If the selection at the average retailer is anything to go by, girls don’t play video games. If cultural stereotypes are anything to go by, video games are for males. They’re the makers, the buyers and the players.
There is often truth to stereotypes. But whatever truth there may be, the stereotype does not show the long and complicated path taken to formulate it, spread it and have it come back to shape societal views.
The attitude towards women in video games is even worse when you take online multiplayer into consideration. One of my team mates in League of Legends is a woman, and I’ve seen some absolutely terrible things being thrown her way in chat – during and even after the game is over. I’ve also pretended to be female in League of Legends just to see what would happen, and it was just as bad. However, I could just shrug it off – hearing the things guys say while you’re pretending to be a woman as an experiment is a hell of a lot different than hearing these things when you’re actually a woman.
I even caught myself thinking ‘my female team mate should just pretend to be a guy’ – but you know what? That’s expletive ridiculous. As Lien details in her article, changing the way video games are being marketed would be a very good first step that could most certainly snowball into the future.