Over the years I’ve been asked by a lot of people why I would want to waste my time on things like video games.
The short answer is: “Because it’s fun.”
That should be enough of an answer. But for some people it’s not. People want other people to validate why they do the things they do and I’ve run into a lot of those people. So, I’ve had a lot of chances to think about why I’m not only a gamer, but love being one.
So… It should be no surprise to anyone that I’ve always been a big nerd. As a kid I spent more time reading books than doing anything else. During the summer I’d read about a novel and a half a day. I watched all kinds of sci-fi shows and read science magazines. And, I liked to take electronics apart to see how they worked.
Those invisible tank levels were insane.
And then my younger brother came along and was given both the NES and SNES. Oh god.. the amount of sleep we lost playing Mario. We’d have to sit and wait for each other to die before we could play, so we spent a lot of time wishing for that to happen.
By this time I was pretty much sucked it as a console gamer. I remember the boys in my Jr. High school arguing about SNES vs Sega Genesis.
I went Genesis, by the way.
In high school I bought my own system and TV for my bedroom.
During most of these ‘early years’, gaming was something I could do with my brothers. One of the few things we got along while doing, in fact.
I did go through periods of being a ‘lonely gamer’. During the last few years of high school I lived somewhere that wasn’t conducive to being a social gamer.
Then I hit college and made plenty of gamer friends. We’d all get together and hang out at one friend’s apartment, drink and play games and have a great time.
From then on out, gaming gave me a way to meet a lot of friendly people who enjoyed all the same things I did. Granted, I met several assholes as well. But the amount of awesome gamers has always made up for that.
I did avoid MMOs for a pretty long time. It wasn’t until 2006 that I hopped into EVE — my very first MMO experience. And even then, I went about the game pretty solo. I’d always been a console player, so learning how to function in a multi-player environment like that took some adjustment.
But again, I met more great people because of it. My first corp was a friendly little group who were super-helpful. And the experience encouraged me to try other games.
When Gary announced a social site for gamers I hopped on that. And again. I met so many more gamers. People with spouses and kids and pets. People with insane jobs or no job at all. People from all over the world.
That site shut down but I still talk to a bunch of those people via Facebook, Skype, Steam, Twitter. Sometimes I don’t talk to them as much as I should. Things get busy.
And then GAMEBREAKER came along and here I am with even more cool people to talk to, just because I happen to like video games and they do too.
And in the last few years of spending time online as a gamer, I’ve seen some awesome things.
I’ve said this before in other places. As people go, gamers can be some of the most opinionated assholes in existence. BUT… they also tend to be some of the most giving and kind people I’ve come across.
So… long answer turned short. Aside from the obvious answer of “video games are fucking fun”, I’m a gamer because I like who gamers are. I adore the gaming community and feel very lucky to be in a position that allows me to be an active part of it.
Being a gamer has made me a lot of great friends and introduced me to a lot of amazing people and will likely do so for a good while to come.
Why WOULDN’T I want to be a part of that?