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GirlGeek of the Week
February 2000

Vangie Beal

After graduating High School in 1994, I started working on my Computer Systems Networking degree, but ended up leaving school to work as a Digital Imaging Tech for a small start-up company called Gateway File Systems. Most of my work experience is in imaging, digital storage solutions, file conversion and backfile conversion. I've always had an interest in working with computers.

As far back as Junior High school, I knew I wanted to be working in front of a computer when I was done with school, although at that time I didn't know what I wanted to be doing. After 3 years at Gateway File Systems, I taught myself how to do HTML, and, in 1997, I started doing contract Website design from home as a second job. I ended up with my first decent computer system at home. From there I picked up my old love of games again. Well over 3 years ago I started doing the female Quake clan thing, and a year after that I launched Having a passion for both computer games and writing, I've recently been working in the journalism field; writing about women, the Internet and computer gaming.

I enjoy this line of work, as I have a passion for computer gaming, and it allows me to be an "at home mom" to raise my child and have a career at the same time. I do foresee this as being the type of job I will stay with for the next few years, but who knows.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

A while ago when I owned my first XT and discovered that I could put the system together without asking my boyfriend to do it for me, discovered BBS's, and the joy of playing a fun little game called "Jill of the Jungle." I've just enjoyed using computers for most of my teenage and adult life. Working at Gateway File Systems and being able to use DEC Alpha systems, learning how to use UNIX, and working on very rare high-end digital imaging equipment was just amazing. I think it was around that time that I discovered the Internet, Website design and 3-D computer games.

How do you earn a living?

I play computer games. I'm a News Editor for AGN, a computer gaming resource. I also co-host Lilith & Eve which is a weekly Internet TV show on computer gaming from a girlz' perspective.

This is all work I do from home. Along with working at the All Games Network, I also do freelance writing for other game sites and publications and maintain my own gaming resource, GameGirlz. If I can spare any extra time for work outside of game journalism, I also do Website design on a contract basis.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Power Users unite! I've always refused to refer to myself as a geek, I'm not sure why. I guess it's just the visual representation I have of a geek that I don't like (you remember those brainy kids from 6th grade that we all called geeks?). I actually do say I'm a power user simply because I do all my work online, and most of my playtime is computer-related. In the run of a day, I spend about twice as much time on the computer as I do off. Hmm… I date geeks, I hang out with geeks and do the things geeks do.

What is your favorite Website?

Wow. I usually visit 30 or 40 sites a day. Of course, I could say GameGirlz was my favorite just to plug the site, but right now my favorite site is my friend's travel/journal site. Being someone who doesn't believe that backpacking through Europe is possible with a young child, I'm living out my dream of seeing far away places through Jason Vaux Takes Europe. Of course, Parentsoup is also a daily stop.

What do you do when you are not working?

In the last couple months, I've spent 12-13 hours a day working (all online or on the computer). When I'm not working, I take the time to shut my computer down and spend as much time as possible with my adorable 3-year-old son. I enjoy walking, writing, playing at the park with my son or hanging out at a nearby coffee shop chatting with friends. When he is asleep, my free time is spent working on my various personal sites, the GameGirlz website or playing games online with friends.


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