I see posts all of the time about gender and gaming. Ya’ll who say that “girls don’t game” need to hush and listen for a moment.
This is my Mimal. She’s my BFF. These pictures were taken last summer, they’re of her playing the Nintendo Entertainment System that she bought when it came out and was being popularized in America. She was a stay at home mom and she thought that this gaming system would be awesome for her family (my Pipaw, my Uncle Joey, and my Mom) at night when they had game time. She used to play during the day when her kids were at school. She used to play Tetris (which, as a result of, my Mom is wicked at) and other games for this system. I
This is her, at 62, kicking MY ass at Super Mario Bros. When I was growing up I’d go to her house, eat SpaghettiOs and play this same game. I couldn’t beat the castle worlds. She did it for me. She taught me the places where I could find hidden 1UPs, world jumps, and stars. When I was young she patiently waited as I learned the mechanics of the game. When I got older she gave me guidance on the finer skills, like not jumping off a ledge. Mimal can find the turtle on the stairs and get like a bazillion extra lives. It’s crazy.
So, I’ve ranted that she’s good at the game but I would like to make one thing clear. She has fun when she’s playing this game. To her, it meant family time, alone/decompression time, and a challenge for her to explore and conquer. She’s a gamer because she likes to game.
This woman is a gamer. This woman is my Mimal. So if you think that women can’t be gamers you just think on the fact that she’s been beating Bowser’s ass for two generations. And she’s been loving every minute of it.
My parents bought an NES “for the kids” when they first came out in the ’80s. We had three games—the Duck Hunt thing, Super Mario 1 and Super Mario 3. Of all three of us girls, I was the only one who played. But my mother played more than any of us.
See (and here I’m about to get very squicky), my mom suffered from fibroid tumors. She suffered so much pain from those things that I can’t even imagine it. She would be kept awake night after night every month as they swelled and did their disgusting biological damage, then receded, only to reappear in a few weeks. She put up with it because it was the ’80s and there weren’t a lot of medical options for those fuckers, and maybe there still isn’t—I have no idea because I’m more ignorant than I should be. More importantly, though, my mom was a working woman with three teen daughters (ugh) and a husband who, like most men of the Silent Generation, was pretty disengaged with the household. Frankly, he didn’t do anything. So she put up with the pain for longer than she should have because she didn’t have the time to deal with it; she just needed to keep going.
And what kept her going on those nights of pain? What kept her happy? What obsessed her, in fact? Super Mario 3. She was great at it. It was her escape from a world of misery and stress and way too much to deal with. Like so many women and men and girls and boys who sink into a virtual reality to escape, my 40-something mother found refuge in an 8-bit world during the dawn of gaming. We used to play together for hours, and she showed me where all the cool stuff was that she found in the middle of the night when agony kept her awake. There was no Internet. There was no easy cheat guide. She found it all by herself.
So when I hear people talk about “women don’t game,” I want to scream at them. I want to tell them to fuck right off and go to hell and stay there wallowing in a pool of their own fucking ignorance. Because not only do I game myself, but my mother is a gamer from the wayback, and she put up with more real pain than ANY wannabe, weekend-warfaring, chest-thumping, desk-jockeying, mouse-clicking hero-boy could take and lived to tell the tale.
But it was her middle daughter that beat Bowser in the end, because that’s how my gamer mother raised her daughters—to kick ass. And I will never forget the day it happened and we jumped and screamed and acted like idiots in our joy. Thanks, Mom.
(via themarysue)Source: destineearial