'Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything' Gets Everything Pretty Much Wrong

GeekMom TV and Movies
Image Courtesy © Disney XD
Image Courtesy © Disney XD

All it took was the promise of seeing Stampy Cat on Disney XD’s newest TV show, Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything, and my 6-year-old begged for the free episode currently offered on iTunes. We’re a family that loves to play video games and watches the Disney Channel regularly, so it seemed like a match made in heaven… until we got a sneak peek at the pilot.

Stampy Cat kicks off the episode, as promised, gamely playing the part of an announcer (no pun intended) at the finals of a world gaming championship. No girl gamer shown in the finals, I noticed immediately, but knowing that there was a girl in the regular cast, I was willing to let it slide. But it turned out to be the portrayal of that girl that sealed my opinion: If the pilot is any indication, this is a show that plays on most of the worst stereotypes about gamers.

Image Courtesy © Disney XD
Image Courtesy © Disney XD

Ashley shushes the others for loudly saying that she plays video games, bemoaning that her volleyball teammates will think less of her if they find out. In an age where almost every kid, girl or boy, plays games either on a smartphone or in the world of Minecraft, it seems like an out-of-date attitude for a character to have.

On top of that, Ashley could have served as a strong counterpart to pro-gamer Conor, with smarts and confidence in both herself and her own skills as a “gamer.” Instead, the character my daughter could have identified with (as an avid game player herself) is an easily-distracted ditz. The other gamers have problems with social skills and lack common sense. Is making fun of people who play video games really still a thing?

Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything premieres on July 22 on Disney XD. The channel is more directed at appealing to a young male audience, so perhaps that explains the stereotypes and depiction of Ashley. And, granted, this is a kids’ comedy show, so my expectations shouldn’t be high to begin with. But knowing that there are wonderful female characters on Disney XD’s shows (I’m looking at you, Star Wars Rebels), I can’t simply excuse it away. We’ll stick to Stampy Cat on YouTube instead.

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5 thoughts on “'Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything' Gets Everything Pretty Much Wrong

  1. I have to say I haven’t heard about this show, then again not having cable for the kids to watch Disney on kind of hinders that. Now I’m more than disappointed that we are still given these stereotypes about gamers. I’ve spent years under those shadows and ideas that people believed I fit in since I was an advocate for games very early on.

    Trying to target a young audience does not mean insulted an entire interest group/life style. Bad move Disney.

  2. No, you should expect more. Look at Anazon’s original series Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbons, or the pilot for History of Radness. All have great, identifiable, funny girl characters. Look at Word Girl, Sarah Jane Adventures, Legend of Korra, PowerPuffGirls, My Little Pony, even Star Trek TNG and Rescue Rangers. I watch those with my girls and they are great. Disney could have done a great job with the video game scene. I don’t know any kids that don’t play games. The just chose poorly [insert Indiana Jones meme].

  3. I’ve only seen commercials so far, but wasn’t very impressed with them. Your review confirms what I thought. I’ll be steering my daughter away from this one, I think. Maybe move up my “cut the cable” plan by a couple months. Plenty of shows with great female characters available to stream.

  4. For a company that should be used to huge gamers and fandoms you would think, they would have written the female lead better. That is really disappointing, although I no longer subscribe to cable it would have been nice to see Disney portraying characters a lot more realistically then what they did…

  5. Disney XD actually has some great female protagonists. Skylar Storm in Mighty Med, Bree Davenport in Lab Rats, Kim Crawford in Kickin’ It. So it’s kind of disappointing that they dropped the ball here.

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