Thursday, 12 February 2009

I'm Pro...

Games culture is a new media culture that has been formed due to the success of video games up to date. Now, the understanding of the culture is split into various different threads, some would say that playing video games is enough to say that you are part of the culture, yet others would disagree and state that there is a serious aspect to consider before One can call themselves a gamer. I believe that both are part of the bigger picture but need to be identified as separate cultures as well, on one side casual gaming and the other competitive gaming. Casual gaming consists of playing games just for fun, a casual gamer can be someone like Parents or younger siblings that just play games to be entertained. This is due to the fact that games everywhere, they are on mobile phones, the Internet, computers, consoles and iPods. When it comes to gamers or competitive gamers, what define a gamer are the way the games are played and the interest towards games. Gamers tend to be more competitive towards gaming and surround themselves with things to do with games. Gamers attend LAN and online sessions and tournaments and play for glory of winning. It can be considered a sport.

For me, casual gaming consists of me playing video games with a few friends in a flat. We play games late into the night but tend not to care too much about who is winning and who is losing. It generally consists of people playing games for fun while having a few beers and making general conversation. Most of my life has consisted of this kind of casual gaming culture. I have spent various nights and days playing games round a friend’s house with no competitive play involved, just playing for a laugh whilst annoying each other with constant headshots and beat downs.

Two years ago, I was introduced to competitive gaming. Online gaming changes the way people play games, its not so much about trying to find the funniest way to win but more so the basics of just making a kill or win for your record. When playing online, every win counts since records have to be made and losses accounted for. When casual gaming on Halo, I tend to find the most complicated and interesting way to kill someone with something like a barrel or cone to spawning a tank on them. When online I have to make sure I kill someone when I see them so every kill has to be made with the weapon in hand. I also have the LAN side of gaming every Tuesday, which creates a different environment since people keep to themselves and concentrate more on the pixels in front of them.

The two forms of gaming are all part of the general culture, which also consists of going to conventions, collecting game-related stuff, meeting and talking to other gamers and communicating on forums. On the whole my involvement with games is due to the fact that I enjoy playing video games in both a casual and competitive environment. The fact that I also want to be involved in the industry fuels my interaction with the culture so that I can better my understanding of the needs of gamers.

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