Since their inception in the mid-1970s, video games have developed into a culture that consumes the pastime of millions of people across the globe. Just as games have changed throughout the past few decades, so have some associations with gaming culture. However, the link between gamers and nerd-like behavior is ever present, especially in regard to female gamers.
The Gamer Girls group is attempting to enlighten the world’s perception of such gamers.
Created in 2005, TGG’s website, thegamergirls.com,s began as an online forum. Its initial vision was to beat the stigma associated with female gaming. The site attempts not only to break the stereotype, but also establish the concept that girls who play video games are no different than their male counterparts.
“There are a lot of female gamers out there,” model coordinator Chelsea Lynn, better known by her gamer handle, Rainbow Blast, said. “They just need reassurance.”
Statistics from the Entertainment Merchant’s Association show 40 percent of all gamers right now are female.
The EMA also states 46 million American households have a console video game system, and 67 percent of American households play computer or video games. According to these statistics, the average game player is 34 years old and has been playing games for about 12 years.
According to the EMA, consumers spent $10.5 billion in 2009 in console, portable and PC gaming software.
TGG’s website serves as a safe online community where gamers, females and males alike, can chat about anything related to the “nerd” genre.
The website describes itself as “an all-encompassing site for gamers, cosplayers, pop-culture nerds, gadget geeks and dorks of all sorts. Here to keep nerd pride alive, TGG offers a social space for our members to meet other gamers and explore topics concerned with the community.”
The site is rapidly expanding, and now offers items for purchase at its online store, gamergirlstyle.com, including apparel, books, art, event tickets and gaming gear.
Based in San Diego, TGG has more than 10,000 members from around the world. Its larger locations outside of San Diego include Las Vegas, Oregon and Massachusetts. It plans to even more by creating a TGG gaming team in the near future.
A core function of TGG is to erase the idea that gamer girls are less physically attractive or more socially awkward than non-gamer females. The incorporation of modeling with TGG puts a face to the female gaming culture, and helps gamer girls create modeling portfolios for themselves.
As opposed to other online modeling forums, TGG only allows females who actually play video games to become its models, regardless of previous modeling experience. The modeling aspect of TGG gives female gamers an opportunity to break into the industry in a safe and comfortable environment, surrounded by people of similar interests.
“There are a lot of gamers who want to model, but there’s also a lot of creepers out there,” Lynn said.
Shoots and online portfolios are free of charge to the models. Interested gamers can find modeling applications at TGG’s website.
TGG is constantly recruiting new models for the website, promotions and events, such as next year’s Comic-Con.
“Modeling has been entrenched with us for so long, we aren’t getting rid of it,” TGG founder, administrator and photographer, Eric Joseph, said.
The newest aspect of TGG is its monthly event, Nerdcore Nights, at The Ruby Room. On the second Thursday of each month, TGG hosts the event featuring Nerdcore, a subgenre of hip-hop music with themes and subject matter related to gamers and nerds. Several major Nerdcore artists have already appeared at the event, including MC Frontalot and San Diego State’s own Dr. Awkward.