Tips on Girl Gaming

Posted by Gama Rae "paeijwei" Comaingking at 28 March 2011 16:24
I started playing (not only DotA, but a variety of male-dominated games) because I grew up with people looking down on girl gamers like me. Apparently, having boobs, make-up and better hygiene meant that we're not cut out to be "pros".

What might have started out as a custom map for Warcraft 3, has now become one of the most popular team-based RPG in all of recent history. Defense of the Ancients otherwise known as DotA has become a world-wide phenomenon, where being on top is almost like having an instant celebrity status (you also get to make fan pages and have supporters/haters/trolls comment on your matches).

Much like sports, DotA players get as much recognition and idolization from spectators and even players. So what makes them different from the rest of us mere mortals that even heroes are named after them? While having fast hand-eye coordination is a plus, presence of mind, as well as fast analytic thinking, is a requirement if you ever wanted to "make it big" or "go pro".

Presently, there is no female player (in a gender-blind team) that's competing in an official international roster. I believe there should be a standard also for female DotA players.

For males, good looks is a plus but never a requirement.

But it's different when you're a girl gamer. Apparently, physical appearance is the PRIMARY requirement if you ever wanted to make it big-- never mind skill or talent. When guys look at girl team matches, they go "do they have pictures?" or "oh I like the losing team better because they have more good-looking girls..." Aside from this, if you ever wanted to go pro, you had to prove (first and foremost) that you're NOT a BAD player, BEFORE you could even prove you're "good enough" to be in the same league as the boys. Let me put it as simply as I can: while noobie boys get 0 skill points, girls get a generous -100 skill points default. Now isn't that gentlemanly of them?

When boys play DotA, they say "luck is no excuse" and attribute their victory to their "amazing skills". Girls, on the other hand, get "lucky"... ALL THE TIME. We're not given nearly the same benefit of the doubt as the male players are. Dodged an arrow? Luck. (Not pre-planned sudden shift of running path). We are not given any credit at all for having intelligence or skill enough to win any match. (This may be true, but couldn't anyone at least give a girl credit for participating?)

Lately, in the DotA community, there has been a trend of all-girl teams and a sudden booming of female player population. But by booming i mean from 1 out of 30 people who play DotA, now there are 3 out of 30 (Hoorah!). Girlfriends, who used to swear they would kill IceFrog for creating the game that is taking too much of their boyfriend's time, are now screaming "stun!" "skill!" or "back!" in voices (a pitch higher than a male's). The boys, in turn, would take this opportunity to show what a TRUE gentleman they are by mocking the girls' voices. (If you've noticed-- yes. I am very bitter towards male players who try to bring female players down.)

However, I'd have to admit that girls don't stack with other girls. In a team where only one or two get recognition for skill, female pride just wouldn't have it. Regretfully, I've noticed that most of the girl DotA players don't even know that they're not at all that good. Sometimes I even wonder if I have the same tendency as they do.

So, aside from the obvious practice and attainment of super imba hand-eye coordination, what should girls have in order to at least have a shot at going pro?

1. Humility and Honor.

The reason why girls don't improve even when taught is because of the fact that they let their ego get in the way of improving. They would very much rather "win" than "learn". There is much lesson to be learned from defeat rather than victory.
Honor is staying true to principles... Being honest... Playing fair.
Just because we're girls, doesn't mean we should cheat because of disadvantage in skill. Aside from this, having pride would also make us more motivated to do more and aim higher.

2. Stop being so scared.

Girls are supposed to be expected to lose, so why are they so afraid of losing? When guys lose to girls people say "you lost to a girl :P" (with such contempt and ridicule) but girls, on the other hand, have the advantage of being expected to lose.
So lose.
Lose a lot.
But learn from the losses. Know and accept that your skills didn't suffice, which resulted to defeat.
A little bruised ego never hurt anyone.

3. Check your motives. Aim high.

Some girls do it for the fame. I respect that. Not many of the current girl gamers really do it for the love of the game. Some just play in order to bond with a few male friends that happen to talk about the game all the time.
To those who really wanna be serious in this game... Being the best in your town, city, village or street might be a good start but in the end it all comes down to determination. There are very few of us-- so scratching envious claws at the stronger girl players won't make the lesser players any stronger.

4. Expect to play with/ against trashtalking chauvinistic pigs (lots and lots of 'em) and learn to somehow get past them.

You'd think that since we're girls, the boys would take it easy on us. Not in the least. Playing against girls gives them an auto-confidence boost of at least 50%. They do all kinds of insulting things like drop items in front of you or when you're really kicked in the mud, they rally in front of your fountain and kill you as you spawn. I've experience a lot of this-- even from "friends"-- and I've had my share of discouragement. Even worse, they say insulting and degrading things even if you've done nothing to them (as if playing alone is reason enough to be trash talked in such a matter).

But not all men are like that (thank goodness); there are some though who would help you shine and offer to polish you to your full potential. Real friends like those don't come very often especially in the world of competitive DotA where even the boys themselves are training to "be good enough". I suggest you stick to those friends (who tell you there's still much work to be done on your skills) rather than the ones who patronize you and tell you you're imba even if they're the ones doing the killing (They have their motives. Trust me. Free booze and sleep-over, they'll tell you you can lane YaphetS with SF.).

5. Stop being such haters/posers and admit you need training. :)

It may be amusing to poke fun of other girl gamers' faces especially if you're a little more blessed than they are appearance-wise. But girls, please remember you play with your hands (and brains, if any), not your face. Pictures and print screens won't prove your worth, replays and championships will.

Times are changing and girls are getting into the DotA scene. I think that if we changed our mentality just a little bit, maybe we can even be good enough to compete with the boys (maybe even win some matches).

I can pretty much already tell what kind of "support" this article will have but I really hope to see more girl players out there in the competitive DotA scene.