Monday, October 30, 2006

Life as a Gamer

Life as a gamer is tougher than it sounds. For most people who hear that you're a gamer, they think, "how nice, you sit around playing games all day having fun"

Part of being a gamer is having that bit of masochism in your blood stream. That part of you that will play BEYOND fun and on into necessity. Half of playing is play. The other half is to be damn good at it. If you're only going to half-ass play something, that's one thing. But if you're going to really invest your life and time into it...that's being a gamer...

From my own experiences and my own observations of fellow gamers, it's like coming home to a second job. The fun part is playing, the hard part is playing until you've reached the apex of your skill level.

It's weird. Some people will automatically assume we have a commonality because we play the same game. But even with playing the same game, there are many different aspects of play that differerntiates us all. I often get pretty pissed when I realize I can't push a friend as far as I want to go. Everyone has their limitations, everyone has their standards for playing goals. Some people cap out earlier. That's when I realize that while we play the same game, we play nothing alike.

People always own this up to addiction and competitive nature. I'm pretty obsessive compulsive so this makes sense. Gaming for me is my life. It eats up approximately 30% of my total week. Sleeping takes up 30%. Another 30% is work. That leaves 10% of my week to doing misc things. ;)

Anyhow, that's a huge chunk of a working girl's life. And my commentary stems from the fact that I feel kind of alone being a gamer. People don't get you. People shun your lifestyle. My co-workers all mock me. And there are very few friends of mine who really get it.

They all want to know what propels me to keep gaming until my eyes burn and my back feels like it's crumbling and my left pinky is so strained it feels like it's going to fall off....... How is that fun?

I never know how to reply. The adrenaline of an FPS game is hard to describe to someone who has never played one before. Gunning down a choke point, getting air dropped, E M P nading that mech.... you just have to be there. You just have to be in the middle of the warzone to experience what it makes you feel like. It's like skating on the brink of a climax. :)

Then there's the autonomy of an MMO like WoW. You may be bound to your chair and staring at your monitor in one room for hours but I sware I have never felt more free in my life than while in a virtual world. And I also feel like the possibilities and opportunites and potential are boundless in an MMORPG. As more and more are being developed, I expect the experiences will only get richer.

So, people may not get me but I get IT. And it's an awesome lifetlye if you have the time and will power to afford it. Will I be a gamer for life? Not sure. I've been rather hooked since the dawn of HUGO (so old it's not even on the archive radar). And with game development only progressing, I have no doubt that whatever life brings me, I'll be gaming someway, somehow.

Gamer4Life. :D

2 comments:

Kaz said...

I was listening to a PC Gamer podcast just yesterday, and they spoke about how their family and significant others saw their careers in reviewing and talking about games.

Some of the PCG crew spoke of bad past relationships because they couldn't accept their boy/girlfriend playing for hours on end "for review work" instead of spending time doing stuff together. Even though a game might be horridly bad and they'd still have to play through it, it was still "just a game" to others and it took a while for them to give them that personal space and open-mindedness to finally acknowledge that there's a serious industry behind gaming.

And one of them mentioned how his girlfriend once made him choose between her and WoW, and how he still plays WoW and isn't with her anymore. She just couldn’t accept gaming as an adult pastime. Gaming is embarrassing to ‘outsiders’. He found it pretty funny now, heh.

wowcast said...

it's tough being an adult gamer. it was all good when you're 13-22. After that, you contantly feel like you're swimming upstream against mainstream society.

thanks for the post, i'll check PC Gamer out. Do you know which episode it was?

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