Stereotypes and People Who Strive for Inclusivity

Hello, you’ve probably read the title, so let me cut to the chase. I will be talking about stereotypes and how they affect the gaming community.

These stereotypes range from anything between people of the female gender being “bad” at video games, to COD (Call of Duty) players slinging racial taunts into your ears every millisecond. I will also be talking about the impact to the gaming community because of the people who wanted inclusivity.

Dispelling the notion that gaming is solely a pastime for the young.

Age and generational stereotypes persist even though gaming is a diverse and inclusive pastime.

Video games offer a vast spectrum for creativity to be expressed and most developers want only the best for their games, so having more people to give feedback is a positive.

The notion that gaming is only meant for the younger generations (Gen Alpha and Gen Z) is quite the contrary. Games should be played by all ages, but sometimes some games aren’t recommended for some ages. Gaming is purely a hobby, or a job if you play competitively, and shouldn’t be gatekept by how old you are. A thing to keep in mind is that the older generations games have evolved into the games you play today.

Gender impact and the gamer girl stereotype.

For those of you unaware of the term “gamer girl”, the gamer girl is someone who has advocated for inclusivity, or they just do it for a hobby. The history of where the gamer girl archetype started gaining relevance started in the late 1990s to early 2000s, at this point game studios tried to make a more inclusive experience, but most of the characters they made had mixed results — some of the characters they made where quite underdeveloped. In mid 2000s to early 2010s, the appeal for gaming benefitted from the release of games like Tomb Raider and Mass Effect that featured more developed female protagonists in genres that were originally dominated by male protagonists, further growing the community of female gamers and the archetype of the gamer girl.

In late 2010s and beyond, gaming studios made a few more games with female protagonists that received positive reviews, such as the more recent Tomb raiders, Horizon Zero Dawn + its DLC, Walking Dead, Bayonetta 2, Battlefront 2’s campaign, and more. Because of the gamer girl idea, many games now feature a more gender diverse experience because of female gamers wanting a more inclusive gaming scene.

Addressing the socially isolated gamer.

There are two types of socially isolated gamers, one being the person who has made online friends and plays multiplayer games with them. The other being the person who hasn’t stepped into that zone of socialisation, from what I’ve noticed, this type of gamer usually spends most of their time gaming in single player games or competitive games like Valorant. Most of the time they are really good at the games they play.

How stereotypes can affect gaming communities and player counts.

Stereotypes can affect communities, for example, the stereotype of League of Legends players having unhygienic habits and spending every waking hour playing as a little cartoon character. Most of these stereotypes start out as slanderous jokes, but they quickly evolve into stereotypes. Because of the stereotypes that fly around, more and more gamers see them, leading most gamers to not want to play because they don’t want to become like that.

A call to action to oppose the stereotypes.

It isn’t fair to make assumptions on games that you’ve never played just because someone else said it’s bad to be a part of something. It’s good to try new things despite what other people’s opinions are, you might not like the game you tried, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you have to influence other people’s decisions.

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