Me? I am a gamer. Have been so since I was a wee laddy, holding on tight to a joystick. By the time I was 14, I had plunked enough cash into arcade machines to pay for college tuition. I grew up (slightly in the younger group) in the midst of PacMan fever, Mario madness and Zelda zealotry.
I have always played a game, even when grounded, I would grab a pen and some paper and design levels for my favorite games. I guess it is in my blood, I have an Uncle that made several board games (only one got out there, but that is not important), a story telling grandfather and a creative and analytical mother.
I hear (or read) a lot of complaints from my brothers and sisters of the gaming... things just aren't as they had hoped, not going the way they like. I feel for them, I ache in my very soul for their sufferage.
Then I remember, games HAVE come a LONG way, and still have a long way to go. To me, video games, MMOs and other computerized/console entertainment is in it's awkward years. I remember being an awkward teenager... my feet, legs and arms all grew while the rest did not. I could have been tied in a knot easily by a five year old. Lanky man... lanky.
It took years for my body to catch up, it was painful, embarrasing and very, very hard to go through. Games are now in the pimply faced, feet too big stage. I know, I know, "games have been around long enough to have been through this before", you say.....
I agree, but we are talking in game years, not human years. If you ask me, the "Gamer culture" did not really get it's start until the advent of third generation machinery (N64, Playstation etc), before that, people played games, all types... but it was not as blown up as it is now. I mean, there were subsets of what were called "Nerds" "Geeks" "Spazzes" and "dweebs", but the culture as it is now is new.
I remember the feeling I got way back when on that special Christmas when I got my Snes. It was magical, the graphics were so clean, fresh! Two more buttons, plus the "shoulder" buttons! It was amazing. I remember that same feeling the first time I played an online game (On TELNET!).
Nowadays, seems people don't know that feeling, the joy of cutting your teeth on some new style of play, learning all the tricks, all the secrets. I feel I am among a dying breed, those willing to play for the sake of playing, not the best gear, not the highest score... but for the love of the game. This concerns me deeply. I may be a relic from years past, but I do know that unlike the Dodo bird, there can be a revival.
There MUST be a revival, or we will be doomed forever to the A.D.D gameplay style. I do not see anything wrong with some games being geared for the short of attention span, in fact, every now and again I will catch myself playing one or two.
But the beat goes on, I still play for the love of playing. Every game I play, I place myself in the feet of my little avatar, I feel the world around me in the same way that I feel and experience the world of books.
I have died more times than there are leaves on a willow tree, I have beaten many games, I have had a lady complain about my rough, callused hands.... hands that have permanant square controller marks. I have seen games in their infancy, I have seen great games come and go.
Why am I giving this "when I was your age, I walked to school uphill, both ways... in the snow" talk? Because I am a veteran of the console wars, I lost and arm and a leg (money wise) in the Video-Nam. I only desire to let the younger players know this and only this:
When you play for the love of the game, you will never truely be let down.
Gamers, there is so much out there to love, why focus on the hate?