I initially fell in love with computers when I was in grade school and was given an older MS-DOS machine. Even without the fancy images that we are so used to seeing today, I knew that computers would always be a love in my life. I remember playing the MS-DOS version of Dungeons and Dragons and becoming completely absorbed into this new world that was even more amazing for my imagination than a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. If I thought that I was hooked with MS-DOS; I was completely enamored by the time that I began my middle school years. I will never forget the fun with typing games and how quickly I caught on to typing. I can honestly attribute my typing skills by a desire to play a game that stole my attention: The Oregon Trail (this was a reward for finishing typing ahead of scheduled time). It was from this moment forward that computer games would become a staple in my life. By the time that my family was able to have a personal computer in our home I was losing hours of my life to gaming. I wanted nothing more than to turn the stories in my head into games. I ensured that any elective classes I could find in high school were quickly turned to any available computer classes. I withdrew from my music classes to pursue my true love of computers. I was taking seemingly unrelated classes in order to learn new computer skills such as Accounting and Business Law.
As I got older and branched out from games such as Myst and the original Sims, I found my gaming passion in Role-Playing-Games (RPGs). I explored many angles of these games and found myself always wanting more than could be found in the current games. I did web design and learned some basic design and code writing techniques. I was always let down by the lack of RPG games geared towards women. There were many games that I was interested in, but they only allowed for the main character to be played as a man. Once character customization really took off, I found myself even more enthralled with this world I could become a part of; it was akin to becoming completely immersed into a book, but I had control of the story and now I could even make the character be who and what I wanted them to be. I found myself gravitating more towards games with more advanced customization options where I felt that I could relate more to the character. The Sims started this off, but it was RPGs that stole my heart and my attention. With games like Elder Scrolls, City of Heroes/Villains and Dragon Age as well as various turn by turn games, I found myself devoting as much time as I could to these games. Yet, I still wanted more out of them. I wanted more from the female characters. Rarely do games allow a female to become the ultimate lead, rarely do the games allow a woman to be both beautiful and sexy in armor, as well as appear to be realistically protected by it.
My love for technology has bled over into my military career as well. Throughout my military career I have been able to work on Apple, IBM, and Linux based machines. I have also gained work experience on visualizations, plans writing, and development to add to my love of computers. I find myself in this age of computers always wanting to DO more and to LEARN more. I have always felt a strong desire to pursue further education with computers and to delve into the depths of them for years but it wasn’t until now, with the close of my 11-year military career, that I am able to devote the required time to pursue this love.