Howdy ladies and gents, how you been doing? So with my blog post about solo gaming, I just wanted to make another video game post and see if I could start up any more discussions, and the subject matter today is making friends through gaming basically.
So I decided to talk about this specific subject after watching Video Games: The Movie, a documentary about the history, technology and culture of the games industry. And while it skipped over a HECK of a lot of details when it came to the 90’s, Sega’s involvement in the games industry, the 8th generation of consoles, PC gaming and some of the failed gaming experiments, at the same time it did well to highlight some of the major accomplishments, failures and entertaining aspects of the industry. The one thing that it got me thinking about is the culture, how’s it changed and the bonds people make through gaming.
Now I’ve not been on this planet that long to see the crazy highs and lows of the video game industry, however, I feel like I grew up at a really great point in time. I got to experience the last moments of 16-bit gaming, got to transition into 3D games and got to experience the best days of offline gaming without heavy impact of the internet. You see I remember a time when gaming used to be shunned, if you played games you were a nerd or were considered unsociable or uncool. However these days everyone is doing it, obviously loads of things have changed since the 90’s and 80’s, but it is interesting to how people come together to game, whether it is online, offline, at conventions or tournaments. I feel like video games, more so than other forms of media, has a gravitational pull that is too strong to ignore. And it is just insane to see how many people check out gaming-based events and become friends, events like Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Pax East, Games Developers Conference, Tokyo Games Show, Evolution Championship Series (Evo) or tournaments for Counter-Strike and Starcraft, it’s like gaming events as big as the Grammy’s or Academy Awards.
As a gamer from the 90’s I can say that some of my best friends I have made through gaming or have had play games with me for extensive periods of time. For me playing games through local multiplayer has been some of the best gaming experiences of my life. I think things really came to high playing on the Nintendo 64, on that console I spent many days playing the FPS titles GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, both titles showed just how much of a crazy person I could be with rocket launchers and proxy mines. Then there’s the first three Mario Party games caused of the best and worst experiences with my friends (we pretty much broke up all the time when shit hit the fan). And obviously there is the first Super Smash Bros. which was some of the favourite four-player action in my childhood that wasn’t related to racing or shooting games. But when it comes to the good standard multiplayer action, the Mario Kart series is where life begins and ends. Whether it was in school, college or university, that racing series has always found a way to be part of local gaming experience. I played with friends, family and people I didn’t even know, it seems to be universally something that everyone can get down with and when you’re in a room together, things can get heated, electrify and crazy. Other games I’ve played with people and had killer times with is Halo 1-3, Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 and Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2.
Another aspect of gaming that I love is the fact that you can find friends is so many unexpected ways. Like when I’ve gone to conventions and had sessions with people I didn’t know or when I came to uni and found out one of the guys in my accommodation was a hardcore gamer (heaven!) or when joined a video game society at uni and found all of these beautiful people who were just as obsessed as I was. Best times ever. The only way I haven’t found friends through gaming is online, I know it has been done before, but I’ve not really played with unknown people that much online to point where we were friends, guess I wasn’t playing the right games lol. Going back to Video Games: The Movie, it just reminded me of how unifying gaming can be with people becoming friends online or getting married thanks to video games, it just makes me think of how beautiful this form of entertainment is and how some people will never understand the fun that comes from it.
So to conclude, gaming, it a great medium for gaming. Most people that I have met are just nuts about games and they can recognise their kind straight away and like to be in each others company. In the early days some gamers stuck together just because they could only find solace with their own kind, but times have changed and most people these days just like being around people who understand them. From an outsiders point of view us gamers can be a simple bunch of people, but there is so much more to us than that. Some are fairly complex, we can shy, a bit weird or have learning difficulties, so playing games and being around gamers can be the only way we can function. And thanks to groups, tournaments, conventions and your basic local and online multiplayer games, people have and will continue to find connections through gaming.
So now things move to you, have you found friends through video games and if so was it online or offline? Also what do you think of video game culture with tournaments, conventions or marriages? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time peace out people! 😀