Over this past weekend, someone pointed out to me on Twitter that the internet is supposedly filled with a bunch of “desperate lonely hearts” (to paraphrase his words) who can easily get obsessed with anyone that shares interests with them or shows them the least modicum of attention. Moreover, this person said that this makes it so any girl gamer is automatically a target. Likewise, a girl gamer who writes about games and plays them for YouTube or Twitch will get a vast number more followers (or stalkers?) than any guy who sets out to do the same exact thing.
I admit, there’s probably some truth to what this guy said. I can’t deny that there are probably people who follow my blog or follow me on Twitter because they really like me, despite not knowing me, and to them, it won’t matter at all what kind of content I put out as their aims don’t have anything to do with gaming, really. Yet, does that really characterize the majority of followers, not only simply in my own personal case, but in the case of other females who write about games or play them for others to see (or even with them)?
When Allahweh’s Domain first started out in January of 2011, it had a rather modest following composed primarily of friends who had encouraged me to start the blog in the first place. However, in just over two years, it has grown to have more than 4,000 followers – a feat which is quite impressive. According to this person that I will let remain unnamed, much of this is owed specifically to my gender rather than the content put out by my blog. I, however, doubt this is really true. Certainly, there are likely people who follow me for their own personal reasons like that, but you really cannot avoid creeps on the Internet no matter what your gender is. If someone wants to be creepy or become obsessed, they will do it regardless. I occasionally have to censor comments that might border on inappropriate, and sometimes people put up messages like “Hey, baby – that was a great video, lol” on YouTube, but for the most part, that kind of stuff can be ignored.
Sometimes when I get on TeamSpeak or some other VOIP program, people are kind of surprised to hear a girl playing the game with them (say, in the case of Guild Wars 2), but usually, beyond one or two immature people, it’s just fine. Perhaps, though, the one thing I dislike when someone knows who I am is that they might treat me a bit differently in some cases. In some games, what could have initially been construed as chivalry (legitimately helping me if I needed something, giving me something nice as a gift, etc) breaks down into chauvinism – people assuming that because I’m a girl, I must be lost and need their protection, that I must be unable to figure out this dungeon and need to be led by the hand, etc. And that can get old quickly. And often, it’s not from an older person who might be a lot more conservative or the like, but someone young who thinks, in a weird way, they are impressing you. They aren’t.
But I digress…
I have found that my content usually sparks interesting e-mails, replies, comments, and conversations on Twitter and social media in general. Once I weed out the one or two weird comments now and then, it’s all very good stuff and shows me that people are engaging with my content. They aren’t just following me because they think they have some kind of shot with me (an odd concept in itself considering none of them actually know me at all, lol).
I am curious what some of you readers here think about this – do you think that it makes a huge impact for you to strictly be female and do things like live-streaming, podcasting, Let’s Play videos, etc?
For other news, musings, podcasts, videos, and more, please also check out Jessica’s gaming site Allahweh’s Domain!