As many gamers out there can relate to, most of the people I know don’t play games. I’ve often wondered what the perception is of a gamer to those that don’t play, or who do play but with far less frequency. With the advent of mobile gaming, more and more people are some type of gamer, whether they find that to be true or not.
So I got to wondering, what do non-gamers wonder about gamers? What do they wonder about video games?
So I asked.
And here are my initial questions and the subsequent responses from my friend M.R.:
RL: Do you now (or did you ever historically) play video games? If so, which ones do you prefer?
MR: Variety of Mario stuff.
RL: What have you wondered about video game culture?
MR: Never really given much thought to the culture. It was just fun playing with the kids.
RL: What is your concept of gamers and gamer culture?
MR: I guess my concept of gamers is that they have a very high level of mental retention and digital dexterity. Following that train of thought, I guess I see the culture as very focused.
Here are my thoughts on our brief Q and A.
To address the first point, Mario is such a recognizable icon of gaming. Who doesn’t know who Mario is? I kind of love that there is an entire generation that can instantly unlock so many memories just by thinking of Mario.
Side note: my favorite Mario game is still Super Mario Bros. 2, but the series has definitely grown and morphed in the decades since. I’m excited to see where it goes in the future.
But I would definitely take a sequel to SMB2!
I love that M.R. was able to connect with her kids playing games! I have always said games bring us together, and I genuinely believe that. In my particular case, there were days and days of glorious co-op gaming with my partner in the first Borderlands, and I was able to connect with my brother over the same series. I’m so grateful that games allow us these experiences that bond us and provide such memories.
As much as I love the single-player experience, I adore co-op games. I am partial to couch co-op (I’d rather work with someone than against them), but I love online co-op, too. There is nothing like connecting with someone to achieve a common goal.
I love how M.R. sees gamers! I would have to agree that mental retention in most gamers I encounter is excellent (there is usually a great amount going on with plenty of variables, to boot!), however, focus is another thing entirely! I’ve definitely played with folks who space out, and I’ve also played with folks who are all about strategy and efficiency. I fall into the latter category, but with a lot of time spent in exploration. There is nothing quite like discovering a completely intriguing world in a game!
Something I have recently become more aware of are speedrunners. These are people who not only play a game in a super quick amount of time, but some go so far as to analyze the game code to find breaks that allow them to complete it even faster (which requires intense focus!). Some may call that cheating, but I find it fascinating. There is a wonderful group called Games Done Quick, and they have speedrunning marathons for charity (just last month they had a week-long marathon and raised over a million dollars for Doctor’s Without Borders). I love that people can use playing games, and sharing that experience with others, to raise money for charity.
Games, and the gaming community, can be wonderful.
And with that, I’d like to thank M.R. for her time and thoughts. I truly believe that games can connect us and foster stronger bonds, and that’s a remarkable thing. Whether they are video games, board games, card games, or any other type of game, I’m in.
Cheers to more questions and the discussions they bring!