While competitive gaming continues to grow year by year, one demographic continues to be left out in the cold. Retired Super Smash Bros. player Lilian “Milktea” Chen recently wrote a great piece in an attempt to raise awareness of what female players face in these communities from her experiences playing Super Smash Bros. Melee.
“The next step to maintaining our thriving community is, without debate, to continue expanding and diversifying,” she said in her post regarding the competitive Smash scene’s recent resurgence. “This leads us to one of our biggest and undeniable downfalls. If you have attended a tournament, you understand what I am referring to. Where are all the women? Why are there so few?”
The bulk of Chen’s blog is spent debunking a variety of harmful myths that surround female players, some of which may be perpetuated unknowingly and without malicious intent. She tackles topics like attention, girls being called out on their gaming credentials, and the fact they are often expected to just deal with the negativity hurled their way.
“I truly believe in the Super Smash Brothers Melee community’s ability to make large strides regarding female gaming issues,” she concludes. “Armed with awareness and a touch of empathy, I am confident that we will begin to witness uninformed behaviors turn into knowledgeable ones.”
As I’m sure many of you are aware, issues like these can be found in a variety of spaces, especially competitive gaming communities. If we truly want to see our scenes survive and even thrive, it’s imperative that we hear out people like Chen and do everything in our power to make these spaces comfortable and inviting for everyone.
The full blog post can be found on Tumblr, so please give it a read and pass it on to others.
Source: Lilian “Milktea” Chen, tip via Clyde