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Videogames and those around you.


Romier S
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You'll pardon my need to unload some overly bothersome thoughts that have plagued me for the majority of my work day. Though somewhere in the inner working of my sometimes "offbeat" mind I can't help but feel I'm not the only one in this proverbial boat.

 

Just to set the stage so to speak its necessary to know that I am in fact married. I have been for almost two years and I have been in a relationship with my wife for the better part of eight years. I'm 26 years old and all that I ever hear is that I shouldn't have been so committed to a woman so early in my life ( to which I reply with a healthy "Fuck off" but thats another story ;) ). Now why exactly is this important? (Or why the hell do you care for that matter eh?) Well it comes down to a simple realization I made today somewhere between lunch and my 1:00pm bathroom break. I just don't fit in with those around me in my life (excluding those that I have met here of course).

 

Now the impetus for this rather sudden revelation came when a co-worker asked me to join him and some fellow co-workers to a night out of bar-hopping or as its commmonly referred to "getting shit faced". I politely declined the offer at which time I was given a rather mocking look. The follow-up however was the most entertaining part as several of my "friends" (I use that term lightly as I dont consider anyone at work to be a real friend with some exceptions) proceeded to make some videogame jokes and accuse me of having no life. This was of course done in a joking manner and was not intended to insult but it got the wheels turning so to speak.

 

The crux of this post is really to delve into how videogames "fit" with those you interact with on a daily basis. Is there a certain amount of ostracizing that goes along with this hobby of ours? Mind you this group is heavily biased as we are all gamers but when you look at those around you do you feel a certain disconnection? I suppose getting "shit-faced" and moving from bar to bar hitting on every woman in sight is an accepted activity for those in my age group but somehow, someway is this more of a "life" than spending a few hours playing and writing about videogames?

 

I'd love to hear some thoughts....

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Interesting post.

First of all, I am also married and as far as that goes right now it works out perfectly because my wife is earning her Masters degree online therfore giving me my "out" so to speak to indulge in videogames.

As far as co-workers go there are very few who frown upon my video game indulgences and I've actually influenced quite a few of them to come on over to the dark side. My arguments is its basically comparitively to going out a very inexpensive habit. Also, it is fantastic therapy. The only times I can escape the stresses of life are either being intimate with my wife, or immersing myself in a videogame. As far as your coworkers maybe there's a little give and take there. Maybe you should head out to the bars with them but then also invite them over to indulge in your habit and maybe they can get a better understanding of what is so appealing to us.

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Ive known that for years actually. I have never really fitted in with people ive worked with as im into pretty much things that others find nerdy or geeky (Video games, sci-fi , computers and so forth). People have done the same thing to me with asking me to hang out at a party or go to a bar. I always say no because 1-I dont drink and 2 - i rather spend my time doing something else. . they always ask even though they know im gonna say no. They always bring up "hey did you get any video games" in a sarcastic manner and such. Your not the only one it happens to. Its our lot in life :-)

 

 

Capt

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As far as your coworkers maybe there's a little give and take there. Maybe you should head out to the bars with them but then also invite them over to indulge in your habit and maybe they can get a better understanding of what is so appealing to us.

 

I should have clarified a bit more in my post Bruce I apologize. I have been out with them in the past. In fact at my old job I hung out with a great many of these people (most now work at my new job as well). Most of these folks wouldn't touch a console if thier lives depended on it. :D More than anything I wanted to explore how this hobby is viewed amongst your peers given the sometime condescending attitude people place towards this type of hobby. To be honest videogames are not the only things in my life that get the "wierd" eye from people. Some people have asked how many DVD's I own and when I tell them the number they can't fathom why anyone would care to own that many movies. Its good to hear you have a more understanding "inner circle" though.

 

As for my wife, I wouldn't give her up for anything. Shes the one thing I know is always right in my life.

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Good topic, Romier. But first off, screw that noise about not committing to a woman early...I am 32 and I have been dating the girl who became my wife since I was 14. Sometimes when it works, it works.

 

On topic, though, this is a timely subject because just this morning driving into work I was mentally lamenting the fact that I had no one to share my passion for videogames with, either in my circle of "work friends", or "outside work friends". In fact, I have faced a similar attitude of pity/scorn at the lunch table when I divulged the fact that I am an avid gamer. My 'friends' all felt pretty much the same way yours did--guys my age should be going out and getting hammered rather than going home and playing "kid's games". I even got into a fairly heated argument with one of my least favorite co-workers about whether my hobby was "appropriate" for someone my age.

 

It is great to have a haven here and I feel like I've made some connections with some of you, but...well, take this morning as a perfect example. I finally got to spend some quality time with Beyond Good and Evil last night, and this morning I woke up and I was still thinking about how great of a game it was, and how different from any of the other "ultra-realistic" games I've been playing lately. I was anxious to share that experience with someone, but I realized that I really had no one that I could talk to who would give a damn. Even the few gaming friends that I have are into RS3 and other "kill games", and as such have no use for anything that doesn't involve sighting someone up and pulling a trigger.

 

I am grateful that my wife understands my hobby, but it would be nice if I had other people around me who were the least bit excited about what has really become a driving force in my life. :?

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I'm lucky, I guess, in that the only person to ever frown on my enjoyment of gaming is my father. I have a friend at work that I can talk gaming with and I get either indifference or acceptance from everybody else. I'm especially lucky that my wife will join me on occasion.

 

I do, however, get a lot of ridicule for abstaining from the bar and party scenes. I've never enjoyed going to either. If I'm going to drink a beer I would rather do it in the comfort of my own home. Besides, I've never been to a party where they serve good beer. It's always cat piss, never a good stout or porter. :P

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As for my wife, I wouldn't give her up for anything. Shes the one thing I know is always right in my life.

 

Where is that barf smiley at????

 

There is a guy in my group who's son plays game and he is always asking me questions about them for his son. Then there is my boss who bought a PS2 becuase its cool and is constantly bugging me about what game to buy, then he goes out and buys it and sometimes likes it and sometimes doesn't. Another guy here owns a GameCube. There are some other people in the general IT structure that play games, but they mostly just stick to the common sports games(Madden, NCAA, etc...).

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I'm 28, and have been dating the same lovely woman for 4 years (Our anniversary is today in fact). She is very "hip" and "happening", whereas I'm a total dork.

 

I love video games. She likes shopping.

I don't listen to current music. She does.

I like heavy metal & rock. She likes pop and such.

I'm not big into fashion. She is.

I love all things sci-fi and fantasy. She likes Julia Roberts.

 

Sure we argue, and I don't understand the things she likes, and she doesn't understand the things I like, but 4 years together, and we're still together.

 

Our biggest hurdle? She lives 500 miles away from me in Toronto. I live in New York. So until I move up there (later this year) my gaming habits will stay the same. She's never questioned me about them, even when she'll go out on a Friday night with friends, and I'll stay at home playing Rainbow Six 3 by myself. :)

 

I figure now is the time to ween (sp?) her on my gaming habits, this way she'll know what she's in for later on in life, if I'm lucky enough to marry her. And I've already told her, if we have kids, I'm gonna spoil them rotten on games and GOOD music. ;)

 

As far as work goes, most of the people I work with are into computers, but not gamers like myself. Except one of them who's always asking me about video games. I do think a lot of the guys I work with are closet gamers, but I haven't been able to coax them out just yet.

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cold man, very cold.

 

You know Im just messing with you man.;) Its sucks you couldn't make it down. Would have loved for the whole group to get together again.

 

Anyway back on topic....

 

Our biggest hurdle? She lives 500 miles away from me in Toronto.

 

Thats terrible Chris. My wife and I were long distance for almost a year before we moved in together and it was really hard to try and maintain a relationship when you see someone so rarely. Come next year you should be a happy man. ;)

 

On topic, though, this is a timely subject because just this morning driving into work I was mentally lamenting the fact that I had no one to share my passion for videogames with, either in my circle of "work friends", or "outside work friends". In fact, I have faced a similar attitude of pity/scorn at the lunch table when I divulged the fact that I am an avid gamer. My 'friends' all felt pretty much the same way yours did--guys my age should be going out and getting hammered rather than going home and playing "kid's games". I even got into a fairly heated argument with one of my least favorite co-workers about whether my hobby was "appropriate" for someone my age.

 

Exactly the kind of thoughts I was looking for. I go through exactly that sometimes. Having to internalize your excitement over a game that no one else really cares about. Thankfully having met people here helps. Kelley and I talked quite a bit about Panzer Dragoon when it was released since hes one of the few people I know that are as much of a Sega freak as I am. Scott and I have babbled on for hours on the phone about every game under the sun. Our get together last year (and how much fun we all had) just proved to me that its great to have people that are as passionate about the same things as you are around. I just wish more were at a closer proximity since I share almost nothing in common with those that are currently in my life on a daily basis.

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Well, I guess I have a pretty accepting (and in some cases, participatory) group of friends. I have one group of friends, some of whom I've known since middle school and some who have joined the group along the way. I am probably the most hardcore gamer out of bunch, though one of my best friends does have a Gamecube and plays a lot of PC games. There are nights when we do go out and get blitzed, but we are often just as likely to sit around on a Friday night with a few brews and play Mario Kart: DD or Super Smash Brothers or Monkey Ball and have a blast. Girls included. And none of them would ever give me shit for all of the games I buy, it's my hobby, and they respect that just like I respect the things they enjoy. I also buy a hell of a lot of music, which is a common bond between my best friends, and we see a lot of shows in smoky clubs together.

 

I have another few friends that don't really know each other, but also are pretty heavy gamers with good jobs and normal lives. One of them is probably on par with me, he buys a ton of games, we always talk about what is coming out, and when we get together (I live in Houston, he in Dallas), we are likely to nerd out and play games all weekend with a few breaks to go tear around in our cars, me chasing his WRX wagon with my S2000, we are car nuts too. It's a good thing we have understanding girlfriends (fianc? in my case) who happen to be great friends, and really are the reason we all met.

 

Another friend of mine is now married, but moreso has a son, which has cut into his gaming time immensely. He is a hardcore PC gamer, and we grew up playing deathmatch Doom in high school and tons of other games over dial-up when it was all in its infancy. He still begs me to get on and play F1 Championship online on the PC every few nights.

 

Both of my college roommates were pretty avid gamers, we played the absolute crap out of Diablo, Duke Nukem, Starcraft, Diablo II, and most of all Counterstrike, playing from beta 3 onward. I still play with one of them quite a bit online, we have been playing Planetside over the past few months.

 

I run a small custom programming operation, so all of my employees are pretty tech savvy. At least half of them have an Xbox, and though we don't really play much together, we do talk games every so often.

 

And finally, I have a pretty understanding fianc?, who while not much of a gamer, understands that I love to play. She will pick up the controller every once in a while for Monkey Ball or a driving game, and I'm winning her over slowly, but baby steps.

 

This came out being quite long, but I realized in the midst of writing it how fortunate I have been to have such a great environment to game in, and friends to game with. I can certainly understand how others may not, and I sympathize...it's a great hobby, and a great escape, and sometimes it's the only thing that keeps me sane after some of the total crap that comes along with running a small business.

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It's kind of a mix for me where I work. I have a friend who has an Xbox, but doesn't have nearly as many games as I do so we talk about games on occasion, then there's another co-worker who has been seriously tempted by the Xbox - but she hasn't given in yet because she is afraid of becoming too addicted to it :D. (I'm working on that one. :)) Then there is another co-worker who simply can't understand why anyone would want to play games so much - I point out that it's more interactive and makes you think more than watching TV, for example, but that doesn't quite seem to sink in.

 

Outside of work, almost all the people from college I keep in touch with are proud Xbox owners. :)

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Well, I've never been accepted by large groups of peers, so I hardly think it's a great shake for me to be into video games :green: . I have a fairly small social calendar, but that's because I've been dating a lovely girl for nearly two years. She is far more hip than I am, but enough of a geek that we get along fine. She is not game rabid at all, but we get in some Mario Golf and SSX Tricky together.

 

And prior to that, I had a robust dating life. I mean, who cares in the grand scheme? Do what makes you happy. I am also a member of the no-drinkee club, I don't have any desire to, especially since it diverts needed funds from my gaming collection.

 

For my K-12 education I was always the guy who got grief for being too damn smart (nobody would do that now though ;)). I was the geek, and I still am. Mainstream society, by and large, is fascinatingly dull. The only thing mainstream I really like besides the odd movie is poker.

 

The only people I know who actively loathe my gaming, though, are my parents. My mom in particular has always attributed it to everything bad that has happened to me, which is unfortunate. But my folks are big technophobes so it's no big shakes there.

 

So video games are just part of the pastiche of a guy who reads manga and comics, loves fantasy novels, writes creatively, likes to curl and play squash, and is even more of a boardgame freak than he is a videogame freak. No girl I've ever dated has balked at that either, and I've dated some really nice lasses, current gf included.

 

Of course, having a faithful circle of friends that shares these same interests is also a huge help. What I'm trying to say, convolutedly, is that I see no difference between my life and some other guy's, except maybe I wouldn't find his life quite so rewarding. Think of all the awesome experiences you've had playing video games. Would you really want to trade those up?

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I know how the long distance relationship thing goes. I think I've got you all beat on distance though.

 

As for how my gaming "habit" relates to the people around me, that's a tricky one. Back in the UK, I could happily say that noone in my social circle didn't game to some extent, even if it was just Puzzle Fighter or FIFA over beers. Of course, that included a bunch of people I worked with.

 

Here in the US, things are a little different...

 

Despite working at a videogame company, I'd say a lot of people, certainly the people I'm friendly with here, are more into PC games than console games. I've got a rep as being into "weird Jap games" :) I don't have as "tight" a group of people I hang out with outside work, mainly because I'd rather spend time with my wife etc. Of the people I socialise with, most game to some extent, but nowhere near as much as me, or if they /are/ gamers, they're much more mainstream. There's people we hang out with that I can talk about games with, but we never play together. I don't really like that - I'd love to have more local people I can just hang out with & play games, drink some beers etc, but it's very hard to do that in DFW... Drive everywhere etc.

 

Growing up, my parents hated my gaming. They blame it for my social ills, and to an extent they're right, but there was more to it than that. I think it was a nice big "stick it in their face" that I was able to make a career out of all that time I wasted stuck in my room on my own.

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I guess I'm kind of lucky, I have a great group of friends that I've known since high school, and we've always played video games together in one form or another. A little Mario Kart or Street Fighter II while chilling on a Sunday, or a few games of hockey after school. When we went to university we'd smoke a bowl and play Stun Runner in the basement of the dorms, or find an engineer and make him let us into the Engineering building so we could play NetTrek. Fast forward to the present, and we're playing together over Xbox Live even though we no longer live in the same cities. Come to think of it, almost every one of us owns an Xbox now.

 

I work with computers, so most of my co-workers are into games as well. I think my going on and on about games all the time has inspired the purchase of at least 3 consoles.

 

My non-co-worker, non-high school friends, however, do not play videogames. I don't catch any flak for gaming from them, but then again I do go to parties or down to the pub with them from time to time. My closest local friend refuses to attempt any game except Sega Bass Fishing and Sega Marine Fishing on DC (with the fishing rod controller of course) but he doesn't make judgements about it, and tolerates my occasional excited descriptions of the latest and greatest games. So that's cool, we just do something other than play videogames when we're hanging out.

 

My parents probably think I'm a bit wierd, but I've been that way since I was a kid, so they're used to it. Hey, I distinctly remember playing Asteroids with my old man at the arcade. So, basically, it's my Dad's fault.

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Fortunately I guess I've just been lucky. I work at an ISP and everyone here is pretty open minded about stuff and they all have their own obsessions (knives, motorcycles, guns, Angelina Jolie etc etc etc).

 

I get the ocassional ribbing about being on first name basis with the checkout people at Best Buy (only a few know me..), but that is the worst of it.

 

Actually now that I think of it no one here really ever does anything together outside of the workplace.

 

As far as friends my local "church friends" - they enjoy playing when they are over. Maybe one or two have a PS2 and a few more could be pulled into the dark side with effort, but it doesn't seem worth it if they are forced gamers.

 

 

I would like more local gaming friends but I'm too busy gaming/working/etc to make some. :)

 

 

 

Oh and I'm going on 6 years married to my wife and I'm 29. So no arguments here on that front.

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Is there a certain amount of ostracizing that goes along with this hobby of ours?

 

Hell yeah! Why do yo think I hang out here so much?! :green:

 

I'm 36, so I get it big time. Most of my peers at work think video gaming is a hobby that you outgrow and leave behind when you get older. So they snicker and jeer. They mock and condescend.

 

But these are the same guys who gladly spend $50 or more a pop on green fees alone to feed their golf hobbies. They also surf Ebay endlessly in search of then next great deal on golf clubs.

 

When I proudly positioned my Master Chief action figure on my shelf in my office, they snickered and rolled their eyes, but when another set up his Tiger Woods Bobble-head, all the others stopped to admire.

 

But, to quote my favorite Vice-President, Dan Quayle: "I wear their scorn as a badge of honor."

 

Video games provide me with everything I need from a hobby:

Fun,

Stress Relief,

Escape-ism,

and the best possible side-effect, a way to relate to my sons.

 

Right now my kids think I'm the coolest Dad in the world, because none of their friends' dads spend time together playing video games. For the great feelings that brings, I'll gladly endure the "nerd-boy" image at work.

 

 

Carlos.

 

P.S. I did manage to find a peer group of younger employees who I can relate to. In fact, we meet up several times a week to play RS3 together. But they are not in my immediate work-group, so I don't get to chat them up about video games as often as I would like. Hence they need to hang out with you freaks so much!

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I was a gamer early in life - Atari 2600, Colecovision, Atari computers and VIC-20 / Commodore 64. My middle school friends were into bike riding and racing, so that is where my time, interest and funds went. In high school I played sports non-stop: golf, baseball and winter baseball. I also chased after girls. No time for gaming, and no interest because noone around me was doing it.

 

College was much the same. Worked at a sporting goods store outside of class and played football, basketball and anything else my friends wanted to play. Chased after girls and drank tons of beer. Went to football and basketball games. Again, no interest in gaming because I was not exposed to it. Got married at 25 to my beautiful Suzannah, who was a blind date in high school. She worked at a hospital with a fantastic group of people who all had similar interests. We went out to bars, concerts, road trips, and played in a co-ed softball league. Noone around me was a gamer, so I wasn't.

 

We moved to Charleston and away from all of our friends for my family business. Tough decision, but one that has made everything possible for us. I started to gain interest in movies from a married friend who had alot of vhs movies - I teased him for spending so much $$ on movies, but I found myself borrowing several every week and enjoying them during the times I would have been going out with friends in the past. My movie addiction was born

 

I found HTF for my dvd interests, but started to click over into the video game section on occasion, just out of curiosity. I started to read the posts there on a regular basis as the Xbox was coming to fruition, and delighted in the flame wars between Xbox and PS2 fans. I told my wife I wanted to get a console and was given the go-ahead to try one out. Went to BB and picked up an Xbox in early 2002, and the rest is history. My videogame hobby was reborn at the same time that my family started to grow. New parents don't go out to bars and get drunk - they go to sleep early and spend half the night in their kids' bed as a sleeping buddy. They don't travel anywhere that doesn't have a changing station for doody diapers.

 

My family is asleep by 9:00 p.m. every night, even the dogs! That is the perfect time for me to fire up the console and spend two - three hours having fun with a like-minded group of people. I refer to each of you as my friends when discussing what games I played and who I played with. I own and work in a manufacturing environment that employs 120 people, most of whom lead very different lives than I do. Most of my friends at work know I enjoy movies and gaming, but none ever ask question one about it.

 

I miss the old days of going out with 6-8 friends and partying all night, but those days have passed me by now. I enjoy the memories but wouldn't trade my current situation for all the money in the world. Being a husband and a dad is what I was put on Earth to do. Gaming is a fortunate by-product of that evolution.

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Most of the people I know don't really understand my video game habit, or for that matter any of my other geeky tastes (comics, cartoons, dvd's...) :) but I can't say that I feel mocked for it, even in a good-natured way. Most people who get to know me just accept that I'm a little bit askew and seem to leave it at that, including my girlfriend who's told me that she likes me *because* I'm a freak. (Besides, what's she going to say? She's got a copy of Vegas Vacation on VHS and *I'm* the one who's not cool?!) :lmfao:

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Chris - you can make the long distance thing work. It won't be easy,though.

 

Back on topic...

 

I would go along with what Cap/Joey & Carlucci have already stated - my fellow co-workers (well most of them) think I'm nuts for playing videogames at my age. Though it gives me something to talk about with my students :)

 

Some of my friends are into gaming - those that weren't - I simply converted most of them like I did with DVD's :twisted:

 

Halo has been awesome in regards to this. I still play that game on a regular basis...

 

In closing - I'm getting too old to worry about what others think. I'm gonna do what I like to do & I'll find others who think like I do.

 

Why the heck do you think I'm here?? :green:

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I'm getting too old to worry about what others think

 

Believe me thats not why I started this thread though its a gret point. I'm far beyond really worrying about what other think about me. I am who I am and I'm not going to change for anyone or anything. If I'm to be labelled a dork for loving videogames so be it. A dork I am (My wife would tell you I'm a dork anyway ;) ).

 

Its kind of akin to wrestling you know? A couple of years ago if you watched pro-wrestling you were labelled an utter redneck that sleeps with his shotgun and and owns a truck you've dubbed Beufort. All of sudden wrestling became the "in" thing and suddenly you were cool as cool could be if you walked around quoting Steve Austin. Which begs the question... given the kind of market penetration and exposure that gaming is getting these days. Is there hope that we will one day be considered "cool" ? 8) .

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