|From top left, clockwise: Skyrim, City of Villains, SWTOR, SWTOR, SWG, SWTOR|
Yes, that's right. I'm a girl, and I'm a gamer. I play video games. Every day. Crazy, right?
Well, it turns out that it's not so crazy. Being a gamer used to be something I was ashamed of. I bought into the stereotypical idea that people who played video games were losers. But in this day and age, video games are so prevalent, I think it's time people accept them as a part of our lives. So many different people play video games, that it should no longer hold the stigma it used to. Believe it or not, reading used to be seen as lazy. But now it's just an accepted part of normal life. Games should be, too.
In fact, games have certain benefits that get overlooked quite often. I see that look on your face, but hear me out.
First and foremost, video games develop problem solving skills. Yes, yes they do. By their nature, video games require a person to tackle missions and solve issues. Sure, sometimes those missions are just killing stuff, but most games also involve more complex problems that you actually need to think about.
Games build social skills. As I've mentioned before, I feel more comfortable being myself on the internet. I find it hard to relate to new people face to face. Playing video games allows me to interact with other people and build those relationships through collaboration without the same level of fear of rejection that comes in the physical world.
Games build confidence. Video games allow us to achieve things that would never be possible in real life. We can save worlds, be successful, be the person we always wanted to be, and in living that fantasy, we start to build our inner confidence. It helps us break through some of the barriers we have built and allows us to grow in our real life.
And despite popular belief, girls do play games. In fact, many recent studies show that about half the gamers out there are female. Video games hold the same appeal for girls as they do for guys. Later this month, I'll be going into more detail on that and we'll have some fabulous guest posts. Until next time, keep on gaming!
Jane McGonigal did a really amazing talk on why gaming could help change the world. I won't go into detail, but if you have an extra 20 minutes, it's worth the watch.
Now for the fun stuff! First, send me your pictures! At the end of this month, I will be doing a compilation of all the awesome photos I receive from fellow female gamers. If you're a girl and you're a gamer, take your picture with a sign that says you're a gamer and/or your favorite video game and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be as creative as you like, just keep it PG-13.
Don't forget the prizes! For every post you comment on this month, you will be entered into a drawing to win either Call of Duty: Black Ops II* or Guild Wars 2* (or another game of your choice of similar value). All you have to do is comment! Each post may also include additional ways to enter, so make sure you read carefully.
*Standard edition only, valued at approximately $60 USD. If games are not available in the winner's country, an item of similar value may be substituted.