I’m more than aware that sites like Kotaku have published a ton of click bait, rage bait and pure nonsense posts in the past. Even so, I think they might have out done themselves this time. So, what have they done this time then? Well…A couple of days ago, Kotaku published an article titled “Women Play Video Games” (written by Kirk Hamilton), and that post has to be the most cringe worthy and white knighted post that I have ever read on a so-called Gaming site (as seen in the pictures down below).

Right off the bat, this is how the actual post starts off:

“Hello! I’ve come here today to explain something that apparently still needs explaining: Women play video games.”

Say what?! Are you for real Kotaku? Really? You don’t say? And Hamilton continues by saying:

“I know, it’s a radical concept. (As plenty of you are doubtless aware, it is not a radical concept.) Yet here in the year 2017, it’s apparently still really easy to assume that despite the fact that A) video games are awesome and B) video games have been a huge part of mainstream popular culture for decades, women do not play video games. But they do.”

“I know that many of you reading this are on the same page. If so, cool. Keep doing what you’re doing. But you may be surprised how many people still think that women, as a general rule, do not play video games. Ask any woman you know—who, again, probably plays video games—and she will likely have a story about someone assuming that she, a woman, does not play video games. Despite the fact that she does.”

best mom eva vs kotaku on female gamers part 1

Best Mom Eva is like the real-life version of Sherlock Holmes (you have to check out the other pictures to get that comparison).

That would be correct, as females have been playing games since the dawn of Gaming (not to mention those who have created their own video games, people such as Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Carol Shaw and Danielle Bunten Berry). In the matter of fact, I actually meet my first girlfriend thanks to the NES console (she asked me if I wanted to play Super Mario Bros 3. I said yes, then we became a boyfriend and girlfriend couple shortly after that). Anyways, I hardly doubt that most gamers (in particular male gamers, as that seem to be the group that Hamilton targets with his post) automatically thinksshe’s not a gamer. She doesn’t play games when ever they see a female.

best mom eva vs kotaku on female gamers part 2

I hardly doubt that it’s a pure coincidence that Kirk Hamilton (writer for Kotaku, and the writer of this particular post) decided to write the kind of post he did so closely to Meg Farokhmanesh’s (ex-Polygon writer, currently with The Verge) tweets about her E3 2017 experience as a female gamer and journalist. As Hamilton’s post appears to be heavily inspired by Farokhmanesh tweets. In other words, he turned one little incident into one big white knighting post.

Because the truth to the matter is that most people (male as female) play some sort of game nowadays (that goes for most parts of the world). So that part I can agree with Hamilton on. However, as I continue to read through the post I soon started to realize that the post most likely came to be due to what happened to Megan Farokhmanesh at E3 2017:

“Basically every woman I know who works in games or plays a lot of games regularly has people assume she doesn’t. A quick survey today of several of the women I work alongside at Kotaku confirmed that, yes, this is a frequent occurrence. In fact, for women at game conferences like E3, it often gets a lot worse than having someone assume you don’t play games. The basic truth of the matter still bears repeating, however, so I’m going to repeat it now: Women play video games.”

So in my opinion, Hamilton just turned a feather into a full-blown Godzilla-sized chicken. Furthermore, the rest of Hamilton ‘s text just made the matter even worse (cringe/white knight warning!)

“The assumption I’m talking about is rarely made with the intention of hurting someone’s feelings. Like most assumptions, it doesn’t require much thought at all. But if you have ever assumed that maybe women don’t play video games, take this opportunity to remind yourself that in fact, they do.

If you are a man (or if you’re not!) out at a social gathering, talking with some friends about video games, and a woman comes up and joins the conversation, do yourself a favor: assume she plays video games. Don’t ask, “do you play video games?” Instead, ask, “what kind of games do you play?”

If she says, “Oh, I don’t really play games,” no big deal. Change the subject to TV, or music, or the weather. (Some people may argue that the weather is not an interesting subject of conversation; I say there’s a reason it’s a conversational default.) But if she does play video games, chances are she will have repeatedly dealt with people who assume that she doesn’t. Which is dumb, because women play video games. They just do.”

best mom eva vs kotaku on female gamers part 4

“Internet culture reporter at The @Verge”, “formerly @Polygon” – Now you might understand what Best Mom Eva meant with her
“At first I was like, ? But then I connected the dots, and ha a big laffo” tweet.

You know, I hardly doubt that the game dev at E3 2017 said that to Farokhmanesh because she’s a woman. No, because I believe that it’s because she used to work for Polygon. In other words, it’s very likely that the outcome would have been the same if she had been a male (if that had been the case, then I bet that it would have been even more sarcastically meant). I would also like to make it perfectly clear that I got nothing personal against Farokhmanesh, because she hasn’t done anything against me/us.

So if it’s true what she said about that game developer at E3, then I’m sorry to hear it. However, I think that the matter got blown out of proportion big time. I would also like to add that I have never heard or seen anything quite like that before myself, and I have worked in the games industry since 2005 (I know a lot of females that work in retail and whatnot, none of them have experienced anything of that kind).

It’s also a matter of how you handle the situation as well. I actually experienced an almost reversed situation in a store that sold a lot of Warhammer stuff once. Long story short, the shop manager was a female, and she pretty much assumed that I knew very little about Warhammer because I kept looking through their item magazine (I was a teen at this time).

So she made a joke that went something in the likes of “you do know that there aren’t any pictures of pretty ladies in that magazine right?”, and she did so all while smiling back at me (yes, I did blush a whole lot). I had no problems with that though, because the truth of the matter was that I was to shy to ask for help, because she was a very attractive woman (my guess would be that she was in her early 20s). What I’m trying to say is that “maybe” the game dev at E3 2017 just joked with Farokhmanesh? Anyways, I think you get the idea.

female gamers 2017

“it was calculated that women accounted for nearly 42 percent of all gamers in the United States”statista.com

As for Kotaku and their “Women play video games” post. Well, let’s just say that every time I spot something that Kotaku (or similar sites) has written, then I almost automatically think about that one scene from South Park where Mr. Garrison screams out “retard alert! Retard alert!” (that’s very close to the truth, isn’t it?). Other than that, Kotaku’s post isn’t exactly doing female gamers any favours. In the matter of fact, the post makes them look stupid, weak and very victim-like (in reality, that’s not how it is, at least not in most cases). So I would really like to hear what all you female gamers out there think about Kotaku’s post.

So let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

The South Park picture of Mr. Garrison was done by LaylaCartman

Women Play Video Games (via Kotaku)
Kotaku via Twitter
Best mom Eva
Megan Farokhmanesh

10 powerful women in video games
10 Female Programmers who Revolutionized Video Games
Essential facts 2016
Female gamers by genre
Women men video games
Top 100 female esport players based on earnings

This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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42 Comments ON " Women play video games – A response to Kotak... "
  • Andrew

    I mostly agree with your points, though you could be little more civil about it.

    I have no problem with the dev who asked the female Polygon writer if she plays video games. Case in point, I’m doing a story for a golf magazine right now. One of the people I talked to asked if I played golf. I told him just putt-putt and I watch it. It was a legitimate question, and I was by no means offended. I know how to write, and I know sports, so that’s more than good enough to write about the topic.

    • “I mostly agree with your points, though you could be little more civil about it.”

      – I thought that I was pretty civil?

      “I have no problem with the dev who asked the female Polygon writer if she plays video games. Case in point, I’m doing a story for a golf magazine right now. One of the people I talked to asked if I played golf. I told him just putt-putt and I watch it. It was a legitimate question, and I was by no means offended. I know how to write, and I know sports, so that’s more than good enough to write about the topic.”

      – That’s what I mean, and since she used to work for Polygon (a site who’s well-known for not actually playing games) that was most definitely a legit question by the game dev.

    • >though you could be little more civil about it.
      Why should we be civil to retards?

      • The fun thing is that one side says that I’m “too” nice, and the other wants me to be rougher. So it’s pretty much impossible for me to make everyone happy. Nevertheless, I try to stay as civil as possible in everything I write (all while I’m trying to prove my points to as many people as possible).

    • KSE1977

      An interesting perspective that I had not considered. I imagine that both Kotaku and Polygon contain writers that don’t actually spend any real time gaming. Shoot Anita essentially admitted in a speech that she was not a gamer. Didn’t stop her from her Feminist Tropes in gaming series. A few weeks ago CNET had a bunch of Gamergate Articles up bashing men, it was like deja vu.

  • Jon Harvey

    Ugh, why won’t Kotaku just die already!? You know what happens when certain people find out your a gamer, male or female? They immediately say “Oh, I haven’t done that since I was a kid”. To a certain type of person or people of a certain age, gaming is a “kids thing” mostly for boys. Most gamers however, know females play games. Want to know why? Because we play games too and we play together! Shocking I know, but it’s true….

    • I honestly thought that they would go away when Gawker went down in flames…My thoughts exactly, and most of the time they game on their phones on the fly.

      • KSE1977

        Yep, I generally don’t have big conversations about games and certainly don’t try to invite random strangers into them as most people I encounter still viewing gaming as childish.

  • Mildra

    The sweet irony is that throughout the entire post, I saw not one comment from any “female gamer” (a term that, for the record, I utterly despise and is telling on their part when they use it), nor did I see any tweets from women in pro teams or on the pro circuit. I saw not one mention of the games they play, how often they play them, (least) favorite games, the list goes on. For an article about “showing that women play games”, once you get past the fluff the article does a shit job at convincing you. Granted, I know that it’s bullshit and there ARE women who play games, but the point is that even when trying to virtue signal, the writer is lazy as fuck. The only thing close to being shown is a scant few tweets from a journalist, and shaming people for assumptions is ludicrous as human nature is rooted in assumptions based on first impressions.

    That aside, I always balk when I see these sorts of articles, because it’s so far removed from reality and real experiences the only thing I can really say is “you people need to get out more”…..Of course, it only lends further credence to my mental illness theory regarding these folk.

    ~The Monk

    • “but the point is that even when trying to virtue signal, the writer is lazy as fuck.”

      – That would summarize the whole article pretty much 😛 In all seriousness though, Kotaku has been doing “journalism” of this kind of years. So one can’t really expect all that much from them.

  • totenglocke

    Women play video games, but not in nearly the numbers that men do. No, Facebook / phone time wasters are not video games. It IS safe to assume that most women don’t play games and you should ask if they do (or just ask what their hobbies are) because the overwhelming majority of gamers are male. Fuck, I could lose several fingers in an accident and still be able to count the number of female gamers I know on one hand.

      • totenglocke

        So you’re citing the bullshit “studies” that claim anyone who’s ever looked at Candy Crush is a gamer? I expected better of you.

        • “Bullshit studies”

          – To my knowledge, there are no other studies for America. So feel free to give me other links or sources if you have any. I never said that, I only used what I had at the moment. I could have used the studies for Sweden, but that could hardly be used as an example for the whole world. Furthermore, only 10 million people live here.

          • totenglocke

            Try looking at the data Nintendo released on who registered an account for the Switch. It shows overwhelmingly male, like 90%, which matches up with what you’ll actually see at gaming conventions, lining up for launches, etc. Everyone pretty much plays some form of time waster on their phone, but calling them a gamer to push an agenda is being intellectually dishonest.


            Nintendo used actual data, not biased interpretations of answers to a survey.

          • RichardGristle

            The utter disbelief and denial of the Neofag users in regards to their shattered narrative is quite amusing.

          • I once tried to use the NeoFag site many years ago, but it didn’t work out so well for me. So I left the site after a couple of days 😛

          • RichardGristle

            Surprised you were able to leave instead of getting banned!

          • Haha! xD I think I left about the same time as people started to fight with the mods about censorship in games (that would be back in 2004 or something like that).

          • For some reason, I did not get a mention about this comment. Good thing I double checked. Ah, thanks =) Fair enough, but then they would also have to look into “who qualifies as a gamer?”, and what does it take to count as as a real gamer?

          • KSE1977

            The who qualifies as a gamer is always the big question. Perhaps the most subjective question out there in fact. I think most core gamers would argue that any gaming that does not occur on a cell phone is a good start. I mentioned above my person definition, but I realize that is just my own definition and by no means the only one out there. I do know that of my many female friends, I have only one actual core gamer who on a given day is absorbed in Pokémon Go while at work and playing MMORPGs and console RPGs while at home.

          • Fair enough, but should really all mobile games count as “none” games? I mean, there are some pretty awesome mobile games out there. Yes, that’s another part of it. So I am yet to find any studies that covers all formats like that. In Sweden they do it like Nintendo does it, via asking questions and collecting data.

          • KSE1977

            The problem with mobile games is where do you draw the line? Most studies I have looked at clearly use mobile games as a means to massively spike the number of woman gamers

    • KSE1977

      When I ask if somebody is a “gamer” I mean play’s Zelda, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Civilization, etc. I do not mean Angry Birds or any cell phone schlock which Polygon is quick to use when pointing to statistics showing how large numbers of women are now “gamers”. Now that is my own personal semi-snobbish definition I realize, but it is the way I define a gamer none the less.

  • derram

    So if a random woman butts into a conversation about video games everyone else is supposed to change the subject if she doesn’t play?

    • That appears to be Kotaku’s Idea, yes. However, in my case, if I don’t know all that much about a subject when I talk to a group of people. Then I try to learn more about the subject in question from the people in which I talk to.

  • Masato Collector

    Yeah!!! TheGG awesome as always!!!!

  • SevTheBear

    Other Gamers I know of only makes fun of Kotaku and Polygon. They can’t take their BS serious xD
    I mean I am amazed that they even write gaming news at all. Most of the stuff since 2014 has been whiny horse shit every week.

  • KSE1977

    Now bear in mind I am 40 and while I have some younger friends, most track to at least in their 30s or late 20s these days. I only have one female friend who is a Video Gamer. I have many that are in to Pathfinder or Strategy Board Games, but they are not into video games. Prior to meeting my fiancé, I did online dating and despite mentioning that I was a gamer, in the 15 different women I went on dates with, not one of them was a gamer. I have run across a handful of female gamers in my life and I love chatting about games with them and getting a different perspective, but I have never come close to encountering enough female gamers that I would assume any woman joining my conversation is a gamer. In fact, I would ask any man or woman joining the conversation if they “game”. This is another “nothing-burger” that Kotaku throws out to outrage their ever-dwindling audience, an audience that I often wonder actually consists of actual video game playing people.

    • I think that it differs a lot depending on genre and where you live. I for one remember that quite a lot of females played CS, Unreal Tournament and Quake 1 + 2 when I was young. As for here and now, those I know love RPG’s, FPS and MMO’s. Yes, and I have asked around for that kind of research. However, there seems to be none at this time :S

      That’s what I’ve been doing since I was about four or five years old (I meet my first girlfriend that way). Nevertheless, I hope that a research of the kind that you requested will show up in the near future. As it would give a more accurate picture of who play games and what they play (and so on).

      • KSE1977

        I agree that more comprehensive studies are needed. Something to give a more accurate picture of who actually games and in what numbers.

        • Indeed, but the question would be what we could do about it? I’m not even sure where I should turn for answers :S (I could always try to ask Mark Kern about it).

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