Special Edition: Slambie
A long, long time ago I interviewed Slambie for an article I was planning to do about women gamers. The article itself went nowhere and for the longest time our chat log has collected dust on my hard-drive. Seeing as how Elysium seems to either be dead or moving into his new house or something I thought now would be a good time to post the interview.
Obviously this was done before I showed her the light and made her pre-order WoW instead of EQ2. Since then I do believe she is a prominent member of the GWJ horde on Blackhand.
Certis : When did you get into gaming?
Slambie: The year I started going out with the Mr. Slambie was 1986.
Certis: He turned you onto the hobby?
Slambie: Yeah. He was one of the few people around at the time who actually had a computer at home....He was a programmer at the time.
Certis: Would you say you played as much then as you do now?
Slambie: Not even close. Back then gaming was pretty new...technology wise as well as availability wise. So there wasn't a lot to choose from (taking PC gaming only here, I never was one for the consoles). Plus I was poor and maybe only bought two or three games in an entire year. That has grown into a full blown addiction over the years and as my husband has pretty much ceased to be interested in games, I'm always trying out the new ones, buying way more than I'll ever play in this lifetime and keep up on all the gaming news.
Certis: Why did Mr.Slambie quit caring?
Slambie: The funny thing about him is that he always like the early simple graphics of the D&D Gold Box games. For some reason as the graphics got better he just didn't like them as much. These days he plays mostly card games and some of the D&D adventures of the 1990s.
Certis: And what keeps you so highly interested in games?
Slambie: I like the interactive entertainment value of games. To me they're like reading a good book except that you're involved in the character's decision making and the direction the story takes (depending on the game, of course). I never was on for passively sitting in front of a TV and gaming keeps me on my toes, so to speak, while providing entertainment value.
Certis: When you started gaming more, did it affect your social life? Your life style?
Slambie: Not really, but that's only because I'm naturally anti-social and have never been interested in spending my free time in the company of people. I've just replaced other hobbies with gaming over time.
Certis: Do you play any "social" games or are you pretty much a single player only kind of gal?
Slambie: I've been totally single player so far. I do have the EQ2 CE on preorder, though, so after investing in it I suspect I'll actually be brave enough to jump in and get my feet wet in the MMORPG world later this fall...we'll see.
Certis: Why EQ2 as your first foray into online gaming?
Slambie: Because I'm such a RPG/fantasy ho. It's the type of game that never gets old for me. And EQ2 just looks so good that I thought I'd give it a shot.
Certis: And it will really be your first shot at online gaming?
Slambie: I actually bought Ultima Online at one point but have never installed it. Yep, it will be my maiden voyage into online gaming.
Slambie: Oh, to be a noob again!
Certis: So you've almost been gaming for 20 years... you read the news, you post in forums.. yet only now you look to test the online waters. That flies in the face of every woman gamer stereotype!
Slambie: Does it? It's the anti-social in me....I've always been convinced that the addition of other people to the mix is going to spoil my gaming experience.
Certis: Typically, women tend towards social gaming experiences and many I've talked to are perfectly happy sticking with a select few games. Yet by all accounts, you buy quite a few yourself and they're all single player.
Slambie: Yep, it's me and my PC and I like to try new things. I like PC gaming so much that I feel like I'm missing something if I don't try out different genres. I can generally be found playing everything from Painkiller to Spongebob Squarepants.
Slambie: BTW, I actually collect PC games. So I buy 5 or 6 for everyone I mange to finish.
Certis: Why do you collect them?
Slambie: Why collect....I don't know. It could be my latent chipmunk tendencies to hoard for times of famine or it's because I like games and feel I must have them. Not much different than books, stamps, or coins I think. Which may or may not be worth anything over time.
Slambie: I have no idea. I never think in terms of male/female gamer and often wonder if it isn't anything more than some artificial marketing ploy that doesn't really exist. I only know of a hand full of women gamers and those have been in online game-related forums. And I've never chatted them up about games. As far as I'm concerned, typical female gamers are no different than typical male gamers. I'll be trying to score with the chicks in the latest Leisure Suit Larry game in a couple of weeks just like all the other people who bought that game, whether they are male or female. I realize, I may be completely clueless in this area but I think the only problem is that women are (or have been) more likely to fall for and follow society expectations then men and think that gaming isn't more of an appropriate way to spend their time as an adult. Or they end up investing their time in family/children...a time sink I've managed to avoid over the years.
Certis: So you don't feel there is a difference between how men and women typically approach games?
Slambie: No, I really don't. Granted, men are more likely to be interested in WWII shooters than women. But other than a superficial preference for content/story lines I don't think there's any difference. I'm so out of the water when it comes to what's normal or expected, though, that I'm unable to explain why most women gamers are different or not interested in games at all.
Slambie: I know, I know....there's probably tons of documents studies telling us that women have a totally different take on games and that little girls are going to love the new Barbie makeover game.
Certis: I think the market research vs. the reality of things is different for sure. I also think you transcend all of it.
Slambie: I just don't get it and am not so willing to believe it. Inside every woman is a person who gets great pleasure out of pillaging and plundering. I just know it!