There was a time, many a year ago when video games were a solitary thing. Where gamers would sit in their rooms, drawing out the dungeon maps in an RPG by hand so they could find the good monsters and level up to beat that boss. It’s safe to say that the medium has advanced from that point. We have games where you are put on a team with dozens of strangers and forced to work together. There was even a certain hand-held RPG ( I needn’t even mention the name) that came in two versions and forced gamers to interact with players with the other version to get certain content.
But I can’t help but think back to those brave few, who ventured into the realm of video games thinking they were one of very few to even touch a controller. Those who were content to simply have the game. But now we have conferences, and media summits, and conventions where you can experience, or watch from afar the connections we gamers have with each other. But don’t expect to find the next world-renowned inspiration speaker over Xbox live. It is the true gamers ( I cringe at using the term true, because I’d like to say that all gamers are true gamers) those who keep up to date with game releases, and know that FPS doesn’t just mean First Person Shooter. It is us who see the medium as more than a passage way for a few kicks and some trash talking. For those who see the medium as a portal to infinite new worlds. Who go to games, not just for enjoyment, but full immersion in beautiful and realized universes. That is the gaming community I speak of.
If you are in line for a midnight release at GameStop you are at least guaranteed one thing: the people who stand in front of you and behind you are just like you. They understand you. They too will sit in a mile-long line as the brisk cold nips at their determination, but never hinders them. Because just like you, by the time they get home and insert that disk, it will all be worth it. It is that comradeship for people we have never met, but have known our entire lives. Go to E3, or PAX and it won’t be very hard to find. These people love games the way you do. It is discussing the latest patch on Halo, or talking of how cheap some glitch is in CoD that you really realize the connection you have with other gamers.
But the thing that impresses me the most about the gaming community is the variety. You have FPS fans, hardcore RPG guys, dedicated MMO players. They come in every form. They could be the opposite of you in every way. Except one. And it is that one connection, that one bridge that connects opposites. The magnet that attracts poles. Gaming is a miraculous medium, but it the community that surrounds it that really makes it feel worth it. It makes me more than proud to tell someone ” I’m a gamer” because I know I have an army of people behind me. A unified force of individuals, all different, but at the same time very similar. Because no matter how many people look down upon the medium, or attack it, we will always have the pride and unification to say: This is our community! This is our medium! We are gamers! And we’re damn proud of it!