The obligatory introduction

A Girl prefers the term “female gamer” to “gamer girl,” “gaming grrl,” “ladygamer,” or any other phraseology that indicates she

a) has tits, and

b) likes to play games.

A Girl discovered her love of gaming at the age of three, when her father plunked Hungry, Hungry Hippos down in front of her and commanded her to “smash that lever until all the white things are gone.” Noisy games, such as Trouble and Operation, and anything that involved smashing things, such as Splat!, occupied her attention until the age of seven. When she discovered a love of reading, A Girl developed a fondness for UpWords and Yahtzee and, thanks to the preternatural abilities of her aunts, a fierce hatred of Scrabble. By age ten, Taboo and Pictionary were fun weeknight amusements and by age twelve she was a whiz at Junior Trivial Pursuit.

Then she became a teenager.

Games were “not cool.” Unless they were video games. But A Girl’s brother owned the Playstation 1 and the Sega Genesis. While he generously allowed A Girl to make a fool of herself playing Sonic and some creepy Toon Town detective game, the Playstation was his domain and he rarely shared. A Girl’s female friends thought she was strange for liking games and her male friends didn’t think girls should play video games. (On second thought, they weren’t really friends). Besides, boardgames were something little kids and uncool people played with their stupid “families,” which no thirteen-year-olds ever acknowledge they have. So A Girl dropped out of her enthusiasm for games and concentrated on expanding her trivia knowledge of the Star Wars universe and watching Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns on TV with her dad.

Then came high school. On the first day of freshman year, her friends decided to join the fledgling Sci-Fi Club. As a total sheep teenaged female, she succumbed to the peer pressure and joined too. During the second session of the club, a boy she thought was cute (and who was a senior!) invited her to join some of the guys in a Robotech game. A Girl felt like an idiot rolling dice, but was pleased with the amount of imagination it took to craft a “workable” character who was interesting to talk to. A month later, one of her female friends decided to try running a Dungeons & Dragons game and invited A Girl to learn how to play. The rest is history.

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