Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Adult Gamer

Alternate Title: "Are you buying this for your son?"

As I'm sure most of you know, it's not easy being an adult gamer.

If we can even find time in our hectic schedules to sit down and play a game, people still act like we're doing something weird.

I don't know when I crossed that line into adulthood, but I'm sure I never saw a sign about leaving all your video games behind.

You'd think there'd be a sign, wouldn't you?

And yet, every time I mention video games to one of my non-gamer friends, they get this weird look on their face.

I'm sure you know the look. That kind of confused brow furrow like you just started speaking another language.

I've never really understood that.

It's not like I'm breaking out my pokemon cards and asking them to trade or anything.

And what if I did?

If another adult looks at me and asks me about baseball, I don't look at them like they're retarded.

Well... no more than I would usually.

Apparently, there was a memo sent out about what hobbies are appropriate for "grown ups".

I didn't get it.

I can buy a full outfit of camouflage clothing, grab a gun, walk into the woods, get drunk, and shoot an animal in the face.

Normal.

Try to buy a copy of Call of Duty 4, sit in a nice comfy chair, and play it.

Not normal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love a good, drunken face shooting as much as the next guy. Throw in some hookers and you've got one hell of a Saturday night.

But how exactly does me sitting on a couch and enjoying a game become the weirder of these two hobbies?

I remember one day I was talking to a guy I know. One of those friends of a friend.

When I mentioned going home to play some FFXI, he got that look on his face.

Yes, that look.

Maybe face shooting isn't that weird of a hobby.

Then, and this is the strangest part, he started calling me Mario.

As in Super Mario.

I mean, what the hell is that about?

Mario?

That doesn't even make sense.

That's like hearing someone's going to go play baseball and calling him Tiger Woods.

(note: Tiger Woods does not play baseball)

So, I asked him what he does for fun.

[GM]Dave>> So, what do you do for fun?

See? I told you.

Guy>> Oh, I'm in to rock climbing.

Rock.

Climbing.

And he thinks I'm strange for playing some video games.

How the hell does anyone consider rock climbing to be a normal hobby?

Do you know cliffs exist?

That's God telling you to turn your stupid ass around and walk in the other direction.

If you see a sheer rock face and think "Dude, I'm totally climbing that", then there's a good chance you probably have some form of brain damage.

The good news is that you probably don't need that helmet anymore.

Save your money.

I get that gaming isn't everyone's thing.

I accept that.

But that just means those other people aren't right.

They need to accept that.

It's like a compromise. We'll both agree that one of us likes games and one of us is retarded.

And damn, I like me some games.

23 Comments:

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Ben said...

It's like this for practically everything for me. Hobbies, music, books. What I detest more than anything else is people who I don't really want to talk to asking me those questions. I play D&D. I play the skirmish (minis) game too. I play FFXI, I play World of Warcraft. I listen to j-pop, trance and techno. I read fantasy books about wizards and the like. The response is invariably "the look" as you described it. Some of these people really need to be shot.

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger Mage Fan said...

I've honestly just stopped mentioning it to people I'm not close with because of that. I don't bother dealing with those people.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Dorian Mode said...

Ben (& Mage Fan),

Shooting those you describe would be a waste of valuable ammunition. If their heads and hearts don't work already, you won't hit anything vital.

And, by the way, I don't enjoy much of your list myself; I have my own ... ahem ... less-than-common interests. It is, however, in my interest that you and your interests flourish; it is in all our interests. Anyone who truly feels competent to get all judgmental about harmless hobbies (even rock climbing, I suppose) is one whose judgment is irrelevant.

Imagine a cosmos without such variety; one might as well imagine a world without [GM]Dave -- need I say more?

 
At 9:31 PM, Blogger Gamestore said...

Working in a game store, I get my fair share of moms going on about how they don't know how anyone can find the time to play games. A lot of the time they ask if I play games and are surprised when i say yes.

The best, however, is all the stupid wives and girlfriends that come in with their men and make it an uncomfortable experience for all. I'm female and a gamer and these people are embarrassing. They freak out or give their guys shit for buying what they're buying during the transaction. Way to make everyone uncomfortable ... it's very awkward and what's with the public displays? Save it for the car or at home, I don't want to be involved in your video game hate.

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Sorvina said...

I get "the look" every time I mention FFXi to my friend Ashley. Try explaining what Dancer is when your getting that look. It's even worse when they ask about it, and give you "the look" the whole time. Then their eyes kinda glaze over and you know you lost them.

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Cypher said...

sorvina - if you're getting the eye glaze after they ask you about something to do with a subject, they're sending you a message.

Don't bother bringing it up around them, and just shrug it off if they ask about anything else.

 
At 2:32 AM, Blogger Insomnia said...

Some people I know give me "the look" when I tell them I play games and watch anime as a hobby.

Funny thing is most of them turn out to have a hobby of smoking weed. I learned not to give a shit about these people anymore.

I've seen 60 year old college professors talk about GTA4 and the new Evangelion movie. If some idiots thinks he can tell people gaming and anime are for little kids, they are still living in the past.

On the side note, I give "the look" to people when they tell me that they play WoW.

 
At 6:04 AM, Blogger Zombie said...

When people ask me why I still play games, I usually reason with them since it's not always socially acceptable to administer verbal pummelings. It usually goes like this:

Person: Why do you still play games?
Me: Do you watch (insert popular TV show here)?
Person: Yeah, I love that show.
Me: Well, instead of watching that show I play Final Fantasy. You watch TV when you want to wind down, and I play video games. It's not all that different.

The conversation usually ends there so that we can go back to our normal adult routine of jaded detachment.

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger Nymph said...

Being a girl gamer , i think its partially the same. Only when you've grown up playing games your whole life, you learn that you don't tell your friends you cant do that "thing" this weekend because this game you've been waiting for forever was just released and your going to pull all nighters this weekend. You just don't. You learn the first time!( after your friend decided it would be funny to disassemble your console and hide the power cords all over your house >.>. Enough said.
And you dont even try to exaplin a video game to non gamer girl, its like deer in the headlights syndrome.

Now telling guys you play video games (In my experience) has gone really well. At first you get that shocked look , like they are in disbelief. So once you start going down the list of games you normally play it turns to awe. What is it about a girl that plays video games that is so appealing to guys ?! I'm not sure what it is exactly , but i like it !

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger smallhalo said...

the stats:

age: 29 years

hobbies: FFXI, backpacking, and rock climbing

do you know how many confused looks i get when talking about what i do for fun?

special ed: wait, you like to hiking for miles and miles in the middle of nowhere, climb up a cliff, AND play video games.

smallhalo: not at the same time dumbass

 
At 9:01 AM, Blogger Bufuman said...

I don't talk to people to begin with, and I don't give them any mind if I'm around them, so this really doesn't affect me that much. Hell, just this morning at work (I work 3rd shift, btw), while I was on my break, I whipped out my DS Lite and played some Phoenix Wright. I realize I probably got some weird looks, but who cares? My job is boring as hell, so I'm damn well going to enjoy myself on my break, and if that means a short 30-minute gaming spree, so be it.

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Jan R said...

http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref=sb

come join the all mighty [GM]Dave group:)

 
At 6:08 AM, Blogger Alison the Amazing Thief said...

Amen GM Dave!

Nymth I've noticed the same thing. Tell another woman I love video games at 29 years old and they are very likely to look at me like I'm mentally ill and dangerous. Tell a man and the usual response is bright eyed excitement as he compares favorite games.

The only exception is Wii. It seems to get a lot more respect from my girl friends than any other game or system ever has. They think it's exersize and might make them thin and pretty. I would argue but I'm just happy not to get that look.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger MJ said...

"It's like a compromise. We'll both agree that one of us likes games and one of us is retarded.

And damn, I like me some games."

I'm going to steal that quote next time someone gives me that look when they ask what I like to do and I respond. I haven't played FFXI, but I do game still at 51 and have as long as there has been games and I hope to continue to do it the rest of my life.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Xatticus said...

PREACH BROTHA!

 
At 5:26 PM, Blogger Sorvina said...

Cypher~ I know this she's sending a message.She does it to get on my nerves.So when she asks about something I know we don't share an interest in....I give her excruciating detail on the subject.Just to get on HER nerves.


Thats what friends are for! :P

 
At 5:31 PM, Blogger Sorvina said...

Nymph ~ My fiance turned me on to FFXI, Diablo 2, and LOTRO. He said it turns him on to watch me play.So I know exactly what you mean.

I don't mind it though,in fact, I love it! I get better benefits than simply playing a game I love. If you know what I mean *giggle*

 
At 5:34 AM, Blogger Nymph said...

Thats too funny. I got my husband into playing FFXI, Who knew the monster i would create two years ago !!

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Dyamalos said...

I live in an area where if you don't play sports or hang out at the mall, you are an uber-nerd.

For some reason, laity, no one seems to be too surprised that I play games. Only a few times did I get alienated for games.

Me and a group of friends would hang out during "free-time" (as the teacher's called it, it was basically Recess) in 8th grade. They use to play Yu-Gi-Oh, but eventually we started playing Four Swords. And you would have the asses that would screw around no matter what. But I even remember hearing when we had picked up Four Swords, "Damn, they're not playing Yu-Gi-Oh" Didn't stop them from throwing stuff at us and walking on the link-cable.

I get that look allot when people ask me what kind of music I listen to. I tell them I listen to all sorts of stuff, mostly Japanese though: "How can you listen to it when you don't understand when they are saying."

The fact I don't know what they're saying is the draw there. Then they get confused because I don't like what's on the "Top-10" list or something...


My sister finds it odd that I can listen to podcasts and audio books too.

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Inju said...

I can totally relate on what you're ranting here Dave. I got that look too whenever I started talking about my hobbies. They think their hobby is better or more adult oriented. Pshaw!

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Dimitry said...

Insomnia, you need to be shot.

 
At 1:56 AM, Blogger jules said...

You think you got it bad Dave. Try being 42, female,mother of two and a hardcore raider in one of the top WOW guilds in the world (yeah yeah its wow so shoot me)

 
At 8:38 AM, Blogger SinlessTouch said...

yup, society looks at people playing adult games differently. I don't why is the norm like that but hopefully it will change down the road.

 

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