Meet the Staff: Heather O

I am a long-time gamer—and by that I mean I first started playing video games when Pong showed up at the local pool. I was hooked. I have gone through so many different gaming systems that you have no idea. When Pong was available as a home system, my dad bought it for the family for Christmas.

Step-by-step, my systems were upgraded and I played everything I could con my parents into buying me. I also blew untold hundreds of dollars at local arcades playing a wide variety of things, and I remember a number of them fondly—or not so fondly—as the game might be.

Pong, play

I still play to this day on my laptop. Sure, it’s not a tricked out gaming-focused system, but I am not that kind of gamer. I want my system to be able to run and for me to have a good time. However, I can say I am utterly jealous of people who own the gamut of gaming platforms and have those awesome systems in the sweet cases.

For me, I have always loved RPGs. I play tabletop and video versions with equal glee. I fondly remember playing the very pixelated Adventure where my square hero went to different castles and slew dragons with a sword bigger than me, as well as the frustrating text game Zork. I am also a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series due to its beautiful visuals, interesting storylines, and game mechanics, though I drifted away from it after XII. Recently, I have been enjoying the Halo series, Mass Effect, and Skyrim. I am also playing BioShock and Dragon Age: Origins. When I am running around in these amazing cinematic worlds, I think about Adventure and my little square character. Gaming has come so far.

Of course, there are issues. Gaming was quickly labeled a “boys” thing despite games being interesting to both boys and girls. This insular nature gave it a negative image for a while, and current situations are not helping matters. Any form of entertainment can be broken down and analyzed, which is a good thing and can help games get better recognition for their epic storylines and visuals. Gaming was designed to be an entertainment system where people could lose themselves in a digital world for a while to have fun; there is no reason to deny half the population.

Since women currently make up a large demographic in gaming, perhaps we can all just agree to have fun and stop being terrible to each other. Frankly, I am more interested in knowing if the game is fun and how it plays, though I will also offer analysis in the future because that’s how I’m trained. The military trained me to be an analyst and getting my master’s only made that worse. I also am an actor and director of plays, which gives me a different view of things as well. So, that’s something to look forward to.

I am happy to be writing for FemHype and look forward to sharing my two cents and having chats with people. Let’s have some fun.

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