For all the gamer girls out there
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a multiplayer crossover fighting game. It takes popular characters from franchises and lets the player battle them. The series has existed for almost two decades and is now the second best selling Nintendo Switch game. My initial experiences with the game, like so many others’, was difficult. The world of Smash is incredibly male-dominated. The game is associated with large, in person tournaments where majority if not all of the competitors are men. The tournament circuit is bad, but online is even worse. It is a vast tundra of misogyny. Non-male beginner Smash players seeking help online will often be met with violent backlash.
I bought the game last year excited to try it out (like any girl I wanted to make Princess Peach fight Ganondorf). The rules of the game are not hard to pick up on; after a few rounds you understand the mechanics. The difficult part came as a result of male players heavily gatekeeping the game. There are many unwritten, very stupid rules you must follow to be taken seriously: which characters are acceptable to play and which moves are acceptable to use and what setting you should have your game on. I personally do not care because I am very bad at the game and only care about fun, but their toxic mindset makes it impossible for non-male players to succeed in any type of non-recreational setting.
Everyone has a different preference, but there are a few characters I was introduced to that are often ignored because of various flaws men made up. My first recommendation would be Kirby, the title character from the games that share his name. He’s recognizable for his spherical pink body and big red feet. The controls are simple and great for a beginner. He is light and can jump many times, a valuable asset for new players who have difficulty remaining on the stage. He is hated because he is cute and fun.
Bayonetta is another good choice for beginner girl smashers. She begins her fights with “let’s dance boy” and has guns on her feet. She is a witch who can turn into a butterfly. Also she wears glasses which I feel like is really important for representation. Her character illustrates a common phenomenon I have seen when introducing friends to Smash — hot girls gravitate to hot girls (also seen in Zero Suit Samus, Palutena and Zelda). Many female players initially choose women as their avatars. It is made more apparent when looking at the slim number of female fighters compared to the majority male fighters available. Bayonetta is violently hated by “serious” Smash players because of how powerful she is.
Girl Pokemon Trainer is one of my favorites. The character is originally male Pokemon Trainer, but each fighter comes with multiple skin options. While some alter just the colors, Pokemon Trainer gives you the option to change the look of the whole character. Girl Pokemon Trainer deploys three Pokemon, Charizard, Ivysaur and Squirtle, as her fighters in battle. She is cool because she just stands on the side as the pokemon do the fighting #girlboss. The character is cute and easy to use and offers fun customization.
Being a non-male player in any game is difficult. What is most important is finding the character you mold to best, and finding a group of girl smashers to play with. Together we can foster a new culture around not taking games so seriously. If you don’t want to use a rocket launcher to catapult Yoshi off screen, why are you even playing? Go girl gamers!
Written by: Livvy Mullen – firstname.lastname@example.org
For all the gamer girls out there