Ah, the car driving, face stomping, prostitute stabbing joy of the GTA generation. I'm not going to lie to you, reader. I didn't fully "get it." I thought to truly get it, I had to have two warm sacs of testicle nestled safely beneath my pant zipper. I watched my male friends holler with joy as they rammed impossibly expensive cars into buildings and knifed unsuspecting passerby. I had tried it, but somehow I kept thinking: I'd rather be playing Secret of Evermore right now.
Beneath all this though, there was a bit of shame that I hid away as stealthily as possible. I loved being an RPG dork, but in the end, I felt like I couldn't kick it with the big boys. I might play a lot of games, but I wasn't a "real" gamer. Worse of all, I was a girl gamer in the worse sense of the word. I had girly taste. I played RPGs. Jesus Christ. Just dig my grave now and bury me with a copy of Barbie Horse Adventures. My dream career as a game journalist, drowned in a sea of pink candy and broken dreams.
Microsoft, however, had other plans.
The launch for a little game called Crackdown was drawing near, and Microsoft invited some journalists in to play the game, interview the developers, and give our feedback. The full coverage of that event will be available on Destructoid this weekend, so I won't ruin that here.
However, I will tell you that I walked into that event, snuggled myself into a white leather chair and thought to myself, "Now my dirty secret will be unveiled in front of real game developers. Yay!" I felt dumb and a bit nervous and mostly wished I would somehow magically transform into a psychotic Halo lesbian without changing my outward appearance in any way.
An hour of play later, I had relaxed enough to admit I was total shit at the game and started walking around watching other people play. As I wandered to the food area to get eats and think over my impressions, I realized that even though I hadn't been good at it, I still kind of wanted to play.
My favorite parts were kicking thugs and stomping people in the face. Scoring direct head shots wasn't half bad either. I thought perhaps if I went about the game more slowly (the very same way I played RPGs, warming up into them), I might just be able to get more into Crackdown.
Fast forward to 24 hours later. I'm playing the game with five friends and we're all happily bounding about Los Muertos punching in gold teeth and stealing cars with ripped off doors. This time, I'm having an absolute blast.
It hits me harder than a pimp punching the dumbest slut of all time: I've conquered my irrational fear of not being able to roll with the masculine games. Gears of War? Bring it on. Halo? Gimme the Duel Wieldable M7 Caseless. Dead Rising? I'll gut that zombie faster than an ex-boyfriend. After 20 years of gaming (and completely to my surprise), I found yet another dimension of it that I love. It seems like that never stops happening. I hope it never does.