Since this is my first post, I thought that I would spend it with something akin to a mission statement, a Raison d'ętre
of what I'm going to be talking about here, why I'm a Togger, and why I'm a gamer in the first place. I've written about some of this before, but its worth restating here, and I hope it will be an understanding and receptive audience.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I acted as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I often think of this passage from 1st. Corinthians (I know, I'm quoting the Bible, please bear with me.), if your parents were anything like mine, you got this type of thing quoted at you as you continued to play video games well into your college years. I often replied that, as I got older, I didn't put these “childish” things away because they had grown more precious to me.
Of course, I'm now currently arguing with my Mother because I want to get my NES back, and she's playing through Duck Tales again, but that just goes to show you how time can change perceptions.
I am one of the first generations to grow up with video games from the time I was born. Many people I know grew up playing games. They bought their own Nintendo at 12, or enjoyed marathon Risk games with their parents. There are many stories on the internet about kids who were playing D&D, and Magic: The Gathering, during recess in Middle School. From the time they were small, they were part of a culture of gaming. They found their peers and place in playing games. These people comprise most Gamers today.
That wasn't me. I spent my younger years home schooled, and without any real attachments to people outside my immediate family. I had a Nintendo, but that was about it. Most people form their High School peer groups by the time they get there. I hadn't. I was an outsider, an unknown. I didn't fit in to any established group. Most of the friends I collected through the next few years were people in a similar situation. Unlike most groups, we had developed interests and hobbies along different lines from one another, and while we shared some things, in some ways we were very different.
But we all played games. I never played Risk until I was 15. I learned to play from a friend who had played since he was 8. I would never have bought a first person shooter if it hadn't been for a friend who just had to show me Doom. I spent a wonderful afternoon, in my Sophomore year, sitting at a friends computer gleefully setting Sims on fire, until the whole city was swallowed by the ocean. Countless hours spent playing Decipher's Star Wars Collectible Card Game.
I am lousy at Chess, but have had some of the best conversations of my life while losing to a friend.
Unlike most people, the friends I made in High School, are still the friends I have today. I'm not saying they're my only friends, just my good friends. We still play games. Together we've discovered Magic, and D&D, the PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii. We've played Halo into the early morning, and mocked the guy trying to read us the rules for Risk: Godstorm.
As technology has made it possible for people to play online, they world has opened up to anyone with a computer, and at the same time become quite a bit smaller. People may develop friendships without ever really meeting one another. Some people argue that these friendships lack a certain depth, that they are somehow superficial. Anyone who has played MMO's with a dedicated group knows that's not true. The social dynamics that exist in any group apply to people online. If that's a good thing or not, I leave up to you; but my opinion is that I value my online friends.
That's it for my first post. I'm going to try and post something at least once a week. I'll also try and make it something more than what we say on the forums. I more developed argument or thought. I'm going to try and limit myself, at least initially, to the subject of gamers, and gamer culture. That's all for now, thanks for reading.