Picture of a girl gamer

Dear Dad,

Merry Christmas! How were the holidays? Sorry I couldn’t be with you. How was all the loot? Did baby brother get the video games he asked for?

My day was pretty relaxing. Made some Christmas lunch/dinner, called you and the fam (as you know), and chilled with the cats. I kicked back in the afternoon and played some Destiny.

As I was running a strike with a couple of random players, I realized that my perception of all the other players was male. I realized this as I rode my speeder behind a female hunter into the depths of the planet Mars. No matter the gender of their character or the style of their armor, I just automatically assumed that the other players were dudes.

I wouldn’t say this is an internalized misogyny so much as an internalized, unexamined sexist assumption. Though female gamers and game developers are more vocal then ever about our place in gaming, I still encounter sexist opinions about women who play games, even in myself.

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All kinds of people have played video games since their inception, including women.

So what can I do about this, Dad? My response is twofold: I’m going to stop seeing the people behind the controller as exclusively male, opening myself up to other genders; and I’m going to keep writing about my own gaming experiences, because even though I’ve played video games for almost two decades, it’s the voices of other women in gaming that have shown me how diverse the medium can be.

Next time I’m running a strike in Destiny, I won’t assume the people on my team are a couple of men. And when I change my perception, I start to feel a little more welcome, too.

Love,
Victoria

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