girl sucking at video games

The Girl Gamer Stereotype & something about the ESEA

There has been a lot more gaming content on the blog in the last few months. It started when we introduced Marco, our Gaming Geek, into the mix. He started doing some funky content for the blog. I slowly started adding to it and have recently started including far more gaming content on the blog and on my YouTube Channel (click here to open it in a new window so you can subscribe later. Subscribers get unicorns). Earlier this year I started adding some really n00b e-sports content to the mix.

So why?

I grew up with a serious gamer in my house (if you subscribed to that YouTube channel you’d be able to watch my brother teach me Dota 2 and listen to my rather hyped explanation of his gaming life). It meant many a Friday night returning from a bar to a dining room full of teenage boys lanning. My father was a gamer. Our Christmas presents included The Sims, Age of Empires and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Apparently all “educational” or, at least, this is how he justified buying games he wanted and gifting them to us as a means for him to play them. I’m still not sure how he got away with Mortal Kombat and DOOM, but both were neatly wrapped under the tree over the years.

Anyway, the point here is that I’ve gamed since I was a kid.

I’m just not really good at it.

gamer girl in headset

As a kid I was an ass kicker in Mortal Kombat and destroyed dynasties in Age of Empires while killing off small children that cried too much in The Sims. As I moved in to Varsity and then work, my gaming time wained considerably. I was competitively showjumping, freelancing and working intense hours. The most I could squeeze in for gaming was one or two hours a week if even. It’s still like that. I have a few hours a week to bash some buttons and then I’m back on the grind.

A few weeks ago someone mentioned to me that I wasn’t a “real” gamer and my Let’s Play series fed every stereotype of Girl Gamers. I was allegedly insulting an entire industry and a gender by feeding the idea that girls aren’t good at games, that girls are silly giggly gaming failures blah blah blah.

But I am the stereotype?

I’m not good at games. I suck. Badly. I tend to struggle in the beginning with the controls and figuring it all out. Once I get the hang of it I’m by no means brilliant. In fact, I still play rather badly. But I still enjoy the limited time I have to play. Yeah, I suck, I’m crap but I’m still having fun. If someone asks me to try a game I’ll give it a whirl. I recently got in to CS:GO and still haven’t moved away from killing Bots, but you know what? I freaking love it. I have so much fun playing (and dying). Even for the hour or two I can give to it. I tried to play Call of Duty at rAge and spent my time running into walls or being shot in the back of the head… but I gave it a whirl and grinned through out. Girl Gamer Stereotype feeding right there.

The truth is, most gamers are just like me.

esports gamers fest

Whether they’re girls or guys, most of us suck when we get started. Most of us just aren’t that good and die a few times. We’re the gaming community. I mentioned CS:GO a little earlier. If you read this blog or follow my social channels you’ll know that I’m a bit obsessed with the local competitive scene at the moment. As the sucky rubbish gamer I find the local scene fascinating. I FREAKING LOVE heading to local comps and watching the guys play matches on the big screen. If they’re streaming in the evenings I set it up on my TV and watch the streams while I get stuff done around the house. I think because I struggle so much with the game I’m completely in awe of the skill level of local professionals. I’ve also started following the rag to riches story of Luminosity, a Brazillian CS:GO and I’m stalking Thorin (kidding, not kidding).

I’m a fan. And I’m the stereotypical girl gamer that the sport needs to grow.

The local community is amazing. I have not met someone in it that hasn’t been welcoming, keen to teach me and generally just a rad human. The actual “pros” are happy to offer help and many have encouraged me to find them on team speak and play with them online (one day, when I finally grow some balls and move away from the bots). The only way to get our local stars on to the international scene is to get more stereotypes like me supporting and watching the games. Getting us to follow the players and the casters and the tournaments.

Telkom has already thrown some money behind their Masters series, Vodacom seems to be entering the fray too. Last week Friday it was announced that ESEA is making its way to South Africa.

Crap, this post is getting long.

playstation controller

So what does the ESEA have to do with me? Or you? Or anyone not trying to be the next Emuhleet (kick ass female CS:GO player who never answers my Facebook messages basically begging her to let me interview/fawn over her. Sob.)? It means more opportunities for local teams to win money, money they can put towards their careers. The ESEA is offering up a spot to the top qualifying South African team to compete at the ESEA Global Premier Challenge LAN – with all flights and accommodation costs covered. International exposure guarantees a hugely positive impact on the local scene. Want proof? Black Poison (I don’t care if I didn’t get the caps right in your handle) was overseas last year and competed in the European scene. He has been named the community manager for the ESEA locally and clearly assisted in getting this off the ground here in SA.

I promise I’m getting to the point

More support for the local scene and more tournaments to improve skill leads to better game play from South African teams which becomes far more entertaining for stereotypical girl (and guy) gamers like me. More spectators (online or at tournaments) means more interest from sponsors. More sponsors means more support for the gamers to improve… and so the circle continues.

We need more initiatives like the ESEA. I’m excited to see who qualifies to go overseas. 

We also need more stereotypical girl gamers because we also have a roll to play. So I’m going to wear my badge proudly and still pitch up at the local gaming competitions to fan girl and test the patience of the gamers with my silly questions and excitement.

Who is joining me?

PS: I know there are console photos all over this post, but free to use gaming photos on a PC rig are near impossible to find! 

I'd love to chat to you some more.


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