By Noor Fatima Iftikhar, our Assistant Editor. The writer is currently trying to crack the SAT1 =P

It would be a sight plain enough for one, I had always presumed. Clad in the conventional kameez-shalwar attire, hair pulled back in a tight braid, air-phones in place and the laptop sitting snugly in lap – an ordinary young lady merely going about her daily computing routine. However, one might easily overlook the bunched muscles in my tense shoulders, clenched teeth, taut jaw and furrowed brows, or even miss the flaring emotion in my eyes. No matter, this is not something I will hold against anyone.

After all, it takes one to know one.

ROUND 1: FIGHT!

“DIE! DIE! DIE!”

Because not everyone is a gamer.

I have honestly nothing to hide on this one. I have a gaming fetish, one I cannot control. Rolling back the years, I now realize that all it took for me to discover this passion of mine was a Pentium II, a series of Disney games and an extremely limited off-hand knowledge on giving “commands” to the machine.

While the gaming culture may be more gender-based in Pakistan, research has shown that in the West, number of female gamers is on the rise and in fact account for 42% of all gamers. Directly in line with that, I wanted to share some of the aspects I’ve encountered while pursuing gaming. And readers, I assure you – my confessions are not a far cry from the usual frivolities associated with us females =)

ROUND 2: FIGHT!

Confession no. 1: We discriminate

My favourite fatality: Tearing the spine out and decapitating Reptile. I hate reptiles. And lizards. Mr. Lizard-face had that coming...

I admit I may not have some highfalutin facts and figures to back me up on this one, but from all my years of gaming experience, I can safely conclude that female gamers have a strong preference for female characters. Be it role playing games, or fighting games or even shoot ‘em up – A game is incomplete without a decent female character and if you happen to be a female, chances are you are more likely to have a soft corner for them. However this does NOT mean that we cannot handle male characters. Johnny Cage, Max Payne, Ryu, even the oh-so-famous Mario – we’ve got them all wrapped around our little fingers. Literally :P And pursuing personal prejudices whilst gaming can sometimes lead to very *ahem* interesting things.

Confession no. 2: We can be softies at gaming.

I am particularly guilty of that trait. Minute features do not escape me – whether it’s the details of an intricate storyline, or the background music in certain levels or the voice acting of the characters. Glitches too, in fact (the dark side of my observant nature – let’s not go there). Simply put, it is not too beyond us to notice the small aspects that make a game – publishers must love us. For example, my cousins always wondered why I HAD to listen to the entire theme music that played in the background of the TR Angel of Darkness’ main menu screen. That orchestral piece would make my heart twist with pain, while my cousins would yawn and wait for me to get over it.

Confession no. 3: Cheating

Gamer girls are not really different from other gamers after all. If we can cheat a little on our diet plans, we can use a couple of handy cheat codes when gaming too. However, blatant cheating is just pathetic. Speaking for myself, I always make sure I finish the game with a medium difficulty setting before trying out any cheats. No idea if it makes me any more noble than any other game-cheater down the block, but at least I can say I have standards ;)

Confession no. 4: Gaming is therapy

Now how inappropriate would it be if I started breaking necks literally just to let out my frustration... Tsk Tsk - that won't do at all!

I can bet the double fudge brownie I just had on this one (shouldn’t that be another confession?) If at any point in my almost 18 years of existence did I feel like I could kill someone, that is exactly what I did – only virtually. Now I understand that ratings are important, children should not be exposed to certain gory aspects and glorifying violence is socially unacceptable and generally a big no-no. But when you ask suppose, an A level student, who has a final Law exam the next day and she simply, could-NOT-stuff-anything-in-her-brain, she’d give you violence first-hand. Unless, of course, if she has Mortal Kombat Armageddon installed on her laptop. ‘Nuff said.

Final confession: Gaming can be a very personal thing

For the longest time (about 10 months since I took up Sociology), the sociological part of my brain pondered upon the high level of gender biases gaming carries in Pakistan. Girls were “not” supposed to be gamers. And if by some twisted product of nature that they did play video games, their activity was supposed to be limited to Barbie and MyScene.com. Most boys, feeding on this trend, would constantly criticize girls (while getting beaten by a girl became the biggest threat to the fragile male ego – especially in Street Fighter *wiggles eyebrows*). Even girls would start criticizing other girls for being ultimate “geeks” if they continued to play video games (Guess some still seem to miss their plastic tea sets – but I digress).

The non-existent perks of being a gamer girl

 

Fact is, gaming is extremely personal. It could be an outlet for venting out frustration, or a way of killing time. For me, it inspired me to start writing – for that I would be eternally grateful. And that should be a lesson to everyone: NEVER judge a gamer, or risk being slashed to smithereens by their laser sword.

Gamer Girl WINS: *FLAWLESS VICTORY*

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This post was contributed to Ideas Evolved by a Guest Contributor. You may find the name and details about the author/ contributor published with the blog post.

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  1. Nice to see a post by a fellow TR fan :P

    Anonymous / Reply
    • You too?! AWESOME! :D

      TR is my most favourite series, hands-down – no contest! Nothing comes close to it! Despite the bugs and glitches, Angel Of Darkness was my fave installment – they should have continued the storyline… :'( Though TR4 and Guardian of Light come close too ;)

      NFI / Reply (in reply to Anonymous)
  2. 14020008@lums.edu.pk'

    " For example, my cousins always wondered why I HAD to listen to the entire theme music that played in the background of the TR Angel of Darkness’ main menu screen" hahahahhaha… u r crazy =P… but hey, i THINK guys like to listen to theme music too, if its good… but am guessing here =P

    AmnaAslam / Reply
    • Hehehehe – that too ;)

      Amna Aslam, I promise you that music is CHILLING! If you see the ending of the game, the same track's playing – and the sad flute notes while our heroine picks up her comrade's weapon from his blood and disappears into darkness …. *swoons*

      That game ending inspired me to actually start writing. The game developers left the end open and changed the entire series after that, so we never really knew if her partner made it or not.. I was 10 and curious and I started writing on what happened when the game ended, I owe that game alot *wipes tear*

      NFI / Reply (in reply to AmnaAslam)
  3. fizaa_alii@hotmail.com'

    Absolutely agree with you NFI, i remeber how i used to love the saga games, including Super Mario ^_^ and still retain a soft spot for all car racing games, Need For Speed being my favourite :D↲↲Also i strongly disagree with branding different people, such as calling a gamergirl a geek :p because you are what you are and putting tags on someone is just for what they love doing is just…weird :/

    Deeda Ali / Reply
    • Couldn't agree more! =)

      Have you played NFS Hot Pursuit? :D Now that's the perfect racing game! ^_^

      And I remember that puraani Mario wali game where mario was swimming and you had to type in words quickly to make him swim faster!! :D

      NFI / Reply (in reply to Deeda Ali)
  4. Great workkk !!! =D You have portrayed everything reallyyyy welll !! =D

    just an advice.. next time also shed light on how your siblings deal with this gaming passion of yours… =P

    Iffi / Reply
    • HAHAHAHHAH!! Thanks! =DDD

      You were there before my Law exam, you tell me – how was it for you?! :D

      NFI / Reply (in reply to Iffi)
  5. amna_356@hotmail.com'

    I know next to nothing about games except the Nintendo Wii Tennis and Golf games and Tony Hawks and Angry Birds and all the other iPhone games, and how can we forget the heartthrobbing Hercules' game (I'm still stuck on Level 3 though :|)
    I just love this article.It's so liberating.And I love Le Disko and I love Hannie.But there's nothing wrong with faux tea sets because I had one when I was a wee kid.One should always strike a balance which I try to do :) Hahahahahahah.
    Well Done NFI! I want to read the Ramadan wala article too :) Awesome!!

    Amna / Reply
    • Bwahahaha! I had (I think I still do have it somewhere, buried under junk) an ancient Nintendo console, the SNES – which is actually 3 years older than I am (respect! <3), and I had a great tennis game on that too! =D I always played the girl with the red hair! ^,^

      HERCULEEEEEEEEEEEESSS <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

      I love Annie and I love Le Disko too! <3 And I definitely agree with you, I had a plastic kitchen set too- with all with plastic coke cans and spoons and even ice-cubes! O_O But not letting that kitchen set define a girl is the thing! ;) We're too cool and definitely transcend those limits! =)))

      NFI / Reply (in reply to Amna)
      • amna_356@hotmail.com'

        LIKE TOTALLY XD I loved my doctor set more though :P I had real stethoscope.My dad's :P

        Amna / Reply (in reply to NFI)
        • *looks around and murmurs*

          I still steal my mother's stethoscope after she's done checking her BP, and pretend I'm a doctor….. =DDD

          NFI / Reply (in reply to Amna)
  6. And thanks for your heart-warming comment girl! I love you! <3

    NFI / Reply
  7. mariam_skhan@hotmail.com'

    Wow! Finally somebody came up with this idea about female gamers! i myself is one since nursery class :D . I so agree with you that gaming is a therapy! and it just lets you focus better than before! i still play Nfs and tekkan , fifa ..even finished matrix series :P

    Mariam Saeed Khan / Reply
    • Haha thanks! :D If not for gaming, I'd probably be a fugitive on the run for mysteriously murdering school teachers (not) =P

  8. alihassan93@gmail.com'

    Gaming is good as long as it does not become a bad addiction!
    Love strategy and role playing games although
    Medal of Honor stands in a league of its own.
    Its true, defeat a guy at a game, you are going to dent his ego big time!

    waterloo warrior / Reply
    • Thats right. A 20-yr old guy died just because he was in a sitting position for 14 hours, playing his Xbox and some clot passed to his brain or sth.. There's a limit to everything..
      And role playing games are my favourite too!

      • alihassan93@gmail.com'

        Have you played Oblivion?
        Or
        Red dead redemption?

        • I've played a little of Oblivion, I think – waayyy back on my cousin's laptop when we were visiting their place.. It seemed awesome, although I couldn't find its CD in the stores, so I gave up on it :(

          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            Its really good. And the best part is it never ends O.o
            You could like literally wander around in it for ages and something keeps coming up. damn! now i want to play it! :(

          • Woah!! O____O

            I wish I had remembered the game the day my finals ended! Can't afford to play a never-ending game with A2, SATs and IELTs 'round the corner :'(

            Have you played any of the Tomb Raider games? They're awesome! <3

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            Yeah. It's like a Grand Theft Auto in the ancient times.

            Its annoying really! Now that I have time, I can't play any of those games :|

            I used to. But that was ages ago! O.o

          • Well yes but it seemed a lot more classier than GTA to me =)

            Trust me – those age-old TR games were the best. The new ones may have stunning graphics but they're way, WAY too easy :|

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            It had a lot of other stuff and was not entirely based on killing and all. Plus the graphics were really amazing especially when you had to engage in a one-on-one duel in the arena!

            Shooting the other person with a gun hardly is a fun sport…

          • Very true. I've played some games like Project IGI and Counter Strike, but at the end, I thought the games were just mehh… Even Max Payne to some extent (altho the druggies storyline made up for it)….

            Have you played any game from the Uncharted series? I wish they were on PC so I could play that game *sigh*

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            Nah. I haven't. I am more of a Xbox guy =P
            Are they on it? Haven't played a game since I entered university *sigh*

          • I think its just PS3.. :/

            Wish they'd develop a good PS3 to PC emulator.. Meh, its a long shot from now… :(

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            Its going to be quite a while to that.
            I personally prefer consoles for RPG's.
            But strategy and shooting ones are awesome with a mouse!

          • Its PC all the way for me =) Never been too comfortable with consoles – although I miss my SNES like anything :/

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
          • alihassan93@gmail.com'

            Its more convenient on a bigger television screen.
            Although the LAN multiplayer games on PC's are incomparable with anything that consoles have to offer!

          • Spot on!!

            NFI / (in reply to waterloo warrior)
  9. meeno_gold_1291@hotmail.com'

    High five to the author (from one gamer girl to another! :D)

    I adore this article (and that last picture), and agree with all the confessions, especially the first one! But this I’ll say about the second confession… judging from my brother’s preference back in the day, guys can be as much softies (FFX theme music.. *chills*) ;)

    Maheen Rasheed / Reply

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