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Gaming: It Brings People Together

Gaming: It Brings People Together

I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember. I remember late nights playing Monopoly with my siblings, playing Uno at the dining room table with the whole family, and challenging my brother to Mortal Combat. My childhood was filled with my brother or sister teaching me how to play games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario and more. It has always been my experience that gaming brings people together.

This is my experience even now that I’ve graduated to playing MMOs and Tabletop RPGs. All types of gaming are designed to cultivate friendships. Friday Night Magic and L5R events help players meet people of like minds who challenge them at something they love. LARPing events create an environment where you feel safe doing what you love with people who have similar passions. MMOs and programs such as Xbox Live allow gamers to connect with people across the world. This is a beautiful medium that encourages teamwork as well as challenges that can help us grow as people.

More recently, I’ve started gaming with a friend I’ve known for several years. This friend and I met online through a Facebook group and only spoke through comments and the occasional message. Last week, we decided to play Lord of the Rings Online together. This has given us the chance to get to know each other outside of Facebook, which will help our friendship grow into more than just liking each other’s posts.

A love of gaming helped to cultivate the friendship I have with Crymson Pleasure. It’s helped me meet new people and become closer with those I already knew. If it wasn’t for Dungeons & Dragons, I wouldn’t have some of the friends I have today. If it wasn’t for World of Warcraft and LOTRO, I would still think of some people as just Facebook friends I never talk to. Gaming is a way that I can stay close to my best friends, even though I live across the country. It’s a way for me to meet new people, both near and far, and create new connections across the globe.

I know that gamers get a bad wrap. We’re called nerds and geeks and losers who have no friends. We’re told that there’s something wrong with us because we have a passion for video games or card games or tabletop RPGs, which will result in a lonely existence. Well, I’m here to tell you that those people who put us down, they have no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t have access to the vast network of gaming friends around the world that we do. They don’t understand that gaming is an amazing connection to the rest of the world.

So, let’s ignore the haters and continue being a close-knit community of like-minded individuals. Let’s continue having fun and showing the world that we’re happy with who we are. Let’s continue making new friends and coming together to make sure everyone’s having a good time doing what they love.

And, while we’re at it, tell me about some of your experiences with how gaming has brought you closer to the people you love in the comments below!

-Vanri the Rogue

(image source)

Women were a rarity, A Guest Post

Magic: The Gathering

Hi there, everyone!  I was asked by my friend Crymson Pleasure to write up a guest post about women in gaming. A little about myself first.  I have been playing tabletop RPG’s since around 1985-86, Magic: The Gathering from 1993, and MMORPG’s since 1999 with Everquest being the one I have played the longest.  

What are my feelings on women in gaming?  There aren’t enough!  Gaming of all types is lacking in female representation, and it shouldn’t be as it’s something that anyone can do no matter their sex, age, color, or any other factor.  There is no reason for women to feel excluded from gaming or made to feel like it’s for boys only.  If more guys would put an effort into welcoming women or getting them to try the games it would expand the amount of available players, and bring more creativity to them.  A great example is my friend Kate.  I met her through my friend Justin, and have introduced them both to Pathfinder and the wonderful world of tabletop RPG’s.  We ended 4 books into a 6-book module set, and they were both enjoying it greatly.  It was first time either one of them have ever played anything like it and she is having as much fun as he and I are.  She asked just as many good questions as he did, and got just as mad as any other player when the dice won’t fall in her favor.    

While I was growing up and playing Magic and early D&D games, women were a rarity, and I think that was at least partially the fault of gamers, and also of the companies making the games.  It wasn’t that we were purposely excluding them, but more that it wasn’t “accepted” as much for them to ask about, and join games.  The advent of online MMORPG’s helped break that mold as – unless you asked – you never knew if the persons you were playing with were guys or girls.  More women started playing games and taking their love of them to the outside world and into tabletop/LARP games.  

Pathfinder Table Top Game

When you look around today you can find women playing and running D&D games, and competing at magic tournaments.  Feline Longmore, and Jadine Klomparens are both women who play Magic at the competitive level and consistently get high placings at the tournaments they go to.  I hope to be that good myself one day.  I am sure there are many more that show up at the individual tournaments and Friday Night Magic in their local area, but there is still not enough.

All in all, we as gamers need to take it upon ourselves to bring more women into the games we play, as they are made to be fun and enjoyed by everyone.  We need to share our love of the games with our friends and loved ones.  Maybe they haven’t joined you in playing because they haven’t felt that rush of a critical hit rolled at just the perfect time, or pulling off the perfect play to a win a game of Magic.  All it takes is that one moment and boom you have them hooked.  

-Henry