|She's not losing because of her gender; she just can't see the screen.|
Now in the interest of actually writing a full blog entry, I'll explain myself. In the recent post Are Boys Better Gamers Than Girls?, Holly over at Nintendo Lifeline argues that males are naturally more skilled at playing video games. Now while her points are valid, I just can't agree. This isn't just my feminist side valiantly sticking up for all the girls out there, I really believe that natural, physical gender is not really a factor here.
Though males are considered to be more agressive and have better reflexes, doesn't this have more to do with gender norms and stereotypes than anything else? Girls are given baby dolls; boys are given baseball bats. Girls are urged to be more patient and nurturing while boys are allowed to fight and argue. And females are also pushed to preform artistically (in mediums like dance), while guys are pushed to be perform competitively (in mediums like sports). In the end, males don't have a natural advantage here, society gives them one...or at least tries to.
"Tries to" is the important part here because the generalization that boys are better at video games is just like any other gender stereotype that you've heard before. It's not true. Just because males are more inclined to be the agressive competitive type, this doesn't mean that there isn't just as many girls out there that behave the same way. Certain individuals might be so skilled that they can pick up any game and destroy even the most hardened veteran, but to jump and say that this trait goes across the entire gender is a bit unfair. Actually, I think that video games is one the only examples of an activity where the playing field is almost equal on both sides. Gender doesn't really matter when you're pressing buttons.
And I also operate under the assumption that if there are exceptions, there is no rule...So since I'm not very good at puzzle games and my brother refuses to play Super Smash Bros. with me because he doesn't even stand a chance, I'm pretty sure that gender really doesn't matter that much.
But what do you think: Are boys better gamers than girls?