In my family home, there has always been a place for digital gaming, as my dad has been in the Information Technology industry since I was born, and has been gaming since he snuck in games of Akalabeth on the Apple II at boarding school and played play-by-mail fantasy games from a farm in Bathurst (see below), expanding his ‘gamespace’ much further than just his living room (Murphy 2004). My dad is, and according to Williams, Yee and Caplan still is, the original ‘gamer’ (gamers, especially in MMOs, are on average 30 years and up) (2008).
I grew up mostly playing computer games at the desk in our living room, starting with arcade style Sesame Street and Madeleine PC games when I was about 5, and moving on to Need For Speed, Harry Potter and The Sims on PC, and Lego games on my Wii console in primary school. My brother and I would also play on his Gameboy Advance (my favourite game was The Lost Vikings), and later on our gamespace expanded as we commandeered an old, small TV which we could use to play PlayStation 2 in his room.
Nowadays I still love playing PC games, but this happens in my room by myself on my laptop with headphones on, because after using my laptop for work all day, I enjoy experiencing my computer “liberated from the restricted economy of purpose or function” (Bernstein 1991).. This fascination fits with William, Yee and Caplan’s findings concerning typical PC gamer demographics and the divide between console and desktop gamers, as apparently ‘this platform appeals more to women’ (2008). These days the PlayStation 3 is used predominantly as a media centre for my parents to play ABC iView and DVDs on , which is apparently what most people use consoles for in this age of TV replay apps, YouTube and Netflix (Pham & Fritz 2012). Sometimes I play casual games on my iPad or Android phone (particularly on public transport), playing brain training and puzzle games, but I’m a PC girl at heart; I just love dropping in, turning on, and tuning out, experiencing that “kind of visceral click in your brain when the screen lights up with “System Ready” (Bernstein 1991).
- Bernstein, C. ‘Play It Again Pac-Man’, Postmodern Culture 2:1, 1991.
- Murphy, S 2004, ‘Live in Your World, Play in Ours’, Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 3 No. 2,p. 223-283,http://vcu.sagepub.com/content/3/2/223
- Pham, A & Fritz, B 2012, ‘Xbox now used more for online entertainment than online gaming’, March 26, Los Angeles Times,http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/xbox-more-entertainment-gaming-hbo-go-comcast-xfinity-mlb.html
- Williams, Dmitri, Yee, Nick, and Caplan, Scott (2008), ‘Who plays, how much and why? Debunking the stereotypical gamer profile’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication vol. 13 pp.993