So, go have a listen and tell me I’m not crazy.
So, I was flipping through my Steam featured games page and found 7 Days To Die which is currently on sale. I watched the video I’ve linked below and it made me so super happy that I barely have words. Have a look.
Now, the game itself doesn’t really interest me, but what it represents gets me all kinds of excited. The game itself is the amalgamation of Minecraft, Walking Dead and Skyrim basically and that is great. What has me excited though is that this clearly shows that game designers are thinking in different directions and gamers are clearly showing that this new way of thinking is what they want to play. The game was heavily funded on Kickstarter and was also part of Steam’s Greenlight games.
This is only 1 example, but it’s a good example of what can happen when designers don’t decide to just make a clone of a successful game. I can’t even count the number of Minecraft clones out there all trying to capitalise on its success. The age of Indie games has come back again and as they begin to make more games that are outside the set genre and confines, the more likely the big boys will begin to notice. It won’t be an overnight change, but I think it can happen. The last year has seen some very interesting games get published. With the new generation of consoles and increased indie support by the console makers; I think we can see some more mainstream companies begin to broaden their thinking.
I’m just gonna leave this here for you because it’s made of fucking awesome.
This is my Valentines Day present. Screw dinner and a movie and flowers. Encouraging my obsession is way better.
Best husband ever.
(For those not in the know, it’s ClapTrap from Borderlands)
Am I damaging female gaming?
Often I read articles from other women who are avid gamers of all kinds. Often a familiar theme is how much people expect from them as either a woman or a gamer, as if they can’t be feminine and a gamer. I get where this comes from too as I’ve seen it. This view that a female gamer must be a tomboy.
I fear that I may be part of the problem sometimes. I am that stereotype. I work in IT and I am an avid gamer. It’s not that I’m not feminine, just that I have more boy brain than girl brain. I like boy things, movies, games, books, etc., but on the flip side of that though I am a nail polish addict. I’ve been running femme gamer for several years now after several years of professional games journalism; yet another field predominately occupied by males.
See why I might have this paranoia about being part of the problem and not the solution? I am that gamer female in the jeans and and clever t-shirt making crude jokes and kicking butt with the guys. The nature of stereotypes though means I’m not the only one, I can’t be. If I was alone in this it wouldn’t be a stereotype. So instead of worrying if I’m causing more harm than good, I thought to examine me and how I got to this point.
The first question has to be: “When did the tomboy thing start?” Well that’s easy; at birth. Okay maybe not quite that soon, but it certainly wasn’t too far after. I had an older brother growing up and his toys were always so interesting. I love taking things apart and putting them back together so I was naturally attracted to his Transformers. I had a teddy bear collection, but that was more like early training for later fanatical book collecting; a habit that was blooming even then as I became an avid reader. The computer obsession started here too with that Vic20 we had.
By time I hit my teens and was committed to this tomboy thing without even realising it. By time I was in my 20s it was obviously not going to change and I turned to computers to strike out a career for myself. Once the career began to blossom so did my interest in games. Sure I’d been playing games for years, but this was the dawn of the FPS game era and Quake was new.
I began building custom computers to play these games on and to further my career. I found I had a knack for it and I fell deeper into the hole of technology and became a fullly loaded hardware and computer geek. The more time I spent playing games, the more I played them with guys. My tomboy credentials grew and my gaming friends circle grew and was mostly filled with men. I worked with computer, enjoyed gaming with guys.
As the years passed the cycle didn’t change. I met my husband through online gaming and I moved to the UK. I met more gamers and found other females who also enjoyed gaming. Time passed and I got older and still I was the same tomboy. When I was a kid I liked bugs, snakes and getting dirty; and I still do even in my 30s. I used to take things apart just so I could see how they work and put them back together, now I get paid for it. I am the tomboy stereotype and I always have been.
I know that there are many women out there who are gamers and are tomboys. I know that we get a bit of guff because we are the stereotype. I know that there are plenty of women out there who aren’t. I know it’s a fight for the gaming world to just treat us all like gamers instead of pigeon-holing us. That doesn’t mean we can’t be proud of who we are even if we do fit into the pigeon-hole. There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re a stereotype. Tomboy gamer femme or ultra-femme woman gamer, it doesn’t matter. We’re all gamers. We aren’t hurting the hobby. Be proud of who you are no matter what. We are who we are and gaming is a big part of our lives.
Screw you gaming world. We are females and we are gamers. Just like the guys, we too come in all kinds of stereotypes.
My love affair with Final Fantasy started a good 15ish years ago. With each one I’ve fallen more in love than I was with the previous incarnation. Sure there have been some that were better than others.
With each release I get all excited like I’m a child again and ya know this time is no different. I think you know where I’m going with this so I’ll let the vids do the talking.
Interview and more shiny
These days I’m all kinds of geek. Primarily I focus on computers and gaming, which may be slightly obvious given where you’re reading this. Before all that though, and believe me the computers go way back to Commodores, there were books. Maybe it’s not nearly as geeky now as an adult as it was when I was a kid, but somehow I doubt kids have stopped picking on the bookworms. Even as an adult I outstrip many friends in the amount that I read and buy. (and I read everything I buy)
For all the other geeky things, above it all I am a bookworm and I’m more than proud of it. When I was a kid I’d spend pretty much every waking moment with my nose in a book. It wasn’t an escape; it was exploring. It was smart. It was something else to the here and now. As an adult it’s not much different except I don’t get chastised for it anymore. Although, I spend more on books in a year than I do on games; and trust me that’s kinda scary.
Still there are worse things to spend your money on.
Couple this with being in band in grade school and choir in high school you’ve got the makings of a good sized geek on your hands. I didn’t stick with band and I grew out of choir despite still loving to sing. As my interests changed, ever present were my book shelves. Always there was a book in my bag and in my hand. My mom is the biggest bookworm I’ve ever met, so you can see where I get it from. Some of my fondest memories as a kid/teen are of being in the huge library back home with my mom. Books are an integral part of my life and happiness.
When I moved to the UK my books were the only things that I agonised over leaving behind; I ended up leaving them with my mom. Luckily I married a man who is as voracious a reader as I am. We’ve re-built the library I left behind.
Ya know, I’m really glad for that bit of geekery because it’s educated me more on how to write and spell properly than any English class ever could’ve done. Actually I was pretty shit on my English classes. I couldn’t tell you how to conjugate the verb in a sentence if my life depended on it. Yet here I sit writing and hopefully you have some comprehension of what I’m saying.
So, what I’m trying to say is this: Of all my geeky love of gaming and technology & computers, I am most proud of my book geekery.
I am a word nerd.