Cinder and I have opened up our shared blog topic challenge for everyone to join in on. The more the merrier! Each Friday we post a new topic that’s open for a week for everyone to write about. Cinder and I will link all posts for this topic on our shared blog website here and you can find Cinder’s awesome post right here.
This weeks topic is about how do you explain gaming to non-gaming friends and family?
For a really long time I never really talked about gaming to anyone that didn’t game. I’m guessing I had some unhealthy idea that they might stereotype me in some way or something along those lines so I would actively not mention gaming at all. I used to dread the “oh what do you do for fun” sort of questions, because pretty much my hobbies involve game and pcs, and sometimes consoles and not a great deal else and I hated trying to explain it. That’s started to change a bit over the last few years and I’m more open to talking about gaming, in that it’s something I do and quite a lot of.. I think now I really don’t care if someone thinks it’s not a valid hobby.
My new work mates (well not really new.. I’ve been there nearly 2 years lol) know full well that on any given night, I’ll be home playing video games. When the Pokemon Go craze was in full swing, my Director who doesn’t play any form of computer game to save his life would come to me and tell me if he heard any bit of Pokemon information, in case I wanted to know about it. I thought that was pretty sweet of him.
But actually sitting down and trying to explain just what I do, especially on WoW is really hard. I was watching our Tichondrius kill video during lunch at work the other day and one of my work friends came to see what I was watching. She asked to see what my character looked like, so I put on the EN movie because I knew I showed up in that one fairly early and I thought that would be a great chance to explain the actual mechanics (with this post in mind).
Me: So this bear shaped guy, he’s our tank and he’s basically there to keep this big dragon’s attention while we kill it.
Kelly.. Ahh, how do you kill it?
Me.. Well.. when it’s health gets to zero.
Kelly.. (Looking lost) how does it have health?
Me.. (Starting to flounder already.. not a good sign).. Imagine it has all these points, that’s its health and all these people running around it, they have spells that take away its points. So they have to use lots of spells to remove all it’s points. When it has no points, it’s dead.
Me.. (Seeing my toon run onto the screen).. Look it’s me!.. And all the people playing have points too, and the spells that big dragon does takes all our points away, but my spells give us some of our points back. So I have to make sure I put points back faster than the dragon takes them off. It’s like a race.
Kelly.. (Looks at the screen for a bit) well…you look cute with your purple hair..
Hmm I don’t think I inspired a new convert to WoW with that exchange at all.
I think that’s the first time I ever really tried to explain what I do in my PC games to another person outside of my mother*. Most of the time I will just say I play PC games and leave it at that if they don’t immediately respond with a “Me Too”.. in which case they then get forcibly sat down and made to talk gaming for as long as possible. Even longer if they play the same games as me. I’m trying really hard to get our HR manager to put a “do you game” question into her interview questions for potential employees … so far she is resisting but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
*Completely uninterested in computers or the internet, my mum nonetheless loves to ask me how my game is going, how some of my friends that I’ve mentioned are going, and if I have any new pets. I sparked her interest when she came to visit one time and I showed her a companion pet I had just gotten (can’t remember which one), and she was immediately fascinated and made me sit there and show her all my pets for her to try to pick her favourites.
I know some people like to relate organised raids to organized team sports, which is probably a good analogy but it’s just one that doesn’t resonate enough with me to want to describe it to a non-gamer. I feel though that computer gaming has been around long enough now that it’s becoming pretty mainstream and it probably takes a lot less explaining than it once would have.
On a complete side-note though. The one thing that kills me about talking to non-gamers is hearing comments about “time”. As in “Oh I don’t know how you have time to play games” or the even worse one.. “I used to play games, now I don’t have time”. I really hope that I don’t end up moving away from gaming (even if I move on from WoW) to the extent that I never have time for it anymore.
How do you explain gaming to non-gamers?