The gaming world came into my life very naturally.  Being an 80’s gamer baby had its perks, especially when I became old enough to understand the concept of gaming.  I’m sure some of my soccer upbringing and endless sport play gave me a competitive edge but, it wasn’t until my oldest cousin had a Nintendo NES that really change everything.  He always favored me and even though his friends couldn’t stand the sight of girl gaming he still made it clear to them that I could participate.  In a sense he always believed I was a better gamer than all his friends, maybe even better than him.  He knew I had some kind of talent especially when he would hand over the controller when some big boss needed to be defeated or when a level became too frustrating to beat.  I knew at that moment gaming was not only a game but it gave me a sense of control and accomplishment.  I begged my parents for my very own Nintendo console and the following month we were standing in line at Toys R’us.  I remember my mother being hesitant as she didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about.  Not only was her only daughter turning into a tomboy, she also couldn’t justify the price and why a small tiny plastic box could be $199.99.  I was definitely not one of those privileged kids to have had that bundle but the idea of my very own console gave me such empowerment, I no longer had to wait or share my turn.  It was all mine forever.

The first time I held my controller it fit perfect into my hands almost as if they knew my hand size. It rested in my hands perfectly with its bright red buttons and the hint of a new plastic smell.  I was officially hooked. My father was more supportive of the idea due to the fact they didn’t need a babysitter, my NES did all the supervising.  If they wanted their own time all they had to do was buy me a new game and I would be stuck to the television with no complaints.  I now could relate to those around me who had siblings; as ridiculous as it sounds my “only-child complex” had been fixed by a charming Japanese company.  If I close my eyes I can still clearly remembered how the directional pad felt, how the A and B button fit so perfectly side by side together and of course the start and select buttons nested in the middle.  On Christmas Day I got my Super Nintendo (SNES), of course mom wasn’t thrilled that I had to get new games since they were not compatible with my original NES.  I had a few short years with my console when I retired it from my life.  Boys and puberty hit me hard, I no longer looked like a boy and a new identity arose.
I had a casual encounter with Call of Duty 2 on the PC but it wasn’t enough to catch my interest.  Fast forward a few years, I had a friend who had a key to the Beta for Call of Duty 4 and I remember picking it up so effortlessly, what was happening?  Once the game was released I actually met someone who introduced me to my first clan.  Yes, I said clan.  That opened the flood gates to where I am now never really felt the need to compete unless I was among my gamer buddies.  An army of crude boys from Rhode Island and other East coast areas with the biggest and funniest personalities I had ever met in my life adopted me as one of their own.  Who would have thought that the smallest state in America could have these hilarious characters?  The amount of inappropriateness, profanity, drunkenness, psycho madness babble mixed with comedy felt like a non-stop miniseries.  I felt privileged to have played among such funny and wild boys.

Hearing East coast accents like that definitely stays with you.  It was like listening to the best Kevin Smith film ever made mixed with the only word fuck.  We all took comfort in each other.  They taught me to be thick skinned in a new different way and for that I’m grateful. My admiration for these boys grew strong as we also shared real life situations. Never in my life have I laughed so much or enjoyed the company of others.  It was like I inherited 10 new overprotective brothers.  XXL Yay Yay!

Gaming is something that has consumed me.  Laughing with friends, yelling at strangers, being crazy at times allows a release. A departure. I’m sure we all have our reasons but, clearly I’m among the millions, who are addicted and proud of it, and unlike my expensive shoe collection, each game I play is super personal, crazy, and fun experience.  Alone or with a group of friends it’s the experience.  It wasn’t until I attended E3 in 2009 that made me recognize how fast the gaming world had advanced.  I wanted to be part of it.  All I want to do now is share what I see, what game is worth purchasing, and bring everyone together in this crazy world of mine.

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