It’s never to late to start. Last night, I wittnessed the birth of a gamer.
Though how it initiated has been clouded by the marvolous events that happened soon after, it was, an amazing site to see.
In this world, there are four kinds of people.
Gamers, Poser Gamers, Non-gamers, and Dead People.
Gamers include people who have filled their past with pre-8bit, saturated themselves with the early text based genre, made love to simple blocky arcade classics, earned blisters with the dawn of the platformers, secretly tasted their 16 bit game cartridges, lovingly memorize every instruction manual for their favorite old school games, daydreamed in 2D, shivered over pre-rendered backgrounds, and cried privatly like a new parent watching their child take their first steps and falling flat on their face when the first non-linear 3D games were released on that chilly september morning. They are the people who stick to the same basic formats, yet welcome the new ones, they are the people who don’t cry about the rating system, or the style in which the polygons were rendered. They are the people who have saved the princess on countless accounts, rescued planets when the odds were one million badguys to one or two heroes, stopped a fair share of diabolical villians, were ready to discover betrayal, prepared for a plot twist, filled in plot holes, would stop at nothing to get the highest score, mastered hundreds of fighting styles, war tactics, combo moves, and have easily adapted to thousands of situations, discovered riches and wealth and treasure only to give it all up to do it over again, the people who occassionally have to make the hard decision to kill and destroy just to save the day, and when they are all done, they always go home and win races, tennis matches, and are always up for a little just for fun melee combat. Gamers are the people who always look for that invisible block, that secret stockpile of rings, that easter egg, that last puzzle piece, and how to do it faster, more efficient, and make it look cooler. We play and fight well with others by our side, or alone.
Poser Gamers are those who perhaps stuck their heads into the life of a Gamer at one point, but were simply not consistant. They don’t remember who the savior of the Mushroom Kingdom is, nor does it matter to them, because the ratings aren’t T for Teen or M for Mature, so it is evidently not good enough for them. They rather let Tom Clancy run their lives, or beat a man to death simply to steal his car. “Anything colorful is kiddie, it is better to simulate more realistic scenarios in a virtual world, than it is to let the imagination flourish,” is the motto of the Poser Gamer. When football isn’t on, they let their games simulate it for them. Nobody should talk to these types of people.
The Non-gamer isn’t fortunate enough to be a part of these worlds. With a mind free of facts and strategies and imagination, these people are almost as de-evolved as the poser gamers. There are many reasons why a person would be a non-gamer. Perhaps they have no hands, or no fine motor skills. Perhaps they get siezures. Or perhaps they are too old for anything but Uno. Many Poser gamers can also be considered Non-gamers.
Dead people are a completly different story. These people consist of those who are not alive. Most people who are not alive have never played video games in their life. Also, this category includes toddlers, unborn fetus’s, and Mexicans.
And now to my story.
Not only was a Non-gamer converted into a gamer, but the non-gamer was of the female species. I know right now most of you are throwing your arms up in the air in disbelief. You must believe. There is hope out there for people. Listen to this miraculous success story.
It started with Super Mario Bros. As it should, and always should, and always will. Many will argue that there are older, even more classic games out there. Yes, there are, but for a modern day gamer, Super Mario Bros is the perfect first dip into the world of gaming, without sinking too far. Even many non-gamers have had some sort of run in with Super Mario Bros. If they haven’t, then they will probably never be able to convert. Fortunatly, my new gamer convert had very clouded experience with it.
While adapting to the new world, getting used to the physics was probably the hardest challenge. Knowing the stakes and the risks were already set into her mind. After a few tries, and while watching myself, who earlier that day had beaten the game in under 12 minutes, she successfully pased world 1-1, and 1-2. A very good start if I do say so. Holding B to run and jumping at the same time was the biggest issue with control, but I have complete faith that once the game fingers get to their first stage of conditioning, she will be in the clear.
After Super Mario Bros., we went on to another genre, the puzzle genre. This is by far, both one of the most influencing genre’s to convert someone, and perhaps one of the most uncared for genre. The puzzle genre is ment for both veteran gamers and non gamers alike, and remarkable results have been formed because of it. For this event, we used the granddaddy of all puzzle games, and perhaps one of the most popular, and successful block parties ever, Tetris. Tetris is by far one of the oldest, and most sacred single screen games, standing proud only behind the arcade classics Pacman and Donkey Kong. Here she showed even more progress than she did for the Super Mario Bros. trials. In fact, we played three or four games, best two out of three, and she beat me, a fully pledged gamer, on the last game. We moved on to Tetris Attack, also known as Panel De Pon, but since it was so different, it will take substantially longer for a new gamer to master it.
In conclusion, the world now has a new remarkable female gamer. Look out Stevie Case, you have competition heading into your neighborhood!