Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Video Game Life: Now and Then

I was recently talking to an old college friend of mine, someone I haven't seen in like 8 years. Sure there is a random email here and there over Facebook, but no serious interactions. When we finally had a lengthy conversation last week, she was really surprised and demanded an explanation as to when I got into "this whole gaming thing". I was so shocked by this question, I didn't know what to say.

Ive always been a gamer. We were a Nintendo family for sure, but I also loved PC gaming. I have always had one console or another hooked up and played regularly, so how did this get by her ? I realized that it all had to do with networking and socializing. Before, I played a game and that was all there was to it. When Lindsey and I were dominating at Game Cube's SSX3 back in college, we didn't have people to team up with or trash talk to. We just hung out and passed the controller.

Now I talk to people while I play, join clans, read and write blogs, and there is this massive minute to minute community of information and friends. Half of my FB friends list is comprised of people I have never met in real life, but I converse with almost everyday. And its really noticeable that I talk about games. When you don't know someone in real life, you rely on wall posts, status updates, and all sorts of dorky means of communicating with people you wouldn't normally have access to.

Another aspect to consider is that this whole "nerdy is cool" thing is still new. I would have been socially tormented in school if I told people that I spent almost all my free time at home playing Doom. I never would have survived classmates knowing my attraction to Flight Simulator. There was no "geek chic" mentality. Being "alternative" meant dressing like Kirk Cobain and that's about it. So unless you had secret gaming friends (which thankfully I did), it wasn't something that was openly discussed.

So with all this explained, my dear friend Jett had a profound and moving response of "Oh. Guess I never noticed". Looking back at things, it makes sense. But it did give me the chance to sit back and appreciate how much gaming has progressed, not just technically but also in its social and personal relevance.

1 comment:

Linz said...

Man that is something I have not really thought about...but I do love my geek culture now. There was just an article on (yes, i'm embracing my full range of nerdiness) that was about being open or a closet nerd. Nowadays the open nerd is so much more socially acceptable, thank goodness! I can't say I ever "hid" my gaming, but I love being able to just open up about it and have this blog to talk about it.