with respect either. When someone tells them that they should treat women gamers with respect, they may snort indignantly and say that the fairer sex should learn to tough it out, to put up or shut up. Well, as Sam Cotts of Gamertell once said:
We could suggest that the fairer sex toughen up, learn to take their lumps along with the rest of us. But what a loss that would be. Right now the online environment for console gamers resembles the house you used to rent with your buddies back in college, the one where every room stank of feet, balls, and stale urine. We could use a little class gentleman.
That being said, I would like to end this Sunday Special crash course with another visual example.
Girls like her do not speak for the rest of us.
Note that most of us will not strip our clothes and dignity to pose with our boyfriend's vintage consoles and collector edition FPS games. We do not lick our controllers like phallic idols (that's just unsanitary). We don't care if you curb stomp us into the ground as long as you don't throw a tantrum when we return the favor.
Oh, and that Blood Elf whom you consider homoerotic? Hello, female gamers need eye candy too, and we'd choose to do him (seriously, go look at the fanart out there) over you! Though I'm really more partial to Trolls myself. What can I say, it's the tusks.