As I’ve grown older, many of the childhood possessions I once held dear have lost their value. There’s usually one of two outcomes for those lost relics – the trash or gathering dust in a forgotten cardboard box. However, a few things I still cherish just the same as when I first got them – my video games & consoles. God, my Nintendo 64 is sitting in my closet along with all of its original games. Same with my PS2 and Nintendo DS! Unfortunately, my Gameboy got lost along the way somewhere and I’ve never been able to find it.
Video games have always been a significant part of my life for as long as I can remember. I can still see my little 8 year old self opening that brightly-colored box that contained her Nintendo 64 as clear as day. Video games were a way of exploring new worlds, becoming whoever I wanted to be, living out stories and adventures. I would sit in front of my television engrossed for hours, rush to the store when the newest game came out, play on the video game stand at Toy R’ Us while my mom shopped. I loved video games just as much as the next kid and continued to as I grew older. Of course though, gaming has its fair share of troubles too. Mostly, due to the fact that I’m a gamer who also happens to be a woman. Seeing as it’s a regular occurrence for fellow gamers of the female gender to experience, I think it’s important to touch on. That being the treatment of female gamers and the term “girl gamer.”
Many women who love video games are met with either utter disbelief and treated like anomalies or forced to prove their gamer credentials. Personally, I’ve had a number of guy friends question how much of a gamer I really am. (When said friends only play Call of Duty. I’ll let that speak for itself…) Not to mention, the lewd remarks I’ve gotten while playing on Xbox Live or any MMORPG’s/MMO’s. To be perfectly honest, it kinda sucks being a gamer sometimes. However, you have to not let those downsides lessen your love of it.
Regarding the term ‘girl gamer’ and everything that goes along with it, I can’t stand the word. I have never and will never call myself a “girl gamer.” I’m a gamer. Anyone who has a problem with that shall be doomed to a hell of dusty cartridges and rings of death for all eternity! The only thing that usage of “girl gamer” does is try to discredit females in the gaming community and make it a ‘boys only’ club. A gamer by definition is “a person who plays a game or games.” Therefore, it applies to any person regardless of age, gender, sex, race, or orientation.
Enough of that though! Presently, I’m probably more into gaming than I ever have been. Just one of the bonuses of having your own money. I got a new Xbox 360 for Christmas and have been addicted to it. My current best friend is the used games display at Gamestop. Don’t get me started on my Steam problem either, which is fairly large. It’s not my fault it always has so many sales! My current collection of games includes: Portal 2, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Assassian’s Creed, Fable, Arkham City, Tomb Raider, Dragon Age, Borderlands 2, BioShock, etc. Yeah, I have a lot of games I need to finish…like a mountain of them.
At the end of the day though, it’s all worth it. There’s just something so vastly different about games than movies or television or music or books. You’re able to get much more out of them than any other medium of entertainment. Video games put you directly in the role of the artist and narrator. The world and characters might already be set for you, but it’s you that control every aspect of where the journey goes. Instead of just consuming a finished product, you’re a participant. I think that’s why video games have such a dear place in my heart- they allow my imagination to run wild and the ability to actually live it out.