I consider myself a fortunate woman in the sense that I haven’t often experienced sexism. Perhaps it’s because I live in a small towns and I don’t frequent large cities often, or maybe it’s because I attend a small liberal arts university. Whatever the case, it always catches me off-guard when a man treats me poorly for my gender.
Though never have I experienced sexism for liking video games. I’ve never had a boy tell me something I already knew or try to lecture me on how to be a “real” gamer. It’s just…never happened. I’ve gone into video game stores where I’m the only girl, yes, and I’ve been ogled by the other guys there, but never lectured.
Until a few months ago.
I walked into a locally-owned video game store that also sold comics and board games. I was with a few friends as we were trying to find a GNC and decided to stop in at the game store since I’ve been looking for an original Nintendo DS. (At the time I desperately, absolutely had to have one; now I don’t really care either way.)
The man at the counter asked if I needed assistance, to which I replied about buying a DS. Some…guy down the counter overheard me and came over. I understand he was probably trying to be helpful. I understand he was trying to be nice. But honestly, I had never met the guy, will never see him again, and his arrogant tone wasn’t really needed.
“If you’re looking for a DS,” he began, slightly puffing out his chest as he smirked, “get a Nintendo DS Lite. They’re smaller, with a brighter screen, and play better. Or just get a 3DS. They have backwards compatibility with regular DS games.”
Both myself and the gentleman helping me—who I later found out was the owner of the store—just stared at this random fellow for a few moments. I sighed. “Thanks, but I already own both a 3DS and a DS Lite. I want an original fat Nintendo DS because I heard they can play Game Boy Color and original Game Boy games. Plus it’ll help with my collection.”
His face turned red and he shrank back. He didn’t look at me the rest of the time I was in the store and the proprietor had a good chuckle.
Again, I understand he was just trying to be helpful, but at the same time, if a person comes in asking for an outdated piece of hardware they probably know what they’re doing. Also, no need to act like you’re saving me from a horrible DS-related fate.
(On another note, I later discovered that apparently the original DS can’t play GBC and GB games. Oh well.)