Game On

I feel like everything I’ve been writing/posting lately has been Very Serious.  I do have a tendency to be a pretty serious person much of the time, probably because I feel there are a lot of serious issues in the world today.  My heart tends to break over those things and I have a hard time ignoring that.  But no one can sustain being serious all the time (except maybe Sam the Eagle, amiright?), so here’s a little post about something happier.

Specifically, something that makes me happy: computer games.

I know that the stereotype of a gamer is a 15-21 boy/man that plays games like Call of Duty 18 hours a day.  But gaming statistics are showing that almost half of all gamers are women, and that the average age of a gamer is 35.

I said “computer games” instead of “video games” because when most people think of video games, they think of consoles (Wii, Xbox, PlayStation).  I prefer to play on the PC because it gives me a greater range of controls (mouse and game pad) than a console game.  We do own a Wii and an original Xbox, and I do enjoy me some Mariokart, Smash Brothers, or Lego Star Wars from time to time, but I prefer computer games generally, and MMORPGs specifically.  MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game.  Most people refer to them simply as MMOs.  You’ve probably heard of World of Warcraft, arguably the most popular MMO.  I don’t play that one (mostly because I’m contrary).  I play Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest 2, and a very small amount of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.  Historically, I have also played Dungeons and Dragons Online and Asheron’s Call.  (Yes, those who are fans of MMOs now know I am a Turbine game junkie.)

So, why MMOs?

Three characters from the computer game Asheron's Call jumping up in the air.

My husband, my sister, and I experiencing quite the feeling while playing Asheron’s Call.

I was first introduced to them after I got married.  I had been an avid computer gamer all my life, but had never tried MMOs.  I think I did try an early persistent world game back in the 90s, but running those things on dial-up was…not fun.  My husband is also a gamer and we learned not long after we got married that we both liked to game in our spare time.  But it isn’t very much fun to be sitting in the same room at separate computers playing different games, so my husband suggested that we try an MMO because it was a game that we could play together but not against one another.  That appealed to me very much and it wasn’t long before playing MMOs became our favourite hobby as a couple.

MMOs are persistent worlds.  Basically that means that the game world is stored remotely and shared by the massive number of players who have access to it.  You can interact with other players around the world and join together with them to complete quests/missions.  It’s a very social form of gaming, though I have to admit that mostly we just use the social aspect to play together (and with my sister, who lives in another province).  Most MMOs have regular content updates, meaning that the stories they tell are ongoing and changing.  It’s a very interactive and immersive form of story-telling and story-experiencing.  I find it much more rewarding than watching TV, and it’s been a real source of pleasure for my husband and I as we adventure in these fantasy worlds together.

I love gaming enough that this will not be my only post about it, so if you’re a gamer, watch this space.

Do you game?  If so, what attracts you to gaming?

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