Hold on to something, because I'm going to hit you with a revelation. Information so startling, so astounding, that you may want to stop reading if you suffer from any kind of heart condition. Are you ready? Are you sure? Ok, here goes:

Girls like videogames. They make them, they write about them, and above all, they play them.

If that little nugget didn't leave you staring at your monitor in slack-jawed disbelief, then you've probably been paying attention as you've made your way through the gaming space. You'll find girls around every gaming corner - hotshot snipers, high-level dark elves, Peggle Grand Masters, fast-fingered guitar heroes, heavy-fisted fighters, lead-footed drivers and dabblers in all things Sim. The fairer sex has been involved with gaming from the very beginning, yet their presence is still met with shock, awe, and more than a little disbelief. When the incredulous aren't climbing over each other to spot the supposedly elusive girl gamer in the wild, they're giving each other advice on ways to create a new one.

The irony of their search is that we all know girls only play cutesy games on their pink DSes or online puzzle and casual games, right? Sometimes they dabble in RPGs, but only the ones with really deep stories or heroes with spiky hair and dubious taste in clothing. Girls don't, you know, play real games, or if they do, they're never any good at them. Or so the thinking seems to go, anyway.

It's all gotten just a bit silly.

Though I perhaps have a personal stake in perpetuating the myth that women who play videogames are as beautiful, precious, and rare as a pink diamond, the truth is we're really quite ordinary. We rescue princesses (fat or otherwise), we shoot aliens (and sometimes teammates), we hog the microphone when we play Rock Band (we think we sound great), and we probably should've gone to bed several levels ago. In other words, we're no different than guys who play videogames. Well, our hair might smell better, but that's about it.

In this week's issue, we examine the relationship - sometimes friendly, sometimes not - between women and videogames. You'll more than likely see a bit of yourself reflected in these stories, regardless of your personal assortment of X and Y chromosomes.

Share and enjoy,
Susan Arendt

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