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My Love and Hate of the Gaming Industry

What I love and hate about the gaming industry.

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I've been a gamer for 30+ years, so I've seen it grow into the marvel it is today. I fell in love with the idea of controller/console and PC/mouse/keyboard. The whole concept of playing a game on a screen where I could become my character and escape from the real world was genius to me. I played with my family, friends and by myself, it didn't matter, gaming was awesome.

Being around gamers my entire life, I've learned and seen a lot. You have your console gamers, PC gamers, different genres, single-players, multiplayers and everything in between. Yet it's always been formerly dominated by and known as a "Boys Club". To be a girl gamer was odd when I was younger and now that I'm older, only little has changed in that "idea" of a female gamer.

The Frag Dolls

Everyone has their own definition of what a "gamer girl" is and isn't but who decides? Who gets to determine whether or not a girl/woman is a gamer or not? Geek, gamer, nerd... all once were names of shame but now it's as if it's an elite status, some form of royalty. This is what I HATE the most.

I read/love comics, I'm a writer, love science, love playing video games on my consoles and PC, love superheroes (I have a Top 5), love watching anime, love computers... did I say I love video games? I can easily spend hours and hours on playing video games completely forgetting what time it is. I have certain types of games I really love and others that I'll just play. Does this not qualify me as a gamer?

I can't stand when I'm online on my Xbox and I'll get hammered by immature boys on being a female. The very idea of "me" either provokes an onslaught of insults towards my gender or sexual comments/questions that can be so deplorable that I need to clean my ears with Clorox. On top of this, it's immediately assumed I'm on my boyfriend's console, I don't know how to play, girls shouldn't play or I'm told I'm not a real gamer.

What is it that gets people so wound up on those two words... girl gamer?

I can't tell you how many times I've been questioned on my "authenticity" of being a gamer. I've never been on a job interview that was more grueling. Why do they do this? What's so hard to understand about female gamers? What makes the pervert come out when you hear a female voice on the other side of the mic?

Yet, with those who are level headed, I love being part of a community. The gaming community has some wonderful people out there who are accepting and giving. I love being around people that I can be my dorky self with and not be judged for playing games. Where I can talk about cosplay, anime and not be thought of as weird. I met my fiancé through gaming and I feel lucky for it. Having positives in an industry that saved my life during my darkest period is a privilege and I'm truly grateful. Gaming was so vital to my recovery in a way that no amount of money to the best therapist could've helped.

Going to a con is like going to a family reunion (in a sense). You're so happy to see your loved ones, talk about everything that's new and exciting and then you have the other family member or two that you wish couldn't make it. Yes this is the gaming industry, with its good and its bad but one that I love.

 

Originally Published Feb. 14th 2014

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I'm really just a kid in adult form. I'm a Published Author, Photographer, Artist, long time gamer of 30+ years, Activist, Singer, Dancer,... more »



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Comments
  • 5
    Elizabeth T 9 months ago
    Featured Contributor
    From a fellow female gamer of many years, I applaud you and very much enjoyed your article. It hit home in many ways. Before I met my husband, (playing WoW), I had several proposals from young men who were serious about wishing they had a girlfriend who gamed. My age was a deterrent to most, but not all. The fact that I was a female gamer was "awesome sauce" as one young man put it.

    There were the detractors who believed I was actually either gay, or a guy playing a female character. Especially when they were told I built the computer I was playing on.

    My son, who will be 34 this month does not approve of me being a gamer, especially this "late in my life". ::picture me rolling my eyes on that one:: but, he plays console games while his children are napping or being occupied by their mother.

    You would be welcome and have fun in my guild. We joke around, we help each other, we talk, we are ourselves with all our warts and laugh lines. We range in age from 15 to 78 and respect each other. Male and female, young and old, we're gamers. Most of us are true geeks. some are "wannabe" geeks that just love the game. And we have fun. most of all, we have fun. After all... It's JUST a game. ;) A game filled with most all the friends I have in the world, and that kept me sane and determined to not give up when I was so sick I could only play while laying down.

    I ignore the little boys and their tiny little self-esteems. They have no power to change the game for me. I can put them on my ignore list and happily continue killing anything that comes between my claws and my goal. Or go farm some rep for a killer gear item or mount. it doesn't matter. i don't care what they think. Never have, and never will.
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 9 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Woah, I think that creepy dude with the glasses was my manager at EB.

    As for the rest, it all comes down to immaturity, as always. I'm embarrassed that my fellow gamers act the way they do, especially toward females. They have to "qualify" someone as a "gamer" because after all, it's the one thing they've got in life. It's what they have over everyone; i.e., their knowledge and passion for something. When someone claims to have more knowledge and passion, they throw a temper tantrum.

    Just keep doing what you're doing, Venisia. Maybe some day, the boys (not men) will grow up.
  • 60
    Venisia Gonzalez 9 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Haha your manager look-a-like?! Yes, I agree a lot has to do with maturity and it's sad. Thanks for reading, much appreciated!!
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 9 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    I like reading your stuff. :)

    Yeah, that looks a lot like my manager from a good 10 years ago. He wasn't quite as creepy but it's surprisingly close. LOL
  • 60
    Venisia Gonzalez 9 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Thank you again and I'm glad you do. That makes me happy to hear.
    As for your old manager, that's way too funny LOL!
  • 60
    Fathoms_4209 9 months ago
    Featured Columnist
    Hey, you write real stuff. Know how hard it is to find "real" rather than politically or socially motivated these days? ;)