My biggest gaming regret is not standing up for myself as a girl in gaming sooner.
Instead of celebrating everybody who games, it was "You're a girl...who likes games? What's wrong with you?"
Instead of just being able to play one another without gender being a problem, it was boys only LAN parties because girls only "ruin games."
While there is still that us vs. them mentality (see the Fake Geek Girl issue), I certainly feel better about my love for video-games today. But as a wee little nerdette back in the 1990s, I didn't have a voice for myself. There was a time I would actually pretend to not be into video-games or other "boy things" because for the longest time I was a vocal tomboy and friends were infrequent. I thought if I tried to fit in by faking what I was, then everything would work out. Kid logic, eh?
Then high school happened. I would wear this Final Fantasy 7 t-shirt all the time. It was my favorite shirt but I had low self-esteem on top of people generally ignoring me because I was a big time goth kid. But an amazing group of people at school noticed my shirt and didn't say things like "I bet you've never played that game!" (Which I have heard a variation of when I was wearing a Trigun shirt one day) and instead we had something in common to talk about and we became great friends. I felt like I fit in and didn't have to pretend to be something else. Something had clicked.
It'd take a few more years before I fully embrace my geeky tendencies while also acknowledging my love for fashion, make-up, and other girly things. Now there are amazing communities like the Female Geek Bloggers and International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club where we can talk about gaming 'till the sun goes down.
We've all had the fortune of growing up when the Internet exploded and have been able to connect with fellow geeky girls into games, to really find somewhere to belong and don't have to act a certain way. We all have the power to make this a much more tolerant community. Yet I still regret not being able to have the confidence I have today when I was a young, awkward little girl who was watching G4TV 24/7 and hoping to one day make my own video-games.
Well, I just make up for it by beating boys in Soul Calibur and Mass Effect online. ;)