I remember them time and time again: “That’s for boys, put that down!” every time I stepped outside of that pink stuff and frilly dresses square they drew me in. I felt like a square.
I still do.
I missed out on some really great video games, but my brother(s) didn’t. I got the hand-me-downs [broken consoles, with cords with impossible to fix shorts in them, controllers with buttons that don’t work, etc.] and the things they didn’t want to play. I enjoyed them all the same. I ended up being really good at Columns, though. I still haven’t mastered Golden Axe. I could only reach stage three. Good times.
The only time I got to play video games usually resulted from something I’d rather not talk about having to come into play. Let’s just say after it ended and while it was happening all I saw at the end of the tunnel was a place to be free. I found my home in video games. It was my way to escape from everything around me. That escape only lasted in maybe 3-5 minute burst, maybe once a week or once a day, if I’m lucky. I was trying to disappear from their eyesight and they couldn’t even realize it. I wanted to help them stop wanting to beat me with broomsticks because they couldn’t process their anger differently. Dammit, I wanted to wear short sleeves in the Summer! I wanted to stop having to explain my scars, my bruises. I wanted to stop explaining why my skin is always full of open wounds. That now I’m the one causing because now, I pick my skin. I’m this trapped, confused, black child in the ghetto and I’m not even safe in my own home so what exactly was out there that they were keeping me from? I’m sorry…I’m panning away from the point.
Video games were my escape and they wouldn’t even give me a minutes peace. No matter how much I begged and pleaded. I wanted to be able to sit and play video games like my brothers. I wanted to be a kid. I didn’t want an Easy Bake and white Barbie dolls. I didn’t want frilly dresses and purses. I didn’t want to get beat for doing things that weren’t “lady-like”. And video games were “unladylike”. I could learn car detailing properly, I couldn’t learn mechanics and I couldn’t play video games because all of those things are for boys and that I should get in the kitchen with granny and learn how to cook.
Let me tell you…
I can COOK my ass off.
Then feed it to you and have you coming back for more.
It’s a good thing too because I love to eat. -ahem.
When I was finally able to leave the house I started to collect older consoles, but I was still a dreamer then because I was collecting component cables and cartridges for them as well so I could play them. My family took them all; sold them or tossed them away, I forget which one they’re a fan of the most. My Gamecube, too.
My very first legit video game I was able to sit down and enjoy that I paid for when I was finally able to leave my house was ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’. That was my first owned console; the Nintendo Gamecube. I had a silver one and I thought I was the shit because people would tell me how they wanted the silver one. Cheesy, I know. It was mine. My first racing game was a Need for Speed game. I have so many favorites of that franchise: Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed Underground 2, and Need for Speed: Carbon. I don’t know why I loved those games, but I did.
*I was going to add pictures to this but, meh. No one reads this anyway.
There are so many games I want to play. Some, I’ve never heard of before my fiance mentioned them. Luckily, there are emulators and I have a gaming rig so I can just play catch up. It’s just, it would have been great to experience video gaming in all its glory, but I couldn’t because “video games are for boys”.