Oh, Dimorphism

BY Heather Richtmyre  //  October 14, 2010

Look, I'm a woman who's just trying to play video games.


ecently, I have been reminded of some of the unpleasant aspects of online gaming. These can range from the level where I am tempted to utilize a titanium spork against the offender, to those where an eternity in one of the worst futures Harlan Ellison could imagine seems a more appropriate vehicle for my frustration.

Much of this can be attributed to the repetition of certain behaviors. The first comment expecting me to return to the kitchen and make a sandwich was hardly amusing, let alone after hearing such dozens of times. Continual encounters with such prove quite frustrating.

It also seems that a notice stating "Please make inaccurate assumptions about me" appears on my GamerTag or Steam ID. Perhaps both. Prominent in this category is the idea that my use of voice chat is simply to obtain some form of sexual attention, rather than for such practical uses as pointing out cloaked opponents, respawns of valuable weapons, and the fact that my character is on fire and that running away from such would be ideal at such a point. Or the concept that I must play healers, despite never having one as my main character and receiving quite a bit of teasing from friends over my preference for characters fitting the rogue archetype.

Then there is the idea that my boyfriend must have introduced me to games I played before I ever met him, and the application of my competence in any gaming session in the same fashion as a certain xkcd strip. I'm still unsure what pretenses at logic lead to such assumptions, but trying to format an accurate analysis is likely to merely lead to further irritation.

The next person to randomly ask for a picture as some determinant of my value at EVE or Halo is being ignored until they provide an apology,* a dissertation on the work of Octavia Butler, and commentary on CCP's upcoming World of Darkness game without making reference to Twilight.

* Well, maybe just the apology. That in itself would be enough to shock me.

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