As a female gamer, I’ve been asked on multiple occasions how often I get harassed or deal with sexism in video games. While it does happen and is certainly a problem, I’ve actually found that I get discriminated more about the way I play–without a mouse.
I’ve been playing computer games for most of my life now and always had a laptop with a trackpad. For a long time, I didn’t even realize I was playing games the “wrong” way. As a competitive World of Warcraft player, I can do everything just as well with my mouseless set up. And yet, people joke and look down at the way I choose to play.
I’ve dabbled in getting a gaming mouse for years now and still haven’t. Yet, in my searching it has become clear how little options there are for gaming setups. The standard is a mechanical keyboard and right-handed gaming mouse, with only limited option for a left-handed mouse.
But why do we play with WASD? According to an article by Tyler Wilde on PC Gamer, “The new movement scheme took several years to catch on, and while we can’t know whose fingers found their way to WASD first, we do have a good idea of who popularized the style: the greatest Quake player in the universe, Dennis “Thresh” Fong.”
Keep in mind this “new movement” was over 20 years ago. Since then, WASD has dominated most games as the way to play. But our brains aren’t all “coded” the same. Why should we all play the same?
It even says in this article that gamers played a different way before this method came out. How do we know this is the only way? And better yet, why should we care how other gamers choose to play? It’s just yet another unnecessary judgment in a world with too many already.
I say, game on and play your way.