I know this is a shock to many people, but there are thousands of gamers out there that are not pimply faced teenage boys. In fact, many of them are women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and skill (myself included.)
The new Call of Duty: Black Ops released on November 9th to a staggering $360 million opening day total. And yes, believe it or not, many of those buying the game were female.
For me personally, I do not like FPS games. (That's "first person shooters" for you non-gamers out there). Not because they are "violent" or "graphic" but simply because I am not coordinated enough to properly aim, fire, and survive. Hubby is excellent at FPS games, but I think that's because he's had actual military training in how to aim and shoot weapons. Younger people who don't have this sort of background experience are good at these games because they have "young eyes" and "young reflexes". Now mind you, there are a few FPS games that I can play because their targeting system seems to work with my idiot brain. Games like Metroid Prime, Gears of War, and Halo are games that I can handle. Call of Duty, on the other hand, were it real life, I would be dead in .0000000001 of a second.
There's also the big controversy that games such as CoD and other "war" games glorify violence and the act of revenge killing. For me, that's ridiculous. If video games affected people in such a way, I would be stomping on mushrooms, punching brick walls, and sporting a mustache and red overalls. (If you're not getting the reference, I'm talking about Mario Brothers.) I grew up during the infancy of the video game console. As I have grown up, so have the systems and video games I play. You could say that I have gone along for the ride with video games and their evolution. I started out jumping barrels to save a princess from an evil gorilla (Donkey Kong) to training my dog to dig for treasure while I shoot bandits between the eyes in a land called Albion (Fable 2).
The most recent controversy stems from the new CoD Black Ops commercial currently airing on TV every 10 minutes. If you haven't seen it, it features live actors in a live war scene from all walks of life. You've got the chubby librarian firing an M-16 like it's cool, the savvy businesswoman taking out the enemy like she's taking out the garbage, a celebrity basketball player throwing grenades, and the talk show host ducking for cover, while the short order cook takes out the bad guy with a couple of glocks. Personally, I think it is an amazing commercial and, regardless of the fact that war games are not my cup of tea, it makes even me excited to play a game like Black Ops. But I don't as per the reasons listed above. The controversy lies within the fact that rather than show visuals of the game, there are real people in a real scene showing "real" violence.
Judge for yourself:
The ad, at least in my humble opinion, is perfect. It is all inclusive. Women are not relegated to the "girlfriend who is being ignored while her boyfriend plays Madden" as a recent Playstation 3 ad suggested, rather they are forces to be reckoned with. This is one of the first, if not the only game ad that acknowledges the existence of the "female gamer". Unfortunately, CoD: Black Ops only allows you to create male players, and many real female gamers like to play well, as females. At least this chick gamer does. But I guess I have to be satisfied with this baby step. Now if we could only stop the idiots from getting mental when they hear a female voice on the other end of the screen, we'd be making some progress. I swear, if I hear one more "how big are your tits" comment, I may take out my own squadron.