Girls Play The Sims and Boys Play WoW

Posted 9 years, 4 months ago at 09:49. 1 comment

During coffee break at work the other day I was once again reminded of the hierarchies of gaming, and how you can loose status depending on the games you play. I am always happy to participate in a discussion about computer games but early enough someone makes a comment about The Sims and classifies it as a girls-game. The room is full of male programmers around their 30s and they all comment and nod, agreeing that that is the case and somehow that it makes the game less of a game. Firstly, I do not see how it would be negative for a game to be a girls-game, but somehow it fell way down to the bottom of the hierarchy established by the group, just by that comment. I go through my mind all the things that once have been classified as girly, and yes, it seems that when done so these things are seen as either lame, undesirable or something that people don’t want to be related to. Secondly, there are boys that play The Sims, anyone that has ever visited any The Sims forum or site would know that. But hey, people say all kinds of things without having a clue!

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Sitting there, holding my cup of tea, I get a feeling of déjà-vu, this is certainly not the first time I am surrounded by male computer geeks who act condescending about typically female things. You would think the universities were blind and deaf when they wonder why there are so few females that apply for the developer programs. When I went to university I bought myself an Asus G1S and brought it to class all proud and happy, I was soon surrounded by classmates, but when I had turned it on and they saw that I had chosen a pink background, the sentence was set: “You can’t have a computer like that and put a pink background on it!” “You are killing it!”

When meeting male gamers, it is quite delicate to break the ice when revealing what games you play. I found I was easily accepted into the geek family by male gamers when I said that my favorite genre was historical strategy games, apparently heavy geek material. Voicing that I played WoW  also generated a sense of understanding and acceptance among the males, but if I said that I played The Sims a chill breeze would sweep the room and they would freeze sometimes staring back at me. Some would snap out of whatever thoughts were crossing their minds, in a way realizing they could not be voiced, and explain very diplomatically that they wouldn’t know if it is a good game or not since they had never played, but sure, why not….

Back at the office, of course, being the only human of female gender in the room, the eyes of the group turn to me, some are smirking, some stare attentively and in suspense. I realize that they expect a reaction from me, some kind of defense for something so offensive? Actually, I don’t find it offensive, the same way that I don’t get mad when someone says that I run like a girl, or that I scream like a girl or that crying is girly. Because, and here is the secret, I am a girl (well a woman by now), and I am happy about it. I usually try not to drag myself into these type of conversations, but well I ask: “Do you mean that guys do not play The Sims?” The same, smart guy, that previously shared his opinion about The Sims answers that guys do not play The Sims, he explains, girls play The Sims and guys play WoW. Well, in that case, I rest my case.

One Reply

  1. Fredrik C Jul 17th 2009

    To me Sims reminds me of a dollhouse which you can decorate and where your dolls live. You take care of them and try to make them happy, a classical girly game which follows the societies norms what girls should do and boys shouldn’t. WoW on the other hand is more of an tale about heroes where you rescue the world!

    To divide games into boys and girls game should be as natural as say that girls becomes nurses and boys becomes firemen, because there are no male nurses or no female firemen, right!?

    You write very good, it’s entertaining to read your thoughts, please continue doing that!


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