Push to Talk: When Gaming Online as a Woman Basically Guarantees Harassment

League of Legends

When I first held a controller in my hands, I felt such a rush of excitement as I stared at the Nintendo GameCube accessory, its large triggers and buttons gleaming brightly. Mashing those buttons while playing Mario Kart or Mario Party 6 was mind-blowing for five-year-old Shel. Then, something absolutely magical happened: I got a second controller.

I’m pretty sure I invited my elementary friends at least three times a week. We’d sit on my tattered couch in front of a tiny TV screen as Mario and the rest of his friends dashed through race courses, throwing banana peels and shells. My aunt would occasionally join in on the fun. I spent many hours on that couch with friends. My mom would sometimes get out an old video camera and record me playing with friends or by myself. Looking back, I was a terrible driver. It was always the bombs and banana peels that got me.

Now, however, things have changed.

With each new generation of consoles, the relationship between the internet and gaming has grown exponentially. We can now record our gameplay right from our console and upload it to Twitter, YouTube, and other media sites. Online gaming has also grown, going from simple two-player to four-player to large parties of friends and strangers having a good time slaying dragons and hoarding gold. Here’s where the problems arise. “Mainstream” online gaming—or at least what the majority imagines when they hear “online gaming”—consists of a bunch of men with headphones playing World of Warcraft or League of Legends. Now, what happens when you add a woman or two into the picture?

Continue reading “Push to Talk: When Gaming Online as a Woman Basically Guarantees Harassment”

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Representation Matters: Gender Identity & Krem’s Inclusion in ‘Dragon Age’

Dragon Age

As someone who identifies as a genderfluid lesbian, I definitely don’t fit into society’s norms. Due to the way I express my identity, I’ve been called ‘sir’ or ‘mister’ at times, which I consider totally fine, but it isn’t the actual pronoun I prefer. I’ve also been at the forefront of unkind comments and discrimination. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one. While there are states in the U.S that give transgender men and women certain rights, that absolutely does not balance out the very high murder and suicide rates. LGBTQIA+ youth also make up between 20% to 40% of homeless youth in the United States. Nevertheless, the LGBTQIA+ community has come far in the fight for equality, even if there’s still a lot of work to be done.

In Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, there are characters both straight and gay, as it was in the previous Dragon Age installments. However, there is one character who stands out from the crowd: a character who defied the norms of society and chose his own path. His name is Cremisius Aclassi, second-in-command of the Bull’s Chargers mercenary group, voice acted by the amazing Jennifer Hale.

Known as Krem, the character first appears in Haven. He informs the Inquisitor that the Chargers are interested in helping the Inquisition and, if the Inquisitor desires, to meet them at the Storm Coast to see the Chargers in action. After you recruit them, there is some interaction with him later on. He reveals he is transgender to the Inquisitor in a subtle way while relaying his time in the Imperium, his home country.

Continue reading “Representation Matters: Gender Identity & Krem’s Inclusion in ‘Dragon Age’”

Hungover? Stressed? Ready to Flip a Table? Unwind With Our Megapost of Relaxing Games

With little fanfare from my corner, I present to you a curated list of all the video games that help our writers relax. From wildly popular first-person shooters to the soothing exploration of an indie favorite, the avid gamers here at FemHype have personally organized your next self-care remedy. Don’t forget to let us know in the comments what game helps you relax! Let’s build this list for all the over-caffeinated, over-worked souls out there looking to unwind.

Monument Valley

Annabelle ()

If I’m stressed out and I want to relax, I usually go to puzzle games as a genre in general—something that’s simple to understand but lets you immerse yourself in the problem in order to solve it. It may sound counterintuitive that I would want to solve more problems while trying to relax, but usually the games are simple, beautiful, and have amazing atmospheric music. Some of my recent favorites that I’ve played through are:

  1. Limbo: I love this game on Steam; I’ve played it multiple times due to its dark atmosphere, ambient music, and creepy puzzle story.
  2. The Room and The Room 2: There’s something very satisfying about the puzzles in this steampunk-style game.
  3. Monument Valley: This has a beautiful, simple design and the music is gorgeous. Moving items in the game not only helps solve puzzles, but adds to the music as well. I’m about to play the sequel Forgotten Shores.

I certainly love looting in Borderlands and shooting bad guys, but if I want to relax with my feet up on the couch on a Sunday, my go-to is a new, beautiful, slow game where I can be amazed and have fun at the same time.

Continue reading “Hungover? Stressed? Ready to Flip a Table? Unwind With Our Megapost of Relaxing Games”

Party Camp: Share Your Customizable Character!

It’s no secret that the majority of us here at FemHype are rather enthusiastic RPG fans, myself included. But for all we’ve written on open world games, we haven’t shared the customizable characters who shaped our experiences and defined our interest. So I posed the suggestion to our team: share a screenshot of your playable character and the story you helped create for them! That goes for our community, too. Who was the protagonist that brought your love of RPGs to life?

Beware: Image-heavy post with kickass ladies and light in-game spoilers herein.

Charlotte, Skyrim

Charlotte ()

Sanju Malarky III: is she descended from the legendary Oblivion Crisis hero of the same name? Who knows. You can never trust anything a thief says anyway. Sanju spent her first few weeks in Skyrim flirting with everyone she came across, but soon found she got a lot more entertainment from stealing pewter tankards and pawning them off by the dozen to baffled shopkeepers. She eventually joined the Thieves’ Guild out of boredom and swiftly did away with the reigning guild master, partly because he annoyed her and partly because she wanted her own Nightingale uniform.

Having seen firsthand just how ineffective law enforcement is in Skyrim these days, especially with the brewing civil war, Sanju now travels the land with her bad-cop partner Lydia and their rookie sidekick J’zargo, collecting bounties and taking names. Rumor has it she was last sighted in the mountains near Winterhold, trying unsuccessfully to balance three people and a horse on top of an airborne dragon. Trust me: you were never an adventurer like her. Even before she put that arrow in your knee.

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Are You a “Real Gamer?” How to Deal With Accusations

Sims 4

As a female gamer, I’ve had many men call me out sometimes by playing what they call “fake games.” According to some, mobile games such as Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, and Crossy Road do not fall under the “real games” category, which makes me a “fake gamer.” The strange thing is that a group of video game developers got together to create those games. Those titles and others were created using the same means Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty were. Some titles, such as Mass Effect, happen to have mobile games. So what makes mobile games fake? What makes them the lesser?

Short answer: nothing.

Unfortunately, this all stems from hatred toward women in gaming. As the gaming community grows, women are beginning to fill up forums and chat rooms. To be honest, I don’t know if men are afraid we will steal their jobs or if they’re simply acting very macho-y. I’ve seen various men play games such as Crossy Road and Candy Crush and not once have I heard another man yell at them, “You’re not a real gamer because that game isn’t a real game!” If that were the case, this article wouldn’t be necessary. What I do know is that this discrimination needs to come to an end.

If you’ve been accused of not being a “real gamer” or simply happen to find yourself being accused of such a thing one day, here are a few tips and tricks on how to handle these false assumptions.

Continue reading “Are You a “Real Gamer?” How to Deal With Accusations”

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