A recent D&D event during the 2015 year end holidays, made me stop and think a little deeper into the whole male v female/serious v casual gamers. And I think it's about time to discuss it. Be aware that I, myself, am a life long, serious D&D gamer. Gaming since, 1989 or so. I am also a female. Which brings a whole other category that has never been discussed before to my knowledge.
When I first started gaming, I was drawn in by the escapism. My childhood was violent and unsafe. The world was violent and unsafe. I escaped into LOTR and then, subsequently, into D&D.
In my long term experience, this is an unusual factoid. One that I really didn't think about until Christmas vacation. A new player showed up. Well...I say player...what I really mean is a guy who came to look in on the game and not really participate. He brought his girlfriend.
The player did have a character. But he chose not to sit in as a player character that night. Instead, he sat on the couch, near his girlfriend, and did the standard make out secessions in between commenting on the groups progress or making a joke.
Long time DMs will recognize the behavior immediately. And there are those who may think my rules are pretty non-standard Dm house rules, But, again, long time Dms who have a group of young adults will know what I mean. The rule is, if you are playing, and you brought your girlfriend, she sits across the room from the boyfriend, whether she is playing or not.
Some people will jump to a conclusion that I am being sexist. Why is that not a rule for females? WTF, Takara! Don't be such a dick.
Well, I have some clarity to share. Serious female gamers don't sit on boyfriends laps. Serious female gamers don't have make out sessions with other players while the game is on. Boyfriends of serious female gamers do not exhibit insecure behavior during a game. Only females do this. And I do not know why.
Yet another sexist Dm house rule I employ is, If a male player brings his girlfriend to a game, she does not get to automatically join the group because the male player is in the group.
But, If a female player brings the boyfriend, he automatically gets to join the group because she is in the group.
The reality is that males will keep coming to play, even if he is broke up with the female. But a female will not come back to the group if she is broke up with the male. It's all about retention. I do not want to waste valuable game time by drawing up a character that is only going to be in the group, so long as she is in good standing with her chosen male. Males don't think like that. A male will keep showing up if he loves something, especially the game. Females will not do that and I do not know why. I do have a theory.
Males understand "Brotherhood born in Battle" Its sort of a standard thing for males.
Females have a difficult time understanding "Not-of-blood Sisterhood" Or just Sisterhood period. Most especially, young, insecure females. They will smile in your face, but if you blink, they will turn you around and back stab you with a rocket launcher. Then, piss on your body while you bleed out. Only women who are secure in their own abilities can understand and appreciate real "Sisterhood"
Males can understand the difference between "Brotherhood Love" and Infatuation. A male, more than a female, can easily accept "Brotherly Love between a male and a female not-of-blood" Females, especially young adult females, do not have the brain capacity to grasp this concept. "All love is date it or leave it." Personally, I cannot understand that. Most times they do not realize that is what they are doing. Their deeds and actions cry out this fact.
There are millions of males in the gaming community that regularly complain about being "friend zoned" I can assure you that this happens to women all the time. Gamer guys want that insecure, booth babe and then bitch about her immature, insecure, high maintenance, expensive, attention seeking, whiney, fashionista attitude. That bitch is a little girl in her head. And the guys who have this issue are, in truth, insecure themselves. They like being fawned over and clasped too. It's less work for them in their own minds. But then, when the female realizes that their male loves gaming so much that he is willing to ignore her for it, they immediately lash out with stupid excuses to make him not show up to games.
25 years ago, it was not common to find a female D&D gamer. Even more rare than that, was a female Dm. That was me. My group was all male for years! Most of high school, in fact. When my players started dating, they would bring their girlfriends. We would spend the time drawing up characters for them. We would spend one or two sessions with them included. Then, he would not show up again for a few months. Then, suddenly he would show up again. The reason?
The girlfriend would tell him that he could not game with us because I was a female...and a Dm. That would happen to me for years, even when I was married and had kids. It didn't stop until I found a group of married couples who played. Guess how the wife got into the game? Yup, you guessed it, it was because she married a gamer. I have not ever met a female who gamed because they wanted to game on their own. That may not be true anymore though. There may be females out there, younger than me, who got into it because they were attracted to the escape rather than a male. I am just saying, I have not met them yet.
Albeit, there are always exceptions to the rule. My daughter got into gaming and all things geek because I influenced her. She plays because she likes it, no male can keep her from it. She will just use her epic Bard character to stomp unworthy fellas in game...and usually succeeds. I am very proud of her.
But maybe that is why this type of female is rare. Most females base character archetype is The Maiden, Persephone. Females usually take a long time to grow out of that, but in one of two ways. The first is to jump into the Hera Archetype. First rule about Hera is, She can't trust Zeus no matter what the situation. The second way is Demeter, single mother of Mt. Olympus. Demeter doesn't have the time for escapism. So, we mostly end up with Hera...and it's a drag.
The rare Female that is perfect for gaming is one of Three Character Archetypes, Athene, Artemis, and Medusa. Two virgins and rape victim...go figure. But is mainly because they are not interested in dating...at all. Athene and Artemis can exhibit brotherly love for male not-of-blood. Their motis operando is not to get down your pants. They are there to play and will stomp you if you get in their way, steal, or borrow their dice. They have a "You can get things done. I like that" style of play.
Maybe that is why males, notoriously, bad mouth female players. The older male players have been through a few relationships just like I described. And have been hurt badly for it. The younger players are going through a relationship like I have described and are being badly hurt by it. But the male players just don't learn the lesson of the quest and are still seeking Sexy Leia, who only exists inside their minds. Fanboys...geesh...
At the recent D&D session, I was proud of my players. My group is young adult and mixed. There are real, young female players in game. And yes, most of them started out as guest girlfriends of the longer playing males. But when a new female showed up with her inexperienced boyfriend, I didn't have to tell her the rule of the girlfriend player character, the others in the group did it for me! They understood and accepted the rule with intelligence and gained wisdom! And both sexes did it at the same time. And one of long term male players, had learned from his 9 month mistake. Saying to me, "I am never going to let a girl tell me I can't play ever again." He is now dating a female who starting playing because of her boyfriend but didn't leave the group. He knows if he dates her, he will always have to option of showing up because she will show up too. I also know that if they break up, she may cut down her gaming, but won't stop playing completely because she likes to do it.
But finding girls like that is still not common, even in the geek mainstream of 2016. They just do not have the Adventuring spirit. Sometimes, they lack the ability to rationalize. But at the end of all things, it comes down to personal security, yours or your girlfriend, sometimes both.
Be secure in yourself, Adventurer! Go forth and do better!