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Who Says Girls Can’t Game?

There’s a perception out there that gaming is meant for guys: little boys trying Mario for the first time, teenagers battling each other with communication headsets on first-person shooters, unemployed 30-year-old man-boys living digital second lives in their mothers’ basements… right down to the Frank Underwoods of the world turning out the lights and firing up the consoles for some stress relief. Indeed, at just about every level and with most any kind of game, the industry is portrayed as a man’s world. But the truth is, it’s not a man’s world—not even close.

Gamer girls out there will be fully aware that ladies have become more involved in the video game world over the course of the last decade. It’s not just because we’re all downloading Candy Crush Saga or testing our digital creativity building little worlds in Minecraft. We’ll jump right into shooters, MMORPGs, open-world adventures, and even categories like console sports games or online poker rooms (both of which seem to be thought of even more as guy-specific). But don’t take my word (or your own experience) for it: The numbers tellthe whole story when it comes to girls in gaming.

According to a number of different reports out there, women are not just more prominent than we used to be in gaming—we’ve taken over completely. The Daily Dot probably put it best, starting off an article with “Congratulations, gamer girls—you’re officially at the top of the food chain when it comes to games.” The piece cites a significant study that found 36% of all gamers to be adult women (with adult men just behind at 35%). The study also addresses the stereotypes I alluded to previously about women primarily being drawn to “social” and mobile games. Basically, the numbers show that gamer girls have been rising steadily in number since long before the smartphone and social networking booms popularized these sorts of games.

Girl Gamer numbers continue to rise.
Girl Gamer numbers continue to rise.

That said, there is some suggestion that enhanced social components to the gaming industry as a whole (not just games whose high scores you can post on Facebook) has helped to attract women. It’s pretty much understood that women are frequently drawn to these sorts of games, but just what constitutes a “social” game is changing. A Big Fish Games report on 2014 gaming statistics declared emphatically that mobile and social games will become more and more popular, and that the future of gaming will involve more multiplayer options. We’re already seeing the shift in plenty of established gaming genres.

The Betfair Poker platform, for example, now offers what amounts to a chat room environment attached to its poker games, turning ordinary online poker environments into active communities. While playing poker in these environments, users can link up with friends or engage with strangers as they please. Similarly, a number of popular console games have significantly enhanced their multiplayer and social options. Just recently, Far Cry 4 earned rave reviews for its co-op mode that basically lets friends play every part of the game together (rather than being shoved into a half-assed multiplayer side platform). Changes like these are simply making gaming more appealing to a wider demographic that consists largely of women.

Given all of the data and trends, the exciting thing will be seeing if the rise in female gamers continues in the coming years. A CNN article last year summed things up pretty nicely. Some women are drawn to shooters and adventure games due to increased focus on plot (as opposed to brute force); others are drawn to the aforementioned social revolution in gaming; and some are supportive of a growing trend of female protagonists within games. The article even noted the general shift in gaming as something that’s become more socially acceptable in recent years (largely due to more gamers playing with friends and family, as opposed to alone). Frankly, none of these trends seems likely to die out any time soon!

So, while there are still stereotypes labeling gaming as a guy’s hobby, remember this gamer girls: it’s your world now.

This is a guest post by Jan Alger. When she’s not writing about video games on the web, you can find her looking for a new bike-friendly journey through the more rural parts of New York.

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Nerd Love: V Day Gifts for the Geek in Your Life

geekvdayAh, Valentine’s Day. It’s a day dreaded by some and obnoxiously over-adored by others. New couples and those who have just begun dating may find it awkward and have no idea exactly what to do. Then there are those who have celebrated Valentine’s Day with the same person every day for several years, and they may have run out of material. In addition to not knowing how to spend V Day or what to get our mates, we are hit with a barrage of corny suggestions about how we should observe the Feast of St. Valentine from melodramatic women’s magazines, the greeting card industry, and pretty much anyone trying to sell anything. Not only does this put unnecessary pressure on all of us, it also takes away from the significance of the day.

For us geeks, however, Valentine’s Day can be a fun way to use our nerdy craftiness and creativity to show those we love just how special they are. So what geeky goodies can you concoct for the tech-loving, graphic-novel reading, cosplaying nerd in your life? Here are a few gift ideas that even the most discerning geek in your life (paging Dr. Sheldon Cooper) will adore.

Craft an Action-Packed Geek Gift Basket

Who doesn’t go nuts for a nice gift basket, especially when it’s themed and filled with all of your favorite things? Gift baskets are perfect on a variety of levels as they’re easy to put together, can be customized, and can be given to anyone. In love with a gamer? Pop in your local GameStop, and pick up some of the latest video games, or go old school and track down a few older games for that throwback game console he still uses.

Besides games, include other video-game theme swag like T-shirts, character figurines, or movies based on your partner’s favorite games. Remember to add some edible treats like gummies shaped like popular Nintendo characters or bake your own treats like cupcakes that look like small versions of the mushrooms of Mushroom Kingdom. No matter what you throw in your basket, make sure that it follows along with your theme.cosplayvday

Put on a Cosplay Burlesque Show

Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to showcase your creativity through costume play. If your guy or girl is into cosplay, this is a great way to take part in his or her favorite hobby, or it can be an ideal introduction if they’ve never ventured into any sort of role play. Don’t just throw on any ordinary costume and chill around your house, however. Spice things up by adding sexy embellishments like fishnets to that Sailor Moon getup or bright red patent leather boots that creep up your thighs for your Wonder Woman outfit and put on a show for your lover.

You can then study up on some hot burlesque moves and put on a saucy cosplay striptease for him. Perform your private show live for him in the boudoir or surprise him (and appeal to his techie side) by sending him a “confidential” file containing a video of your spicy burlesque number. By doing it securely via Sharefile, which offers safe and secure file hosting and transferring, you’ll make sure that your gift won’t get into the wrong hands. I think I speak for everyone when I say you don’t want that to happen! Regardless of your delivery method, with the right cosplay gear and stellar burlesque routine, your Valentine’s Day will surely be memorable.

geekyvday2Try Something New

While your nerdy partner may be in to exploring new tech gadgets or unknown galaxies that are far, far away, getting him or her to try something new may present a major challenge. Use this Valentine’s Day as an excuse to be spontaneous and participate in an activity that the two of you have never taken on alone or as a couple. Take the day off and go on a road trip or spend the day at the beach learning to surf. Try learning a hands-on skill or trade such as pottery or wine making. Not only is this a unique break from the traditional V day festivities, it’s also a wonderful way to make your relationship stronger, your bond tighter, and, of course, expand your mind.

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Review: Littlest Petshop: Little Pets, Big Adventures

LPS_LPBA_PS300dpiOut on DVD today is Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures. This DVD collection is based on the popular Littlest Pet Shop toy brand from Hasbro. The series first debuted on The Hub TV network back in November and now the half-hour series is available to own.

The story follows Blythe Baxter, a young girl who loves fashion and designing clothes. When she and her dad move to a new apartment located above the Littlest Pet Shop store, Blythe suddenly discovers that she has the uncanny ability to communicate with the animals. This sets the stage up for some unique adventures as Blythe learns to adjust to her new surroundings, deal with a clique of “mean girls”, and relates to the eccentric pet shop owner, Mrs. Twombly.

Like many animated series targeting towards children, we have the usual song and dance numbers that deal with self-confidence and friendship while providing a moralistic tone. However, this series does have enough stylization and narration to hold the attention of adult viewers. Especially those adult viewers who are constantly trying to find appropriate shows to share with their kids.

With an all-new original music by Daytime Emmy® Award nominee Daniel Ingram and the vocal talent of Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Nicole Oliver and Peter New. Littlest Pet Shop: Little Pets, Big Adventures provides great family entertainment.

The DVD collection includes the following five episodes:

  • Blythe’s Big Adventure – Parts 1 & 2
  • Bad Hair Day
  • Gailbreak!
  • Penny For Your Laughs

The DVD also features bonus content that includes coloring, sheets, the all new featurette, ““A Look Behind The Pet Shop Doors”, and an offer for a virtual collectable pet through the Littlest Pet Shop game app.

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A Little Over A Year Ago

It has been a little over a year since I relaunched my personal blog as a website. Overall, I consider it to be a success and I am going to continue to build on that foundation and grow this site. I want people to see GeekGirl World as a portal for news and information from a feminine perspective; to let others know that there are so many smart, talented, savvy, and beautiful people out there in the world. I want people know that it is okay to care about pop culture, and still have your eye on the latest code platform. I want people to realize that you can still be a gamer, and still make time to be a wife, mother, a student. I want people to learn that caring about being fit and looking your best, doesn’t mean you don’t have a brain in your head. In short, I want people to know that girls can be geeks, and geeks can be girls! We are often overlooked, and hardly ever marketed too. My goal has always been to change that, and I continue on with that mission.

We have a new writers coming on board, and new things in store. So stay tuned to GeekGirl World, for more interesting things to come. Also if you are interested in writing for the website, please email webmaster@geekgirlworld!

Happy Birthday GeekGirl World! May the next year be even greater!

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