This Article About 'Why Girls Suck At Gaming' Is Either Clumsy Satire Or Sexism

There has been a lot of discussion of sexism and gaming lately here at Kotaku and elsewhere. And now, the website Airborne Gamer has entered the fray with… just about the most ill-conceived and ridiculous article yet. Or is it all a joke?

The article titled "This is Why Girls Suck at Gaming" lists a bunch of grossly oversimplified, ridiculous reasons reasons why, well, why girls suck at gaming. From the article:

  • Low Interest and Superiority Complex - "There's an air of superiority when it comes to their attitude towards gaming, like playing games is beneath them. Let's just, for the moment, ignore the fact that girls play games with our emotions, with our wallets, and above all… our sanity."
  • They are Social Creatures - "She can't handle not talking… not being social. Solitude drives them insane and there's really not a lot of sanity to play around with in the first place."
  • Attention Deficit - "If they have to wait for something, they start talking. Talking about random irrelevant shit, anything to fill the blissful silence with content… and they don't stop."
  • Violence and Competition is Kryptonite - "Girls are biologically wired to avoid violence and competition. They can't handle it physically, emotionally, or digitally."
  • Reasonable Game Designers Ignore Girls - "The 5% of the games designed for women are non-violent browser-based games with pink ponies eating happy grass in your digital farm shitting digital fertiliser to grow more digital crops."
  • Complaining About Difficulty - "Girls are incapable of being in the moment and just enjoying a game without complaining about every god damned aspect of it that is challenging."

It's so trollishly tone-deaf that it may have been intended as humour — note the top-tag of "funny" — which would allow the author to step back from the pitchforks, palms outstretched, claiming it was a joke. Joke or not, the comments beneath the article and elsewhere indicate that despite the tag, the majority of readers do not find it particularly funny.

It's a minefield out there, people! There's a lot of interesting discussion and debate going on about sexism and video games at the moment. Any discussion has room for satire, but good satire should be a bit clearer than this.

And if the article isn't satire, well… yeesh.

This is Why Girls Suck at Gaming [Airborne Gamer]


    I'm really hoping that article was trollbait to the writer can come back in a few days with another article, countering the original and pointing out why everyone who agreed with it is a goddamn idiot.

    But even then, it was a stupid thing to post, especially right now with sexual discrimination in gaming being such a hot issue.

    I'd say it's both. I use satire pretty loosely, but I'd say even in a satirical form it's still sexist.

    Yeah - I think it could be both. The arguments could certainly be applied to about 95% of women I know (and about 50% of men), but I wouldn't consider any of the girls gamers, so it doesn't really provide a logical argument that girls who dow play games suck at them.

    It's funny and true for the majority of women out there. But feminists have no sense of humour and will be easily offended.

      majority of women?

      I really hope it isn't serious

        for quite a large chunk yes

          hahaha.....oh sorry I forgot..women arnt actually induviduals...most of us are at least 20% zombie...why do you think purfume sells so well to us?

            didn't you know when u die u come back to life as a zombie, u don't have to be bitten either

    My fiancee is an amazing healer in Swtor. She is constantly being asked to lend her services for operations.

    It's obviously satire. Every part is complete blanket statement with massive hyperbole based on well-known stereotypes.

      We'll leave the political commentary and hyperbowl to you, Snacuum... :P

    Lets give them ALL THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT and take it completely as a joke, it still fails to be even marginally funny. If it's satire it doesn't even put any effort in, it's just "here's some ridiculous stereotypes repeated verbatim, you should laugh at them because I assume this is what passes as satire"

    oh and I really really hate it when (as I read in the comments) people justify saying stupid things with "PC!" as in they are some revolutionary rebel going against "the man"

    lol @ "There’s an air of superiority when it comes to their attitude towards gaming, like playing games is beneath them. Let’s just, for the moment, ignore the fact that girls play games with our emotions, with our wallets, and above all… our sanity."

    While its definitely stereotypical, there is some sweeping generalized statements in this article that are based on a majority of women's attitudes toward mainstream video games.

    I dont doubt anyone reading this already knows the majority of women in their life do not play male targeted video games. And if they do know any females that are a "gamer" they for most of us are only 1-3 people out of everyone we know.

    My girlfriends idea of gaming is sims, farmville and online poker,Majhong etc.
    My sister also play's some kiddy games on the wii
    My mum plays tetris, solitare and similar puzzlers

    My Cousin is the odd one out, who plays minecraft, COD and alot of other male targeted games.
    But then she grew up as a middle child with 2 gamer brothers. (Only one in my family, Only game girl I know out of about 100+ people that im aware of regarding their gaming habits.)

    It does raise an interesting point as to why alot of females have no interest in playing male targeted video games.

      True it does raise some points, but on the question of 'Is it real or satire?' I think it's real. Deliberate satire is generally very self aware - it has to be, it's parodying something in order to highlight it's flaws. If there isn't a sufficient level of self awareness, it just falls into the same traps as the thing it's trying to parody. The fact that at no point in the article is there a hint or change of tone to indicate any light hearded jibes at the article itself shows to me that this is actually serious. Which is troubling. Do people really still think in these blanket statements!?

      All the girls I hang out with are the opposite.
      They've all hit level 60 in Diablo before I have.

    The author of that article sounds like he's just been dumped and is using the internet as a soapbox.

    As cynical as it sounds, I can see a third possible reason for this article possibly existing - link bait to cash in on a currently trending topic.

    How serious a gaming website is "Airborne Gamer" anyway? Terrible design, terrible writing, covered in extremely dodgy advertising.

    By posting an obviously outrageous article on gaming's hot topic of the moment I'm sure their traffic is through the roof. Had anyone even heard of them before now?

    I'm getting incredibly sick of this non-issue...

    Come on gamers, don't be so uptight. I'd say it's more than likely a joke, if it's not just ignore it.

    Didnt read: But girls do suck at gaming.

    sounds just like almost every girl i have ever met

      My girlfriend is halfway through Dead Space and nailing it. She's only just gotten into games, but when ones worth playing, she's as devoted as I am.

    Satire is best when it is deft, witty and contextual. This article on airhead gamer (or whatever they're called) is only one of three. I think the correct term is 'douchebaggery'.
    BTW - the argument most often applied in defence - its just a joke - doesn't stack up. Its not a joke if it isn't funny. Conversely, if you find it funny then you are a sexist douchebag.

      no because you can see somne truth in it

        what truth? yes majority of females don;t like games...much like other nerdy interests...why? honestly I don't know..just one of those things

        but then you get crap like this which kind of says "youre not welcome" very off putting

        Oh really? How about if the article was like this instead:

        Why Men are Crap Parents.

        1) They're genetically wired to destroy everything. Just look at all the great evils in history - war, rape, genocide - and try and find a woman who led them.

        2) Incapable of feeling emotion. How do you expect a child to have a solid understanding of their emotions if their parent is a Neanderthal who can only verbalise their internal experience in monosylables and acts of violence.

        3) Being supportive is death. Men are competitive creatures, and are incapabale of stopping that urge even in the face of their own offspring.

        4) One track minded. It's a proven fact that men cannot multitask and function on only the most basic intellectual level. They're incapable of putting someone elses needs first, or controlling their own primative instincts to kill and destroy.

        Doesn't sound so true to me.

    Only real question on funny or no issue is basically:
    Is it passive aggressive masodonsistic

      I'll try again, as my phone submitted this the last time I tried to post half way through.
      Basically the funny question for me relates to is if the article is a passive aggressive misogynistic behaviour or straight up misogynistic behaviour.
      Telling a racist or homophobic joke is no less racist or homophobic just because it is a joke; same is true of sexism.

      Personally I'm sick of misogynistic trolls painting games and gamers with their hate and insisting that they are 'normal'.
      Normal people dont hate others based on their gender.

    10% truth mixed with 90% troll and advertising bait.

    It's more a statement about why girls ignore games rather than what their skills may be.
    In my experience girls are as skilled as guys, better than some players, worse than others, more invested than some, more casual than others.

    I thought it was hilarious, like any good racist or similarly stereotypical joke.

    It's funny because it's an exaggerated version of truth.

    That article is so absurdly stupid that it can't be anything BUT satire.

    "Girls are biologically wired to X" itself shows a total misunderstanding of biology. Evolutionary processes tend to produce overlapping spectra rather than clean-cut categories (categories are human abstraction).

    There MIGHT be SOME evidence for "across a large population, women are statistically less likely on average to display the same level of competitiveness as men." But this only makes a very broad statement about a statistical aggregate. It tells you nothing at all about any SPECIFIC man or woman.

    I take is as a joke.

    If I sent an SMS to my mrs saying "f*** you!", she would probably be a little offended as it is just plain text. If i said in a sarcastic way with a smile on my face, she would say it back and we'd laugh. That's the problem I think. Get some to read this article to a woman and have them do it sarcastically and I'm sure the woman would laugh it off. Text does not show the context of delivery.

    Like a lot of satire articles it's got a bit of truth mixed with a lot of hyperbole.

    Most women don't like intense competition and they don't like challenging twitch-style gameplay. My wife plays games that are heavily geared towards women - games that utilize organization/categorization skills and tactics rather than reflexes and competitive prowess. She would much prefer to play Civ5, Fable3, Tiny Towers, Diner Dash, or Sims2 than Tribes, Battlefield, or L4D. She's quite capable of playing fast-paced games and is quite good at them, but finds the intense competition far too stressful and has to stop playing after around half an hour.

    I've noticed when women try to play games that require skill and reflexes, they complain that they "suck" without realizing that it takes time to become good at these games. They expect to be able to win straight off the bat, they're used to being pandered to rather than challenged. This probably more reflects the way our society indulges and condescends to women rather than any inherent inability to play certain games. All the girls I've known who like to play fast paced games are just as good as any guy.

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