Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge: How do I explain my constant gaming to non-gamers?

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?





11 thoughts on “Z and Cinder’s Blog Challenge: How do I explain my constant gaming to non-gamers?

  1. “well…you look cute with your purple hair..” ❤ too cute lol

    The time thing – people do have time to play games, they just choose to make other things a priority instead, like watching TV or going out for dinner etc. It's just different preferences. Most people feel they run out of time because of having kids, but you already fit that in, so I don't think you'll have a problem 🙂

    • i ended up having to show mum & have her listen to bent when it was safe to do so. also i had a few guildies come over to my house & that’s when it clicked to her that the people were real. as for other people i meet i flat out tell them i play world of warcraft & other games. if anyone gives me the ewww gaming treatment i ask do you watch tv? the answer is usually yes. then i ask well i’m talking & interactive with 20 ppl a night from all around the world, who are you talking & interacting with?
      our HR dept actively asks during interviews if people can use computers? if they play games what style of games they play?
      HR is looking for leadership qualities & problem solving abilities.
      so its out there already, we are just in that last transition stage

      • Spanky, my Mum was a bit like that in not thinking my online friends were ‘real’ people but I’ve had a good friend from the NT come to stay a few times now over the last few years and she met Mum one of those times, I’ve caught up with Cinder a few times as well as flying around the country a couple of times to meet up with guildies/friends (and you!!) so she’s finally realised that there are other people behind the screen 🙂

    • I’m not a massive TV watcher, never have been so it’s easy for me to fit gaming in. Though now I have a 2nd monitor it’s the ultimate in luxury to play games and have movies on next to me. I’m suddenly finding that I do have time to fit movies in 😀

  2. Pingback: Topic 9: How do you explain gaming/raiding to your non-gamer friends and family? – Z and Cinder's Blog Challenge

  3. Ha! I love the dialogue, that’s spot on.
    As to time? We all have a ton of time, it’s a matter of how we spend it. I often think of WoW as a hobby; I could be building bird houses in my garage or a member of the bowling league or calling politicians or doing yoga or writing or going to a pub every night — but I choose to play WoW, I like it best as a hobby.

    • You’re right, we all have so much time to us. Not just about wow but in everything “I don’t have time” is one of my pet peeves, you do have time you just don’t prioritise things. I’ve actually banned “I don’t have time” as a phrase in my house and if I hear it I repeat (like a broken record).. “you do have time, you didn’t want to make time”
      But when it’s about gaming, I probably get more defensive as I tend to hear an unspoken judgement about making times for games over other “adultish” stuff..

  4. Great post :)! I typically try to compare my gaming addiction to my family’s/friend’s personally addiction such as I have a friend that spends hundreds of dollars on beauty products. I just try to relate my obsessive need to play and buy video games to her need to buy clay masks and such. Sometimes it works as an explanation, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s how I try to justify myself lol.

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