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Let’s Play Why Gamer Girls Are Vital In the Video Game Community

“3...2...1...go!”

 

This is how battles begin in the video Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a non-traditional multiplayer fighting game on the Nintendo Switch that has become one of the most addicting games I continuously play today. I first began playing Ultimate around January 2020 thanks to my boyfriend letting me borrow his Switch Lite and a few frat events that consisted of us playing it together. During those times, I played casually and mostly mashed buttons.

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Ironically, my first Smash game was Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. I played it while my middle school friend had us over for a summer party and we were playing an eight-player match. I ended up beating one of her friends, who was supposed to be the best one out of all of us. I remember my best friend hyping me up and the guy I beat being stunned with silence. This brings me back to my journey with Ultimate and how I began to enter the Smash community.

In the game, you have your “main” fighter which is your go-to, and usually the character you know like the back of your hand. When I first started playing I tried to pick up Pikachu or Lucario because of my familiarity with Pokemon. One day, I decided to try Princess Peach and by far she was the most difficult for me, yet the most rewarding.

Since then, I became a Paisy main (the name combination of Peach and Daisy, who are both echo fighters of each other) and definitely stepped up my play skills. I watched combo videos, the basics, and Twitch streams from Paisy stars like Sailor J and Lady Luck.

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Samsora is another famous Paisy player in the community, but I found these two players most relatable since they’re gamer girls. I’ve had my share of video games I was obsessed with from Resident Evil 4 to anything NES, but almost every tutorial I watched was never played by a girl.

When I first stumbled upon Lady Luck, it was her Peach combo guide. I loved the way she took time to start at square one and would re-explain some smash terms for those who may not have been familiar with them. She also has such an easy-to-follow style and is such a sweetheart! Since discovering her way back when I follow her Instagram and Twitter and even joined her discord community.

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Sailor J on the other hand was pure luck. I saw a highlight video on Twitter and thought I want to do THAT! I watched her streams and she’s such a funny person who has amazing moves with Peach. I follow her Twitter and love it whenever she posts clips of her combos and matches.

To me, both of these women make me happy because I get to see someone like me doing something I love. Even if I may be a casual player, I want to improve my technique and try my best. I always had a determined attitude or stubborn depending on how you see it, so I love the challenge of playing as Peach. I also get so fulfilled whenever I win sudden deaths, tourneys, or have comebacks during matches. I also was able to get Peach into Elite Smash, which is for top players in the Smash ranking system, and was once something I thought I could never do. Overall, it’s important to have role models who have similar characteristics to yourself so you can have a sense of comfort with something you’re passionate about.

Mya Benavides

UC Riverside '21

Lover of kindness, music, and creating. Undergrad at UCR pursuing a B.A. in Sociology along with a Minor in English.
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