The average woman’s fear of gaming 
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Yolanda Green
February 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

complicated

Many women with gamers for partners are not gamers themselves. Having lead a life with very little interest or interaction with gaming, it not only poses possible difficulty in their relationships, but in many cases leave women with a fear of trying gaming because they feel they might well, suck at it. Now I know that lots of people are probably going to gasp and picture throwing rotten tomatoes at me, but hear me out.

I was never a serious gamer, or gamer at all before having children. Growing up the only interaction with computers I had was my IT class at school. Consoles were something completely unknown to me. Apart from the very brief and very rare gaming experience, it was an unknown world. So when fell in love with a gamer and eventually started a life with one I found myself scared to death but overwhelmingly intrigued by video games. After about two or three years of spending nights watching my partner play World of Warcraft and Dota and a lot of other games, I decided to try it out myself. Naturally I felt like a complete idiot not having a clue what to do. Everything looked so complicated and I didn’t know how the hell I’d ever actually get it right. But after persistence and just that first step of actually trying, it became my life.

I guess this article or whatever you’d like to call it is more for the women who are not gamers already and the women who enjoy casual games, like Facebook games but don’t have the confidence to try out “hardcore” gaming.

I’ve come across many women in their twenties and thirties who have gamers for partners that never actually tried it, most of them saying: “it’s too complicated” or “I don’t know how to use a controller”. Simply that, it looks too hard. The truth is that it isn’t hard at all. I know a woman who’s been married to a gamer for years, and every time we visited with them and spoke about gaming or games she’d feel very low for not understanding what we were saying and always said she’d never get it right, that was until I introduced her to the world of Massively Multiplayer Online games. She went from not being able to run around in World of Warcraft to the queen of her server in Rift, playing the game like she’s been playing for years. All of this because she finally gave it a go. This was really big for her.

So here’s the message: you don’t have to stick to Bejeweled or Facebook games, you don’t have to play The Sims to try and seem like you are interested in your partners’ gaming life. You can probably play anything he plays. Once you’ve discovered the vast and incredible world of gaming, you won’t be the one complaining about how much time your partner spends gaming.

I don’t know why some of us have this fear of gaming and feel like we are unable to do it, or do it very well for that matter. But I do know that it’s there. It was frightening for me to get into gaming and then online gaming, frightening to start competing and honestly, I still sometimes feel like I am not fully capable, in particular when it comes to StarCraft 2. But having the courage to try it out, could potentially change your life and definitely change the way you see gaming. Naturally it’s a bit intimidating when you have your partner, who’s been doing it for years right next to you, and you don’t to feel stupid. It can be more fun learning than actually playing though.

There’s a great misconception when it comes to women in gaming. There’s this not-very-unspoken rule in society that women aren’t as good at games as men, it just isn’t true. Just because men are more prone to being gamers than women, doesn’t make us worse at it. The whole hot gamer chick thing is also bogus. Many mature, everyday women enjoy games all the same. You don’t have to pose provocatively with gaming gear and wear too much make-up to be a gamer. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you’re 20 or 50, games aren’t just for teenagers. In fact, most games are made for adults.

No gaming isn’t a world filled with sexism and violence, you don’t even have to play games online in order to be a gamer (Although, it is pretty sweet!), and you don’t have to be the best at it either. Getting immersed in this incredible world that is gaming is not about how good you are at it, how fast or well you can use a controller, or a keyboard and mouse. It’s about art and experience.

Gaming has the best stories in them. You’ve never read a book as good or watched a movie as good as a brilliant story in a game. Not all games are just shooting or racing or sports. Many games have some of the best detective stories, romance and fantasy in them that you’ve ever seen. The best of these is, that you get to be a part of them; in many cases you can even determine the outcome. It’s an incredible interactive entertainment experience.

There’s a game for every one out there, you just have to find which is for you.

I like bacon and games, and occasionally I say something coherent about it. I'm not old or cynical, and I'm not the Dork Knight. I AM SHE-RA! Wait, what?