When games were just games

Posted: 2010/04/29 in Blog

Like many people, the world of gaming that I grew up to was an NES plugged into the bag of the TV.  No network, no clans, no achievements, or any of this crap.  We sat down and played video games.  Sometimes your friends would come over and you could play pass the paddle, but that’s really as multiplayer as it got.  Through most of my childhood into young adult, it remained this way.  Split screen multiplayer games pushed their way in, but nothing major.  We played video games for the sole purpose of something fun to do when it was raining outside.

I was not part of the break into LAN and internet play, so in my mind, it happened overnight.  Everyone plugged their computers into the world-wide web and started playing as a community; they would also haul their gigantic machines to each others houses and play that way.  This is what drew me to PC gaming, was the multiplayer community aspect of LANs.  So I built myself up a mid-grade rig as i was on a short budget, and I started playing with everyone.  Over time I got into the upgrade wave and started upgrading my computer every few months, but i have thankfully slowed down on that process a bit.  Getting away from the predictable AIs that were so prevalent in single player action games and now competing against unpredictable people was a refreshing change of pace.  For a time this was a good and happy way to play games and I was pleased. 

At some point the people who i gamed with became communities and then stronger entities/clans that requested membership.  I enjoyed gaming with these communities, so I joined them.  Playing with these communities was never a hassle, I enjoyed the social aspect of it very much as i truly am a social creature at heart.  I am also naturally drawn to leadership and decision making roles, so I started to move my way up the ranks of the communities that i was a part of, until I was the leader of a LAN organization and an internet clan.  This was all good until at some point people starting to bicker, with bickering came arguing, and with arguing came bad blood.  The entire time, I wondered to myself, “what is so critical in these games that we must fight about it?”  As far as being in the communities, my mindset was simple, “play with the community or move on.”  No hard feelings, this isn’t a spiteful thought, it’s merely a plainly simple thing to do; if I stopped playing with the people in my clan for an extended time, I would excuse myself and move on.  But alas, people do not enjoy the simple things, people must draw things out and argue over them. 

So rather than playing games, I feel that I am back at work, supervising people.  I gamed to escape work, and then gaming turned into work; I have completed the loop.  I do not wish to leave my role within the community that I am part of.  A few bridges have been burned in the process, but none of these bridges were with anyone I considered friends anyways.  I have even developed a one or two actual friendships in the process.  I hope noone takes offense to this, but at the end of the day, most of these online acquaintances get turned of the moment i turn of my computer.  I am going to make a point out of turning my corner of the gaming world more back towards gaming as opposed to eDrama and i hope that everyone else tries to do the same.

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