I know, shocking, right? And I hate to break it to ya, but there really are girls on the interwebz. Yup. At least, I don't think I'm the only one…
The other day I read an interesting and entertaining post by Anna of Too Many Annas. You'll want to check it out to fully appreciate my commentary here. (I'll wait, I promise!)
Amusing, entertaining, and a bit sad, wasn't it? (Not Anna's post as sad, the video.)
While I don't really thing calling women gamers a new demographic is accurate. I think I can agree that it is an expanding customer base. More girls are seeming to find their way into the old gaming boys club, especially as gaming is becoming more mainstream. Or at least, geek coolness. I really think some of these companies may think women are a new market, but it's just that they are finally recognizing that they can sell us stuff. Problem is, the female gaming market is not as easy to pinpoint as say… marketing children's games. We like all sorts of games, just as men (and boys) do.
And not all women are recently converted to gaming. I've been gaming for years. I started with an Atari back in the day. I think I was 5ish when we got it. How I loved Keystone Kapers and Crystal Castles. Oooh and Pitfall. ET sucked though. Zomg and Circus… we had the special paddle controllers for this and it was sooo cool when we got the ginormous trackball controller! Anywho…
So, yeah. I gamed throughout my childhood. I had guy friends in elementary school and junior high that would want to come over to my house to hang and game. Of course, the first time they realized I might beat them was classic. NBA Jam on the Sega Genesis. My friend was boasting how good he was when he rented it. We put in our initials and the stats come up. That's right. Syrana had beaten all teams. /cackle
Oops, losing my focus here.
Of Stores and Such
Fast forward to more recent events. I am no stranger to getting looks when in a gaming store. Over the weekend Sideshow and I went to Best Buy. He was looking for a scanner for preserving family photos and his genealogy blog. The all-in-one printer/scanner/faxes were near some gaming mice and keyboards. For once, we were waiting for someone to ask if we needed help. Usually we are swarmed it seems.
So there I am, looking at the boards and mice with Sideshow not very far from me. A male employee approaches to ask if I need assistance almost as soon as I start touching stuff. Clearly, I'm in the wrong section or have no clue what I'm looking for. I had to direct him to Sideshow… after he and I had spent a good 10 minutes or so staring at the all-in-one's waiting to ask some questions.
Then again, at places like Target… it's like pulling teeth to get someone to ask if they can grab a game out of the locked cases for me… or the looks of shock and surprise when I go hunting for someone. (I should just take Sideshow, his lockpickin' skills are maxed!) I know I don't look like the typical gamer (whatever that means), but it's just odd sometimes the way you are looked at, talked to, and approached (or not). And I'm not usually in my business attire. I'm usually there in jeans and a metal tour shirt.
But you know what's really fun? The looks and questions of surprise when I'm at a resturant, gas station, or store non-specific to gaming. When I hand over my WoW credit card, I get some interesting reactions. The most priceless one was at Best Buy (again). A female cashier was ringing up my purchases. I was getting the battlechest for a second account and when I had to show my credit card she said, “Wow, you must really be a fan.” Yep. You could call me a fan. 😉
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