I started playing games at a very young age beginning with good ole’ Mario Bros. on the Super Nintendo. One of my earliest memories is of wanting to tear my hair out while playing Yoshi’s Island when I was five. The sound of baby Mario bawling each time he was taken from my hold drove me utterly mad, but I kept at it, primarily because I thought it was a beautiful game. The Cave of Chomp Rock was my favorite world–the glittery rocks and glowing mushrooms were, to my young eyes, nothing short of glorious.
For most of my childhood I stuck with your typical Nintendo games: Mario, Donkey Kong, Super Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Banjo Kazooie just to name a few. Then one day in the summer of 2006 when my sister, Mhorgain, and I were bored to pieces, we decided to give The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time a go.
And that was when my gaming life truly began.
Zelda changed everything. It was my first time playing a game with such a large scale. For the first time I experienced the joy of traversing an open field on horseback. I fell in love with Link, with Hyrule, the music and the story–particularly the story. No other game I had ever played matched the wonder and brilliance of this incredible experience. By that time the graphics were fairly dated, but it didn’t matter. I was hooked.
The Legend of Zelda series set me on my path to become the RPG obsessed gamer I am today. Had I never played this franchise I’m not sure I would have become as interested in games as I have, so I really owe most of my interest to it.
My boyfriend, Syndrome, is also responsible. He encouraged me to try games that I never would have considered beforehand (*cough* *cough* World of Warcraft?). Being with him has allowed me to embrace the gamer within, and rather than hide who I am and the things I love, I’ve learned to proudly geek out about the things that make me tick. No more am I embarrassed about the books I read, the games I play, or the TV shows I enjoy; learning to embrace my geek was one of the most liberating things that has ever happened to me.
That said I don’t believe games are perfect. They are such a young form of media that you can’t reasonably expect them to be. Developers and publishers are getting lazy and rather than innovate mechanics or storytelling, they seem more obsessed with throwing shiny new gadgets and gimmicks at us while continuously churning out the same old done-to-death stories and uninspiring gameplay. This needs to change and soon or games will never be seen as anything other than a child’s past-time.
I’m also not blind to the aspects of geek culture that are far from perfect. While I believe that gamers and geeks are some of the most amazing people in the world, I also know that there are quite a few who are, to put it bluntly, trash. It breaks my heart to see the hate and anger some gamers are willing to shower upon others, and the pathetic tropes game designers toss out year after year. I love games, but sometimes the culture around them sucks.
So I decided to start this blog. Because I believe these things do not have to be constants in our culture. History shows us that time and again strong, like-minded individuals have been able to stand up to the oppressors and bigots of their times and make real change. We can do that too. By changing how we perceive different people in the media we consume, we can change the way they are treated in the real world as well. It won’t be easy, and there’s a lot to be done, but if we join together and take part in constructive, meaningful conversation, we can put an end to all that is wrong with our beloved industry. We can make gaming a beautiful place where all can feel welcome and represented regardless of their race, sex, religion, orientation, skill or level of experience. Games are where we go to escape life and enjoy our time in a virtual world. Real world bigots shouldn’t be allowed to spoil that for us.
To get in direct contact with me you can follow me on Twitter @Raeyn10tofire or send me an email at Raeyn@plus10tofireresist.com