Put on Your Game Face

April 24th, 2008

resident evil zombie faceI am aware that in the past few weeks I have been talking “around” games instead of focusing on software. Of late my interests have been firmly rooted in gaming culture and issues. The reason being is that recently I’ve found myself drawing numerous uncertainties and blanks with gaming culture. For the first time in a long time I have come across something that is beyond me, that I clearly cannot comprehend with the degree of precision that I’d like. So in order to gain a wider view and sharper magnification of these topics I want to use this blog as a launching pad to further discuss these issues.

The title of this article is Put on Your Game Face which I find to be a fitting title. In the past two years, I have been studying at University and mixing with a diverse set of people. With this I have become increasingly conscious of a behavioral pattern of mine. What I am talking about is the way I react within the presence of different people.

Fortunately the majority of my University friends are female and because of this I find that when we talk together I always alleviate from anything video game related. I try my best not to talk about games unless it is necessary or an appropriate turn in the conversation’s direction. I do this as a sign of respect, it is one of the philosophies that I try to uphold (read more here).

This process is something that I have never really had any issues with and its nothing that you yourselves probably don’t already have a subconscious understanding of. What really struck me though, was the following story:

Two weeks ago I was waiting for a bus in the city and this girl approached me and asked if I catch this particular train line in which I do actually catch. I answered and then she asked me; “Are you a gamer?”.

I’m not sure how she knew it (worth following up though) but somehow she had seeked out my gamer qualities. It turns out that she was one too, quite the role playing fan as well (read: Final Fantasy VII fangirl). I found out more about her on the preceding bus ride and we inevitably stumbled upon the topic of games sometime within our conversation. I asked her if she was a fan of the Metal Gear series and she said that she had played all the games and had throughly enjoyed them (alarm bells ringing, I know). So I followed on, sharing my hypothesises on various Metal Gear Solid 4 plot ideas. It was in this moment (as well as several other, later occurring instances) that I realized that I was beginning to excuse myself for talking so indepthly about games, that I had began to delve into some deep discussion and in response I was effectively trying to change the topic. She gave the notification for me to ignore this and carry onwards which I did but with some continued hesitation.

About an hour later, while I was falling asleep in a lecture (it was a good lecture but I was tired) my mind began to wander into an analysis of this situation. What I had realized was that in this exchange my subconscious was clicking back and forth between gamer friend and typical female friend. This situation has me completely floored and really caught me unaware. It made me ponder how I see people in such ways in relation to this hobby of mind.

I found this to be a highly educational experience on my behalf so I thought that it might prove to be an experience worth sharing. I believe that we all maintain a certain level of constraint in these types of scenarios, that we all have an idea of how to handle such interactions with different people. What about you? What are your ideas on this event? Does this sort of scenario happen to you? And how do you manage gaming with other identities? Please let me know.