Starting Point

First, I’d like to say hi. Hi! My name is Jennifer, and I am a girl gamer. That’s right, we do exist!

I’ve actually noticed quite a few more girls in the game recently. We’re not such an isolated group anymore. I’ve played video games for about 20 years now. I remember once, playing Mario on the NES in my bedroom while my (now ex-) aunt was babysitting us. My TV and NES were plugged into the switch controlled by the light switch because my dresser was the only place in my room it could go (foreshadowing, perhaps?). I had been stuck on level 8-4 for ages when my Papa told me the trick- go down the pipe after the water every time. Of course this was before game saves, so when I got home, I fired it up and started playing. I got to 8-4 as quickly as possible and was at once overjoyed at finally seeing Bowser and terrified of the gauntlet I saw before me. I watched, timing my moves carefully, when suddenly my aunt appeared in my doorway, announcing “Bedtime!” and switched off my light. “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

When I first joined the Navy, Lilo and Stitch was coming to theaters, but none of my classmates wanted to see it with me. A few weeks later, these same guys were talking about rescuing Belle, Alice, and using Simba as a power. I had to find out what game this was. It obviously had to be AWESOME to get these guys to play with Disney characters. I bought a PS2 specifically to play Kingdom Hearts. Later, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was one of my favorites on that console.

Fast forward a few years: I was living with my future husband. He had introduced me to the game of Dungeons & Dragons in 2003. (I favor 3.5 over all others.) I was so broke at the time, I couldn’t buy the donuts I lost in a bet on a Dallas Cowboys game. I certainly couldn’t buy a 360 even though I was positively drooling over the commercials for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. After months of trying to convince him to buy a 360, I had enough money to buy the game for PC. My PC was severely lacking in power, though. Eventually he did buy a 360, and Oblivion, and wound up getting an HDTV because of Dead Rising (tiny words). I still play Oblivion every month or two. I’m on a slow quest to complete 100% of the game, preferably before Skyrim takes over my life.

The last two years, the majority of my gaming has come in MMO form. I never cared for WoW, and Dungeons and Dragons Online promised to be the closest thing to pen and paper as you could get. Well, not really. But I found a great guild, Mortal Voyage, that plays Permadeath. As in, when you die, you delete your character. It definitely extends the entertainment value of the game, because you don’t just rush through to grind at end-game. Every encounter matters, every chest you open is important, and every level is earned. After two years, my highest level character is only a 9, and cap is 20.

I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from DDO, and use that time on my XBox. Of course, that’s the time that I’m not chasing my 20-month-old daughter around, doing college homework, and doing other things with my parents.

My husband went on deployment a few months ago, and while he’s away, my daughter and I are on an extended visit with my parents. I brought my PC, my XBox, and a selection of games to tide me over.

I’m going to be providing my in-depth reviews about games, both the hot new titles, and the kids’ games, to help parents determine which games are suitable for their kids, and which are worth the $60 price tag. I’ll also be dropping news I find about my favorite upcoming games for the other gamers out there. Hope you enjoy the ride!

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