1. You realize that most boys are shit-talking pigs.
The insults boys throw around on Xbox Live are brutal. They’re racist and homophobic and sexist and rude and as a girl casually trying to get down with Call of Duty it can be a shock. I get it, the online world of video games is kind of like a boys club. They want to be free to express themselves as they like, even if that’s talking about fucking each other’s moms. Eventually you just learn to tune it out.
2. And they really don’t like losing to girls.
If boys discover that you’re a girl, they will be more determined to kick your ass, because God forbid a girl beats them at a “boy’s game.” I have had guys quit games, switch teams, etc. just because I was better than them and they weren’t secure enough in their masculinity to accept it.
3. And they will assume you suck.
Another thing is that they won’t want to be on your team because they “don’t want to lose”. They think you’re like a little sister who will just slow them down and be the reason for their failure. When teams are automatically selected, you’ll hear someone grumble, “Great, we got the girl.”
4. But the low expectations just make you better.
Having all the guys assume you suck only makes you try harder and inevitably do better. Even if you’re just okay, they will be impressed. Because apparently only testicles provide you with the skills necessary for video games.
5. You will be hit on.
It’s terrifying that guys will hit on you just based on the sound of your voice over Xbox. I have been asked for my number on more than one occasion. I have had multiple people message me because they found out I was a girl. I have gotten many friend requests just because of my gender. They will shamelessly hit on you during a round of Team Death Match. I guess they only have the balls to flirt with a female behind a headset and TV screen.
6. Or you’ll get cursed out.
They also have no shame when it comes to disrespecting a girl. I don’t think I should get special treatment as a female playing video games; I’m not going to cry if you call me a bitch just because I brutally killed you. Yet it’s a little shocking to have a guy scream profanities at you over a headset just because you’re better than them and they don’t like it.
7. You’ll be mistaken for a male tween.
Sometimes while being cursed out, they will make comments about my balls dropping. Or they’ll hear my high-pitched laugh and call me a pussy. If they don’t immediately identify me as a girl, they will assume I’m a 12 year-old boy.
8. You’re questioned about the gender of your character.
I play a lot of Gears of War, and surprisingly guys have a hard time accepting that I’m a female who doesn’t like to play with another female character. “Why wouldn’t you be Anya?!” they ask. “She’s hot!” “You should be the chick! You’re the only real chick here!” Um…. no.
9. You get competitive with other girls.
Even though I’m all about supporting and encouraging my fellow women, there’s still something about coming across them in this male-dominated environment that makes you competitive. If there is only going to be one girl kicking all the boys’ asses in COD, it’s going to be you.
10. You become one of the guys.
There is something nice about being accepted into this forbidden boy’s club. Every day after school, I would get home, turn on my Xbox, and wait as every one of my guy friends logged on so we could all play until dinner time. It became a routine that we shared and helped us form a unique bond. They took pride in my skills, they felt comfortable saying whatever they wanted with me listening, they yelled at other players when I got called a bitch. And we would have some pretty deep conversations over those headsets while rallying together to kill the enemy. Boys either think it’s weird or super cool for a girl to play videogames. But I know all of those guys would have my back and brag about how good I was if someone dared to think it weird.