It is not uncommon to find students riled up at a video gaming lounge in campus, either jeering or cheering one their friends. The games played at these lounges are not physical but require wit and skill as they are computer-based. Yet the question remains, why is it that these spots are filled with more men than ladies?
Some of the most popular computerized games are PlayStation games,Fifa games and NFS(Need For Speed) Games.
The gaming lounges located around campuses are usually filled up most of the time and it becomes even harder to get a spot on weekends. You will see the boys chin up and full of grit as they tightly hold and maneuver their gaming pads, doing all they can to win. And perhaps that’s why ladies are not actively participating in this form of leisure;they are not competitive enough.
Or perhaps the society has ensured they are not competitive like men.
Back in high-school, on opening days and closing days, male teenagers still used to flock gaming lounges to play and would even place bets on who is likely to win. Slowly but surely,girls were being sidelined in an activity that required some machismo.
Finding a handful of girls playing computer games back in high school was like finding a tortoise that runs!
Another contributing factor is that these places are run by men.
In Moi University for example, three of the most popular gaming lounges have men in charge. It becomes easy to pull a male clientele than a female one. Again,even in campus, the subtle sidelining continues. This has now created a stereotype in campus that anything to do with computer games is associated with men.
What do people have to say about this? Erik Kareem, a third year Moi University student and a PlayStation4 enthusiast,feels that it is mostly the stereotype that games are associated with men that puts off interested ladies.”I also don’t see it as that big a deal that many ladies don’t participate. It might be a choice they make”, he added.
Loise Wanjiku, an economics student and one of the few girls who goes to gaming lounges said, “Girls don’t like places that seem to be run by men as they only hit on them the whole time or undermine their skills”.
This is not to say that ladies don’t participate. In fact, there are many young women who enjoy these games.
In personal spaces, say at home or residential rooms, you will find a girl battling it out with a guy over a PlayStation 4 game. There are girls who are even better than men when it comes to these games.
Yes,but how many are they?
The gaming world has almost become exclusive to men but maybe it is time we encouraged more ladies to show up and have fun with us. It is time we told that girl to come play a game or two with us when we are also playing.
If we are to build confidence in women in different areas of life, this is one way of doing it.
By Tony Mbugua