A few days ago, a friend of mine came to me with an all too common complaint. She was trying to get into a predominantly male fandom and was being met with accusations of being a “Fake Geek Girl”. For the unfamiliar, a “Fake Geek Girl” is a girl who takes interest in nerdy things like video games and comic books for the attention, but doesn’t actually know anything about said interest. The problem is that this accusation seems to have no grounding in reality and has drawn the ire of many female gamers.
This raises an important question: if the Fake Geek Girl doesn’t exist, why is the accusation so common? To understand this trend, we must venture back in time all the way …
Just one of the double standards I face: girls can't be gamers
I am being raised in a Catholic household by parents who have always set very different standards for me than they have for my brother. For example, while my brother was allowed to go out alone at 12, I still have a hard time going out at 16. My parents have explained to me that I am in more danger of being hurt than my brother because I am a girl and need to be kept safe. While I initially dismissed my anger and accepted this explanation, I now realize that instead of limiting my social activity and autonomy, instead of trying to blindly protect me, they should have exposed me to the realities of the world.
For all the gamers out there who are looking to combine your human rights sensibility with their passions for online games, this one's for you:
America 2049 is Breakthrough's new groundbreaking alternate reality game on Facebook that presents a near-future America at a dangerous crossroads. Human rights are in peril; democracy is on the brink of destruction.
You, the player, are an agent of the Council on American Heritage. Tasked with the capture of a presumed terrorist, you are sent into high-risk situations that challenge you to ask: What if? How close have we already come to America 2049? How can we work together—in real life—to build a better future?
America 2049 is the first Facebook game to integrate the social networking platform with many other resources, online and off: multimedia and interactive features, historical artifacts, clues planted across the Internet and real-life events at leading cultural institutions nationwide. America 2049 was conceived and produced by Breakthrough (breakthrough.tv), a global human rights organization that uses the power of pop culture to advance equality, dignity, and justice.