Filling out the Party: Friends that Game?


One of the inevitable consequences of doing something as a career is that it will eventually worm its way into your personal life as well. I suppose this is all fine and dandy if you do something like play video games or landed a role being professionally awesome somewhere, but that’s not always the case. A good chunk of my job pertains to social media and how to use it. In monitoring online conversations, I’ve found that I tend to treat my own Facebook and Twitter accounts the same way at times, separating things out into their proper places.

Something odd I’ve found is that over time, I’ve come to view Twitter as the place where I post about video games, and Facebook is for most of the other stuff. I realized that the reason I do this is simply because not that many of my real life friends are gamers. Sure, there are those that would classify themselves as gamers, but that means that while they may play games like Red Dead Redemption on a whim because it’s $20 at GameStop, most of the rest of their gaming is tied up in sports games or the occasional bout of Call of Duty.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disparaging their tastes in gaming. But I simply don’t connect with that kind of gamer, as it’s only a fairly casual interest on their part. For as much as gaming has grown over the years, I still find that I’m a closet gamer around many of my real life friends. It’s not so much that there’s a stigma associated with it (although sometimes that is the case with a few individuals), but just that I know it won’t really help us connect. I can really only name a handful of people I see on a regular basis that get why KOTOR changed my life or why I went to GameStop at midnight to go pick up L.A. Noire, or Portal 2, or what have you.

So, I guess I wanted to ask you guys: do your friends game? Are they just as into video games as you are? If not, how does it tend to affect your real life relationships? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

8 thoughts on “Filling out the Party: Friends that Game?”

  1. I’m in university for physics, basically the nerdiest subject and group of people I’ve ever met. The vast majority of people in my classes are gamers, so in school games are a centerpiece that connections and similarities can thrive around. Outside of the classroom I am a closet tamer and a closet nerd simply because those are not common ways to connect to people around you, the solid standby (working in retail) is weather and sports.

  2. This term “closet gamer” is a little wierd to me. Anyone who knows me knows I love video games, whether or not they share my love. My brother and I not only share a love for video games, but also many of the same games (Demon’s Souls, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy), and therefore we often have conversations in which bystanders would be completely lost. I also have a few friends who play, and at one point we were able to share a conversation on gaming, though now they have moved onto WoW and I have steadfastedly refused, it’s a little tougher, though we can still reminisce about the good ol’ days of Zelda, Baldur’s Gate, and Star Wars: Battlefront, and occasionally hold a Soul Calibur game night. As a high school English teacher, I even let my students know, and they’ll ask me about what I’m playing and tell me their thoughts on the newest games (one student is now raving about L.A. Noire, and another I have helped through Demon’s Souls). For those people I associate with not into games, I still have a love for baseball, football, novels (fantasy and real world), and politics (though I don’t talk with those who disagree with me, as no one is ever persuaded and it can often lead to piss matches).

    The point is, though, everyone knows I’m a gamer…no reason to hide that about myself. Embrace your inner nerd!!

  3. Me and my best friend are hardcore to the bone and our love of the N64 back when we were around 5, 6 or so is what kicked off our friendship. Specifically Goldeneye. Because Goldeneye was awesome. Also it had James Bond. And Bond is inherently awesome (unless being played by Timothy Dalton).
    ANY-way: My other friends are gamers to varying degrees. We all own PS3s so we used to do a LOT of CoD4/MW2 until the great schism caused by BFBC2. Now there’s only three of us who are hardcore. The rest are rather casual and sign into PSN less frequently than Eddy (zing!).
    My girlfriend also plays games and she’s in between casual and hardcore. Her younger brother’s pretty hardcore too and we sometimes play Brawl or Mario Kart together.
    My Facebook profile contains very few hints towards my nerdiness (even though everyone in my year knows I am one anyway lol – I’ve even been affectionately compared to Sheldon on more than one ocassion). In fact I only recently ‘liked’ Neon Genesis Evangellion after working up the courage to do so. Social stigmas FTW! This pertains to most of my likes. I’m into Metal music and feel REALLY conscious about bringing up Rammstein (my favourite band) or if I recommend movies like Blade Runner or TV shows like Futurama. I can draw some weird looks for mentioning any/all of those three, even amongst my friends.
    *Phew* Good to get that off my chest. I’m glad I have a place like this to just nerd-out with people just like me. I do hope however that my Computer Science class is as nerdy as your Physics class, hideinbush. : D

  4. Most of my friends in real life game. Almost all of them do. The people I hang out with regularly are almost all gamers. Even my girlfriend is a gamer. Their ‘level of gaming’ though varies greatly though, giving me a good crowd to work with. This means I have a group of guys who I can play Call of Duty with, a group who I can play Halo with, and then guys who we can talk about games like L.A. Noire or Assassins Creed. Most of my friends game, Im not sure if its some hidden criteria for me and making friends but a lot of the people I regularly hang out with game. Most of them are into gaming at the same level as me, casual gamers. What I mean with casual is that we game for fun and most certainly for over 4 hours a week. Im not talking about the type of casual gamer that enjoys a bout of Wii golf for 30 min and calls it quits for the week. Most of my gaming friends will jump on nameless FPS every night which usually leads to me playing about once a day. When shooting people doesn’t feel right I can jump on other types of games, mostly single player games or co-op games that my girlfriend and I play together. I feel like my friends game like me, time wise, and that socially its a great topic for us. It does usually hit the back burner though. When we hang out in person we usually aren’t always chatting about gaming.

    I think gaming for me is something I am open about. Its a great way to relax and enjoy something socially. I have one friend who gamed on the MLG Halo circuit and was with all legitimacy a “Pro Gamer”. Most of the people I game with though all do it in their downtime as a way to relax and enjoy talking with friends or a way to goof around. I dont hide it in social situations but it can be a connecting point when meeting people. I feel bad for those who dont know many other gamers in person, its nice to have people you can relate to in your daily circle.

  5. Only my best friend is as much of a gamer as I am (or more, considering that he has over 300 games on his steam account and I only have around 250), but most of the rest of my friends still game.

    Even the friends who aren’t exactly with gamer culture still game as much as the rest. For example, my friends who are much more into music still put loads of time into Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, Ratchet and Clank, Prince of Persia, Mortal Kombat, and Call of Duty. My friends who are much more into poetry and art still spend hours on Portal, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Castlevania, Minecraft, and Super Meat Boy. Then my friends who don’t admit to being much of gamers still put most of their free time into Mario, Popcap games, Halo, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Red Alert 3, Left 4 Dead 2, or any MMORPG that you can name.

    So I guess in a way, everybody I know is a pretty hardcore gamer, even the ones who really aren’t. Of course as far as comparing them to myself goes, my aforementioned friend and I are the biggest hardcore gamers of our circle of friends. He’s more of the hardcore gamer and I’m more of the retro games geek who makes his own games though.

  6. I’m actually very lucky to have quite a few friends who seriously enjoy video games and like to talk about everything from mechanics to story. It might be because there are more 90s kids who grew up with games. I still have a lot of friends who aren’t serious gamers, and with them I don’t typically talk about video games. I don’t mind it because I have an outlet for talking about video games with my gamer friends, as well as my brother. I have nothing wrong with people not being gamers or even if they hate video games (I just accept that their noobs trollolo) but I hope I still have friends who take video games seriously when I get into college and once I start my career.

  7. I can think of two, that “hardcore game” or did in the past, one plays runescape and has an account worth about 3-4bil in gp (about $3k) and another who has a PS3 and plays a wider variety of games than most. Any other friends that game just play CoD or Madden

  8. My friends are a real mix. I have 5 room mates split amongst 3 floors. 2 girls, 4 dudes. We all have PC’s (a few of us have 2), there are 2 Super Nintendos, a Wii and a Playstation 3. I definitely game the most in the house, having Counter-Strike lovingly referred to as “gun friends”.

    I live 2 lives. One is my elitist PC-Gaming prick self who has most of his friends online, spending time on our forums dealing with disgruntled ban-ees. That’s who you see on your lovely website.

    The other is my “lets play ‘nintendos’ and drink beer while passing the guitar” with my real life friends. This is usually more fun, but I like having both. When I’m tired of one, the other seems just right.

    My girlfriend can (almost) keep up with me in Super Mario World, and that’s really enough.

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