A Girl’s Guide to Gaming – Console vs. PC

So the first question you have to ask before you start playing games is what kind of system do you want to play them on. There are pros and cons to each side and I’ll try to go over them in detail enough so that you get a sense of your own impressions. PC Computers are the original gaming console, starting back with text-based games (sort of like Choose Your own Adventure). For many years, games were only available on computer, and were designed specifically for them. Today, that’s changed. Many games are created for consoles and then ported (transferred) over to PC. Often losing quality in the process. However, that being said…PCs are still hugely popular. There are several games only available on PC – World of Warcraft being the first one that springs to mind. There are also some fantastic services for the PC, such as Steam – an online game portal where you can buy and store thousands of games and have access to them anywhere. Most games have to be installed on your hard drive, which can take up space, but usually load times are fairly fast. Often, with today’s PC games, you also have to have an internet connect for updates and DRM (digital rights management – technology that imposes limitations on the usage of digital content and devices) authentication. Some things to think about: Must have decent graphics card to play most games. That may involve upgrading the one you have (or buying a new computer) Must have internet access to play a lot of games now, as well as dealing with DRM...

A Girl’s Guide to Gaming – Disclaimer

As I’ve said, I love gaming and I love writing. I’m not an expert in either. So, before anyone gets the wrong impression about this series, let me post a few disclaimers. 1.    I am not a hardcore gamer. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being plays in professional gaming tournaments, 1 meaning never even played Tetris, I am about a 6 or 7. I don’t have a $2000 gaming PC, but I do own both a Playstation 3 and two Xbox 360s – don’t ask, long story. (I also have a Macbook Pro.). I haven’t played every game out there, I haven’t even played most of them. I play because I like it, and what I like may not be what you like. 2.    Anything I say in this series is only my opinion about my experience. Your Mileage May Vary. I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about the gaming world, I don’t follow gaming news religiously, and I am not a militant gamer trying to shame you into feeling like you have to be hardcore or you don’t count. I actually think that’s part of the problem with the gaming world. So often, there’s a really high bar for what constitutes a “gamer”. Well, in my definition, a gamer is anyone who likes to play games. Period. I don’t care how often or what kind. 3.    I don’t care if you never pick up a controller or fire up a game on your PC. I want to provide an introduction to anyone (male or female) who might be new to gaming or have...

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,...

Speak Out with Your Geek Out – #SpeakGeek

I’ll admit it. I’m a Geek. I’ve always been a geek, but it took me most of my life to be able to accept that and embrace it. The world isn’t always kind to geeks. It’s easier to pretend to be “normal” than to get picked on for your interests. Especially if those interests aren’t what people consider “main stream.” But when you pretend to be something you’re not, you lose a lot of yourself. No matter how hard you try, you never quite fit in. You have two faces – the one you present to the world so you feel like you can fit in, and the real you. And it’s exhausting to live like that. Even isolating. You feel like you’re the only one out there who’s a freak for liking Dr. Who. Or Video games. Or books. Even though mentally you know there are millions of other people out there who like the same things. Sadly, some people never find their tribe of people who like the same things and they push aside that geeky part of themselves, forever hiding it from public view. I’m glad to say I’ve found people who accept me for who I am and what I love. But I’ll admit, I still have moments when I’m reluctant to speak up and proudly exclaim that I’m a geek because I don’t want to be judged or made to feel some how less than people with other hobbies (even in my own family). But those times are fewer now, and far between. So when Monica Valentinelli wrote a post calling all geeks, I...