Monday, May 28, 2012

Am I a Gamer Girl? Or a Girl Who Games? And Does It Really Matter?

I'm Emilie, significant other to Jack. I don't really have any fancy nicknames but for the purpose of this blog I will go by Conklederp. A question I've been asking myself lately is, am I a gamer girl? Or a girl who games?

Video games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As kids my brother and I had a Super Nintendo, but we only had 2 games - Super Mario World, and Super Mario Allstars.  We spent countless hours playing those games, but for some reason I just never got good at them. Something about lacking hand-eye coordination? Or not being able to figure out that you need to jump off Yoshi to jump across that gap? All I know is that when I couldn't figure out how to do something I would pass the controller over to my brother, who would gladly take over. 

The more games I played the more I learned that when it comes to action games, I actually prefer watching people play than doing it myself. My reaction time just isn't fast enough to progress much further than the first few levels. Examples of this include all the Mario games, Limbo for XBox, and even one of my favorites, Katamari. That's not to say that I don't enjoy these games, but when it comes to action, I panic. The simple fact of it is that I don't like frantic button mashing.

Around the time that I was giving up on Mario, I discovered Pokemon. To a ten year old, the primary appeal was how cute Bulbasaur was, and following the cartoon. In fact, I once traded my Eevee for my brother's Meowth because I liked Team Rocket. Ah, the folly of youth! As I've gotten older I've realized that there's much more to the game that just catching cute creatures. I've played through Pokemon Diamond, SoulSilver, and most recently White. While I know what some traditionalists would say, I found them to be consistently great games. I like putting together a team that is versatile and can win in any situation. I like training my guys to ridiculously high levels so that I can breeze through the Elite Four.

The games that I get really into tend to be slower paced and more about thinking than doing. I'm all about turn-based RPGs. When Jack introduced me to Final Fantasy Tactics, I don't know or want to admit how many hours of my life I spent playing through the game and all of its subquests-- Although I'm still working on getting a Dark Knight.

There is one game above the others that owns my heart, and that is The Sims. I'll probably end up posting a separate entry about this because I have tons to say, but for now I'll just say I have been playing this game for approximately half my life. (Jesus...) It's rare that anything, be it books, hobbies, or any other game, can cause me to stay up until 4 AM but this game managed to do it. I love The Sims so much that I have to limit myself and not play it during the school year, otherwise I would probably do that instead of my work. I think the thing that draws me to this game more than any others is that you can set your own goals. Aside from your Sim's lifespan, there is virtually no time limit. I've taken two weeks to build the perfect mansion. (And of course none of my Sims could afford to live there!). 

So that's me. I like RPGs and sandbox games. I don't like time limits, and action games stress me out. Does that make me any less of a gamer? Eh. And, would any of this be a big deal if I was a dude? Unlikely. All I know is that video games are a huge part of me and I can't imagine my life without them.

Conklederp, signing out!


  1. I'll just say again that I do consider you to be a "gamer." Not a Gamer Girl or a Girl Who Games since to me, it makes it sound like you're something out of the ordinary, with "ordinary" being a male gamer. There's no additional designation for either Dr. Potts or myself when we say we're gamers, or geeks/nerds for that matter; and geeks/nerds can be either gender without a specific designation as well. Again, these are all just my personal thoughts on the matter.

    You're also more into iPhone games than I am as I still don't own a smart phone. So even your gaming knowledge/know-how delves into categories that I am not familiar with.

  2. Also, this:

  3. Glad to have you, Conklederp! I appreciate you sharing and I am happy to read about your gaming experience. I think it's interesting how our base gaming experiences sculpt what kind of gamer we become. I never played the SIMS, but I bet I would have loved it. Now I just feel too old to get into a game that is that big.

    Regarding game player terminology: In my opinion, the designations "Girl Gamer" or "Gamer girl" aren't something I want to use. I don't think of gamers in terms of Gender, and, in fact, I only ever started calling myself a "gamer" when that word started being used around me. Before that, I just said "I love video games." Based on the arguments in the Wikipedia article, I won't be using the 'girl gamer' terms.

    To digress a little from the subject, I have always really loved the gender neutrality of games. That is to say, I usually gravitate toward female characters in fighting games. Female characters like Chun-Li from Street Fighter are usually more agile, but weaker, and I find that I like that in fighting games.

  4. I agree with both of you! This might be another topic for another time but...I've been seeing a lot of stuff online about "gamer girls" and what constitutes one. Comics like this one ( really irritate me, because really? Just because a person (male OR female) likes to, oh I don't know, shower?, or look nice, or have interests outside of games, it doesn't make them any less of a gamer. And I can chew on my goddamn controller if I want to... although, ew. Anyway.
    Dr Potts, I might have my original Sims 3 disc lying around if you're interested in giving it a go...