Last week, I went to Hair Metal over in Greenpoint to have my hair repurpled. I’d passed this salon earlier this summer, walking with Harold, and it’s a quiet kind of delight to actually be living a couple subway stops away, and actually have the cash for a hair salon.
We had a content release at work earlier that week, and I should admit that I looked a bit like I’d, say, worked a series of ten-hour days, broken by nightmares in which my players were stuck in the underworld.
So I sat down in one of the salon chairs, and started talking with one of the dazzlingly hip hairdressers about what kind of purple I’d like, and then Zooey Deschanel’s twin sister begins mixing chemicals and dyes and starts working on my hair. Sometimes, in New York, I am painfully aware that everyone around me is cooler than I am.
A few minutes in, she asked me what I do for a living, so I tell her I work on a multiplayer game. It’s constantly a delight to say this, even though the reaction can be an eye-rolling at what a stupid waste of time games are, or disbelief that anyone would pay money for that. (There is also the equal-and-opposite reaction, in which my conversational partner lists his WarCraft characters’ stats, or tells me how *major studio* ruined the whole franchise with *sequel* until I have to back away.)
“I played a computer game!” My hipster hairdresser says, “I forget the name of it, but I think I was an elf, and you could steal things and you could go to a shop and sell them for better armor. Did you ever play that one?”
“Ellipses.” I say. Zooey Deschanel’s lost twin pauses in the middle of painting toxic chemicals onto my hair. “Oh, sorry, I was mentally blogging this. Do go on.”
“It was a really fun game! Is your game like that?”
“It’s going to be,” I say. Because, while I read dozens of articles on games-loving women as an increasing market share, or the rise of casual-plus players, or games as the fastest-growing mass entertainment, or the decline of the angry-young-man gamer stereotype, it is amazingly immediate to listen to my hipster hairdresser tell me how many games she likes.
And, also, I have pretty hair.