I came across a thread on the WoW official forums a while ago which started as your typical rant about how women playing WoW request special treatment, but the discussion that ensued was kinda relatively civil, with a wide spectrum of points presented by both men and women; about a dozen (I think) different women with positions ranging from “spare me your bullshit” to “any player who lets it be known that she is female is doing it for attention and handouts” (yes, this was actually voiced by a woman. Go figure). I read the first few pages, and the page that was the last at that moment (number 10 or so). And that last page started with someone saying “I’d love to meet a female who plays WoW, but where are they?”, and suddenly there was a full page of echoes: “Yes, there are no females playing this game. I never see any”. I didn’t stay to see whether anyone replied along the lines of “look up the thread, dummies”, since the first pages seemed almost 50/50 male and female players (because of the topic, nearly everyone felt compelled to state their own gender first).
So why the impression that “girls don’t play WoW”? First and foremost, I think it is precisely for the reasons that were displayed in that discussion. Everyone is assumed to be male and is referred to as male unless they specifically request otherwise. Oftentimes women just don’t bother to correct that, and sometimes they have to second-guess “coming out” and may even lie and pretend they are a man (I did at least once that I remember). But mostly just don’t bother. So if you “don’t see any females around”, chances are they are there, and you are looking right at them. They don’t disguise themselves on purpose, they just don’t go out of their way to let you know.
I believe there are also other reasons (*I*, after all, do see quite a number of women when I play), and I may or may not write about these elsewhere.
am somewhat tired of this shit would like to walk in the general direction of women playing video games – any kind of video games – becoming commonplace. One thing I can do about that is simply become more visible, and “blogging about games” seems a reasonable choice compared to “waging war at the forums” and “running around my game yelling “look at me I am female”.