I’ve always liked working as a team. From my early days of school group projects to my college years on staff of the school’s newspaper, I’ve been a sucker for working in a group. It wasn’t because I liked to pass off my responsibilities. I genuinely liked working with others towards one goal and seeing contributions come together. Added bonus: a group of friends to celebrate once your goal has been accomplished. I’m pretty sure this is a large part of why I love online gaming.
Video gaming itself is a male dominated industry but as a girl playing online, I am put face to face, or rather microphone to microphone with guys all over the world. After entering most pre-game lobbies, I go through a 3-step process: The first thing to happen is either asking other players to vote to skip the next map or comment to a friend who has joined the game. The second step, which comes pretty quickly, is I’m asked if my balls have dropped yet.
You didn’t see that one coming did you? The thing is, most guys have this strange idea that girls don’t play video games, at least not the video games they play. So after hearing my high pitched voice, they quickly assume I am a 10 year old boy and the hazing begins.
The third thing to happen is they soon realize I am in fact a female (cue gasps). After this realization, I either get numerous Friend Requests from the boys in the room who are just giddy that I’m a girl, or I get asked if my boyfriend is playing for me after they see how well I am doing, or I am told to make him a sandwich.
Man, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that one. Those boys sure do like sandwiches.
You might ask yourself why I like to go through this; that it doesn’t sound like fun. Oh, but it is! In order to play online with millions of strangers around the world, you need a sense of humor. Luckily, I’ve got me one of those. The remarks that many girls would consider horrible and sexist, I consider a hazing. I have come to expect it and I can dish it right back. If I’m playing with friends, they quickly back me up, too. If a guy usually makes a target of himself with commentary when the game begins, my whole team goes after him. It’s true that sometimes it can be a little much, but there is always the option to mute people or to join a different lobby.
And ladies, let me tell you, there is no better feeling than having the guy who was ragging on you be put on the opposite team, allowing your team to kick his ass. Virtual manicured high fives for everyone!