Opinion: Video Games Aren’t Just for Boys


Photo by Kenzie Eklund/RooNews.

Kenzie Eklund, Lifestyle and Culture Editor, Staff Writer

  Video games have long been seen as a male-dominated hobby, with the stereotypical image of a gamer being a teenage boy glued to his console for hours on end. 

  This view is not only outdated and ignorant, but it’s also harmful to women who want to participate in the exciting and diverse industry.

  Gaming has come a long way from the days of Pong and Space Invaders. Today’s games cover a vast range of genres and themes, from intricate role-playing games to thrilling first-person shooters and everything in between. The idea that these experiences are only meant for men is absurd.

  Women have been involved in gaming for just as long as men. Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer, along with the countless female developers, designers and players, have made invaluable contributions to the industry over the years. To suggest that video games are not for women erases their important history and ongoing presence in the development of the video game community.

  After fighting for their place in the gaming industry, women still continue to face numerous challenges. One of the most damaging issues is the prevalence of toxic comments and harassment aimed at women in online forums. It’s no secret that the gaming community can be a hostile and unwelcoming place for women, with many experiencing sexism, misogyny and even threats of violence.

  TikTok user, xmarieangel, has numerous videos on her page from when she encounters boys on games that think there is no place for a woman. Some of these men say things like “go make me a sandwich,” “get back to the kitchen,”, or simply just “you’re fat,” all from behind a computer screen.

  This behavior is not only repugnant but also counterproductive. It drives away talented and passionate women who could be making contributions to the industry. It also creates a toxic environment that affects everyone, not just women. Nobody wants to play a game in a space filled with hate.

  Thankfully, many organizations are working to combat this harmful culture. AnyKey, a non-profit organization focuses on prioritizing inclusivity and diversity.

  “We amplify, connect, and empower underrepresented players and their allies through research and strategic initiatives,” AnyKey said on their website. “Through our programs, we aim to increase representation, improve participation, and foster more positive community spaces in gaming for participants of any kind.”

  Along with the support from organizations like AnyKey, female gamers are speaking out and fighting back against the hate, calling attention to the issues and pushing for change.

  Change won’t happen overnight. We need to continue holding gaming companies and communities accountable for their actions and strive to create a more inclusive and equitable industry.

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