Girl Power

Girl Power
Confessions of a GameStop Girl

Pat Miller | 1 Nov 2005 11:02
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That sounds like a decent date to me.

"But then he told me, 'You know, it's funny, all the girls I've dated can beat me at Smash Brothers.' And I just said, 'Wow, that's great, I gotta go.' He was cute, I'm just not looking for anything right now." Poor kid. C'est la vie, I suppose.

"By the way, the greatest thing to do when you're a girl is bulls**t that you know a lot about sports games. You know, sports games just really aren't my thing, they're probably fun but I just didn't get into them, and people will be like, 'So what did you think of Madden 2005?' and I'd just tell them, 'Oh, I dunno, I liked Madden 2004 a lot more because of blah, and blah, and blah.' No one would ever call me on it," she tells me, perhaps in an attempt to divest our conversation of this serious undertone once and for all. "Confessions" indeed; I resolve to never ask a Gamestop clerk for purchasing advice again.

But alas, one depressing anecdote and a failed pick-up attempt do not an article make, so I press on. "I got these mothers a lot," she begins, signifying to me that the topic of men was exhausted. "One of them, she comes up to me and asks, 'What do you think would be great for a little girl?' A friend of mine later told me that he started cracking up because he thought the lady asked the wrong person. I just showed her all these Game Boy Advance games because she mentioned it, but whenever I asked her what the little girl was into, she just replied, 'Oh, I don't know, something girly?' and left it at that. I suggested Advance Wars and she said she didn't think that's girly enough. I tried anything that was pink, or like, happy, like Super Mario Brothers, and apparently it just wasn't good enough for her. I guess girls just can't play Super Mario Brothers, even though everyone and their mother has played Super Mario Brothers."

I pause for a second and stare into my soup bowl, trying to figure out whether the irony of that last bit was intentional or not, but that doesn't seem to stop her. "She picks up the Bratz game and just says, 'I think this will do.' I'm not going to be like, 'Hey, no, lady, put that down.' I tried to save the kid. No Bratz games for me, though. Me, I played Intellivision as a little kid. I think my first game was Burger Time. I loved that s**t."

By now, visibly excited about the opportunity to tell more stories, she dives into the topic of fellow girl gamers, leaving her half-eaten lunch aside entirely. "I was so happy when other women came in. Oh my God, it was great. On the whole, interacting with girls was really exciting. I'd just be like, 'Hi guys, umm...I love you...' But it depended on the girl. Some girls really hated me, they'd assume I didn't know anything, like they were sexist against me the same way the guys were." She stops again for a second to collect her thoughts. "There are a lot of elitist gamers out there, no matter what gender they are. And it frustrates me."

Something makes her pause again, and her facial expression reveals an internal conflict that her voice, suddenly measured and much more reflective, confirms. "I don't want to be elitist, either, but I kind of feel insulted sometimes when all these girls start gaming now and claim they're old school. Like, 'I played Final Fantasy X, I'm so old school; I play World of WarCraft, I'm so hardcore.' What the hell?"

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