of a Gamer: Are You Sure You Want me to do This?
2, Issue 2
November 16, 1999
days began to wane during high school and finally came to an end
after my freshman year of college. I moved into my own apartment
and had to choose between buying games and eating. Since starving
to death would obviously not have been a good thing, I chose to
eat. I spent the next three years virtually gameless and clueless,
and the gamer in me died. Do you hear the violins? Do you feel
sorry for me yet? It's a sad story, one of the saddest, I tell
ya. But it does get better.
beginning of my senior year of college, I met our illustrious
editor, loony himself, in a history class. I thought he was insane.
I thought he was completely out of his mind. I thought he was
having a hell of a lot more fun than me. I mean, there he was,
carving out a career for himself, doing something that most of
us just do for fun. I was amazed that people could actually devote
their entire lives to developing, playing, and writing about games.
And that was just what they did for a living--after that they
went home and played more games! Adult men (and they are mostly
men) spent their entire lives doing this.
the double standard struck me. Where are all the women? Sure,
I know some women who love to play, but I've heard enough of loony's
stories about male-dominated LAN parties to wonder what happened
to the other half of the population. How many other women were
told when they were younger that they should find something more
appropriate to do with their free time? Things are a bit different
now, as it seems to be more acceptable for girls to play video
games and to learn how to use computers for more than just typing
papers. But that's about ten years too late for me, and for many
other women in their twenties and older.
to wonder, in fact, if it's any coincidence that the "Birth
of a Gamer" column is being written by a woman, and that
the person who did it before me was also a woman. This isn't due
to deliberate reinforcement of old stereotypes about how women
can't play games. Rather, it kind of turns out that way by default--how
many men in my age group can say that they've never played a video
game? So I guess it makes sense to have a woman write this column,
because it's much more common to meet women who are new to gaming.
asked me to write this column, it was because I was the only person
he knew who really could write it. My hiatus from gaming means
that I've missed out on so much development that I might as well
be starting from scratch. And it's true...some of the stuff I've
been seeing is absolutely amazing. I used to be able to pick up
a game and know exactly what to do with it. Now I'm so busy just
taking in what's on my screen that I have to remind myself to
actually play the darned thing.
really have a plan for how I'm going to write this column. I'm
assuming I'll just get a bunch of games, play them, and write
what I think. If you don't like my rantings, well, sorry. I tend
to get very opinionated, like it or not. If you think I'm a complete
idiot, you're probably at least half-right. If my references are
dated and my terminology is, well, nonexistent, you'll just have
to forgive me. And I tend to digress into flowery prose that leads
nowhere. But hey, I'm a pretentious English major, and now I have
a byline. And yes, Lara Croft's perky breasts really do piss me
actually enjoys this.