/** Google Analytics - Do not remove! */

Monday, June 16, 2008

The difference between men and women...

So we were at Kohl's the other day looking for a birthday present for my brother, and we were looking at the "young men's" graphic tees. And I see one that says "XBox" on it with the XBox 360 logo on it and I'm all like "OMG THAT IS MINE!!!" and then I see a blue shirt with "Wii" on it. Uh-oh. Which one to get? Which one? Hard-core gamer? Or cool fun obsessed-with-new-tech-gadgets girl?

Eventually (after not buying either shirt but still wanting both), I got off on the train of thought on the differences between guys and girls and gaming. That's a lot of g's.

Guys (most guys, not all, but those who really like games) are perfectly happy to sit and play a video game (or multiple video games) for hours on end. They forget to eat, drink, and sleep while playing games. Additionally, they get very very very involved with games. To the point that they yell at the screen, at the game, at the other player(s), and want to throw things (or fits) when they don't get their goal accomplished for whatever reason.

Girls, on the other hand, even those that really enjoy video games, don't want to sit and play video games for more than a few hours at a time, at which point it becomes kind of like "well, this is fun, but I am kind of just wasting my time". Additionally, girls don't get quite as upset if they can't do it. They have the attitude that it is "just" a game.

I have a sneaky suspicion that if I bought the Wii shirt and wear it, people would label me as a "nerd girl". Which isn't bad, and partially true. However, if I wore the XBox360 shirt, I have the feeling I would be labeled as weird. As in "YOU play XBox360 (and like it enough to buy a SHIRT?)?!", which would obviously lead to the question of "which games do you play?", which then leads to the reaction of "REALLY? But you're a GIRL! Hardly any girls play that game..."

Now, I know there ARE other girls who play the games that I like. In fact, I like quite a few games, both girly games and non-girlygames. And I have met other girls while playing Halo3 online. But I would have to say that my favorite "new" game (not including things like Mario and DDR, even the newer versions, because they have been out for a while) is Microsoft's Gears of War. I like it so much that I am considering applying at Epic Games so I can convince them that they desperately need a PLAYABLE main character girl. Not just a secretary/ops lady...who you see once and then talks to you the rest of the game. No, that is not good enough. I want a female soldier, in ARMOR, out in the field with Delta Squad. Oh yeah. And I don't think I am going to get it for Gears2, so I need to get on the team so we can have one for at least Gears3....

...but that is off-topic. See? Don't get me started on my favorite game. What I was going to say is that when people find out that I play/like/obsess about Gears, they are always shocked and surprised, whether they are a girl or a guy. Why? Because Gears carries the connotation that it is very much a 'guy' game. The graphics are dark and fairly realistic, there are lots of guns (torque bow....drooooool) and explosions, lots of blood, and a fairly dark storyline. Oh yeah, and there are super-cool awesome-scary badguys all over the place that you can shoot the **** out of...or just chainsaw in half! Who wouldn't love a game like that....? I know there are pleanty of other FPS games out there with similar characteristics, but Gears just struck a note with me. It's main characters are funny (in a very dry, dark-humor kind of way) and easy to get attached to, the game play is great, and the story is awesome. But it is, in every sense of the phrase, a "guy" game.

Now, if I told people that "OMG I LOVE Legend of Zelda!" nobody would be a bit surprised. But I don't. LoZ is okay. But it is very much a kid/girl game. I mean...the grapics are okay, but not amazingly realistic. The tasks can be hard, but they aren't dark, there isn't a lot of shooting and blood and in-your-face-violence, and the whole plot is more fantasy based. Not saying there couldn't be a really good fantasy video game, but fantasy and rpg games on the whole tend to be a little bit more girly, for no apparent reason. I mean, I could think of tons of really cool fantasy games that guys would enjoy as much as girls, if they were done properly. But they all seem to be targeted at girls. I know people partially think it is because Link is "cute", but why don't girls fall for characters like Fenix and Dom?

Of course, there are games that aren't seen as "girl or guy" games. Things like Guitar Hero seem to be pretty unisex, so telling someone you like Guitar Hero or Wii boxing isn't a big deal, or a big surprise. Telling someone you like Halo3 or Gears, and actually being able to hold a conversation about it with them (and generally knowing more about it than them) IS a big deal.

What is wrong with girls playing a FPS? And being GOOD at it? Playing Halo3 live, many times people notice my name, and the first question is always "Are you REALLY a girl?" Uh, duh. Why would I have "Lady" in my name otherwise? >.< And the second comment is usually "You're one of the only girls I've ever seen play this game!" Whopee. At which point they decide to friend me for no other reason than I am a girl who plays games like Halo3, which is apparently sexy? o.0 Or something. Whatever. Their friend requests just sit in my inbox forever. Losers!

I just don't get it, but I am proud to be what most people would label as a "gamer girl geek".

No comments: