Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm Not A Platypus, or Don't Hate Because You Can Only Button Mash

Most of my titles make a decent amount of sense. This one will after reading the post, but it does grab your attention, doesn't it? When was the last time you thought about platypuses? I find them cute, but then again, I have a habit of being able to draw just about anything in a cute form. The point is platypuses are rare, so rare that it is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus(Ornithorhynchus). While almost hunted to a threatening level for their fur, they are currently not under any immediate threat. You just can't find them outside of Australia.

This little scientific background about the platypus brings me to the point of my longwinded-ness. I'm not a platypus. I'm not that rare, I'm not extinct, I'm not exotic, you just have to sometimes look a little harder to find me.

I'm not a platypus, I'm a girl who games.

Maybe I'm just not used to coming out of the technological, socially-challenged, adventuresome, ridiculous world of RPI. I got used to girls who game, flaming cereal, rubix cube costumes, cosplay, LAN parties, SSB tournaments, playing video games at work and reviewing the newest Mortal Kombat game for the Poly, the school's newspaper. Maybe this shouldn't be such a surprise, maybe I shouldn't be face-palming so hard at so many guys, but I just have to wonder, why are girls who game still considered an anomaly?

Since living in Madison for over three weeks now, and being in the "real world" there's been a plethera of responses to the fact that I own a PS3, play a variety of games, am decently good at said games, and used to play PC games. There were one or two responses of just plain acceptance, which is really nice. Then there are two others which include flirtatious joking about giving me a bad time for playing video games, in the sense that ::GASP!:: a girl who games? Don't be silly. The other, which I find a bit annoying is:

I've always found a girl who games to be kind of sexy.

Ladies, do you find a guy who games sexy? I'm not sure if the reverse is true, it might be, I'm not going to hate, but it doesn't always seem to be the case in my opinion. During my lunch break at work the other day, I found this interesting little infograph that you can see below. (I apologize again for the image disrupting my blog's formatting.)

According to their research, women now account for 40% of all gamers and 67% of households engage in playing video games. While 40% isn't half and half, it's still not really a minority considering the only categories are pretty much a) guys or b)girls. There's a lot of us who do this! Why is this odd?

Now, I will say that I didn't do a lot of follow-up research into this, so I don't know what they are classifying as "gaming". There are some statistics that incorporate women who play Farmville or Mafia Wars on Facebook as gaming. I don't know the break down of PC verses console games. My hunch is that it's a smaller statistic, but even so, 40% is nothing to shake your head at.

My musings above are turning out to be one of my more annoying posts personally, where I don't really make a solid point or reach a definite conclusion, but rather verbalize my own befuddlement. I don't understand why it's weird that a girl could play video games. Both myself and my two younger sisters always have and still do. I remember when I was five and I played Pajama Sam on our good old Windows 95 system. We all had Gameboys, then Gameboy Colors, Gameboy Advances, and both of my sisters currently have DSs. A paycheck or two from now, I'd like to have one of the new 3-D DSs.

Maybe it's the fact that we were raised by parents who's love story was set in the early days of Intel. Maybe it's because most of my cousins are guys, so many summers included playing Super Smash Brothers, StarFox, and Halo when we couldn't go to the beach. Maybe my family's just plain nerdy?

Who knows, maybe that (and many other) statistic is just flat out wrong and female gamers really are an odd phenomenon. I don't really understand it all. Back to coding work, followed by an evening of cleaning and restoring my FFXIII data.

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