We are not all sluts or attention whores.
Come to think of it, some of us are actually quite capable in whatever role we choose; be it tanking, healing or DPSing, and do not need to act like the damsel in distress whenever something (loot, attention, etc) is desired.
This is an issue that I’ve been thinking about for some time now, as I often feel I’m one of only a handful of women gamers that are relatively sane and OK with their role and abilities.
Most of my gaming experience has been in the form of MMORPGs spanning the past seven years. What I have always loved about MMOs is the social aspect, because most of the time I’m a social creature. I can play and chat, and when I’ve had enough of you I can just walk away. This arrangement suits me beautifully.
However, I have noticed a disturbing trend in the past two to three years. This trend, which I call “Daddy-farming” can be found in a large amount of women who play MMOs. Daddy-farmers are the women you meet in games who are desperate for a man no matter how young or old, socially inept, geeky/nerdy or unavailable. They will pursue these men (usually more than one at a time) to great, stalker-like heights. They will use the fact that they are willing women to snare an unsuspecting, possibly naive “daddy”.
The other half of this equation is the more simple Attention Seeker. The Attention Seeker doesn’t want a man, they just want to be the center of YOUR attention, and unlike Daddy-farmers, it doesn’t matter if the attention is male or female. The Attention Seeker is also one of the major causes of drama that can result in a loss of friends, guild splits, server transfers and random forum flamings.
How does this all tie in to girl gamers, you ask? Both of these groups are primarily women. Women who like taking advantage in a male dominated world, and sex sells. Wishing no offense to men…you all ARE men, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a woman who actually likes you and one that wants to use you. Why question a woman’s attention in a sea of men?
This phenomenon seems to be relatively recent. When I first started gaming, I was always the only female around and most people thought I was a guy, because how is it possible for a woman to be here…let alone one that WANTS to kill everything and can keep up with most of us? Impossible! All of this changed about two and a half years after World of Warcraft went live. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but yes, I blame World of Warcraft for these two groups. Why would I do such a thing?
Once The Burning Crusade (BC) came out, Blizzard started bending to a vast majority of complaints that were piling up. Before the big changes, there were aspects of the game that were challenging and fun, and if you could make it past these obstacles due to hours of grinding and reworking strategies, you were one of the elite and had earned your bragging rights.
Fights, strategies and leveling were all dumbed down to make the game more accessible to more of the general public (can we say “greedy?”). Once the game was as challenging as beating a dead horse, you got an influx of women who were either dragged in by their boyfriends or husbands (I assume they thought the game would be easy enough now). They in turn dragged in their women friends, and then you got the women who were only mildly interested in gaming, but liked the social aspect and “potential”.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some actual examples:
Case #1: Sarah, the Daddy-farmer.
Sarah came into the guild after we did a recruitment drive for DPS players. She seemed nice enough and was able to make our raid times, even if her DPS was a bit on the low side. Three weeks after her joining us, I get a message from one of my guildy guy friends asking what the deal was with her. I had no idea what he was talking about, so I asked him to explain. Apparently she had put him on ignore after he rejected a slew of suggestive messages from her. I said that I would try to find out what was going on, but Sarah was now hardly ever on at the same time as me, so it was hard to have a word with her.
I mentioned this to some other friends in the guild, and ALL of them had received similar messages from her and had rejected her advances. She had either put them on ignore or had just stopped saying anything at all to them. In the end, she hooked up with one of our best players. Once they were firmly together, they would would chat (type) in our raid channel during raids, and it was inappropriate to the point of making raid members extremely uncomfortable.
Sarah eventually got tired of sharing her man with the guild, forced him to leave us and join a non raiding guild. When I talked to him a few months later, he was unhappy about not being able to really play anymore. Sarah didn’t like him associating with us anymore, and promptly coaxed him to cancel his account altogether.
Case #2: Katie, the Attention Seeking Lesbian.
Katie was never a part of our guild, but she was a good friend of a guildmate. She was introduced to me because “you like girls!” After talking to her over the span of a week, I decided that I hated her. She was a bigger douche than most guys I know. She would constantly send me messages when I was obviously busy…as in I was leading a raid and needed to concentrate. And they weren’t any old messages, either. They were extremely explicit and very detailed. I admit, what she said was a huge turn on, but it couldn’t have been at a worse time. And of course, once I stopped being busy, she didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
Attention lavished on her always had to be on her terms, and she would not take no for an answer. She’d get very angry with me if I told her “no” or if I didn’t respond to her fast enough. The amount of drama she caused made my head hurt.
So there you have it. I truly believe that this phenomenon is giving women like me (I play hard and you’d better keep up)a bad name, and I feel that this is part of why there is a general lack of respect for women gamers. When 90% of the women you come across in MMOs have burned you, it’s easy to assume that we’re ALL like that.
I promise you, there are a few of us legitimately kickass ones out there. 🙂