This past weekend I ventured to the Major League Gaming championship held at the Dallas Convention Center. The convention was host to some of the biggest international competitors in the gaming industry including team Azubu Blaze and Zerg player, Leenock.
Okay, I should warn you that I’m not the most avid gamer to exist on the planet.
I’ve played my fair share of Super Smash Bros., Pokemon games, and stumbled through RPG’s and FPS’s via friends and demos at various GameStop’s.
Imagine walking into a room that is 98% males. It’s dimly lit, smells kind of strange, and large screens are flashing from every direction. Hello sensory overload.
The first thing I noticed was the lack of females. Of course I was expecting there to be a big difference in terms of attendance with guys and gals but not to the extent that it was.
The majority of the females that attended were there to either host a booth or to support a boyfriend.
The rarest sighting was a female who was actually there to do some heavy competing, Scarlett from Team Acer.
Girls who were dressed up in heels or nicer clothing were being teased for dressing up too much. In fact, my friend I was with was accused of not playing video games just because she was wearing heels (I’m pretty sure she knows video games better than most guys I know).
Apparently if you’re a girl and you’re going to a video gaming competition a t-shirt and jeans is your best wardrobe option if you want to be taken seriously. I’ve heard the term “girl gamer” tossed around the interwebs and in passing at the convention. For some reason it just hits my ear wrong. If you’re a boy and you play games are you called a “boy gamer”? No. If you’re a girl and you play video games, cool. If you’re a boy and you play video games, cool. Let’s knock off the gender title and just refer to the people who play games as gamers. Makes much more sense to me. The term “girl gamer” has negative stereotypes attached to it as a blogger on Destructoid points out. She says that she “hates those females that try to use their sexuality and slutty pictures of themselves to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry rather than letting their knowledge speak for itself.”
I understand that females are a minority in the gaming world and I think the concept of females playing video games and kicking butt at them is still in the stages of being more widely accepted. However, I really don’t think it’s necessary to have a separate title for a female who enjoys playing video games.
Maybe I’m setting a bad example for my gender, but I honestly really tried to get excited about the competitions.
I stood for a while and watched some of a Mortal Kombat Championship which was pretty intense. As a key-masher I’m kind of lost when it comes to the art of mastering the buttons, so watching a competition on a big screen where people actually know what they’re doing is really cool to see. Especially since I could understand who was winning and who was about to be demolished.
There were a lot of other competitions I stood and watch but there’s no way I could even try to remember every game I saw. It was fun seeing some capture the flag game play of Halo 4 before it’s release date, but that’s probably the only game I can 100% accurately remember.
MLG was definitely a fun experience and I’d definitely like to go again if the pro circuit makes its way back to Dallas. The only thing I would change is next time I’ll try to read up on the competitions a bit more so I know why I’m cheering!
Images credit: Julio Nieto (thanks, dude!)