Maxim’s “gamer girl” competition

Promotional girls for Xbox - making us girls look dumb.

As my American followers will know, Maxim are currently running a “gamer girl” competition. The winner will get a photo-shoot in the magazine and get to represent female gamers everywhere. Will Luton quite rightly wrote a disapproving article on the contest, stating it was showing that, yet again, for females to get ahead they have to take their kit off. And I agree, as you know from my previous posts I hugely disagree with taking your clothes off to get ahead but here’s something that may shock you.

I was going to enter the contest. Naturally, it’s for US residents only so I was slightly disappointed. ‘But you, a feminist, why would you enter!?’ Well, it was mainly going to be an experiment – i.e see how many votes I could get without showing any flesh. But it was also, partly to show what a real girl gamer looked like to the rest of the public. By “real girl gamer” I mean, your average girl next door who plays games, which is what I am. I’m not a model and I never will be, I’m not attractive enough, or maybe I should say, I’m not stereotypically what men find attractive. I’m no Jessica Nigri.

I was voting for someone I support yesterday, a gamer called Starslay3r. She made a youtube video calling out to her thousands of followers to vote for her because she’s a professional gamer (it’s true) who has been, and would be, a great spokesperson and promises not to take her clothes off. I hope this girl wins, I really do because I know she would be the kind of person if, even if she was forced, would flat-out refuse to do bikini shots if Maxim asked her to. At least, I hope she would anyway. If a girl like this wins, who’s fit to do the job and represent us girls properly I will be glad. There are however, a lot of girls on there who are squishing their boobs together for votes, literally. Some girls even have innocent pictures as their main image but when you go into their profile, their other pictures are them in a bikini or pulling down their hoodie zipper to show their boobs. Yes, you have boobs, congratulations so does every other woman here. The problem is, maybe not just with Maxim magazine, but with the girls who enter it who are just as bad – they’re happy to show skin to move up in a contest.

These aren’t the only girls who do us gamers a bad name either. I’m not a fan of Ami Nakajima (obviously not her real name) and Jessica Nigri (who I mentioned before). These two ladies represent certain games at gaming events. Ami represents Wipeout 2048 and Jessica is currently promoting Lollipop Chainsaw. These girls are at these events in skin tight, cleavage boosting outfits. They go out of their way to get male attention, they do ridiculous poses with them and they talk about the games. The funny thing is, when you actually sit down and talk to them, they’re great (well, I can only say this for Ami). She knows all about the game, she works in the industry and she’s, a little too much, obsessed with it. And that’s great! That’s what a female gamer should be but unfortunately when you wear outfits like that, every man in the room is too busy staring at your tits to really care what you’re saying and it makes us girls look crap. We turn up in out jeans and t-shirts thinking – is that the way I should be dressing just to get people to listen to me? The answer should be no.

This isn’t just me being a jealous girl and complaining, if a man can complain about Maxim’s competition, that makes me feel a lot better as a lot of people will see a girl complaining and laugh and say – oh they’re just jealous. This is not the case. A lot of people dislike the term “girl gamer” and I agree it has some negative connotations but I would like those to change. I want a girl, or group of girls, to represent us (and no, not the Fragdolls, please) who are normal girls who play games like any normal man. We don’t need women who look like models, who game in their bikinis or who think it’s sexy to lick a controller, just an average girl to represent us would be great.  Someone to prove you don’t need to show flesh in order to be popular. Is that really too big a request?


4 thoughts on “Maxim’s “gamer girl” competition

  1. When I first read the title, for some reason I thought the competion was from Sim City creators ‘Maxis’ rather than ‘Maxim’ and I was rather confused about Will Wright’s change of marketting direction…

    But then, my reaction to hearing that it’s ‘Maxim’ running the contest was a resounding “Meh, what did you expect?”

    Maxim exist to objectify women. They think that doing a feature on ‘Girl Gamers’ will be exciting because the stereotype attached to the word ‘Gamer’ is notoriously unsexual. There’s nothing sexier than sexing up the unsexual (yikes, too much sex in this comment).

    A positive thing to take from this (even though I find it kind of creepy) is that at least Gaming is now thought of as Mainstream enough to be fetishised.

    Also, I know nothing about Wipeout, but I do know that if I attended something featuring ‘Lollypop Chainsaw’ which featured a cosplayer, and they were wearing a trench-coat, jogging bottoms and a wooly hat I would be exceedingly confused. Perhaps it’s character design in general which is making a mockery of women, more than the models who advertise the games?

    Sorry for the massive comment, this was a great article.

    Alex (A ‘Guy Gamer’ because apparently there has to be a distinction)

    • Thanks for your comment and I agree – one of the points I forgot to make was that what do expect from a magazine like Maxim? And true, maybe it is character design that lets girl down but these girls CHOOSE to represent these games. Jessica entered a competition which the public voted for to become the Lollipop Chainsaw girl and if you ever look at her website, most of her cosplays are scantily clad ones, which is okay in small doses but when you’re representing females everywhere – it’s a bit much. A true, at least gaming is not seen as unsexy any more!

  2. Great article and very good points, Rocketminx! I completely agree with you!

    Here’s an interesting thing I want to share with you: I have stumbled across several people who think all ‘gamer girls’ play games in their underwear. Yes, honestly! It’s incredible.

    I also find it downright stupid with all (well, most, but that’s another discussion) gender differentiation. Why don’t we start calling guys who game ‘gamer boys’, just to even things out? Because, obviously, as iamspacegiraffe pointed out, the distinction is apparently needed.

    //Malin, gamer. Period.

  3. Your article is an amazing attack from something I geekily call The Truth Beam.
    I play Halo… ALOT. I play Halo with my clan. Our website admin is, wait for it… A GIRL. Not only is she a girl but she’s one of the most important girls in my life because she is my wife. We have a beautiful 20 month old little girl who will no doubt become a girl gamer.
    I go MAD when I see people doing things like T bagging her because she’s a girl. Unfortunately for these people I can back my talk up with my game play unlike most.
    If you would like to contact me or my wife I have left my e-mail address above. Keep fighting tge good fight!

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