…with a little help from my friends
I’m something of a misanthrope. And having spent the last week worming my way through a teeming mass of gaming enthusiasts, the fact that none of my friends share my hobby of choice has become a bit, well, sad.
An anecdote: Today I sat on my couch beside a friend and watched as she played Diner Dash on my girlfriend’s iPad for about 4 hours, without pause. All up to chance, really — My friends are largely self-avowed Luddites, and we’ve banded together over the last 8 or so years primarily based on shared memories, and a love for bacchanalian revelry. In a cult of personalities I like to think of myself as the one who’s overly fond of shiny gadgets; hence the pair of iPads lying about.
A few casual taps and lo, a damsel is ensnared.
And just as easily, the damsel was distressed. She eventually left, citing a need to “get away from that computer game.”
Gaming isn’t something I talk about. I’m not really one to evangelize, but I’m also aware that my opinions / tastes leave me in the minority — even among those I’d call “gamers”.
I’m of a very peculiar mind when it comes to entertainment. I don’t like to waste my time, so I avoid things that are passive — movies and television, specifically. I’m also not very competitive: chalk it up to a general lack of skill. But there’s also that underlying, defeatist idea that there’ll always be someone better, no matter what it is I’m doing. A better writer, a better healer, a better bricklayer or captain of industry.
I generally don’t get much out of competitive play — hence the fascination with MMOs. Being a part of something larger is an enticing lure. Every personal milestone is a drop in the bucket on the competitive circuit, but it pushes my own enclave or community further. I win when my friends do: my own little uninformed take on Communism.
I’m a builder. But I’m also woefully finicky, and tend to get… Distracted. So I prefer to build systems. In EVE, that means constructing spreadsheets that take the guesswork out of production chains. In WoW, (which I feel I’ll be firing back up any day now), that meant starting an alt guild, filling every possible guild bank slot with crafting goodies, and sitting down every few days to build valuable baubles to hawk on the Auction House.
Flavor of the month: Terraria (and Minecraft). Again, I lack vision and direction. But the hive mind succeeds where I fail, and the multiplayer servers I’ve established are ripe with the creative output of a dedicated few.
There’s an underlying bit of vanity in there — I want to be a part of something grand, building something impressive. I want to mine those around me for energy, and channel it into a project a group can be proud of.