You may have noticed inactivity on this blog recently. There’s a very simple reason for that. I resubscribed to World of Warcraft.
I’d like to say the other reason is that I’ve finally got some job interviews, which is true (yay!), but WoW has been taking up the larger chunk of time.
But today I’m here to rant a bit more about being a girl gamer because it’s been a little frustrating.
Most of my old friends aren’t subscribed, and if they are, they aren’t really committed to the idea of playing for various reasons. I understand, so I started looking for a new group to run with, and then I was reminded of why I felt so lucky in the first place to find the group I did a year ago.
I resubbed about a month ago, and since then I have geared my character, pushed some arena rating with old friends, and sought out a new battleground group to run with. The last part is the part that has been frustrating.
I find my experience as a girl falls into one of the following categories:
Immediate sexual harrassment
I get asked for my personal information and nudes (uncommon, but it happens). I immediately leave the group.
The joke is that girls don’t play WoW, which has been untrue for the entire time the game has existed. Sometimes I’ll join a group and they will ask me if I know how to do something, which then spirals into asking if I know how to do anything that my character is capable of doing. Yes, I am competent at playing my character because I have spent time on this game, too. It’s just frustrating because my guy friends don’t get asked this question, and if they do it doesn’t spiral into chaos. I generally also leave the group.
Assuming I was carried
For those who are unfamiliar, “carrying” implies that you got someone much better than you to do all the work for you. While some of my friends are genuinely better at the game than I am, and occasionally they’ll play with and give pointers to an aspiring scrub like myself, I push my skills at the game with some friends who are at about my level. I only really stick with friends who give me advice and take advice, too, since we actually want to get better at the game.
Telling stories about girl-boy drama
Sometimes they’ll immediately go to the stories about how there was a girl in their guild once…who then became an officer. Then that girl flirted with some guy and the guild fell apart. I’d believe it, since there’s always drama no matter where you go (whether it’s all guys or all girls or a mix of both). The part that I dislike is that they paint the story as if it’s the girl’s fault. Didn’t the guy flirt, too? What if he made the first move? What if he reciprocated her first move?
If they do friend me, there’s always doubt
This is perhaps the most frustrating one. I’d like to believe that people friend me because they think that I’m also a good player, and that they’d like to play again sometime. Sometimes they don’t realize that I was the girl on the microphone, and then I’m a little reassured that they did friend me because of my skills. Sometimes they’ll unfriend me the next time after they realize I was the girl (and sometimes it’s because they don’t want to get in trouble with their significant others, which I understand). However, sometimes I don’t know if they have other motives, and if they don’t really think I’m good at the game, but they’d like to have me around for other reasons. I guess a lot of those are good, too, like keeping a good attitude and acting like a sort of positive reinforcement cheerleader for the group. It’s not like I don’t like making friends with people in game just to chat, it’s just that I’m sometimes not sure if there’s an ulterior motive.
I think this is mostly on me, so I only really have myself to blame.
No weird reaction
This is the best one! They don’t do any of the above. They say “sup man” or some equivalent, and then when I respond they just continue as normal. I’m also totally okay with the “Oh okay you’re a girl. That will make it easy to tell who’s talking.” I even occasionally get a “yes ma’am” when I make a good call in game and people agree with me.
Anyway, I’m sure it’s frustrating for guys to find groups, too. I’m sure that has a lot to do with why people I grouped with before no longer want to try again. But if it sounds like I was being oddly specific about things in the above paragraphs, it’s because I’m talking about real experiences that I’ve had recently. I’m about ready to throw in the towel and go back to other games that don’t have this problem. Then again, if I get this job I want I might not have time for the game again in a couple weeks. Fingers crossed :).