Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An excerpt from my wife's Blog, LJ, etc...Women Gamers.

White and Nerdy? Yeah, I am.

But things were not always thus. In fact, I remember back in 1999, a guy I worked with asked me out. I said no. It wasn’t because he was a bad guy, or had a huge hunchback or anything. It was because I had heard him say one time that he and his friends played the Star Wars role playing game. I thought, “Oh. My. God. What a dork!!”

In October 2000, I met Jeff. A tall, cute, funny guy and we hit it off right away. About a month later, he told me that he was running a game (Shadowrun) and he HAD to have a 4th player or it just wouldn’t work. Since I had no idea what was involved in these games, I relented. I figured it was just the one night, so it’d be okay. BOY, was I in for a surprise!

So that was my first experience in the world of RPGs. And don’t you think that I enjoyed it right off the bat. I felt nervous each and every session. Not wanting to disappoint Jeff or have the other players thinking I rode the short bus to the game. In fact, it’s only really in about the last 2 years that I’ve begun to actually get in to the roles more. Maybe it’s that I’m more comfortable with my “real life” self.

One of the things that is so great about gaming (both RPGs and minis) is that it is not real life. It is a fantasy. So even though my real life is being a slave to the daily grind of work, dishes, etc, I can be whatever I want in a game. I can be an ass-kickin’, trash-talkin’ so-and-so. I can be a doctor, a space ship pilot, a cop…you name it. And in the minis games, I can shoot yer ass with a cannon or blow you to smithereens with some futuristic weapon of mass destruction. It’s very cathartic.

Now picture it, winter 2003, in Longview, WA. Jeff had purchased a high elf army and we were snowed in. For a week. That was when I started to learn to paint. It was hard and I got frustrated. I painted like a 3rd grader with a roller brush. (As I look back, I see how bad I really was.)

But Jeff was always encouraging me. Telling me I was doing well and it would just take some practice. In truth, we were both fairly new to the painting thing, so we were progressing together.

When we moved back to WI in 2005, we were able to set up a great painting area in our place with all the lighting, brushes, paints etc. We have 2 bookshelves stocked with minis and all the accessories.

One night, Jeff asked if I’d like to go with him when he went to play Mech Warrior with some guys at a local game store. I asked how long the game would be, since it was on a week night. “About an hour” he said. Again, I think I had a sucker stuck to my forehead. Anyway, we went and I got roped into playing. It was mini robots moving across the board, shooting at shit and blowing shit up. I liked the concept. It was me and 5 guys. Sweet. I was a hit and there were several comments to the effect of “I wish my wife/girlfriend” would play. After one particularly successful night of dice rolling on my part, the guys made me a foam tiara that says “dice queen” on it.

*Jeff made me put this part in.* Everywhere we go, I am a rock star. My reputation precedes me that I’m the gamer chick and how lucky Jeff is that his wife plays and paints, etc. He brags about it to anyone who will listen.

It is kinda like that everywhere we go. I’d say easily 90% of the significant others don’t play and/or can’t stand the idea of even trying to play. That really blows my mind.

Jeff and I do everything together. EVERYTHING. There are a lot of times when we will stay home to just do nothing with each other rather than going out with friends. And our idea of nothing is putting a movie on in the background while we work on assembling/painting “little dudes”.

I can’t get my brain around people whose SOs don’t at least give this stuff a try. I know that not everyone can be with their SO 24/7 like Jeff and me. But come on girls, give it a shot. The guys will love you for it!!

For a time, there was a group of us ladies called the Geek Chic Collective who would get together about once a month. We would go shopping, get our nails done, buy dice to match our new nail polish and then go have margaritas. It was awesome! Real life has prevented an outing recently, but all of us are still gaming.

All the games I have played of Warhammer Fantasy or Warhammer 40K have been with the armies that Jeff has. I’ve had a great deal of fun. Jeff is very patient as I try to figure out what each type of guy can do and explains how everything works. I have my own dice – for Warhammer as well as for RPGs. It has now reached the point where I have more dice than Jeff. Wow.

Last week when we were at WH40K league night, I told Jeff that I wanted to get my own army. One that I would assemble, paint and play myself. He was beside himself with excitement and proceeded to tell all the guys there that I was looking through the different types of armies to see which one I wanted for my own. (My precious.)

I decided on Necrons. I love the look of the skeleton/machine combo. They look fierce and they have a bunch of cool stuff for the army like scarabs and the Monoliths. SWEET. So far, I have 40 ‘dudes’, 10 bases of scarabs (4 per base) and 3 destroyers assembled. I have to put together the wraith, the lord and the monolith that I have. And I think from what we were looking at last night, I’ll probably get a couple more wraiths. MWAHAHAHAHA

One night we were at a game store and I picked up the Citadel Foundation Paint set and took it up to the register. We know the owner of the store so I told her it was my birthday to get the special discount. She looked at Jeff and said “Is this what she wants?” Basically stating that the paints were for him and I was just using my birthday to get them cheaper. I guess she couldn’t have known that I had been anxiously awaiting buying those paints for 2 months – ever since I first saw them in the White Dwarf magazine.

That’s another thing. I knew I was a nerd when the White Dwarf is sitting on MY nightstand. And I’m taking notes on which base coats to use and drybrushing and inking…

Boy, how things can change. I guess the gist of this rambling is that I think more women should get involved. Hell, paint a glitter army like my friend Kate wants to do. There is no rule against it that I’m aware of!

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