Princess HarmonyName: Princess Harmony

How long have you been a gamer? 15 years

For console gamers: What are your consoles of choice right now and what are you currently playing?

Xbox One and PS Vita (I feel like I’m the only one who absolutely adores the Vita). I’m currently playing Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls on Xbox One. On my Vita, I’m playing Toukiden: Kiwami, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Monster Monpiece.

I still play 360, for those games that haven’t gotten Backwards Compatibility yet, of course. Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, and Record of Agarest War. If they get Backwards Compatibility, then I’d play them on my Xbox One.

I’m looking into getting a PS3 (not a PS4) so that I can play Sony’s massive catalog of JRPGs. (I love JRPGs more than most other games, so…) I should’ve gotten that first but…I’m glad I got my Xbox One!

Bonus question! —–>Do you have any older/retro consoles and games? How far back does your gaming catalog go? I do! I have an original Xbox, an Xbox 360 Elite, a Game Boy Color, a Game Boy Advance SP, and a Nintendo DS XL. Off the top of my head, I have most of the GBC, GBA, and Nintendo DS Pokémon games (my favorites being Pokémon Crystal and Pokémon Black) and the Advance Wars series.

For my 360, a short list of what I have would be The Elder Scrolls IV and V, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Halo 3 and 4, and a bunch of Dynasty Warriors games.

How were you introduced to games? I was introduced to gaming via Pokémon Red. A friend of mine had given me a copy of Pokémon Red, and I played it for hours and hours. Me learning how to get infinite Master Balls totally helped! From handhelds I went to consoles. The very first console I owned was an original Xbox. The very first game I played was MechAssault. (I really want them to come out with a sequel or a reboot on Xbox One.) From consoles, I went to PC gaming. I play Warhammer 40k, Sins of a Solar Empire, and League of Legends. Of course, I also read/play lots of visual novels. The very first one of those I was introduced to was a visual novel called Absolute Obedience. (That’s for 18+ folks! Nobody younger than that should play it.)

What do you enjoy about games? I love the characters, stories, and the escapism. I particularly like games where I can make my own characters and role-play. Like, I’m so looking forward to Fallout 4 so I can roam the wastes and be the boss! When it comes to JRPGs and visual novels, I love the art style. I really love anime and manga, so the transition to loving JRPGs and visual novels was natural. Plus they’re really fun and quirky, which is always good.

Would you say that your game-playing habits changed over the years? I’d say that they increased.

I’ve taken more interest in streaming and the games coming out. Since I do work on my own schedule, it’s easy for me to get my work done and get into playing a game or two.

Would you say that the current “culture” of gaming has affected your playing and/or interest in games? Or is it a non-factor? That’s really a hard question to answer. The aspects of gaming culture that I like are also the ones that enable the toxicity to happen. I don’t think it’s affected my interest at all, though I do have to be careful when I play online.

They see a feminine/female gamertag and start going wild with bulls**t. Specifically, they see it and start throwing gendered slurs and it’s really uncomfortable. (Or, worse, I’ll wake up to messages with “pictures” in them.)

People say “Oh, why don’t you change it?” I don’t want to change it. harmonybabydoll (my XBL gamertag) is my brand. It’s something I cultivated across platforms, and not just gaming. Plus, I had to make an entirely new gamertag (the harmonybabydoll tag) because the harassment got too much on my old one. But in general, I still happily play my games, toxic culture be damned.

Have you ever gamed competitively or linked up with a group of other gaming enthusiasts? How would you describe the experience? Would you do it again? I’ve played Halo competitively and I had a group of people I’d play games with. I also have a group I play League with but I’m kinda terrible at it, but having people to play with is really fun. Gaming is very much a social activity and I want more folks to play with. I’d definitely do it again.

In recent months, the lack of diversity in gaming and other entertainment mediums has become a hot topic. Consumers and industry professionals are calling out creators for not producing content that reflects their customer base. Is this something that is of concern to you or are you able to see past this? To be honest, I see past it. I role-play what I want so that fills up any need for diversity I have. I play games as an escape so the games that I play either a) don’t need to be diverse since the characters are either not human, historical characters, or nondescript or b) I can create a character of my own, and since that character is an extension of me, I don’t need to worry about a game having a character that reflects me since the main character is me.

Do you have a YouTube or Twitch channel where we can see you stream? I don’t have anything like this yet, though I plan to create a Twitch channel when Fallout 4 comes out!

Since this series does revolve around gaming, can you list your Top 5 favorite games of all time? Of all time? That’s tough!

  1. Fallout: New Vegas
  2. Yggdra Union: We’ll Never Fight Alone
  3. Soul Calibur 3
  4. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  5. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Special shout out to the Fable series. If it lived up to the hype and the promises, it’d probably be the best RPG series of all time.

Black Girl Nerds would like to thank Princess Harmony for sharing her story!

If you or someone you know is interested in being featured in our Diversity In Gaming series, please email or contact @iamlaurenp on Twitter.