The term “gamer girl” is widely used in today’s society, but what exactly does it mean? Depending on whom you ask the answer can vary wildly, often depending on their own views and experiences.

There are many negative connotations with the phrase, leading many to boycott or reject it for fear of having it reflect on themselves. Often, it’s synonymous with “attention whore”, suggesting that gamer girls only play video games for the attention and perhaps approval of others, specifically with focus on boys. These girls post images online, usually captioned with “omg so nerdy” and the like. It’s typically accepted that they are bad at video games, or at least worse than boys.

Literally, a gamer girl is just that: a girl who plays and enjoys video games.

So just how did the phrase come to pick up so much negativity? Were there a select few who tainted society’s views on girl gaming or are there simply accepted stereotypes?

Who knows?

I personally wouldn’t class myself as a “girl gamer”. Not only for the negative connotations, but for the fact that we don’t specify “guy gamers” as a separate class of gamers. They’re just gamers. If asked (and for the record, if anyone’s keeping one) I’m a PC gamer who is shocking with a controller. But my lack of skill isn’t down to my gender. Granted, women have a slower reaction speed than men but that’s far from a limitation.

I’m just bad at gaming.

That’s just my opinion, though. And opinion is at the crux of this debate. Different viewpoints and perspectives provide differing connotations and meanings to the phrase.

At the end of the day, whatever your motivations or labels, if you play video games you’ve got to be some degree of awesome.