Here's a look into how gaming has affected my life, how I personally game, and how I view common stereotypes of females in the gaming world. I happen to be a female gamer, so I consider myself qualified to discuss these sorts of things.
My enjoyment of video games started when I was small — we had an original Nintendo Entertainment System, with Super Mario Bros. and Tetris. Literally all you could want. Our PC didn’t have many fun games, but when the magic of the Internet came along, all things were open. Back in the days of dial-up, I had thirty minutes a day of good old gaming… One of the most prominent memories I have is logging onto Lego.com and seeing what games were new. JunkBot was my absolute favorite, and when a second one came out I was thrilled.
And then came a little game called RuneScape. Friends of mine showed it to me at school, and during free time we would always be the first ones to grab the computer and log on. My first and main character has now weathered eight years. I kept playing in school until the techies wised up and blocked all the fun stuff. Then I did my best to play at home on our still lacking dial-up. Eventually the graphics got a little too nice for our old Windows 2000 machine, and for a stretch I didn’t spend much time on RuneScape.
I had plenty of time to get into other games now. I spent a lot of time on the PC playing other games that didn’t involve the Internet or awesome graphics. I got hooked on AdventureQuest at school when it came out. I played Tetris now and then on the NES. My cousins introduced me to the magic of Super Smash Bros. and shortly thereafter we got a GameCube ourselves. My favorite game, besides Smash Bros., was Animal Crossing.
A few months later my brother and I went halfsies on a Warcraft III Battle Chest. (By this point we had a decent computer.) That game got me hooked, and you could say I had been officially indoctrinated into the PC gaming universe; all the games I’d played before were simple one player action or puzzle games for the most part; Warcraft was a serious game, it was rated T. My introduction to RTS games didn’t lead me down that inevitable path…
Rather, I went full circle and asked for a D&D boxed set for Christmas. I got it and promptly bought the other two books I needed to play ‘for real’. I dragged my brother and my mom into it and we played a few times. Mostly, though, it was all me, creating worlds, magic items, and all sorts of secrets and things to explore. I haven’t ever seriously played it, but I’ve got tons of reference material and stats written up in binders and notebooks. It was a great use of my time during middle school and early high school. If I was bored, I’d write up a description of such-and-such place or roll up a new character.
It did lead my brother though — now he’s shooting up stormtroopers, Wookies, and snowspeeders daily in BattleFront. Or driving tanks over mines and generally blowing stuff up in one of his many simulator games. On any given day you might find him preventing parley between any number of ancient powers in Civilization, and then blowing everybody up with tanks and ICBMs. The only reason he’s not playing FPSes against other people all the time is our Wii; great for Mario Kart, not so much for shooting games.
Why don’t I do that? Ten bucks says it’s the one chromosome (the Y) that he possesses and I do not. Even though I’m a girl, I really do appreciate the strategy and thought involved in many of today’s games. I’m not in it for the guys. I want to play and have fun just like everybody else. If I happen to own you along the way, I’m okay with that.