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Ain't Too Old To Game

The story of an entry into gaming AFTER the age of 40 something.

I really don't know the exact moment. I probably would if I re-read all of the blogs and comics I've written over the last few years. Some 15 year old is likely reviewing the entire Spokeo record, as I type. But the truth is, the closest I came to games is one time  using Dragon's Lair in a bowling alley, in 19 something something. I loved me some Whack-a-mole. I did master Tron, the first time it was out in the arcades- you know when arcades still had that bocci ball thing that spit out tickets, and the biggest game included a large trinitron screen with a life sized rifle. In the Navy, the USO had Rampage. I kind of got into that one.  Man, could I climb!

Years, and I dare say decades went by. At Mass Art, I was one of the first people to use their computer art studio... including the Apple iie, and the Yamaha DX7. I learned how to animate at Calarts, using film, which is now more scarce than a Sigfried and Roy come back tour. I even taught other people how to animate, and use this new thing called an Amiga, when they were learning how to use Toaster. Then I studied music, with real instruments, my voice, and a lot of really talented art geeks in San Francisco. No gaming there. Not even on my AOL account. I even worked in Ren Faires. How could I possibly get this far in life without being a die hard gamer? I lived online! I sword fought with guys in tights in real life! I even train rats. Then it happened.

I became a GAME MAKER! No, I didn't turn into the software, I learned that the artwork I've been doing since I was three naturally led to visual story making. Then I discovered when people read those stories I was writing since the age of five, (I was, they weren't), the stories were very comic-centric. When I started blending the two, some things were very clear. First, I was watching a LOT of Farscape, then LOST and a few other shows that bent reality. Okay, anything Joss Wheden or Dr. Who became my obssession. I have friends who work on those shows. I had them look at what I was doing. (on paper and on websites). I get an email saying, "Cathe, I have to tell you something, and I hope you are sitting down, but you are nerdy, artistic, and very creative. You are a game artist."

That was tough to swallow. Who would have thought that I would find my life's niche after I had already lived several careers, and a 20th high school reunion? I had to check out this world of Gaming. Was I one of THEM? Could I learn to be an art director? Oh wait, I had been an Art Director for nearly 10 years. Could I learn to write a script? Hmm, I had worked on television, theater, and commercials for almost my entire writing life. Was it a possibility that me, the wife of a musician, could ever compose on my own? There was that degree in music I had. What about this online world? Oh, that goes back to the web design career I had for nearly 20 years, working for Fortune 500 and celebrity websites. What could I possibly know about adventure gaming? I guess that would depend on my years in the Ren Faire circuit, and the mysteries I would write. Did I mention that I dated a Dungeon Master back when they were considered creepy by Time Magazine?

Next time.... how to stay independent when learning about the bigger gaming machine!

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