Today: Feb 24, 2024

Challenging the reality of stereotypes

VIRGINIA CALCAGNIStaff Writer
Ever since I was young, I guess you can say I never fit the mold for a typical girl. I preferred Lincoln Logs and Legos over Barbies. I ran around and got dirty during recess, and I still prefer metal and hard rock music to the popular stuff.
This brings me to a confession: I play video games.
I never thought this was a foreign concept for girls to be gamers or just own a system and enjoying playing a couple rounds in Batman or Assassins Creed, but lately it seems as though it is.
I work in retail, and I also happen to be a “gaming specialist.” This has really seemed to throw people off lately because at least once or twice, every shift I have someone look at me and ask me if I actually know anything about video games.
I joke around with my coworkers and say I want to get a couple shirts made with silly slogans on them about how I know what I am talking about, because this happens so often at this point, and I just don’t understand it.
One example of a situation that happened recently was when I was giving a task to one of my coworkers that happens to be a male. While I was doing that, a couple of customers came by and he attended to them. While he was walking away, a group of young boys who were playing on the Xbox 360 display yelled out to him, so I went over. They weren’t too happy about that. I asked them what they needed help with and they said the Xbox stopped working. I fiddled with it and ta da, I fixed it. I wish I could mea­sure how far one kid’s jaw dropped. They were all amazed.
As good as it felt to stick it to them, it ir­ritated me. Just because I am a girl, wear flowers in my hair, and like to make myself presentable, I don’t look like the kind of girl that would game, or have tattoos, or listen to metal and hard rock music. It is stereotyping to the extreme (and that is what people usually say to me: “you don’t look like the type”). What is the type?
Gaming is not just a guy thing. Tons of games re­quire thinking and strategy, and some­times they are just fun and good stress relievers. Some of them help you use your imagination and create things. These aren’t geared strictly toward men.
Video games aren’t just about shooting people. It isn’t all just Call of Duty. There are tons of different types of games, and I am not talking about Just Dance and those franchises. As stated above, there are strategy and puzzles, fantasy. Some of the games out are really tough to beat. Ten-year-olds do better than I can half the time. They like to make fun of me. I find it cute, oddly enough.
To throw in a bit to the other side, how­ever, I can’t say it isn’t weird when a gentle­man comes in asking for the Twilight movies for himself because he saw one of them on television and liked it. If you are wondering if that happened: it has.
I get the whole idea of different roles and what some people like and what others don’t like. I get that most girls hate it when guys play video games in front of them, but I say join in. You would be surprised at how fun they are.

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