Girls & Video Gaming…What’s all that about? 12.09.17 National Video Gaming Day!

Today is National Video Gaming Day. Yay!!!  Which is Brill that our Industry of both the Gamer and the Producer is being recognised.  In true Gamer Style I too will be spending some time knocking out a few rounds online or with some of the guys at the studio.

As I was thinking about all this Video Gaming malarkey and what it means to me as a Female Gamer, it seemed appropriate to choose today to share a little bit about my own Gaming experience.

It was few years back now (really…I prefer not to say the exact year) but the big fat brown Atari console had been on the scene a short time and this was my first encounter  with Video Gaming…it wasn’t even my own console but belonged to the brother of a friend and we stole goes on it when he was out.  I remember being memorised and intrigued by the game  PONG and wondering how did it all work?  I was still coming to terms with how the Telly worked so this just blew my mind!  It was amazing!  old tellyLater, I got into the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 (again neither of these were my consoles but belonged to my brother and a boyfriend).  It’s this bit that I find really interesting about how Girl Gamers…(Erm…we didn’t even have that name in those days) were viewed.  As Females in general, in those days…yeah the good old days…the view tended to be ‘small feet gets you closer to the kitchen sink’.  As a ‘tomboy’ all my mates were generally male and I noticed growing up that they didn’t have to do the same chores as I did…Cleaning the house, Ironing, cooking, washing the pots…to name a few.  Their tasks tended to be cool things like…building a tree house, making a tyre swing, fixing the car or getting their dreams and prayers answered with a spanking new games console for Christmas.

Untitled-4.jpg

It’s not that I minded doing the chores, it was accepted in society that that is what you did, it’s just there was a direct distinction between Male and Female Species and generally the Male ones seemed to have the fun while the Female one’s had to do loads of stuff.

I know it’s similar in the wild…the Lioness does the hunting and endangers her life while the Lion just hangs around with all the spare Lionesses and does nothing except hump and roar when the call comes for it.  This picture below details this exactly.  If these lions had games controllers in their hands then you’d know exactly where I was coming from. male lions copy

Pack of Male Lions. (photo courtesy of Google National Geographic Magazine 2012)

As it was the only keyboard I had was a ‘Bontempi’  with 24 keys embedded into beige plastic and I could play silent night on it.  It wasn’t a games console it didn’t even have a demo button on it.  I remember having to persuade my parents to buy my younger brother a games console/computer – the legendary ‘Commodore 64Plus4‘ Purchased from Dad’s savings from Woolworths, it was all I could do to be sure I could just get my hands on one.  If I asked maybe, just maybe Dad would have said yes…but it was 1980’s England and that just didn’t happen.

It hopelessly just seemed the normal thing that Males could have the consoles and Girls couldn’t.  sad face

My addiction and love of Video Gaming was soothed by the gentle sound of Data Cassette’s being filed through on wet Saturday afternoons in ‘Just Micro’ in Sheffield, whilst trying to persuade my brother or boyfriend to buy the games I wanted to play.  On some solitary afternoons of my youth I’d ‘wagg it’ from school and could be found in the Arcade on the Space Invaders Arcade Machine.

My first real experience of Home Console Video Gaming came with a husband and Children in tow and was the best thing since sliced bread and Microsoft’s answer to unicorn dreams…the Original XBOX.  Ginormous in size and with health and safety instructions in the booklet, that stated ‘don’t drop on a small child’…it was utterly amazing!

xbox thing

My first online multiplayer experience was in HALO 2.  Master Chief…created a hero in me and this was one of the best escapism’s ever.  A Sci-Fi story where you became the macho Hero and it was you who would save everyone and everything.

halo 2.jpgThere was only a few hardcore Girl-gamers online at that time and Microsoft had not yet brought out the Female version of Master Chief – although his dependable companion Cortana was pretty cool.  I had two female friends online at the time and 98 male friends on my friends list.  My late friend Gary always said;

 ‘Having a female in the online gaming room made a difference…it made the team pull together better, made the males chivalrous and toned down the language and trash talking.” 

Things have got better for girl-gamers and the industry is recognising us and promoting us positively.  It’s great that the Industry is seeing value in the Female Gamer both in employment and directing sales.  Yet I still feel we have some way to go.  Online gaming is still a very much male dominated environment.  I know this because every game I play online has at least 8 out of 10 players that are male.  It could be the type of games I play maybe, yet I still see a lack of Female representatives within games; but happily we are getting there.

All I know is I love Video Gaming.  It ticks boxes of immersion and provokes dramatic creative thinking in me; the same experience I can get from a book, film or stage play.  Great games give a productive sense of achievement, entertainment, can help develop social interaction particularly for those who struggle to leave the house through anxiety or disability and can help develop skills and interest from the environment that the Gamer experiences.

heart vg.jpg

 

 

5th 8-Bit Evolved Autism Friendly Gaming Nite

Oh yes it’s that time again.  This Saturday sees our established monthly Autism Friendly Gaming Nite for a 5th time and we have a real treat for our gamers!  Lots of Retro’s – by request of course and a few other ones…think unusual and fun controllers!

Josh will host with sidekick Jake!  This Saturday 26th August 2017, 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm. Snacks and Drinks.  Tickets: £5.00 for newbies and siblings. £10.00 for regulars. Important: Pre-registration required please contact us if you intent to come along so we can ensure there is a place for you.

Contact page http://www.sparkyink.co.uk          email ginger@sparkyink.co.uk

Facebook @sparkyinkstudio                   Twitter: @sparky_inK

Our 4th ‘8-bit Evolved Autism Friendly Gaming Night’

This Saturday sees our 4th ‘8-bit Evolved’ Autism Friendly Gaming Night.  Rumour has it that there will be drums, guitars and a microphone as ‘8-bit Evolved’ creates its own tour with ‘RockBand’ and ‘Guitar Hero’.  

There will also be more fun on 4 player retro games and some newer titles on the Nintendo Switch.

Interested?  If you would like to be involved please register using our contact page on our website or email us at ginger@sparkyink.co.uk

 

gaming nite publicity

The 3rd Autism Friendly Gaming Nite

Last Saturday Sparky Ink Studio proudly hosted the 3rd 8-Bit Evolved Autism Friendly Gaming Nite.  We had an amazing nite playing retro/not-really-retro Nintendo Switch Bomberman and Mario Karts.

We’re still looking for more people to join the event so if you live in the Chessy area or would like to hook up virtually drop us a line.

We will be posting our footage from the night during the next week or so.  Keep Tuned and thanks for watching and reading our stuff it means a lot to us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our 4th Autism Friendly 8-Bit Evolved Gaming Nite will take place on Saturday 22nd July 2017.

 

Our 4th autism friendly gaming nite in association with Sparky Ink Studio.
Want to be on our VIP list and get a ticket?
Message us or contact us via the contact page at www.sparkyink.co.uk

8-Bit Evolved Autism Friendly Gaming Nite – Month 4 EVENT

It’s that time again when we get together for our monthly Autism Friendly Gaming Nite. Last month we had an excellent evening playing some fantastic titles together.

Among the titles were some old favourites and a Game which we all agreed they should make another game of and that was Valve’s “Left4Dead”  So much fun…not a game for the fainthearted especially when the “Boomer” pukes on you and the hoard attacks or if you disturb “the witch”.  We will be putting the game footage of our evening on our youtube channel later today.

Tickets for the event are usually £13.50 but we have reduced them as an Easter Spring treat to £10.00.  It’s a 2.5 hr session with drinks, salty snacks and haribos available.  Give us a shout if you would like to book a place.

Cheersleft4dead gaming nite title board copy.jpg