I love committing sins and my friends sell crack

Last week, Leonard asked what form of art or culture I deliberately resist for whatever reason. Thinking about it, I had a hard time coming up with a lot of answers – except perhaps Japanese animation. But I could go on at length about games.

I’m a gamer, but not a serious one. I get together an average of once a month to shoot dice, currently GMing a Mutants and Masterminds campaign. Sometimes I play more often, sometimes I wait longer stretches. But I game as a way to socialize and have fun with friends. I have a really hard time rolling dice with anyone I don’t already call a friend, or at least a good acquaintance.

I play video games, but I’m at least one generation behind the latest consoles. I never pay more than $25 for a video game if I can help it, meaning I usually wait until critical feedback and word of mouth have slashed a new release’s price by 50% before buying. I have a thin, eclectic collection. I never play for more than 2 hours at a time.

My tastes run pretty wide, but there are three types of games I’ve resisted getting into for years and very likely won’t: massively multiplayer online rpgs (MMORPGS), live-action roleplaying (LARP) or online first-person shooters (like HALO, Counterstrike, Team Fortress, etc).

I originally intended to give each of those a paragraph explaining why, but they all boil down to the same root cause: they all sound really cool except for the people I’d have to deal with.

From a cooperative standpoint – guild play, “roleplay” servers – I hate the immersion break that comes from watching comrades bitch about “nerfing pallys for the n00bs.” Or from standing on a damp lawn with a foam sword, listening to a pasty guy with a Systems Engineer beard rally the troops. I game for escape, not for status or an adrenaline rush. For me, immersion is critical.

From a competitive viewpoint – PvP, FPS, etc – I know that I cannot devote the same time or money to the game that the Dew-addled twitchers playing it do. These players make up the majority; as such, I will always be behind the curve. That’s not fun for me. I don’t relish spending $15 a month to consistently lose.

Here’s the funny part: take that online gaming experience and remove all the other people, and you get a game like Morrowind or Half-Life. And I love those games. So once you eliminate the crucial variable I warm up like butter.

Oddly, several good friends of mine, whom I also game with, play one or more of those games listed above. They clearly enjoy themselves, so it’s not like they’re weird or unnatural. It’s just not for me.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: