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.