AKA - Confessions of a Girl Gamer From "Long Ago"
I completely realize this will "reveal" (kind of) my age but I'm OK with that and here's why! 1. I don't look my age, peeps 20 yrs younger than me think I'm younger than they are. 2. I don't act my age. 3. I'm proud of my age (probably because of reason #1). 4. Screw ageism. 5. Whatevs.
So my first game was pong. Yup, you read that correctly. I was a kid so I have no idea when the family got it but we played it as a family and we loved it. My dad had a patient who worked for Mattel so when I was a kid I had all the handhelds (old school handhelds!) Remember Merlin? This was BEFORE that! The racing game was my favorite - blips of light, that's all it was. There was a fun football game I remember too. Then I played intellivision. For some reason that was crazy fun.
I spent a lot of my high school years in a bowling alley because they had - you guessed it - video game consoles! Of course I loved Pac Man and learned "the quarter on the string" trick early on but my favorite was Centipede. I could play that game for days (years more likely).
When I was a roommate in college my flatmate had a box Mac (not sure what it was called) and he had this dungeon game with ridiculous "graphics" ie: non-existant but I played that game for a bazillion hours. In 1988/ish I bought my first PC and went to have it built (eventually I learned how to build my own). It was crazy huge and expensive and I asked for an EGA card. The guy at the store asked "why would you want color?" and I said "for gaming" and he said "what's that?" Back then most gaming was text based! Which is a very happy place for me because it combined reading (my favorite) with gaming!
When Mario 16 bit came out - I stayed up all night long with friends - for days on end. For that and for Zelda. Those were some magical days/nights indeed.
Eventually things got serious and so did I. After college I worked for GamePro Magazine and was a game tester. These interests finally led me to co-create the first video game review TV show in the US. It was an interesting path. One thing led to another, to another, to another. There were a few years where I got an inflated ego because strangers in public recognized me and I had some fan mail (very little mind you!). I was flown in a helicopter to a game party, I lounged in the grotto at the Playboy Mansion, I drank champagne and traveled the US. In the end though, I lost part of my soul.
But back to the games - In the early 2000's I became an evercrack (Everquest) fanatic, leading me on yet another journey. I've played a myriad of games, I'm not a fantastic player but I was always "good enough for a girl" and now all that has changed. And I'm so happy about it! Girl gamers abound! Back in the day, guys would come up to me with weird expressions and say "you're a gamer?" but now it's commonplace and some girls even get paid for it! How awesome is that?
Our grandparents may measure their lifetime changes in one form of technology (washing machines, cars, etc.) and we may measure ours in another - video games. I suspect the future will measure theirs in sentience and longevity. If we don't destroy the planet and each other before then.
But for now - take some stress off and go play a video game!