In my last post I wrote about words and their importance, specifically in regards to the phrasing of “girl gamers” versus “women who game” and if females gamers were doing themselves any favors by segregating themselves from the (male) majority.
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages, aren’t there? On one hand, by showcasing ourselves as women gamers we’re making it known that, shockingly, women play and enjoy video games. Just as men do. Crazy, I know. But on the other hand, by setting ourselves apart from the gaming norm we do just that: we tell everyone that we are different and that we need special attention and recognition.
Enter Team Siren, the first all-female professional League of Legends team:
Since releasing their introductory video, Team Siren has garnered quite the reaction, the vast majority of it negative. And why? Well, I think a lot of it goes back to the aforementioned topic. Here we have an all-female League of Legends Team, the first of its kind. But is it necessary? Why do we need an all-female team who advertises their sex over their ability?
Imagine what it would have been like if Team’s Siren’s introductory video made no mention of the fact that every team member was female? If it just showcased their skills and stats? Everything about the video could stay the same with the exception of all references to men and women. Okay, they could also get rid of those cheesy one-liners as well (“I’ll bait you and outsmart you.” Eek).
Really though, I feel like that would have been a good way to deal with the odd situation of wanting to be known as a great non-traditional gamer without coming off as “look at us! We’re women and we play games!”.
Now, that’s not going to fix the misogyny that often runs rampant on the Internet. As soon as I saw the video I knew most of the comments would be about the players looks and sexuality and indeed, right now the top comments on YouTube are ones like “We Live Together. We Play Together. We Bleed Together” and other comments calling them “attention whores” and “bitches”.
I’m not about to justify comments like that but people often react in such vicious ways when faced with the unknown, with the different. When there stops being a difference between “gamers” and “girl gamers”, I think we’ll slowly see comments like that disappear.