Posts Tagged ‘Wii U’

What does it mean to be a “girl gamer”?

This isn’t really a question that I ask myself, I don’t really ever even think about that question. Until I see the look on people’s faces when they find out I play games. For me, and I would assume for most of us “girl gamers” we don’t think about it, because this is just the way that we are.
I am female, an adult, and I like, no dare I say, LOVE video games! I am just like the men/boy gamers of the world. So why are we seen so differently? For some reason females in gaming are seen as this elusive species, a legend, an urban myth, a unicorn. So let me let you in on a little secret, we exist! We are out there, you walk by us every day, you talk to us, you interact with us, in some cases we might even be your boss, and just in case you hadn’t noticed there are females in the gaming industry working hard to create these games we have all dedicated countless hours to, and guess what… They are doing it right alongside the men!

So why am I asking this question now?
I don’t think most people realize what women take on when they find themselves drawn to what, from an outsider (and even some insiders) feel is a boys club. Most of the time we are dismissed, and it is automatically assumed that we can’t play or that all we play are Hello Kitty and Disney games (absolutely nothing wrong with that) but there is so much more to us. We don’t all get into gaming because our brothers or boyfriends taught us too. Most of us found ourselves attracted by the amazing worlds that opened up literally at our fingertips, most of us taught ourselves how to play with countless hours of sometimes frustrating gameplay, and for most of us years later, we still love it!
So let me share with you the story of one such “girl gamer”.

I was young and completely unaware of the video game world. I had seen my uncle play with an Atari, but I was never allowed to play, because of course… I was a girl. One day I happened to find myself staring wide eyed at a Sega Genesis, I still remember what it felt like. I was just walking by, minding my own business at the local toy store, and all of the sudden behind this glass cabinet was this amazing shiny black box that literally screamed out my name. It was indescribable, I had to have it! It looked beautiful, and the worlds it promised, I literally stood there enthralled. I pressed my little face up to the glass hoping that somehow magically through osmosis I could just touch it. Fortunately the gods were smiling down on me, and my mom decided I had been a good enough little girl to warrant such a gift. You see I am the oldest of four, the only girl and she was about to have my first of three younger brothers so really, I think she was just trying to butter me up for permanent baby sitter availability.
This one moment is what started it all, from that moment on I was hooked. I spent hours completely immersed in so many games that to this day I still absolutely love, and fortunately some of them have even been remade, Castle of Illusion being one of those games I loved and after having a chance to play it again recently it is still amazing. I have to say my only regret of those early gaming days is never having beat Ecco the Dolphin (those were definitely my first nerd rage moments). As I continued to grow and my desire for games increased I discovered Nintendo, and let’s just say they stole my heart.
Throughout the years there have been so many games that I have enjoyed and I literally own every gaming console and handheld, in some case multiples that have come out since the Genesis (except a Neo Geo Pocket that was stolen and never replaced) but for some reason there is no other that speaks to my heart the way Nintendo does. There is a small exception to that, Gears of War, I don’t know what it is about that series that touched me but I actually cried more than once as I played through the trilogy (I say that because I didn’t play the last one, a slight boycott since Cliff Blezinski had nothing to
do with it).

So many years and so many games but one thing remains the same I am a gamer!
I wait with baited breath for word on the latest releases from my favorite developers. I subscribe to numerous gaming magazines. I follow news online about the goings on of the gaming world. I have even been known to cosplay now and again.
It’s no secret to those that know me that if you just but peaked inside my bag you would surely find my 3DS XL and that my little friend and I have only been parted twice, once for surgery, and once because it was stolen, the latter a very sad experience as not only did I not have my little friend but OH MY GOD, my save data!
It is also no secret that I rather spend quality time at home playing my latest game on a day off than wasting it at the mall or some other place that us girls are supposed to go. I strategically organize my schedule to ensure that I have release day and a couple of days off after launch to make the most of my gaming time (can’t wait for Destiny launch and 3 days off). My most recent acquisition was Diablo iii Ultimate (not enough games like this). I find myself wanting to jump out of my comfort zone and try games that I might not be as great at but am drawn by the world. I will even share another little secret with you… I am a damn good sniper!

So you see,we are not all that different from all the other gamers you know. So I ask you, in the end aren’t we all just gamers that love, hate, and dive in to these vast universe time and time again to experience and enjoy the possibilities at our fingertips?

*This was originally posted on shegotgamedoc.ca so I thought I would make it available on my own blog as well. Click on the link and check out all the great work that Cailleah Scott-Grimes is doing to highlight women in gaming!

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What will be the death of this industry that I have come to love throughout the years? The thing that gives me solace after a crappy day or what I look forward to doing on my days off, the thing that for so many of us allows us to do things that might never have been possible in the “real world”. Why would something that brings joy to so many of us out there ever be threatened, why would it ever be systematically dismantled?
I’ll tell you why…
Humans, humans can really suck!
What is the first thing that is talked about when thinking about a new concept for a game?
The story, the characters, the world, the amazing new advancements in development that could be achieved through the making of the game? Nope. Its money, how much profit can we make?
Don’t get me wrong money is needed, needed to be sustainable, needed to pay the great talent that is required to create the fantastic worlds I so enjoy. But does it really have to be the most important? Does it really have to cripple amazing ideas that would have made alot of money if they hadn’t been sidelined by greed?
Ask any gamer, what do you want from the games you play? I promise they will all say I want a good game!
You are probably wondering, whoa were is this all coming from?
Recently I read an article in a video game magazine that talked about the sad story about how a once powerful gaming company slowly and tragically died and the whole time I am reading this story I am literally screaming inside. What idiots! How could you let people that have no business running these companies literally run them into the ground? Last I knew for anyone else in the business you actually have to have experience that is relevant to what in the hell you are creating. You had to have intimate knowledge of all the facets of what makes your company continue to make money. The teams working the code have to have an intimate knowledge of how to code, the animators have to understand how textures and lighting will affect surroundings, the artists have to actually be artists and know how to draw an awe-inspiring character from their imagination, the game testers have to know how to play the game. So why is it ok that the heads of these companies, these CEO’s and presidents don’t know a damn thing about what is paying for, what is most assuredly a ridiculous salary that they do not deserve? Reading some numbers that a statistical analyst provided you with and deciding to create deadlines that are ridiculous to meet and therefore have to nerf what would have otherwise been a quite profitable game to then turnout a mediocre game is not going to inspire the masses.
If the first thought was to create a game that will inspire the masses, that will be the talk of the next E3, that will push the envelope of the current gen systems, then maybe we wouldn’t have so many crappy titles launch that don’t meet those aforementioned analysts targets. Last time I checked pizza and video games are different, sports equipment and video games are different, so why are theses the people that are making the decisions about video games?
Profits need to be made, the talent needs to be paid, money is required to make more games. These are all true, but what if we actually had people leading these companies with more of a vested interest than just money? What if these CEO’s and Presidents actually played video games, what if they had stayed up until 3am trying to beat the last boss of a game that was reaching the end of its development, what if they had felt tears sting there eyes when they witnessed one of the main characters having to shoot his wife, what if after a crappy meeting they unwound playing a quick round of a fighting game? I’ll tell you what would happen, the industry that we all love so much would be strong, sustainable, profitable, and looking forward to another 20 years.
And that my friends is a world I would love to live in!

Have you ever noticed that there are SO many amazing things that are released for Nintendo overseas that we never get in the US, why? Do we not also LOVE Nintendo, do we not also faithfully run/ order all the latest goodness that they bestow upon us? The 14 different iterations of the 3DS XL, the 18 versions of the 3DS, the collectors editions, the pre-order bonuses, the Club Nintendo goodies, and not to mention the amazing games that never come to our shore, why? There is alot of love for Nintendo here and we have proved it with our wallets! As of January 30th the 3DS/XL has sold over 8.75 million units in the US in its lifespan (Japan sold over 10 million), the Wii U has sold 1.18 million in the US (Japan .77 million), these numbers speak for themselves. I understand that there are things that will not translate well to the Western market but so many can! Let us show you Nintendo that we will gladly open up our wallets even more, bring those delicious exclusives to our greedy little hands. Don’t get me wrong I am definitely noticing that recently we have been seeing things come over that normally would not have graced our presence but I believe more can be done. In terms of games we never see, if the problem is the cost of localization I am sure I speak for many fans when I say, forget it, just give us the basic translation! Leave all those little idiosyncrasies that make them all very Japanese, I promise you we want those, save yourselves the dime and the time! So listen up Reggie (“my body is ready” & so is my wallet) all of us Nintendo fans want more, no I dare say we need more!