Community News: How a girl-gamer is made.

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DukeNukemParenting

[In response to the sexist advertising post a female reader by the name of Amanda Acton has submitted a community news piece]
By Amanda Acton

One of the first gaming memories that comes to mind is when I was about four or five years old. The PC in question was an aging machine, staggering along into its retirement. The game I was playing was a DOS based casino type deal. Playing the fake slots and winning the fake money kept my kiddie mind quite joyfully entertained. Of course, this memory also includes a thin trail of smoke suddenly rising up from said PC and little me bursting into tears because I think I’ve broken it.

My introduction to gaming came at a very young age. I can only remember snippets of information from the early days, but enough to know that games have always been around; like Space Quest. What I can remember from that game is that if you go to the space restaurant, there is an arcade game that you can play. The tune on the arcade is the “Chicken Song”. Also, if you eat the space food your character will throw up.

As a pre-teen, I was kicking alien butt through the persona of none other than Duke Nukem himself. Exposing a young and impressionable daughter to the Duke? Way to go Dad! Truthfully, I barely paid any attention to the big breasted ladies and I was too much of a kid to really understand any of his lewd remarks. Besides, I had more important things to do, like splatter alien goop across the walls.

And who can forget the priests of Age of Empires? All together now, “Hululu!”

When I was sixteen, I began working part-time at a dvd/games rental store. When I say part-time, what I really mean is, whenever I wasn’t at school. This was my first introduction to console gaming. Prince of Persia *melt* grabbed me instantly, and not just because he happens to be ridiculously beautiful eye candy. I was soaking up Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Fifa, God of War, games that were previously out of my “PC only” reach.

And now, as a twenty three year old woman, I am still a gamer. I am married, and still, a gamer. I have an older brother and sister, neither of which are gamers. They grew up in the same household I did. With current perceptions in the gaming community, one would expect my brother to be much more of a gamer than I am, but he isn’t. He just wasn’t interested in games in quite the same way that I was. To build a gamer, you need both exposure and interest, no matter the gender.

Of course, trying NOT to enhance the stereo-type that gaming is a boys only club wouldn’t hurt either.

Last Updated: November 9, 2011

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