Growing up as a Female Gamer
I've been gaming since I was six months old...
Starting off as a mousy, dishwater blonde squirt of a girl I already looked like a so called nerd. Elementary school was nothing short of strange for me. The amount of bias and intriguing amount of acceptance was staggering as I look back on it now starting my adult life.
I've been gaming since I was six months old and my fantastic father played the original Tenchu on the first Playstation console. I was sound asleep in his lap while he played and slashed at evil ninjas and demons. There are family pictures of me as a child with the Xbox brick and the not ergonomic controller for my petite hands. It was an amazing time that video games were becoming more complex and story-driven.
First grade was when everything started moving along. Now my school had a girls' table and a guys' table, not the school's fault, it was the whole cooties and girls are different from guys stigma that everyone had at 6-7 years old. Being my awkward little self but wanting to fit in, I sat with the girls at the designated table. The response to say was less than welcoming, they all backed away from me like I had the plague. I dealt with it for about a week before getting tired of the lack of engaging conversation. I moved over to the guys table and immediately got questions on whether I could sit there. I told them I knew about video games and the newest one, which at the time was Area 51. All the boys seemed to drop their collective chicken nuggets at the mention of a girl knowing anything about something that kept my imagination alive and well to this day. They accepted me and my strange lack of girlishness with welcome arms.
You see I'm a bit of a researcher and have been reading at college level since first grade as well so when the gaming magazine Gameinformer came in the mail I read that beautiful glossy magazine front to back. So I knew everything about every game at that time. I could spill out what was coming and what reviews were excellent. They ate up everything I said and I made great friends throughout the years of elementary school because of my love for pixels programmed to make a story that enthralled.
Now the bad part of growing up with this passion came at about high school, where every girl tried to be what I thought was my originality and a part of my personality. This trend of being what is called "Gamer Gurl" has now earned an infamous reputation of being an insult to supposed "True Gamers." Now every female that was considered an outcast had this hobby and it has since tarnished something I thought was very special and amazing. Not to add, a lot of guys thought that if I didn't play certain games or knew the middle name of the grandfather of the main character I was a fake and just going on with the trend. This made me incredibly disappointed at the generation of growing up with the hallmark of video game progression, Halo.
Growing up as a female gamer though, has given me so many advantages, like actual connections and in depth conversations that gave me joy at either informing others or learning myself about games I love and continually enjoy. I think of myself quite lucky to peer into others imaginations and join in the happiness they put into coding, storytelling, and drawing out.