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Over the years the picture painted of the gamer has been almost universally negative.  We are painted as anything from barely contained time bombs waiting to explode to acne ridden dorks sitting in their parents’ basement acting out our adventures as Questor the Elf.

Stereotypes are as inaccurate in this case as any other.  What so many people outside of the gamer and geek communities is the function that the games truly play in our lives. 

The gatherings we have around glowing monitors, tables covered with dice and rulebooks, or any other venue are no different from the gatherings other groups have in bars, clubs, and the like.  Games are the way that we relate to each other through a shared experience.

And, I think many people would be surprised to see and hear what goes on in some of these sessions.  We often spend less time playing than we spend simp,y being a group of friends.  We don’t spend all our time talking about our quest for the ancient sword of jackrabbit slaying, we’re having the same conversations about life, love, and work that everyone else has.

The game itself is a central part of the gathering, of course.  We wouldn’t bother with the trappings of the game if it wasn’t an important part of the activities.  But, what is often misunderstood about the games is that they give us an outlet for the stresses of our lives.  When my character slays his enemy or my bombers destroy the building that has been spewing the troops which have been overrunning my base it has a soothing effect of sorts.

But, a big part of that soothing effect is the shared experience of accomplishing a goal with the help and participation of a group of good friends.  A group of people tied together by bonds of mutual respect and companionship that began with a shared interest in gaming.

So, the next time you start to sneer at the dork playing D&D or the geeks arguing heatedly about the best raid strategies in World of Warcraft, step back a second and look again. 

What you’re seeing is good friends, and that is a rare gift in this world.

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One Comment

  1. The world may be surprised at the plethora of people, both infamous and famous that game. One such notable person is Robin Williams. He likes to indulge in the Warhammer Table top gaming world he plays a race of rat men know as Skaven. Then there was the whole thing with Dave Chappel, who went rouge for several months because he was playing World of Warcraft. There are many more individuals out there that game. It would not surprise me that some of the ones pointing and saying “dork” or “nerd” or “geek” in fact game themselves.


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