Gaming Isn’t Really a Guy Thing

I game. Not hardcore – unless it’s a new release or new expansion – but I game. And though it sometimes feels like I am a lone woman in the gamer’sphere, the numbers say I am not.

As of 2014, women over the age of 18 were 32% of gamers while boys under 17 made up just 17%. Men make up 52% of all games and women are the remaining 48%, which is up from 40% in 2010.

Like most teens back in the day of arcades, I hung out. I played Tetris, Centipede, Galaxian and a bit of PacMan. It was never something I actively sought out and generally, if I found myself in an arcade, it was because one of my friends had a crush on a boy who hung out at arcades.

For the record, never once did I ever have a crush on a boy who hung out at an arcade.

I got my start in the virtual game world via The Legend of Zelda almost 20 years ago now. My late husband and I had a Nintendo 64. In addition to Zelda, which I found intuitively maddening for it’s lack of sense, we had the standard Mario offerings and some racing games. Eventually the new wore off and I gave the console to my nephew, but gaming called again about a decade ago when I discovered The Sims which, lacking rules and guidance, I was able to turn into hours of distraction during some darker times in my life.

I got back into gaming the summer before last when my husband got me a PS4 and introduced me to Destiny. I’d tried a few other games, Diablo 3, played a bit of Nintendoland with the kids and took a rather pathetic shot at Mass Effect. And really, I wasn’t feeling it.

But my husband wanted us to spend virtual time together in addition to the real time we already spent, and he was sure I would like Destiny because I had enjoyed watching him play Dust 514.

As shooter games go, it’s the easiest I have ever tried. It’s first person and the graphics aren’t cartoonish, which I find off-putting. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to play Mass Effect. It had a great story line, characters that were compelling and didn’t feel like something created for children.

I am not good. Fair to occasionally average is roughly my skill level. There were things about Destiny that I’d have never completed were it not for assistance from my husband and his online comrades, but I liked the game. I liked the time he and I spend playing, and I liked his friends – who, contrary to stereotype, are nice guys.

More imaginary friends is probably not something I need but it’s where I generally end up.

Husband now thinks I should take my rather average skills to Twitch and see if anyone will watch me. Not a lot of women streaming their play, and certainly not in my age range, but I hesitate because I prefer written words to spoken, and I am dubious about my own appeal.

And I don’t do PvP, which is what most Destiny folks like to watch, nor do I care enough about the gear and loot to cater to those who nerd out on the minutia aspects of games.

PvP is virtual mortal combat against complete strangers for imaginary rewards. A person might think this would appeal to a gal who really loves online life but no. Virtually killing strangers for no particularly good reason or, in my case, being fake murdered by strangers, who then dance – and … other … things – all over my virtual corpse is not appealing.

But husband believes that my rambling commentary would suffice, but again, I am doubtful. Plus I swear. A lot. Even more than I do on Twitter.

I share all this only because I am going to rewrite a review of the latest version of the game, Destiny 2. Mostly because the whining about it has annoyed me. And I probably will record and share my gameplay at least once just to see if it is less horrible than I think it will be. So I wanted to provide a bit of background beforehand.

To sum up, old woman games and has opinions about it that she will sharing from time to time in the future. That is all.

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