Fighting For A Chance by Venks Dunson
The following story took place a few years go. My friend, let us call her “Violet”, really enjoys competitive fighters specially the games Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. So of course when she hears there’s a party with Nintendo’s All Star fighting game going on she is totally stoked to join in. When she arrives, most of the people at the party are already waiting for a chance to join the four-person Free-For-All. She eventually gets a shot at playing and chooses her best character. Before the match even began, she had two marks against her considering the gathered crowd.
1) She was playing as a girl character. The general assumption is she only chose that character because she is a girl and does not know how to play.
2) She prefers to use just the Wii Mote for her control style. The assumption being: she did not use a nun-chuck or Game Cube controller because they are too complicated for her.
Now, Violet is a very relaxed person; Even though she could hear people talking her down before she even started playing she decides to keep quiet. Still, she finds it incredibly annoying that she is the only one going through this. During the previous match, she witnessed a bad [male] Kirby and Ike player who portrayed a clear lack of game play understanding. However, no one said anything about them. All of the attention was on her, quite obviously because she was a girl. As opposed to the prejudice she experienced from here male counterparts:
1). Violet played Zero Suit Samus because she likes the character’s play style.
2). She also only used Wii Mote because she actively played a certain PC game and the community for that game all attempt to use different control schemes to distinguish themselves. It ha become a sort of quirk
Once everyone started playing the game it became quickly apparent, that Violet was more than capable at performing all of her attacks and holding her own in the fray. Many of the guys playing Brawl are not anywhere near Violet’s skill level. It does not take very long for her to start up a winning streak! Everyone who picks up a controller vows to take her down, but their actions just cannot seem to match their words. One of the other players in particular gets upset and says the only reason Violet beats him is the Free-For-All style and that in addition she relies on the armor pieces she spawned with as unfair projectiles. The disgruntled guy challenged her to a One vs. One match, with no items, on the stage Final Destination…
The actual match was very short lived. Violet had no trouble winning the match and even had an extra stock over her opponent. The guy was incredibly predictable and she would constantly punish him for dodge rolling. The only time he managed to take a stock off her was by edge hogging; this way she could not grab the edge with her tether recovery. The guy’s skill level was much lower than hers was and with the match over, everyone returned to playing Free-For-Alls. No one called out Violet after that and she had a lot of fun playing everyone, but the fact that she had to go through so much just to prove herself as a capable player was incredibly infuriating.
Later down the line, Violet told me situations like these were what convinced her to stop showing up to gaming events. At nearly every event, she would have to prove herself to other players before anyone would accept that she knew what she was talking about when discussing the game. Violet knew, even with all the wins she accumulated, if she ever lost a match then people would say that she had done well [for a girl].
It was a real shame that my friend stopped participating in fighting game events, but given the things she had told me, and what I had seen, I could completely understand her decision. Why would you want to be part of a community that seems to constantly reject you?
Violet’s story is many a female gamers’ story. Tell us how you feel, what would you have done different? How can you use her story to work through some of your own issues? What are some ideas we can put in place to help even [literally] the playing field in the gaming community?
Feel free to comment bellow. However, if you would like to remain anonymous please email: Valerie@ggvogue.com and we will post on your behalf.
The GGV Staff