A great deal of our in class discussion on the topic of video games relies on rather in depth knowledge and understanding of gaming culture. I am sure its quite obvious who does or does not quite understand many of these references and discussion topics. This class divide to some extent explains why some members of the class feel more or less comfortable speaking out on these issues.
I myself am among those who might feel outside “gaming culture”. By that i mean that despite playing video games i have never posted on forums, joined a clan, or gone to a convention. The reason for this is due to several factors, which are of course different in every persons case.
To begin with i never used to think there was that much to say about videogames. I thought forums were there to ask about bugs and fixes not for discussions. This class and this blog have really expanded my recognition of videogames as a intellectual subject for discussion.
In addition, my core friend group growing up were pretty casual gamers who had quite disparate interests in games. For that reason, while we might have two people with the same game, we never had a critical mass of people to form a clan or like organization. I count that as a deficit in my gaming exposure because I think that cooperative experience would have been very enjoyable. Having a team of players would likely have increased my immersion in the games i was playing and perhaps made me more interested in the gaming scene.
A case in point for my ignorance of gaming knowledge would be Pillars of Eternity, the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate and other Dungeons and Dragons style games. Before i saw on steam that it had “gone gold” as it were and was ready for release i had no idea that a game of the style i have loved was complete. I wasn’t even aware of that the game had been under development almost entirely due to fan Kickstarter support. I’m sure this was big news a few years ago but i had no idea. Now almost a week after the release of Pillars of Eternity I am marveling at how little i know about the ways in which publishers, game designers, fans, and players interact in order to create the games which fill my free time.
The impact of this outsider feeling is that i am sure i have missed out on a great deal of news and information relevant to me as a gamer somewhere between casual and hardcore. This class has shown me to some extent what i have missed out on in my isolation from gaming culture.