So, a brand new year brings new changes? Well, some things never change. I’ve realised that even when I’m gaming with friends online, I’m still enjoying the life of a loner. And I do mean, really relishing it. I’m not one for sharing my uber comfy sofa, ya know? It kinda spoils the moment.
It’s common knowledge that video games are my pride and joy. I don’t mind confessing this to you, as hopefully it’s a universal love. I enjoy the trash talk with games of Black Ops 3, and had my funny bones tickled by playing the likes of Mario Kart. But usually it’s ME, the massive 4K res. Sony TV, and whatever I’ve got in line to play. I really should fix a sign on my door that says “Gaming, Scram Please!”.
I’m not easy to impress. Like, I didn’t get the fuss about the upcoming Sony VR headset. My friends were raving about it. Only after trying it out at a demo show, and lots of head-movements to harmonise illusion with reality, did I buy the hype. Doubtless, It will be the first high profile gadget purchase for the King!
I tend to be overly conscious of what the next guy is thinking. For instance, I can joyfully spend hours attempting a difficult combo in SF4 when I’m in my palace. But with somebody overseeing my feat, they’re not seeing the beauty of it, which makes me feel guilty about it. There are rare exceptions, of course. Like, when I was the ONLY gamer out of 300 to complete the Bloodborne demo under 10 mins without dying at Gamestart Asia 2014. The watchful eyes of the Sony staff only motivated me to achieve the impossible. Oh, I won a limited edition autographed Bloodborne tee for my efforts.
Now, as a writer at church, I am accustomed to having people look over my shoulder a lot. But that is different in a spiritual setting because everyone accepts the element of distraction involved. Although I love what I’m doing, I’m there to examine and make notes. A casual video gaming environment is a different kettle of fish altogether.
Even with something like FIFA where there’s other humans in the lobby with you, this is the virtual experience with everyone communicating through the mic. It’s not a physical room full of people with their arms folded, watching your eyebrow twitching, gob drooling and maybe some involuntary armpit scratching…who knows.
I love to be the only thing that I’m aware of who’s enjoying the power-up moment in Super Mario. I thrive under pressure in a competitive environment. But a casual video game outing with friends can strain my ego. Like, should I perform a spectacular yet risky manuever in Namco’s Air Combat or play it safe? I like to play games without fear of being judged as if I soiled my pants.
Have a GAMING New Year everyone!