Fake girl gamers

Fake Girl Gamers: Fem!Shep is angry that you think slut-shaming is okay.

The title of this post is a bit misleading. I want to talk about something that I’ve noticed recently that has really bothered me, and it’s not “fake girl gamers”, but is directly linked to them.

First of all, let’s get the necessities out of the way — do “fake girl gamers” annoy me? Yes. I find it obnoxious when anyone pretends to be interested in something that has become popular just because they hope that the popularity will rub off on them. I don’t like the idea that people are manipulating a community to try and get attention, and it bothers me that “fake girl gamers” have a negative impact on the attitude towards other female gamers, and the attitude that male gamers have towards us.

However, an extremely harmful trend I’m sure you’ve all noticed is “real” female gamers calling out the fakes in an aggressive, demeaning and disrespectful way. I’m talking about women turning on each other to call those they deem as fake gamers various names that usually come down to slut-shaming in some form, and often pointing out their profiles on social media websites or livestreams to, what? Incite rage and encourage other gamers to harass these women?

There are a few things wrong with this plan. First of all, linking to these women just drives people towards them and gets them the attention you so desperately want them not to receive. Secondly, who the hell are you to decide whether someone is “real” or “fake”? Of course, here I’m not talking about the obvious Girl Not Actually Playing or Girl Taking Off Clothes On Twitch — I think everyone would agree those women are not there for the sake of gaming. But I still don’t think they should be called out or slut-shamed, for the simple fact that it reinforces that slut-shaming is okay, when it’s really, really not.

At the risk of coming off all feministy on you (note: I am a feminist, and I don’t think being one is a bad thing) — slut-shaming is a misogynstic tool used to control women and make them behave more “appropriately”. Why, then, would women hurt other women in this way? Stop it. It doesn’t stop those girls from doing what they’re doing, it makes you look like a horrid person and this reflects poorly on the gaming community and makes it harder for “real” women gamers to join in, and you make other people, male and female alike, think that treating other women this way is okay. How are the big bad men everyone talks about all the time going to learn that treating people this way is wrong, if women themselves tear each other apart?

Honestly, if you asked me which was worse between “fake girl gamers” and “girl gamers slut-shaming fake girl gamers”, I know I’d choose the latter. Both are harmful to some extent, but only one of them is self-destructive. So good job.

  • This is too true. Glad you said it.

    • Thank you, it’s just been something that’s bothered me for a while!

  • As gamers, we tend to forget that not every fan has encyclopedic knowledge of games,or is a hardcore enthusiast.

    If someone calls themselves a gamer but they only play Wii Sports and the occasional Sims game, does that give them any less right to identify as a gamer?

    No. Said person had every right to call themselves a gamer.

    Screw the haters.

    • Completely agree. What is a gamer? Uh, I don’t know…maybe someone who plays games?

      Your comment about not every fan having encyclopaedic knowledge is so true. I hate the idea that something I am incredibly passionate about will be questioned simply because I don’t know all the answers. How is it up to us what someone can or can’t identify as?

      Silly people!

  • Personally, I don’t like labeling my self as a “girl gamer”. I’m just a gamer. And I completely agree with 100% of what you said. And at one point I use to sit there and label, but I wouldn’t harass or confront them. It would be more of a “why would you even…?” kind of comment to myself. But thank you for this post, hopefully more people see it.

    • Hi, and thanks for reading! I feel completely the same way, particularly the “why would you even…” part.

      By the way, I used to watch your DayZ streams and videos all the time. 🙂

  • It’s sad, I’ve seen it happen a couple of times in an old guild because one girl got jealous over the attention another girl got. What happened to sisterhood and girls sticking together? It’s a game, you’re meant to be able to just relax and play. Why it’s grown into another form of bullying I’ll never understand. Great post though and completely agreed with x

    • It’s really disappointing. And honestly, while I think it may sometimes boil down to a jealousy thing, a lot of the time it seems to be learned behaviour. It becomes a catch-22, where people behave in a certain negative way towards others, and other people see that and think it’s okay.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • Amen, darling. Putting down other women to prop yourself up? Exactly what the patriarchal society wants us to do.

    • Have I mentioned how much I love you lately?

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