I am Rahhleesi (Robyn). The second of her name, the respawning, the Mother of Gamers. Today, on Mother’s Day, I’d like to take a minute to pay tribute to a special section of controller-wielding ladies: gaming mommies.
I never really knew my mother to be much of a gamer. Books and cryptograms, the occasional game of solitaire or spades, that was her avenue of gaming. That’s all I’d ever known her to do. She would stick her nose in a Stephen King book and finish it in what seemed like mere hours. She had moved to Waco for rehab, and my sister and I stayed behind with my father and grandmother in Longview. We got to visit during her stay there, and imagine my surprise to find my mama had a Super Nintendo. My sister and I had one, but MAMA? I started it up. She had Super Mario World too! Except, all of the koopas looked funny. ‘Why do they look like this?’, I asked her. Something was wrong with the game. The koopas all looked like Mario. No, girl-child: My mama had completed the SPECIAL Star World. Before trophies, she 100%ed a game. My mama, the lady in lipstick and dresses… she played video games. It opened my eyes to her, showed me a different way of thinking about who could game. Shirley Jean, I honor you today. Even though you’ve been gone for a while, now, memories of gaming with you have rippled throughout my life to your grandson.
Now, I call myself Mother of Gamers on many fronts. One, it’s just punny (yes punny, with a p). Everyone loves a good #GoT reference, but it also refers to me being the mother of this site, Ourcade Games. Most importantly it refers to me actually being the mother of gamers. When it comes to my son, Garron, and my ex’s two children by proxy, I have been tasked with making sure I train them up in the way that they should go. Much to our children’s chagrin, they don’t always get the games they want, when they want them. But I know I’ve done my best to facilitate a healthy relationship with gaming, all while increasing my own trophy count. Guacamelee is the first game Garron and I co-opted together, and I hope he always remembers it, the way I remember playing Super Mario World with my mama.
So today ladies, I pay tribute to you. For everything you do, balancing life, motherhood, and gaming, flawlessly. To you, mommy who has perfected the baby cradle to accommodate holding the controller. To you, Ma, who made a vow to introduce your kids to Ms.Pac Man and fulfilled that promise. To you, Mom who always gets the frozen pizza a little too crisp when that random boss fight begins. To all gaming mommies everywhere, this post is for you. We come in all shapes, sizes, and genres. Here’s to us, for we are all the Mothers of Gamers.