Culture

All Aboard the Fake Gamer Girl Train! Choo Choo!

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Fake Geeks. Fake Nerds. Fake Gamers. There’s a theme here… oh! Disingenuous people, right? That’s totally the big connection. Except I forgot to tack on the most defining quality to those terms. The word, no, the mysterious creature that makes otherwise average human beings if it weren’t for their hobbies shake in their shoes.

Girls.

Apparently, being a woman is a huge qualifier to how you do things. Some women embrace the term Gamer Girl/Girl Gamer, where others don’t really see the point. You don’t play video games with your genitals. … Or do you? I hope you don’t. Controllers and keyboards are covered in germs.

So what exactly is a Gamer? Let’s see what the wonderful internet tells us!

DDG-Gamer

 

Well, that’s to the point, but at the same time a little vague. Let’s look at Wikipedia’s entry on gamers.

Historically, the term “gamer” usually referred to someone who played role-playing games and wargames. Since video games became popular, the term has changed to include players of video games. While the term nominally includes those who do not necessarily consider themselves to be gamers (i.e., casual gamers), it is commonly used to identify those who spend at least some of their leisure time playing or learning about games.

— Wikipedia

Meh, good enough. It differentiates video games and non-video games, and it even mentions that the umbrella term may not even be used by those who fall under it! It gets even more detailed from there, but that’s neither here nor there.

Because I… I am a Fake Gamer Girl.

Controllers are SO complicated!

Controllers are SO complicated!

Except I’m not? But I am? This is, of course, only according to one guy in some Facebook screen grab. Who is he to make this judgement call? Last I checked Skyrim was still a video game, but somehow playing Pokémon makes me more of a Gamer than the 100+ hours I’ve spent unlocking all of those achievements.

Gamer Girl "Qualifications"

But let’s take a look at his list. Zelda, Portal, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty… I’ve played some of those, but not others! I’m not gonna lie, there are a lot of games I haven’t played or that I started and did not finish. I think even if I had all the time in the world to play them I still wouldn’t. I won’t get into the reasons for all of them. Some of them are considered absolute musts in mainstream gaming culture, and some are just kind of there. So let’s see what I can come up with…

  • Legend of Zelda Anything
  • Metroid Anything
  • Half-Life (series) (and wow have I tried to sit down with these)
  • Call of Duty (series) (except for the Black Ops zombie mode)
  • Halo (I’ve got a funny story about this one)
  • Tomb Raider (series)
  • Fallout (series)
  • The Elder Scrolls pre-Skyrim
  • Prototype (I played like 20 minutes and wow it was boring)
  • Gears of War (series)
  • Final Fantasy games before VII (and I didn’t even finish VII)
  • Braid (I will finish Braid. Eventually. Probably in twenty years.)
  • Metal Gear Solid (series)
  • Max Payne (series)
  • Pscyhonauts
  • That 007 Goldeneye N64 game the internet can’t get over

This list is no way definitive and is just what I can come up with by comparing my gamerscore to my boyfriend’s. (Fun Fact: His score is 10k higher than mine, but I get more achievements per game than him.)

But what this means is just because I haven’t played or finished a game that I don’t know anything about it. Most of the ones I have listed up there I’ve watched others play. (Ask me how obnoxious I am as a Backseat Gamer!) If I actually listed every single game I’ve never played or finished it wouldn’t be an article but its own Wikipedia entry. And honestly? I don’t think anyone actually cares what I have or haven’t played.

And if you do, then it’s a problem with your priorities.

The common theme with Fake Anything is exclusion. It is a bar exam of ludicrous standards and no real purpose. Calling someone a Fake Gamer Girl is the same thing as putting a “No Girls Allowed” sign outside of your pillow fort because you’re afraid of cooties. It’s childish. Because all you do when you call someone a Fake Anything is show that person that they weren’t welcome.

And let's not forget The Most Dangerous Gamer.

And let’s not forget The Most Dangerous Gamer.

So what drives this reaction towards women? Where exactly in the introduction to a subject did someone say, “this topic is now yours and yours alone?” What makes a person hoard their love for a show, a game, an inanimate object, to the point of automatically assuming that women cannot love it as much as they do? There are multiple articles with their own takes on the topic. Idiot Nerd Girl Has a Posse exists. Forbes and Cracked weighed in. Even Kotaku has their own category on Fake Gamers.

Let’s go back to my boyfriend and his gamerscore and pretend this is one of those dumb word problems. For the sake of hilarity, from now on he will always be called Revan on PvP. Revan’s gamerscore averages at 25k. Mine sits at 15k. Revan has had his Xbox longer than I have had mine, and has played more than twice as many games as I have. But, as I said earlier, I spend more time per game than he usually does, giving me a more “completionist” aspect to my gaming.

Lately Revan doesn’t get to play video games as often as he used to, whereas I play them more often than I used to. This has lead him to say that he considers me more of a Gamer than he would consider himself. But Revan plays games! Therefor he is a Gamer!

I guess it really does come down to those genitals, huh?

P.S. Who here is going to pick up Pokémon X/Y? Which one of are you thinking of getting? I’m grabbing X because XX CHROMOSOME REPRESENT.

Purple-haired Pepper Potts.

3 Comments

  1. ChurchTucker

    August 22, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I never understood the hatred for “fake gamer girls.” I mean, assuming it’s true and some girl is going to go out of her way to fake an interest in your interest just because you’re awesome. How is that a bad thing? Girls don’t have a “fake RomCom guy” thing, do they?

    • Rachel

      August 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      The only time I’ve ever experienced a Fake Anything was this one guy telling me he had played the Mass Effect series during a video game discussion. Later when I brought it up he had no idea what I was talking about, and when I asked if he had actually played it he admitted to lying.

      I wasn’t angry so much as confused. And maybe a little flattered he wanted to share an interest with me that badly.

  2. caitlin

    August 29, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    ok this is what’s got me all flummoxed: five years or whatever back there was this huge backlash against “retro” fetishization in games, levelled heavily at the resuscitation of nintendo flagship franchises like mario, zelda, and pokemon, leading to the “real” gamer pushback against the “casual” gamer market who were snapping up nintendo wiis like hot pockets. now that girls are playing the so-called touted “real” games of yesteryear like skyrim or the ac franchise, those games are suddenly “just mainstream” and the REAL games are… zelda, mario, and pokemon??

    WHAT HAPPENED? why is everything backwards? why are “real” games actually “fake” games and “fake” games are now “real” games? how far does this rabbit hole go??? why are we letting some mouth-breather quantify what and what doesn’t make a “real gamer” when these rules are so fucking arbitrary that they can LITERALLY REVERSE THEMSELVES before a console generation even lives out its lifecycle?

    ok you got me, i’m a fake gamer girl, i have stubbornly refused to adapt to changes within the industry and have kept playing the same genres of games i have loved since i was ten! but i don’t feel like i have to justify myself because, if trends indicate anything, i will be standing back on the right side of the fence in about… four years or so.

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