Women Gamers Have Their Own Momentum, And a Convention, Too

Think video games are "a guy thing?" These women don't just play -- they're proving in large numbers that the gaming room is for ladies.

San Diego’s yearly Comic-Con International, and all of its not-so-small spin-offs, tend to be dominated by men. This month, more than 3,000 women attended the second annual GeekGirl Con in Seattle, Washington.  Some even dressed in character. Hand over the console, guys.

Two out of 5 gamers are female.  That’s more than 40% of the total. If those stats from 2011 shock you, it might be because most of us define “video games” as being violent and testosterone-drenched. Soldier of FortuneManhuntGrand Theft Auto.

Nay, nay. And I’m not talking about sliding a guy’s game into “girlfriend mode,” either.

The long list of video games includes family favorites like Tetris, Solitaire, Plants vs. Zombies and whatever you can do on a Nintendo Wii, including Just Dance.

Assumptions being what they are, popular opinion says that women in gaming, science fiction, fantasy and comics either look like the brainy Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, or some kind of Lara Croft fairy vixen. GeekGirlCon president Eric McGillivray, 28, knows the truth is quite different.

Panelists included the founder of GeekQuality (“Navigating Geekdom as an Outsider”), a senior neuroradiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio (“Geeky Technology in Women’s Health”), and Ashley Eckstein, a starring voice on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the animated TV show (“From Jedi Princess to Sith Witch: an Exploration of Female Characters in Star Wars”).

Women astronauts, Harry Potter and Dr. Who, Princess Leia, Wonder Woman … the gang’s all here. You might be surprised to find that somewhere within you there’s a geeky girl, too.

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