2012 in Retrospective: Year Of The Woman Gamer
EA suing Zynga, the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle, the return of the Master Chief – all of these made great news for the year 2012 in video games, but nothing could compare to the collective voice that was heard from the female gamer camp. Although it’s been a long time coming, things reached a boiling point this year after the Cross Assault incident where gamer Aris Bakhtanians’s comments angered a female player so badly that she forfeited the match.
But the 47% that is the female gamer demographic would not go unheard. Time and time again in 2012, they made themselves known to the world. Video games aren’t just for boys.
Many females have been chastised for playing video games, but none so publicly as Madam Senator Colleen Lachowicz, Democrat for the state of Maine. The Republican Party of Maine attacked Lachowicz for being a level 85 World of Warcraft player by creating a website called Colleen’s World, depicting her as “crude, vicious and violent”. Instead of doing what politicians normally do and apologize profusely for doing nothing wrong, Madam Lachowicz stuck by her guns stating, “I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games. Apparently I’m in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games. What’s next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends? If so, guilty as charged!”
Lachowicz beat her opponent, incumbent Republican Thomas Martin this last November for Maine’s district 25.
At the same time that Ms. Lachowicz was fighting the good fight in Maine, another young lady found herself showing off more than just her street cred as a gamer. October 2012 playmate Pamela Horton made waves in the gaming world when she mentioned her obsession with MMOs. In an interview with Gamer Living, Ms. Horton described the reaction: “There’s been a lot of name-calling, and people who associate the name of Playboy with porn, or the adult sexual enterprise – they associate Playboy with that so they automatically think I’m some kind of floozy, you know, it’s a lot of stereotyping right now.”
Ms. Horton would not be deterred. She continues to make appearances at gaming events, particularly for League of Legends, and hopes to further pursue a career in the games industry after she finishes university.
Finally, this last November, Twitter exploded with reactions under the hashtag #1reasonwhy after Kickstarter employee Luke Crane posed the question, “Why are there so few lady game creators?” Gamers and industry people of both genders posted responses that were all over the place, but in the end, the point was made: Women play games, create games, and love gaming.
2012 may not have been the beginning of the movement to change the perception of gender roles in the gaming industry, but it has most certainly been the most prolific. So to women gamers everywhere: we here at Gamer Living salute you.
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