The concept of FemHype came to me when I was nine, racing through poison ivy with makeshift elbow and knee pads for armor, eventually taking my cousin’s tree castle and winning the day for my Beanie Baby troops. It took root as I tried scaling the side of my garage (spoilers: it didn’t work) with my trusty, weathered notebook filled with concept art sketches and the battle-worn flashlight I wielded exploring new corners of my yard. FemHype was the lifeblood of my childhood before I knew that Fem would set me apart in my interests, and that Hype should be attributed to a skill I thought was already my own, not a space I had to fight to be visible within.
Let me be clear lest a trending compound word sour the point before I’ve made it: FemHype is for everyone. Full-stop. You’re welcome here simply because you’re reading this, just as you’re welcome in a world the moment you insert a disk or load an app.
To me, video games aren’t just a passing hobby like my accidental tea collection or that firefly I kept once in plastic cup captivity. Games shape the way I look at the world; they challenge me to explore parts of myself I didn’t know existed, emboldening me to ask the same of my friends, family, and peers, and if I don’t fight to preserve a space for those of us drowned out by the voices of the many, I’m doing all of us—and myself, especially—a disservice.
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.