The characters of Kingdom Hearts explore Disney worlds and the lands of Final Fantasy

I never considered myself a gamer. To me, gamers were boys that spent their lives behind first person shooters, who devoted their time to the perfect car heist, or went on adventures with Link and Zelda. I didn’t fit the criteria that made a gamer and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be: I loved to read books, geek out over movies, I wore dresses, and it took me a year to learn what people meant when they were playing COD. But really, I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember.

I became a gamer girl without even realizing it when I turned seven because of two discoveries: Kingdom Hearts and The Sims. Every Saturday, I’d curl up in our basement with my dad and brother as we fought the Heartless infesting different Disney world alongside Goofy and Donald. I never felt the need to grab the controller, I was satisfied sitting and watching this intricate and surprising story unfold. For a few hours every weekend, I’d escape with Sora into worlds I had always dreamt of seeing and lands I could never have dreamed. When I wasn’t kicking butt with Key Blades, I was on our family computer, making families and changing the lives of my Sims. In a realistically silly world, I could be whoever I wanted, whether it be a stable family woman, a rock star, or a vengeful god (seriously, who didn’t delete the pool ladder to watch their Sims drown at least once?).

Two very different games, two very different worlds, but I loved them for the same reason: they let me escape. I game to go on adventures both real and fantastical with just the click of a button; I don’t just sit and watch stories unfold but I make them happen. Between Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon, The Sims and Witcher, Life is Strange and TellTale’s Game of Thrones, I have lived thousands of stories. I still wear dresses. I still love books and don’t fully understand COD. But finally, in my adult life, I proudly can say I am a gamer. As long as new stories unfold, I will keep on playing.

-Madison Becker
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.
Orlando, Florida, USA

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