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Female Plays Video Games for Self

Destiny Richards, Staff Writer
March 6, 2012
Filed under Opinion

If someone were to ask me what my perfect day would consist of, it would be this: wake up, eat breakfast, go shopping, eat lunch, play video games, eat dinner, play more video games, then go to sleep.  If someone were to ask me what my favorite stores in the mall were I would say GameStop and Forever 21. This is rarely heard of. Usually a guy would say GameStop is his favorite store and a girl would say Forever 21, but liking both? And as a girl? Today, video games like Modern Warfare and Call of Duty are not discussed in the cafeteria amongst a group of girls because video games in general are labeled for guys. It’s just the status quo and the majority follows it. But what if a girl did like video games? It’s not impossible because I happen to be that girl.

I’ve played video games ever since I was about 5 and that’s what pretty much started it all. Most of the games I started out with were rated E for Everyone and I would play them with my peers. When I was younger, playing video games with my friends was a regular thing and it wasn’t labeled to guys only. It was common to for anyone to play games like Super Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Pokémon and other games rated E.

I also played a lot of girly games in my younger days. I loved fashion, so I had a weakness for any game that had anything to do with dressing up and doing make-up. My favorite games were the ones based on the Bratz dolls.

The first game I have ever played that was rated T for Teen and introduced me to Japanese games was Tekken, a Japanese martial arts fighting game. I just thought all the moves were so cool and I wanted to have fun playing it. There was only minor blood so it wasn’t too bad for me at a young age and my parents were usually oblivious anyway. Back then, the games I played as a child were only a pastime. By the time I reached 12, it took only one special game series to turn my video game playing from a hobby to the definition of my life.

That was the Kingdom Hearts series. I actually got the first game of the series, Kingdom Hearts, when I was 8 but I didn’t start loving it until later. The game featured different “worlds” based on Disney movies such as Hercules, Aladdin and The Nightmare Before Christmas and it also featured the characters in the game which was my main reason for wanting it. However, after getting it, I realized it wasn’t all sugar and rainbows. The game had a lot of dark themes in it. But eventually I grew to like those parts of the game. The series already is a game that is not only liked by guys, but girls too. The storyline is very heartfelt and appeals to both audiences.

In most video games like this, the storyline and the attractive male characters appeal to the girls, and the violent and strategical part of the game appeals to the guys. But for me, it’s pretty much both and that’s rare.

The Kingdom Hearts series also features characters from the Final Fantasy series, and that opened up more video gaming doors for me. These games are rated T for Teen so that shows how my tastes changed as I got older. I started to play Final Fantasy games after I had been exposed to it in Kingdom Hearts and I came to absolutely love RPG fighting games. These were all games that followed a series so games under the name kept being produced for years and you can bet I’ve played them all. Once I reached 16, I still played these and even recent games under the old names like Mario and Legend of Zelda. My tastes in games were growing beyond my gender. My preferences were maturing at this time and I was interested in games that were Rated M for Mature.

Games such as Assassin’s Creed and God of War have titles that suggest violence, and what can I say? They were. And blood and gore doesn’t suggest at being agreeable with most females, but I still play them any way purely out of fun.  I’m not this heartless demon who finds a thrill in stabbing, gauging and slitting throats. In fact, I usually only find it funny or disturbing. But my true reason for liking these games is because of the underlying story lines that are actually pretty good. Both games are historical fiction too, which I believe interests me the most. The Assassin’s Creed games all take place in historical time periods in exotic locations like Rome and Constantinople while God of War is based on Greek Mythology. All of it is just really intense and amazingly creative. I believe that is what I love the most about them. There are some games that I play like Mortal Kombat that are all about violence with no actual storyline, but like I said, purely out of fun.

Playing video games as a girl can have its negatives, however. One of those is that I can almost never discuss video games with anybody. Most of my friends are girls and they don’t play games, therefore I’m really just on my own. I do have some guy friends who I talk to, but it really only goes so far with talking about games and it can feel kind of weird. Another negative is that it can drive me away from making friends because some girls may find it intimidating or strange when I mention that I like these things.

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives though. A good thing I get out of it is that I can meet different types of people. I have a couple of friends who are girls that play video games from time to time and I have friends who are girls and in to fashion like I am. It’s the best of both worlds. I would probably only have guy acquaintances instead of good friends if I didn’t have games to talk about with them; it’s great to have such diverse friends that I have things in common with. Some girls say they play video games to impress a guy or they were influenced by their older brother, but not me and I take some pride in that. I gained the interest all on my own. Playing video games as a girl, or being a “gamer girl” as it’s called, also makes me feel unique. There are very few girls like this and it makes me feel special that I break the gender barrier.

Video games are literally a part of my everyday life. I can’t play them day to day because of schoolwork, but that doesn’t mean I can’t recreate the feeling. Anytime I’m seen listening to my iPod, I’m usually not listening to Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, but a video game soundtrack. In fact, I listen to music from my favorite video games more than anything else. Yes, it’s just instrumental, but I appreciate it because of the nostalgia it creates. I’m in band so I naturally have a taste for instrumental music every once in a while. But when I listen to the music, be it a soft violin ballad or a majestic, intense orchestral song, it recreates the feeling of me sitting in my room playing the game and remembering every scene where the song was creates that nostalgic feeling.

People usually stereotype someone who plays video games as a loner nerd who dresses badly and doesn’t do very well in school, and a male for that matter. But I happen to be none of those things. Okay, I’m a nerd about gaming sometimes but I’m also a nerd about fashion and I do very well in school. That just goes to show that these labels are usually never true. I’m proud to be outside of the stereotype that only guys play video games because it gives me a sense of empowerment and freedom. It makes me feel like even though I’m a girl I can like blue instead of pink, and I can like pants instead of skirts. So, hopefully, one day people can avoid doing a double take if they see a girl playing Call of Duty or Halo because it’s all a matter of preferences and that’s what makes us all unique in our own way.