Monday, December 6, 2010

For the Love of the Game(r)

I took a trip to see my sister's for Thanksgiving. For five days I was off line in my gaming and I realized something. It wasn't the games I missed, but the gamers.

That might have been because I took my DSLite and PSP with me. Whenever the itch to play something came on me I pulled one of those out. I played for a little bit but eventually put the system up and turned to something else. It was nice to play games that I hadn't played in a really long time. Unfortunately they didn't hold my interest for very long. I felt like they were missing something.

I realized what they were missing early on in my vacation: my friends. I missed playing with people. I missed the camaraderie, support and direction in the game itself, but also the friendship and bizarre conversations my friends and I usually have. I miss finding out how their days were going and what plans they have for the weekend. And with the holiday weekend there were more friends available online than usual. And I missed out on most of it.

Now this is not to say that I sat around with a bunch of strangers and didn't talk to anyone. I was with family and had some good times. But I could have done without the 10 1/2 hours straight of nothing but Christmas music on the ride home. There is just so many time a person can hear "Do you hear what I hear?" without turning into a slobbing, axe-wielding psychopath. I think I was 10 minutes away from that transformation.

I did borrow dain's laptop to jump online and check out what my friends were playing, but that made me miss them even more. To have a group of friends in your life almost every night then to suddenly be without them for 5 whole days is very shocking to the system. Yes, I know, I should probably get out more often. But I like my life and see no real reason to change it (with a few exceptions). Even playing with Pogue and his lag and echo is more appealing than playing alone. Of course, after an hour or two with that whining and echoing buzzing in my ear playing alone sounds pretty good.

I remember when it was all about the game for me. I wanted to own every system so I could get whatever games I wanted and wouldn't worry about where to play them. But lately I've felt less and less like buying a PS3 and taping into that game market. Why? Because I wouldn't want to miss out on a night playing with my friends.

I tried to explain this concept to my mother a while ago. She seems to think that you can't really be friends with someone you haven't met. I totally disagree. I've spent more time with my "online" friends than I ever would if we had met in real life. And I spend more time with them than my mother spends with her friends. Plus I KNOW things about them that I'm sure my mother would never find out similar things about her friends.

Maybe it's a generational thing. Maybe it's a gamer thing. It doesn't matter to me because I've come to realize I play for the love of my gamer friends no matter the game or the system.

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