Latinos In The US: La Chica Gamer Website Creator María Vargas Talks Girl Gamers Today, Cultural Influences And More!

Maria Vargas
Maria Vargas talks to Latin Times about La Chica Gamer. Twitter/La Chica Gamer

The thriving community of Latina bloggers is an ever-growing group that is packed with unique content and amazing individuals such as Lisa Quiñones-Fontanez who started a “Alice in Wonderland­” themed blog to help spread Autism awareness and award-winning novelist Kathy Cano ­Murillo, who provides DIY videos for home décor and everyday lifestyle tips on her blog. Latin Times was able to speak with one of these amazing Latina Bloggers, María Vargas about her cultural influences on her work, girl gamers and her website La Chica Gamer.

María Vargas is a college student that loves all things related to video games, comic books, sci-fi movies and technology. The first console she ever had was the classic Sega Genesis. Since that time she started to be part of the video games world, pretty much dominated by boys.

While pursuing her bachelor's degree in Biology for medical school she had her first dibs at blogging while writing for Cuponeando.net. In December 2010, she decided to give Latina gamers a voice by founding La Chica Gamer. In her short time she has been invited to join the Editor's team for tecnetico.com, Puerto Rico largest tech site, and now also writes for Kid Zui where she review games to help parents decide which games are good for their kids age range.

How did you get started with La Chica Gamer?

The beginnings of La Chica Gamer weren’t easy to be honest with you. Entering the “blogger’s world” was thanks to my older sister Yoly Mason, who has her own blog Cuponeando.net. She asked for my help in writing for her page and keeping it updated, and once I began to see how all of this worked, what you have to do to keep the blog nice, how to write, how to modify it, etc. it caught my attention. I got so into it that my sister then asked why I didn’t have my own blog about something that I love.

I’m one of those girls who love to read, go to the movies, and all that. But as I was thinking about what to write on the blog, I got the magnificent idea of doing a video game blog. Back then it wasn’t very popular for girls to say they were “gamers” like we see nowadays, and this was about four years ago.

Finally, after I launched the blog and seeing what I was able to accomplish in the first year, it helped me realize how hard it was the process of expanding the community and keeping the page updated. Also a lot of the comments I got were gender related, saying that I was a girl and girls didn’t know about video games.

What inspires you to write your blog?

What really inspires me to write on the blog, is the great passion that I have for video games. It's like a routine and I have every day: I get up, read emails, I go to social networks to see if anything has been announced while I slept, and then start writing on the page for everyone else to also become aware of anything new.

But what I really love about the blog is when after publishing news, reviews or any other item,  conversations between the community are created, which is the perfect place for all those who are fans of that game or console to also talk about their passion for video games. The community is what makes me go the extra mile.

Does your background and culture affect your blog or work? If so, how?

I understand that because of the page, the mentality of women within the community of gaming has changed a bit. I can say that each passing year there are more girls who are working together in different studies, or who are forming a team of "pros" to participate in different leagues, or the ones who take time to have their Youtube channel or do “live stream" events.

Currently I am working as a software developer in a company, my goal has always been to be part of a study and say 'I worked on that game!' We cannot limit ourselves to what society wants you to be with all the ads you see everywhere, what matters is that we all do what you feel is what you truly want to do.

I've always loved computers and video games, so I'm in Computer Engineering. I want to say that I succeeded in this field. I’ve always wanted to be part of the great video game industry ... not just as a website that offers coverage of events and news of the latest consoles. But also offer my thinking within the industry, and know how everything works in the creation of a video game or project.

Describe your home family dynamic for me. What’s your home life like? 

My whole life has been in Puerto Rico, I am from a family with four sisters (we are five women in total) my parents have always let us do what we want if that's what makes us feel good. Once I started with the page they have always supported me and helped as much as they could, although they don’t know much about video games.

Even my little nephews are also part of La Chica Gamer team, since all of them are gamers and help me with reviewing the games or even if they see any news or something about one of their favorite games and consoles, they let me know and tell me about them. Everything behind the page, I could say that there is a family team. I write the articles, I ask my sister Valeria what she thinks about the games and that way I can offer more than one opinion when I have to travel or cover an event. My sister also joins me sometimes when I have to travel.

Also my other sisters Melba, Frances and Yoly are always supporting me along with my parents. This is the main reason to why I always manage to do better on the page. I always have that 'push' to move on, although sometimes I think  that with the blog, study and work, I get to the point where I’m too tired. But my family always finds a way to keep me grounded and going. As my sister says Melba, always says "You're the best!"

What do you think?
William Cannon

William Cannon is a Tech and Entertainment writer for Latin Times. Cannon joined the Latin Times team April 2013 and holds a B.A. in Convergent Journalism from MSU Denver. William is an avid gamer who drops slanderous profanity while playing games, a foodie that believes in four unhealthy meals a day, a hat afficianado and a techie.