As a female growing up in the early twenty-first century, I am constantly being thrown between being grateful for the women who came before me and fought so hard for women's rights on equality while also looking towards the future on how far we have to go to produce total equality. But I don’t always like thinking like that, I just want to be me while not giving a damn if the world approves of me, and that’s a hard thing to accomplish, and I can see it in my younger self.
One of the things that haunts me the most is the topic is women in video games. I simply adore video games; I have been playing them since I was able to hold a controller in my chubby hands, much to my mother’s displeasure. But I didn’t care, I enjoyed them anyways, until I grew a bit older and was told that video games “were not for girls.” Hearing those cursed words poisoned my young ego with gobs of shame that I wouldn’t fit in as a child. For a while, I put down the controller and pulled my hair into pigtails with glitter dripping bows while trying to take part in more ‘girly’ activities such as slathering makeup on my face or styling up my hair. While to this day, I still enjoy those activities and don’t think in such gender stereotypes, I am enraged that millions of little girls around the world are being told the same things I was told at such a fragile age.
I want to attend a fine arts college once I graduate high school, and go to fulfil my childhood dream of designing video games. But I want to put an Olivia-like spin on the things I create. I want to push and twirl the video game industry to have more women not only creating games, and also playing them and being a part of them.
Most of my friends that play video games are boys, and they have their point of view of a game, and never really understand mine.
Like, “why can’t you play as women in Call of Duty?” I would brutally question them. “There are tons of women overseas fighting for our country and that’s essentially what the game is about, is it not?”
Or “why is it that just about every single female character is overly sexulized or made out to be a damsel in distress? Women across the world, on a daily basis, assert themselves and let’s be real, most women put on clothes that don’t reveal every inch of their body.”
But, my guy friends would always just grumble some response under their breath or tell me to suck it up. But I can’t just do that. Even my mom, who I know loves me dearly, gives me odd looks when I drool over a new game I bought or try to tell her a funny thing that happened in a game. I feel that women are no less entitled to enjoy something than men are. I think that if women, such as myself, pursued the dream to have equality in the video game industry, that our dream just might come true. Then little girls around the world could play Mario Kart or Lego Batman games just like any other little boy and not be criticized for doing something they enjoy.