Narrative - Girls can Game, too
During high school, my boyfriend, Devlin, and I liked having dates at one of our homes, mostly mine, because they were free, and we could cook dinner instead of ordering it. One of our favorite things to do together was playing video games. When he asked me to teach him how to play one of my favorite video games, he was in for a memorable experience.
I had just finished losing yet another round on the fighting game Soul Calibur IV, and Devlin was feeling very cocky. After seeing the score total to three and ten, which was a great enough deficit for me, he looked over and said, “I think I’ve beaten you enough for one day. Could we play Gears of War?” I was surprised to have heard that; my boyfriend does not particularly enjoy the shooter genre. After double checking that we were both on the same page, I switched the games.
I set up a private online match so I could properly teach Devlin the game controls. He felt that I was going to start before he was ready, so I stayed back and let him explore the map and experiment on his own. After he felt confident enough to play, he said he was ready to play against me and said, “Don’t hold back on me, seriou-”; my character snuck up behind him and killed him with the chainsaw on his Lancer, stopping him mid-thought. This started a long and gruesome killing spree, switching between grenades, shotguns, sniper rifles, and humiliating executions with flamethrowers, beatings, and literally ripping him apart. Playing in an area with a bleak, gray sky, looming shadows of buildings, and characters as they traverse through with their heavy armor, and only the sound of the wind and footsteps made the experience much more intense. I would laugh as I picked up a new weapon, especially when I would hear him whisper, “Oh crap.” Needless to say, I was having a blast.
Going into the fifth round, I hid in a corner of a building, knowing he could see me on the split screen though he would not know where to go. After getting into a good spot, I started revving my gun’s chainsaw attachment. This made Devlin think that I knew where he was, which I did, but he was not close to me. I could hear him trying to stay calm as he tried to get me to reveal my location, to which I responded with a glance and a wink. When I saw him pass, I went up behind him, hit him with the butt of my gun, making him fall to the ground into a “down-but-not-out” state. I watched as he repeatedly smash the little green A button on his controller as his character started to crawl away from me, hoping to escape his impending doom. I ended his misery by shooting him in the head with my pistol; laughing as I called it, “the most humane way I killed him in the entire time we’ve played.”
After losing with a score of sixteen to two, I decided to stop the game and help my mother get dinner set up. Feeling proud of my consecutive successes, Devlin glared at me and reminded me of my loss in the previous title. I shrugged as I ate, knowing that we still had a wonderful time together either way. Teaching my boyfriend how to play one of my favorite games helped him see that girls can definitely hold their own on the virtual battlefield.