As children we don’t perceive the variance in gender that adults grasp as common sense; character is as important as physical nature to children until adults change these opinions. Video games are un-biased to personality and physical features, bestowing a world unlike the one we live in to imaginative minds. I was allowed to sit and watch my two older brothers played daily while I’d sit and watch. It wasn’t that I was completely disinterested in playing the Playstation 2, but my fathers personal decision to not to associate the female sex with technology. He once told me a story as a young girl about his own marine mother, she struggled to finish boot camp and was bad with emerging technology. He cited this as a reason why gender stereotypes exist; but i could only find inspiration in the topic. This gender ignorance persisted for years, though I chose to not listen and played the Nintendo 64 my brother hid in his room. At six my father caught me disobeying him, leading to all consoles being taken away, even through my heavy arguments. I had no understanding of why this was happening, and why both my brothers were allowed to do things I wasn’t. I cried for days, believing I lost my true love of gaming for the rest of my life-until I got my own laptop at seven. I admit my parents were naive in their decision, but I was able to resume my love of playing video games, somehow unbeknownst to them. After a few months of research that I had no idea was research, I dove deep into the world of game development. My parents, still completely against the idea of a girl playing video games, were shortly shown a presentation on gaming, game development and the vast stories that have been created that I could also create. My father was not completely sold, but let me keep playing my beloved video games. At twelve I developed a romance that I had to keep hidden from my family, programming and creating. The thought of learning different programming languages was an exciting image, one that would be shot down my family. I created what I could, small games using only arrow key controls as well as actual programs to execute precise functions. My love for C# and C++ emerged at fifteen, when I began using the game engine Unity to develop. My forbidden romance had changed my life, and I knew I could never lose my grasp on it. During all these years of learning, I did not have support of my family, only acknowledgment of tasks performed. It was in this time I realized that, though family matters, I wasn’t going to live the military life of my father. Love like what I’ve felt may not have been apparent to my father, we’ve lived very separate lives. I decided that I wanted to be a game designer at twelve years old and I was inthralled with what some perceived as mental hard work. I knew at this time that my deep affection for coding and game development needed to extend to my adult life, whether or not my family understood. When I had the opportunity to work as an actual developer for a local design company, my love for both games and programming coincided perfectly. Gender, though it may have affected my parents life heavily, had no right to get in the way of my aspirations, even as a young girl getting made fun of for playing Assassin’s Creed on the playground. At my great grandmother’s funeral, under the large tarp that had been strung up to protect from the Florida rain, my dad spoke to everyone there about me. He reprimanded my grandmother for not believing in my passion, as he had once done and showed his overwhelming support for my once forbidden love. This change in opinion gave me hope in my once dreaded dad, that he could become a supporter instead of putting me down. My father continues to brag to cousins, aunts and uncles about my accomplishments, showing passion can move mountains as well as marines.
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