Apparently I am not what a gamer should be.
Whenever I mention that I love playing games, even to old friends, most people are surprised. Even my husband honestly thought that when I bought him a PS3 for his birthday it was actually a present for him.
So why I am not what a gamer should be? Is it because I am attractive, intelligent and successful (or so my Mum says) - or is it just because I am a girl? I suspect the latter. Maybe because I have my doubts about the three former qualities but I definitely can be certain that I am a girl... and maybe because gaming is still quite the male-dominated hobby.
But this piece today is not going to be anything about poorly disguised sexism in gaming. That topic has been done to death in the Fairfax rags over the last couple of weeks. Instead, let's form a consensus. I'll tell you what I do and don't like in modern games, and you can tell me why I'm a moron and to get back in the kitchen if I don't like something you think is essential to games*.
Then you can ask yourself, or me, why does anyone care what you think? Well, it's because I have money. Lots of it. To waste on stuff like shoes and makeup and even games should I so choose. Plus I am too lazy to not pay retail. And finally - I am just the tip of the iceberg, the foothills of Mt Disposable Income. There are many like me, but there are also many spending their money on shoes and makeup and not on games, and it has proven to be a lucrative market if captured successfully.
Let's start with what I dislike. There is not a whole lot, really, but these will definitely make me think twice about buying a game.
Primarily, I don't like other people. I don't like being trash talked by douchebags in the comfort of my own house. I am also a really sore loser... so lets take out any kind of multiplayer, MMO or PVP. I dislike first person shooters because they make me feel nauseated from all the spinning around.
Finally, I think that often women are dressed ridiculously. Not wearing any pants is not an effective protective measure. In Dragon's Dogma I refuse to hire any pawn that is not wearing pants, and it can take quite a while to find one that is suitably attired for a combat situation. This really grates my cheese.
But you know what I would give it all up for? A good story. Hell, I would play as a pneumatic-chested lingerie model in a PVP FPS if it had a compelling narrative (at this point in time I don't quite know how you could make a compelling narrative out of that, but feel free to bust out some ideas in the comment section). A meandering storyline where I'm not quite sure why I am doing something will bore me quickly, a la Dark Souls. Side quests need to have a good reason for me to undertake them. For example, I had to convince myself that Skyrim needed to be at full strength and not wracked by civil war in order for me to take down Alduin, or else I never would have sided with those pesky Stormcloaks.
So please, give me a story. For a good story, I will forgive much. I want to Requiescat in Pace with my fellow assassins, or paragon my way out of tricky situations on the Citadel. I don't want 'girl games' in pink packaging and a '-ville' suffix. I'm not so different from you, Mr Male-gamer-that-so-many-games-are-aimed-at. Just give me a damn good story and as Phillip J. Fry would say - shut up and take my money.
*Actually, I have a great deal of respect for ScreenPlay commenters and I don't think there will be much of that. I also quite like being in the kitchen because there is sometimes cake there.
- Hannah Killalea
Screen Play readers can submit articles or ideas for consideration in Your Turn and Your Review using the email address email@example.com. The best blog post published on Screen Play between July 1, 2012 and July 31, 2012, as judged by Jason Hill, will win a PlayStation 3 console from Sony Computer Entertainment. The PS3 has a 160GB hard drive and is worth $349. The next prize winner will be announced on June 29. Only Australian residents are eligible and the judge's decision is final.