2, Issue 2
November 16, 1999
of a Gamer:
Are you sure you want me to do this?
original intention was to stay as far away from loonygames as
possible. It just wasn't my scene, I didn't understand any of
it, and I just didn't care enough to, say, get pissed off about
Lara Croft. But I eventually found myself actually reading loonygames
and wanting to play some of the games that were mentioned in its
articles. On the whole, I thought it was very well done, even
though I still had no idea what was going on. Heck, I even wrote
in to the mailbag and won a t-shirt.
loony called me and asked if I wanted to take over the "Birth
of a Gamer" column, my first response was yes. Followed by,
"Are you sure you want me to do this," as though I'd
break the server or something. I guess part of my reaction was
because after months of being surrounded by his surreal world,
I sort of wanted in. I'd also finally have a legitimate reason
for spending hours in front of my computer for "research"
purposes. And of course, I can't deny the fact that I'm a pretentious
English major who just wants her own byline. Regardless of my
motives, here I am, writing what I hope will become a regular
column about gaming from a non-gamer's perspective.
isn't really giving birth to a gamer; it's more like a "rebirth."
Up until the last couple of years of high school, I played lots
of games, mostly badly, and solely on consoles. When I was four
years old my dad bought me an Atari. Actually, I think he really
bought it for himself, but he told my mother it was for me and
my infant brother. I spent hours playing Pac-Man, Donkey
Kong, Space Invaders, you name it. I kept buying games
for that thing up until I was about twelve. I still quiver at
the memory of my mother throwing it away when we moved to a new
apartment. How I mourn the loss of my precious Pong!
said Atari was eventually replaced by the NES. From then on I
realized that the only two games I'd ever be good at were Super
Mario Bros. and Tetris, which I now have again, thanks
to my Game Boy Color. Anyway, I played these games to exhaustion.
I think that this was also about that time (correct me if I'm
wrong--I probably am) that the wars began and new consoles seemed
to be coming out in droves at exorbitant prices. My parents couldn't
justify shelling out the money to buy these for me--they said
I should spend my time doing other things.
imagine my ire when they bought my brothers a Sega Genesis later
that year. Video games weren't an appropriate pastime for their
tree-climbing, baseball-playing, mud-stained daughter, yet my
brothers could take out all their aggression on a television screen
any time. This was the first time that I realized there was a
double standard when it came to video games. I don't think my
parents meant any harm. They were probably looking out for my
best interests, and trying to steer me toward "girl"
activities that were more socially acceptable. I almost hit the
roof when they bought my brothers a Super NES as well, but I eventually
gave up the battle and settled into getting my ass whooped by