Monday, August 8, 2011

What’s in a Game?

It occurs to me I’ve spent an enormous amount of time on two of my three creative endeavors on this blog, and almost completely swept the whole “gamer” side of me under the rug.

Shame on me.

Here’s the problem; even though I’ve got it listed as one of the things I love, I’m still afraid to show my true gamer self. Mostly because she looks like this:

Lykana

Right? Pretty Bad-A.

So I’ve been thinking about why I play computer games, WoW specifically, and I thought I would share my reasons with you.

1) The most important reason is because it’s quality time with my hubby. For reals. A lot of people think games are a waste of time, and I’m sure for some people they are. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s a waste of time. But when I get to play with my husband, and we get to spend time solving problems, fighting a common enemy, and laughing together that is never time wasted in my book. It helps that the enemy is pixelated so there’s no real fear there…

2) It’s a lot of fun. Like I’ve said before, I was raised a computer geek (thanks Nate). I played DOS games back in the day and LOVED them. (Discworld, SerfCity, Relentless, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis just to name a few). I just love the problem solving, the story development, and the ability to travel to new places. It’s like a book you can SEE and navigate through. What’s better than that?

3) It gives me something I can control. Sometimes my two-year old is completely unmanageable. Sometimes work gets overwhelming or I get assigned a project out of the blue that I have very little interest in doing (Bri, you know what I’m talking about). And sometimes I feel sick. Like really sick. In August. Which makes me cranky. But when I log on to WoW, I know what I have to do and I can hop on my trusty dragon and go do it. I have money too, which I don’t in real life, so that helps. A new pair of shoes every now and then (even if they’re virtual) is good for a girl’s soul.

4) I’ve met some amazing people. Who I NEVER would’ve met otherwise. As in, why would I ever hang out with a comic-book-store-owner and his wife from Pennsylvania? I probably wouldn’t. But I met them online and it’s amazing how similar we are and how much fun we have together. Ned and Jodie have become some of our closest friends over the years, and we’ve never seen them in real life. But I don’t have to know what they look like to know they’re amazing people. Not to mention a certain priestess who doesn’t play anymore (CANDIS) and her amazingly talented warrior husband who unfortunately passed away in 2009. Which brings me to my next reason:

5) It inspires me. Mostly the people I’ve met inspire me. The afore-mentioned warrior was a great friend of ours and it was really hard when he passed away, even though we never met him face-to-face. And from these experiences, I’ve been able to draw enough inspiration for my recently completed second book. It’s about a teenage girl who tentatively starts playing an online game to be close to her brother who moved away for school, yet she ends up having several life-changing experiences due to the people she meets. Just like I did.

So those are the most important ones I guess. I could do an entirely different post on why I play the Sims…in fact, I probably will later. But I’m trying to not hide my inner geek anymore. Take it or leave it people, this girl plays WoW. And my warrior up there? Level 85. She’s pretty much a big deal.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

5 comments:

  1. Love this. I love the world building in games. I love exploring and problem solving too. My hubby isn't a huge fan of the problem solving games, but he does like to play the Wii with me at times. And that warrior is awesome! :)

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  2. I can't play games like WoW.

    Number one because it's never ending. I can play video games like Zelda or Pokemon because eventually the game will end so I don't have to rush to complete the current part so I don't fall majorly behind (though I will admit, sometimes I wish my Pokemon games went on longer...).

    Number two because I get very addicted to stuff like that and it becomes my life (won't even mention Neopets...). I already spend way too much time on the computer, but at least I'm being semi-sorta-productive then.

    I totally understand what you mean about the people though. I have a few very close friends I've never met face-to-face.

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  3. @Cozy: Welcome! I'm glad you dropped by
    @Chantele: I heart my Wii too. Super Mario Brothers anyone? And thanks, she took a lot of work!
    @Brooke: I TOTALLY get it. When my husband starting playing I kept asking "Well how do you win?" and he just gave me a blank stare. "When does it end?" another blank stare. I didn't get it. And it for SURE takes awhile to find the balance between the game and real life. I used to have to put time restrictions on my husband's account to make sure he did his schoolwork too. (I love that they let you do that). But yeah, it's easy to become addicted and I think it's good to realize when it might become a problem and just not even go there. Thanks for all you comments!

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  4. Kadie,

    A fellow fantasy writer over from the Writer's Campaign! As a self-proclaimed gamer geek, I can't resist reading about video games and people's take on them. I think they're such a fantastic new narrative format! I haven't played WoW in awhile, but the highest I ever got was a 64! Not playing well with others, I'm usually one to solo along or play with a select few others, so the larger group situations never much appealed to me!

    I'm excited to read more of your blog. Looking forward to working with you in the Campaign!

    - Rance

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