Girl Gamers In World Of Warcraft

By: huntercrowell
To the dismay of much of the population of World of Warcraft, and the online community, girls do play video games. What makes a girl play a game online? Are they looking to pick up boys? Are they so socially inept that they can't talk to anyone in the real world? Are they just plain ugly? Or are they really just a guy pretending to be a girl? None of these things are true. They play the game for the same reason everyone plays. They play for entertainment. Though women in the real life are striving for equality in a male dominated world, and arguably making progress, the ladies playing online games have a much harder task in front of them.

The exact ratio of female players to male players in WOW is not known, but it is a far lower number than in the real world. Roderick, of the Mal'Ganis Server estimates, "I'd guess I know maybe ten girl players on this server." Roderick ran a guild of over 200 people, that's a staggeringly low percentage. With that sort of male saturation, girl gamers can have a tough time breaking into the "boys club" that exists beneath the surface.

The male population of the any online community, WOW included, is highly competitive, and the general feeling in an aggressive activity is that girls cannot perform on the same level as boys. On the virtual battlefield its far from true, but girl gamers are still considered underdogs and have to prove themselves worthy. They may come under harder scrutiny simply because they are female.

Because of the disposition some of the guys have on women gamers; some girls actively try to hide their gender. This isn't hard, since according to Cezzani of Mal'Ganis, "Ninety percent of female characters are played by ten percent of the guys." Whether or not those figures are close to accurate, the point remains the same. There are enough girl characters running around WOW that a real female can hide her gender simply by not admitting to it.

Those that hide their gender do it for a reason, to avoid the stereotypes and sexual harassment. It may be due to the age or maturity of the individual talking to the girl gamer, or perhaps because there are seemingly no repercussions in an online community where you can log off and not have to deal with the consequences. WOW has a strict policy against any sort of threatening or hurtful communications that removes the anonymity from it. In severe cases Blizzard will revoke the players account, taking away their character and possessions. But the same problems that exist in the real world exist in the virtual world. Many of the women who go through the torture of this abuse will never report it.

The male gamers must learn respect for the female gamers. They are not there simply to pick up guys nor as part of the entertainment for male players. They don't want to be hit on, or asked what they look like in real life. They will accept kindness, and will often times be friendly, but that is no indication that they are less of a gamer than anyone else who plays in a virtual world like WOW.
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