Purchasing Gamer Girl Power – or – Video Game Visibility Project


July 9 PS Plus card



Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 30. And here is a picture of me buying a Playstation Plus card. (Or rather, bringing it home.)

I’m not much for New Years resolutions. And also I failed out of the 365 Project a month in. But yesterday I made a birthday resolution. For the next year, every time I buy something video game related, I will post a picture of myself with it.

Like many female video game consumers, I get frustrated from time to time. I also struggle sometimes to come up with a way to really make a difference, and on a personal level, I just can’t devote all of my time and energy to cataloging and being upset about every thing that falls short of fair, or every time we are subtly (or alternately, blatantly) excluded. As someone who works in the game development industry, I also know that the industry is people, and I believe that most people do have decent intentions, although results often vary.

I don’t want to see the internet idiot wish death on someone’s family because he believes they are ruining a game he loves. Or the faceless commentor declaring the sexual things he “will do” to a female streamer who has no intention of ever, ever participating in that, with him, ever. Or “get back in the kitchen” guy. Or “these other girls are so fake” girl. Or the guy who told me he would rip out my uterus and use it for a baseball because I made a noob mis-step in a “community” I’d just joined. (After I pointed that out, he told me I should delete the comment. I refused.) I don’t want to devote my time to “seeing” them, I don’t want to call any attention to them, I don’t want to make them any more visible. I don’t want to let them be more visible than me. It seems sometimes people, and companies, have trouble seeing “people like me” as desirable or even potential customers. So this will be my small way of being visible, as a customer of gaming product, to anyone who cares to see.

The Rules:

– I must post a picture of everything gaming related I buy until my next birthday. That includes games, consoles, clothing, peripherals, gaming related books, whatever.

– Things that are purchased on my behalf also count. In the case that I receive a  gaming related gift, I also have to post it, as my existence was a motivator for that purchase. 

– If I buy something used I must still post it. I know that buying used is controversial in the industry, but part of the point is to collect an accurate picture of me as a consumer. If I buy so much used that it makes some one conclude that I’m not a good customer, so be it. I’m actually not sure if I buy a significant amount of used items, so its an experiment for me too. 

– Both the product and me have to be visible in the picture. 

– The picture has to be accompanied by some notes – what the product is, what motivated me to buy it, where I bought it, and a quick note about what the buying experience was like. 

– I have to post the images and notes on my blog, categorized properly, and link up on Twitter and Facebook. (And Instagram if I can find a good way to do those posts since there isn’t full link functionality. ) I also have to #hashtag them, although that is something that will probably evolve, since I haven’t settled on what I think is a really perfect hashtag. #IAmACustomer? #PurchasingPower? #PurchasingGirlPower? Not sure. I will consider using sensationalist titles. 😉 (see title of this post.)

– If anyone else would like to do a similar project, or even just post a single pic, I encourage that and will link up, etc. 

Notes for the first purchase selfie:

What: Playstation Plus 3 month card.

Why I bought: My initial three month card was about to run out, and I haven’t yet bought a PS4. I bought the small increment rather than the bigger one because I do plan to buy that PS4 one of these days,with a bundle that has a year of Playstation Plus.

Where I bought it: Gamestop in East Plano, TX

What it was like: I went in on lunch hour, and looked around at some Vita games. I didn’t buy anything else as it seemed like bad form to buy myself too much on my birthday. It was a female employee that sold it to me, and she’s probably my favorite employee at this particular store. She made genuine conversation but didn’t pressure me too much to be “helped”.



8 Comments Add yours

  1. ben says:

    I think this is a cool idea! I stumbled across your blog and was instantly curious what the visibility project was about. Its been a couple years now, do you still feel as strongly about the project?

    I’m also super curious about what your job is in the game industry. I poked around a bit to see if I might find the info, but if that’s kept out of site on purpose then really my bigger question is, has working in the industry had any negative impact on playing games for your own amusement?

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