REVERB GAMERS 2012, #2: What is it about gaming that you enjoy the most? Why do you game? Is it the adrenaline rush, the social aspect, or something else? (Courtesy of Atlas Games. Visit us at www.atlas-games.com)
This question, posed on Reverb Gamers’ Facebook page, has a complex answer, as far as my impetus for gaming – complex enough that to answer it fully would require more than a blog. Nonetheless, here is the abridged answer.
Adrenaline rush? Sure, I get them often when I game. Social aspect? Absolutely; it’s no coincidence that my players are also my closest friends. But it’s very much the something else mentioned in the question.
I game to exercise my imagination, to delve into worlds unknown, to live as another person. Imagination and creativity are a very important aspect in my love of gaming. I am not a very artistic person, and gaming affords me that creative outlet. I love creating new worlds, populating them with the people with whom the player characters will interact, learning about these people’s personalities, motives, dreams and desires, uncovering the schemes plotted by them, and so on. Then, I love seeing my players’ reactions to this world, as well as the peoples’ reactions to the player characters.
I game to exercise my mind. There is a lot of math involved in most role-playing games. Picking apart the rules, seeing how they interact, and using them in ways to create the unexpected. Also beautiful to me is hacking the rules – changing them where I see problems, sanding off the rough edges, or cutting off the warts. That is fun!
I game to get together with my friends. We catch up on the happenings in each other’s lives. We discuss current events. We share our personal triumphs and tragedies. And, of course, we game, working together to write the story of our characters and the worlds they inhabit.
Why do I game? Because of who I am: a gamer.
Thomas A. Knight
Wednesday, 4 January 2012 at 9:33 PM
You game for many of the same reasons I do. Though I lean a lot more on the social aspect than the rest. It gets me out of the house once a week to see somebody other than my family (whom I love to death) and my computer screen. 🙂
Wednesday, 4 January 2012 at 9:56 PM
I dig what you’re saying. It’s the perfect (or even imperfect) mix of social, creative and technical stretching that makes gaming a big thing for me too.
Nick Schiano (@pickanasa)
Wednesday, 4 January 2012 at 10:17 PM
Wow – there are others out there like me. Good to see. Well I knew that, but I mean publicly on a blog! My online friends are mainly people who I’ve never met in real life – only via voice, a tag name, and their skills at whatever we are playing. But when something happens in their real life, it affects you same as a it would if it were a real life friend from high school that you haven’t seen in a while. It’s a total social experience and for me release of stress.
Thursday, 5 January 2012 at 7:52 PM
I give as much weight to the social aspect as any other. Like I said, I game with friends; even those whom I’ve never met that I game with for any extended amount of time end up becoming friends too.
Nick, although my gaming life is strictly face-to-face tabletop role-playing, I know that, while a different experience, online gaming is the same type of activity. Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and, recently, blogging, have exposed me to many, many people whom I know only online but consider friends. Like you, when something happens to any of them, I feel for them as much as I do any of my “in-person” friends.
Thank you all for your comments!