August 14, 2010

Rants Of A Gamer Girl: Women Are Not “Species” or “Creatures”

Filed under: Gaming,Gender,Media — Tags: , — Rachel @ 3:40 pm

Last year a training video from Gamestop was leaked online.  It treated female customers as a rare “species” and taught new employees how to handle these bizarro customers in the form of a safari-like-adventure training video, on how to handle these “creatures.”  Of course what’s hilarious is that as the first type of female customer is explained, we’re told they don’t like to be “condescended to or ignored.”  Personally, I find it a little condescending that a.) this video was made in the first place, and b.) GameStop trains their employees by referring to female customers as “creatures” and “species.”  I suppose no one at the top thought to take into account the fact that *gasp* women might actually work there?  Apply for jobs there?  Might know to speak to a female customer the same way they would speak to a male?

Obviously not – training tip number one?  How to handle a woman who enters the store and looks like “a deer in headlights.”  An employee approached her, and she hears his introduction as the noise of adults on old Charlie Brown cartoons.  She doesn’t understand his gamer “lingo” and of course she does the logical thing and turns and runs. Because that makes total sense.  I don’t know shit about make-up, but if I stroll into a Sephora and an employee introduces the store, and herself, I don’t fly into a panic and start moving for the door.  Apparently he flew into some gamer-jargon tirade, which we’ll never know the content of, obviously it was too complex for her to just ask “I’m sorry, I’m just looking for this game.”  Luckily, they replay the scenario where the give the “subject the comfort to admit her lack of knowledge.”  They turn a “hunter” (someone who wants to buy only one thing) into a “gatherer” by offering her a subscription to Cosmo – because WHAT LADY CAN TURN THAT DOWN AMIRITE?

When women are surrounded by attitudes in gaming that they’re stupid and completely out of place, it makes it little wonder that they’re not really interested in joining the community.  And it’s especially unsurprising that once we do, we’re continually annoyed by the messages we’re surrounded by.


  1. I am confused by how a young man suggesting an exercise/fitness deal to an older portly woman is supposed to inspire her to buy things. Frankly, I would have been insulted. It isn’t that I don’t like those types of games. What bothers me is the assumption that I am a larger female and therefore I must have body image issues that you think I should fix with a fitness game. Ugh.

    Comment by Angela — August 15, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

  2. I hate the guys at those stores!And this vid explains why!They all seem to think I’m some weird genetic anomaly,who should be told what to buy.Girls are the largest growing segment of gamers and women are a huge percentage of the video game journalists.Clearly the ideas in this vid contradict the facts of the situation.I’m glad you put this out in the universe 🙂

    Comment by Cleo — August 16, 2010 @ 12:43 am

  3. I have a Notepad doc on my laptop listing the addresses of Gamestops where employees are least likely to treat me like some ignorant child who only likes videogames involving rainbows and horses. It gets that bad. I’ve had employees tell me that I’m obviously looking for the Nintendo DS games, ask what my boyfriend told me to pick up, warn me that the game I was purchasing was ‘scary’, ‘gross’, or even ‘pretty hard’. And the latter weren’t just, “Oh, that’s a scary game!” It was more like, “Are you SURE you want to get this? It’s pretty hard.” No, asshole, I actually want something completely lacking in challenge and complexity because my LadyBrain can’t handle the concept of shooting things that are advanced enough to duck behind walls.

    Comment by Flutterby — August 16, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  4. Aaargh, I am so with you on this!! I love our local GameStop because a gal manages it and she keeps those guys in line! She always welcomes me when I come in, even when I have my husband with me, and once she came down like a ton of bricks on a male coworker because we came in looking for a game for me (TOLD him I was looking for a game!) and he proceeded to talk exclusively to my husband about the game in question, and said how “cute” he thought it was that “your wife likes to watch you game”!!! Now, I DO like to watch him game, but I also like to kick butt myself! Marion was AMAZING, though – she told him to go stock things since he clearly wasn’t listing very well. Three weeks later when I visited again, he was no longer employed *wink*

    Comment by Alena — January 8, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  5. LOL! That video was funny *looks around and listens to crickets* No? No one else? I highly doubt this video is meant to be taken seriously for crying out loud xD. If it is, then I have no idea what to say regarding the matter because i won’t be defending it lol.

    That has never been a problem in my area. I see female gamers go into the stores all the time here and get treated like everyone else (unless they are older and have a kid with them).

    Comment by Jordan Dunnuck (bro) — June 22, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

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