With almost three months since my last post on here, a decent amount of stuff has happened. Most of it has been gaming related, of which I will discuss and it will probably be most of this post. Lately though, I have also been giving some thought about the social aspect of gaming and how my viewpoint of that has changed recently. There might be some deep, dark, personal secrets about me you may find out through this…ok, so probably not but you might get to find out more about the person behind these words.
The past few years I have been gradually changing my outlook on gaming from less about just playing a game, to more so experiencing it. So what do I mean by experiencing a game? Broadly speaking, I mean truly sitting down and enjoying a game for what it is. Whether it be a storyline, gameplay, the music, or even those times you absolutely wreck people in PvP. Even playing a tabletop game with friends, such as D&D, Magic, or even Cards Against Humanity. Specifically what I’m talking about right now though, are the social experiences that games can provide.
Personally, I think Destiny was a great game for me to realize that gaming can be more than just about getting together with a group of friends to shoot some aliens in the face. I cannot count how many hours I’ve spent just simply sitting in orbit or messing around in the Tower talking to a group of friends as we’re checking out the gear we just got from finishing a raid. These are people that have real lives and families, not just some random I met via matchmaking. It certainly makes playing an online game feel more personable when you can ask someone how their day at work was.
Obviously the socializing aspect of games has been around for a while because tabletop games (if you’re not familiar with tabletop gaming, think of things like board games, card games, pen and paper RPG/strategy, and even dice games) have been a thing for…well, a while. I finally realized and accepted the fact that gaming can even be just a simple excuse to get together with friends when I got together with a few to play some Magic in the EDH format. I’m a super casual player when it comes to MtG, I just want to have fun and possibly do stupid stuff with the decks I have. So after I did this a few times, it fully solidified my thought that gaming can be more than just for playing them.
The difference between playing a game online, and a few games with friends in person is also quite different. I enjoy both for their own merits. With online gaming I can play and talk to friends from all over the country or world; with playing in person you can see the reaction of the entire party when you’re playing D&D and your character dies and then comes back to life…somehow. Or when you counter someone’s Rooftop Storm as they play it for the first time ever and immediately send it to exile.
Another reason I’ve really grown to like the social aspects of both online, and tabletop gaming, is I feel it can strengthen friendships between people. The friends I play with on a regular basis are some of the nicest people I have met while playing. Of course, since they are my friends I’m obviously biased in that statement, but I’ve met one for lunch when he drove up to where I live to visit some nearby relatives of his. Not too long ago, I was even invited to the wedding for two of my friends I met through Grifball. Lately, I have been talking more with another friend that I have known since my childhood but haven’t kept in constant contact with over the years. The most common thing we’ve been talking about has been all kinds of gaming related things and it has been nice getting to know more about this person as a result.
I’d like to take a quick break from my own words, and let one of my good friends I have gotten to know over Xbox Live say some things on the matter.
Hello everybody, Freakshow here to chime in on the socialization aspect of gaming. I personally have made some of my best friends via online video games. Having played Grifball for over two years I’ve met a bunch of people. It’s great for people to get to actually know someone. You can’t judge for how they look. In the virtual world everybody looks similar.
With any community in games it’s easier to make friends, because you already have something in common. The amount of socialization that is available with the different LFG’s, matchmaking, or just randomly sending out messages is great. Of course you find some bad eggs, but in my experience the good people are far more likely to be found. In closing, go out, have fun, and make some friends! Chances are you’ll enjoy it more with your new friends.
It’s because of reasons like that, that I feel gaming isn’t just for playing them anymore. It can also be a way to meet new people, and build friendships that could last for years to come. I highly encourage people to try and be more sociable in gaming. Whether it means while playing a game over Xbox Live, or something with a group at a friends house. Of course, I also understand that this isn’t as easy as “just doing it” for a decent amount of people. Social anxieties are present within people, it sucks and I feel for those that try to be more social and enjoy that aspect but their anxiety just flat out says “nah”.
I believe that covers my thoughts on that. Now, let me get back to talking about games…since I’ve had some time to play a fair amount since my last post. First up, is a game I got for Christmas and have been enjoying it. Battlefield 1 has been a lot of fun to play. The campaign has been enjoyable and is a nice refresher with all of the modern/future war shooters out there now. Man…I feel as if I have written about this before somewhere. Seriously though, I really like how DICE went back to the first World War era and gave the story a more gritty approach. There are times when I’m playing through a level and have felt as if there is no way I could possibly make it through. I definitely think that Battlefield 1 did the right thing in going back in time.
In Destiny related news…even though it totally isn’t news… I was able to get my first 400 Light level character this past Friday! I’m pretty excited about that honestly, it means I have been able to hit the level cap each time it has been raised. Of course, that could mean I simply no life the game…but I do to some extent so…yeah. In order to reach 400 on my Warlock all I needed were a set of boots to drop at 400. I was having a tough time finding some so I started to play a little more on my Hunter because why not? I finished one of the weekly Vanguard bounties you can pick up from Commander Zavala while on my Hunter and before turning it in, I told Freakshow (since I was playing with him at that time) that I had a feeling the bounty was going to give me a pair of boots. I turned the bounty in, and saw the boots pop up in the loot feed and was thinking “Hey great!” and was even more elated when I saw they dropped at 400.
I also managed to snag the year 3 version of the Ice Breaker a while back; which is just as awesome as I remember it being. It has come in handy the past couple weeks when there have been Heroic or Nightfall strikes involving Solar burn. Speaking of rewards yet, in my last post I mentioned how I had yet to snag the Nemesis Star, which is an exotic heavy machine gun. A few weeks ago I was able to get it as well. Surprisingly enough, it decoded from a blue engram and I was very puzzled. Sadly I haven’t used it too much since I got because Gjallarhorn. No…really, the Gjallarhorn is probably my most used heavy weapon next to some random legendary rocket launcher when I want to use another exotic.
The other thing I have been playing a lot of in that time frame has been Magic. In my last post I mentioned that I had built an EDH deck around Thraximundar, since then I have put a few additional touches on it. Basically I’ve just swapped out some cards for others I think would work better. I did get to actually play it in a few games earlier in the month. It did ok for it being my first deck that was thrown together with a good chunk of cards I already had and probably only spending about an extra 30 or 40 dollars on it. Which isn’t too bad in my mind, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to some decks I have seen.
My next deck that I’m working on is one based around Scion of the Ur-Dragon, this was a recommendation by my good friend, Frantic. I have a few cards for it already that I plan on putting into it, and I have an idea of the type of deck I would like to build. With this build, I will probably take my time and really look into what can go into this deck; especially considering the fact that I have all five colors available to use if I wish. As always, my purpose for building this deck (or any really) is to make it fun to play. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a strong, always winning deck but if I can pull off some crazy wins with it, then I consider that a job well done.
I do believe I have finally ran out of things to say. Believe it or not, I wrote this post in about four hours instead of my normal four days like it usually takes me. I have some plans for my blog…and we all know how this normally turns out. I’d like to start making posts about certain games that I’ve been playing lately, rather then just general “here, here’s everything that I’ve been playing lately” type posts. So this means if I have been playing Skyrim for a week straight, then that is what I’ll be talking about. Maybe I played Destiny for the past two, one week I’ll post about what I did that week, then repeat that with the following week. In my mind, this should theoretically help me get more posts out but again…we all know how that turns out. Madden NFL 17 is free in the EA Access vault so I hope to download that at some point, plus maybe pick up NHL 17 since I can play as my local ECHL team in it. I’m all for making my favorite teams suck less…unless it’s the Cubs. Then in that case, let’s #FlyTheW.