Being a Female & Working at GameStop
The most asked question I got from my time employed at GameStop was “What is it like being a female who works at GameStop?”, firstly, while GameStop is a widely known male-dominated work industry there seems to average at least 1-2 girls at each store. Also, as a side note when there was a district leader meeting that I happened to be working at the majority of the leaders were female. So, there are more women working in the industry then most think.
Anyways, my first couple of months I worked a shift here and there. It was more of a fun once a week type job where I could learn about new games and my co-workers rather than an actual job. I was in school (still am) and was working full time at a hotel on the beach. Now, my third shift I will never forget. I was being trained on how to categorize and make cover art for the cases on the floor, a young, maybe 14-15 year old, boy came wondering in. I welcomed him to the store and told him to let me know if I could help him with anything and went back to organizing. After about 15 minutes he was standing behind the clearance collectibles, I walked over and asked him if he needed help. He slowly looked up at me, his entire body shook and he turned his head side to side telling me ‘no’. I politely said “okay, well let me know. I am here to help” my MOD (manager on duty) at the time has called me over and as soon as I walked toward the register’s and as soon as I turned around the boy ran like a bat out of hell out of the store. A little later into the night I went back to that section to finish cleaning it and noticed a small puddle of something on the ground and then I put two and two together. The poor boy had peed himself. It was nothing like I had ever experienced before.
I wouldn't have considered myself fully immersed in the nerd culture until about 6-7 months into my career at GameStop. The constant comments I got from customers didn’t help that transition either. “Oh you don’t look like a girl that knows games”, “is there someone here that would actually know about these games rather than what is just on the cover” was one of my favorites, or “you shouldn't be working here you don’t play anything”. Well, hate to break it to you but I have been playing on consoles since I was four years old. I was in no way a “gamer” until this last year. A gamer in the sense of dedicated gaming and active participation in the gaming industry rather than what I did most of my life and watch others play. My boyfriend has ALWAYS been an active gamer, he is always up to date on the new games and has friends he plays with every day. Me? I’ve preferred books and movies, mostly in the horror/thriller genre. Until I played Shadow of War, that game captured my heart. I played for a straight twelve hours and then slept for eighteen. I am not the type of person to stay up past 1:00 AM or maybe 2:00 AM at the latest. I am a HUGE FAN of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Series, so there was no hesitation when I found there were more than one Lord of the Rings games, Shadow of Mordor, War of the North, just to name a couple.
Like I previously mentioned I had only just recently starting gaming, by the way, I am Xbox all the way. I do also own the special edition Diablo Nintendo Switch, special edition God of War PS4 Pro, Nintendo 2DS, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PS Vita, PSP, I know I have a lot of Sony systems but Xbox is my preferred system. But, working at GameStop is the reason why I have most of these systems. While working at GameStop, I found a sense of community and understanding amongst my co-workers. Most of the hostility came from customers. Those who thought very little of me solely based on my appearance, thought and told me that I didn’t “fit” the look of a typical female GameStop employee.
After I was promoted to Senior Game Advisor, transferred stores (I moved to a different part of Florida) and having had worked with the company for 4 months I was able to shut down many of the inappropriate and degrading comments with my fancy new title. Basically, I was a glorified key holder, but with the title came a “guaranteed” 20 hours and steady pay. In my 13 months working for GameStop, I made friends, met some interesting and unique people and got a lot of swag. But something that made my time memorable was my awakening into my nerd self. Having so many force me into this category of women when they never even gave me a chance to prove my knowledge made me want to learn more, and that's what I did, learn. I am still learning about this wonderful community of the nerd culture.
To sum it up, my time at GameStop as a female employee who doesn't “fit” the profile was filled with fun, annoyance and a true sense of a welcome community (from the employees as least).