When I was a little kid, I beat my dad at an arcade game called “Primal Rage” at Walmart during a shopping trip. We played a few times before my mom told him to stop letting me win so we could go in the store. My dad looked back at her and said, “I stopped ‘letting’ her win a few rounds ago!”

I was so proud of myself that I beat my dad, a grown-up, fair and square in a video game. I’ve loved gaming since that moment. When I was seven, my dad bought a PlayStation for the family. I would always wake up earlier than everyone else and play it all by myself whenever I could. My favorite games were “Primal Rage”, “Tekken 2”, and “Crash Bandicoot”. Both “Primal Rage” and “Tekken 2” were fighting games and I am a major button-masher. I liked the dinosaurs in “Primal Rage” but for “Tekken 2” I loved the girl fighters and the storyline itself. When I was older, I was as interested in the storyline of the series as I was the game itself. “Crash Bandicoot” was appealing to me because of its cartoonish nature as well as it’s urgency and challenges.

Today I still prefer games with interesting storylines, and I’ve grown to love questing games that need strategies. I play more fantasy RPG such as “Alice: Madness Returns”, “Skyrim”, and the “Fable” series. As a history major, I also love the “Civilization Revolution” series and “Crusader Kings III”.

I game because I can escape from reality and become something bigger than myself. In games, I am a queen fighting to protect her lands by magic or by diplomacy. I am an expert in combat, be it hand-to-hand, swords, daggers, guns, or bows. I am the creator of a powerful dynasty, clawing my way up from a lowly Count/Countess to an Emperor/Empress. I am everything I am not in reality, just in daydreams. I also game because I know it’s something I’m good at. When I beat a game that I’ve beaten before, I’m never bored but comforted. It’s a constant in my life when everything else around me is changing.

It is not only unrealistic games that I gravitate towards. “The Sims” and “Harvest Moon” have gotten me through some hard times in my life. They were calm and realistic, allowing me to do things that I could do in real life but would likely not have the opportunity to.

I got married to a fellow gamer. Our interests are similar enough that we can play together or share trade secrets, or we can parallel play instead. Our kids are old enough to play as well so it has become a family affair. We use games as a reward for good behavior and for giving them more practice in math and reading. Video games are also becoming hugely popular to teach children, especially those one the autism spectrum like my oldest. Gaming is universal and gender neutral and I adore it.

Kaylene Bliss

Junior Girl

Girl Museum, Inc.

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