A Girl’s Guide to Gaming

In addition to a writer, I also consider myself a gamer. Shocking, I know! But really, I find that gaming is often about the story and the experience, and so it stimulates that writer brain of mine. But I wasn’t always into games. Actually, I was one of those girls who looked down on games, thought they were stupid. Why would I want to spend my time shooting up fake soldiers? Or trying to solve puzzles I’d never face in the real world?

Well, as life so often works out, I fell in love with a gamer. And eventually, he convinced me to try playing Parasite Eve on his old first generation PlayStation. I resisted for the longest time, but one rainy day I had nothing else to do. And I was hooked. I think I played straight through the game in two days.

But back then, and I suppose it’s still true today to some extent, gaming wasn’t exactly girl-friendly. Most of what was out there were first person shooters or hard core military games. And there was a definite stigma toward girls who played games. Gaming was geeky, gamers were losers, you’ve heard all the names, right? Why would I want to put myself through that?

So what’s a wannabe gamer girl to do? Ignore them of course! Initially, I had a bit of a struggle finding games that I was actually interested in playing. And that didn’t scare the hell out of me. Well, I found myself an RPG (Role-playing Game) called Neverwinter Nights. It was like playing through a story as one of the characters, and I loved it!

Even better, I was lucky to have my very own tech guy to help me navigate installation and patching and controls and all that stuff. If I was doing it on my own, I don’t think I would have gotten past opening that first box. Or, even worse, past the embarrassment of being a girl who played games

So I thought I’d do a series on gaming. I want to touch on how to get started, some gaming basics, how women can feel comfortable in this sometimes intimidating world, and how gaming and writing are actually closely related. I know a lot of you out there like gaming too, so I’d love to have guest posters and other suggestions on topics.

Game on, anyone?



  1. I fell in love with a gamer too 🙂 My husband introduced me to a lot of games. The very first one he had me play was Secret of Mana, which is still one of my favorites. He also got me playing Toejam and Earl, Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy X. I’ve started a bunch of others that I haven’t finished. My husband’s most recent attempt to get me playing is with Mass Effect.

    But I prefer computer games to console games. Some friends got us into World of Warcraft for a while. I don’t play any more, but I had a good run. (Tried out some other MMOs as well: LotRO, Champions, DDO.) I love games like the Civilization series, The Sims, and perhaps my ultimate favorites–Portal and Portal 2. I’m also playing Teraria right now, and from time to time I’ll play with World of Goo.

    I’ve tried NWN too, but it was just a little too buggy for me.

    • What did you think of ME? I love any and all Bioware games, so it’s one of my faves 🙂 I am a former WOW player too – it finally just got to be boring after the latest release. Sigh. As far as MMOs go, I am looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic this fall. *fingers crossed* that it doesn’t suck!

      • Well, I only just started ME. I’m loving the story already, but I’m not used to playing a shooter, so the gameplay is a little frustrating for me. We’ll see if that changes over time.

        The Star Wars game looks pretty interesting. I might check it out… but then I might not have time for an MMO now that I’m juggling so many other things.

  2. I’m a HUGE Final Fantasy fan. Some of my other all time favorite franchises are Ratchet and Clank and Little Big Planet. The Pixel Junk games for the PS3 are also fantastic. I recently played Enslaved and got totally wrapped up in the storyline. It really got my writerly juices flowing. Wish they would come out with a sequel but that’s highly unlikely. :'(

    And not only do I play video games, but I own most of the soundtracks to my favorites and listen to them in my car or on my mp3 player. Yep, you heard me right, lol. Total GEEK! Love it. 😉

    • I’m totally going to have to try Enslaved – I hadn’t heard of it until now!

      LOL – I love soundtracks from video games! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one!

  3. One of my first questions when I started reading this was, ”how can I start gaming?!” haha I have no idea where to even begin. So, a series on the topic would be fab 🙂 

    • Excellent! I’m going to have some “basics” posts first, so hopefully that’ll ease you in 🙂