Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Self Esteem in Gamers

I am a "Gamer Chick" and what this means is that I like to play RPGs (Role Playing Games) which I like doing on the computer, as table top games, and as LARP (Live Action Role Playing). One of the things I have noticed from this is that the people who play or associate themselves with these games, especially those who are younger, seem to have a lack of respect or at least self-esteem for themselves. Now, this is not ALL the people who seem to play, as I know a few people who are very good at what they do and are happy individuals, I am more speaking of the ones that while leaving fairly normal lives have the problems with image or social awkwardness. Gamers have been known to be socially awkward no matter what game they play. This is most likely caused by the stereotype that is/was associated with these individuals as they grew up. They were not in the popular group and were normally among the loners. The popular students would sneer and make fun of them as they passed a game or saw an individual near their locker.

Being female and a gamer was even more awkward as most of the people who were gamers were guys who were so awkward around girls in the first place that they would then shun those who wished to join their little space. Female gamers would push and learn on their own. Normally there was only a single gamer per group as she had made herself "one of the guys" and had overcome the guys awkwardness. However, these females, as they grew up, would have the same body issues of any other girl in school, but because they were a part of the gamer group would most likely not date until she was out of high school. Not because guys thought she out of bounds, but because the popular guys would not see her a part of their group and the gamer guys would see her as "one of the guys" with boobs and be unable to approach her in that fashion. As the gamer chick left high school and entered the workforce or college (more than likely college as most gamers are relatively smart) they would be introduced to different people and more people who grew up as they had. They would be able to join together with larger gamer groups which would then have more than the single female gamer.

Being only at this point myself I cannot say exactly what the next step for the gamer chick growth is, but I do know that I met another gamer chick last night who while gorgeous in all the socially acceptable ways (skinny, beautiful features, nice teeth, etc) she was very self conscious of her midsection and actually said to a guy that she did not think herself pretty and even made sure to cover her stomach when complimented (she had a shirt that showing her midriff which is what begun the conversation). This made me realize that while she was in her mid-twenties, she still had the unfortunate feeling of a high school student growing into her skin and accepting who she was. While some gamer girls know that they have looks and will flaunt said looks during game, put them into normal everyday positions in which they could do the same flaunting and they will cower away from the experience.

These are observations I have personally made with groups of friends that I have. This is not meant to be a scientific study in any way due to the small sampling size. However, if you do find these words to be of use to you, I am pleased.


Written for Orble.com on May 24th, 2010

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