This month marks one year of this blog, and while not much to some, I can’t believe how comfortable I have become online. This time last year, I decided to join a few social media sites in order to vocalise my passion for all things video games. I was under the impression that a hobby is an excellent way to meet like minded people and expand your knowledge, and now it is oh so easy to connect with your existing friends and make new ones. My main account was on the popular photo sharing site Instagram(I am lazy and photos seemed less effort). Once I joined, I familiarised myself with hashtags and saw what there was on offer to give me my gaming fix. When I first forayed into this online landmine with my gaming account, I was unsure of my place as a retro gamer who has never owned a next gen console and ranks Monkey Island as her favourite game. Even worse, I soon realised the typical Instagram picture of a gamer is usually someone who owns a gamer tag, belongs to a clan and is sponsored by some sort of console accessories start up. Dread. I was worried people would think I wasn’t really into video games at all, and that I might be using it for attention or piggybacking off my boyfriends interests in order to be different and ‘cool’. It made me second guess myself, as most social media does, and made me wonder if I actually am who I think I am. Confusing for you? Think how it was in my little pea head. In such a small sea of big fish, the idea of being judged and scrutinised was overwhelming.
Looking back now, I needn’t have worried. I have met a lot of people who respect and enjoy what I post, as well as those who teach me something new every day. Not even just limited to gaming, in all kinds of ways. Whether you enjoy playing mobile games, if Animal Crossing is your jam, if you can only get into Call of Duty, there is a place for you in this community. Don’t be deterred by the naysayers who say you’re the wrong gender/playing the wrong console/ditto the wrong type of game- there are enough real issues going on in the world without people taking from you what makes you happy.
Get on with it. Happy gaming and happy gram’ing.