Friday, February 1, 2013


I am becoming a gamer again.  It's a bit odd, a bit familiar, a bit not.

I got a house in Raven Rock in Skyrim.  Which is a relief because I was carrying around my dragon scales and trophy swords, and I was missing all this awesome loot because I couldn't carry anything else.

And I'm playing Magic: The Gathering.

I used to play M:TG.  I liked it.  I was not very good at it.  If I played every week, then halfway through a new expansion set I would be good enough to win about half the time.  And then a new set would come out and I would be terrible until I could spend the time to become mediocre.  I enjoyed playing when I was mediocre, but when I was so terrible that I might as well concede after shuffling, there didn't feel like any point in playing.  It felt like I wasn't actually playing.  So I needed to commit time and money on a regular basis in order to enjoy the game.  And when grad school happened, I stopped.

It didn't help that, in a male-dominated game, I was so often The Girl.  Even worse, I was The Girlfriend.  And even though no one was ever overtly aware, no one ever said or did anything to make me feel different, I knew the stereotype.  When I went to set releases, I would be one of five women in a room of 500.  I would most likely be the only woman each of my opponents played.  And then I would lose, because I'm not very good.  And because I felt like a lone representative of my gender, I wanted very much to win. 

I could play online, and pick a non-gendered name.  But I didn't want to be gender neutral.  I just didn't want to feel like I was failing at being female.  Or failing women by being a bad Woman Gamer.  And, well, it was even more expensive than the paper game.

But there's a M:TG app for the iPad.  Playing with built-in dummy decks, against dumb AI opponents.  No one can see me play, and I even win sometimes.  I'd forgotten how much fun it can be.

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