Digital Art in a Digital World
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The Truth About Gaming as it Applies to Me

As I prepare myself for the next generation of console gaming, I take time to reflect upon my experiences and the path I’ve chosen. At the ripe old age of 26, I came into being not too long after the release of the NES (which formed a great chunk of my childhood gaming). It’s been a long road—a road filled with joy and grief. 

I’ve dealt with a lot of stigma from being a gamer. I’ve heard it all before: nerd, anti-social, addict, lazy, ugly, etc. In fact, most people that I haven’t been friends with for a while don’t assume that I’m a gamer. That is, until they see me wearing some of the merch, such as t-shirts, lanyards, and recently, iPhone cases. They seem shocked and I’ve gotten questions as to why I play games, how I find the time, and the list goes on. Some of you may find such questions odd, but do consider that I live in Italy—a country that is VERY social/sports-oriented in nature and gaming doesn’t rank in one of the top five hobbies. So, I usually answer with the following: 

-Why do you play games?

I play games because I like to play games. It’s no different than someone picking up a book or playing football in their downtime. 

-How do you find the time to game?

The same way everyone does—you make time for things you love to do. 

-Why would you want to run around shooting people on a game? 

You’re assuming I only play FPS. I play a wide variety of games. But since the question refers to FPS, I like to run around shooting people on a game because it’s fun and harmless. If I didn’t have fun or thought I wouldn’t have fun, I wouldn’t play it. 

-Do you have no life? 

I have a life as long as my brain is fully functional and I’m able to breathe and circulate blood. 

These are just some of the questions. Obviously, there are more, but I won’t waste time continuing a stream of bullshit questions that no gamer really feels they should have to answer all the time. 

As aforementioned, gaming’s brought me a lot of joy and grief. I have met many friends that I’ve had for years because of gaming (directly and indirectly) both here and afar. Most of my friends that I’ve met through gaming are from English speaking countries, so my spoken English has certainly improved due to the regular usage. Even if not friends with some of the people I have met, I can honestly say that I’ve met a lot of good people with whom I’d have never interacted otherwise. But as many good people I’ve met, there have been just as many bad ones. That’s just how life is, though. No matter what activity you choose, you will always meet good and bad people, local or abroad. It seems people forget this fact of life, which segues into my point. 

The anti-social stigma is something that has plagued gamers for decades now and is somewhat starting to change. An anecdote fits in perfectly here: 

I used to be engaged to a woman who believed gaming was anti-social. She was so adamant about this that any time I sat down to play my PS3, I would get a lecture on how anti-social it was and that such activity was not normal. Yes, she actually told me that ‘normal people’ don’t play games. 

At this point, I began to develop a disdain for gaming due to the fact that I didn’t want to listen to her bullshit or be insulted. So, for six months, I stopped gaming completely. The first three months due to my own will and the second due to the fact that my PS3 broke. After three months though, such a loss was not something that would’ve been nearly as devastating if it was when I was still actively gaming. 

After the six months, I soon realised that there was nothing wrong with me gaming. I pointed out to her that with the advent of online gaming, I was more than likely, playing/interacting/talking with hundreds, if not thousands of people a day. I also explained to her that until she pays my bills, pays for my games, and pays for my console itself, she really has no say. I never dictated what she could do with her time (most of which was spent shopping, clubbing, and going to those sterile get-togethers with her friends); thus, I reasoned that if she could have her hobbies, I could have mine.

Needless to say, that engagement never amounted to marriage and we’re better friends for it as she came to realise that just because I rather spend a Friday night in my room playing games with friends and total strangers than go out and get drunk in a club, it doesn’t mean I’m anti-social. In fact, I consider myself asocial. I don’t feel this strong need to do social activities or engage in socialising with others. Even though I play with others, I am perfectly fine keeping the headset turned off and enjoying solitude that can come with gaming. I break many of the stigmas that come with gaming. Whilst yes, I am lazy, I do have activities outside of gaming. I have a job and a girlfriend (who’s also a gamer). I’m a decent looking guy who is in good shape and health. I’m not addicted and I wear my nerd badge with pride. 

The truth about gaming as it applies to me is that it’s a hobby. It’s an outlet. It’s where I can explore several worlds all from the comfort of my room. It’s my escape from the stresses of life and a way for me to wind down. It’s something i grew up with and something I will more than likely do until the day I die. What gaming is to someone else can be just the same or completely different, but only you can define it correctly.

Reblogged from matieosshack  5,041 notes

sirmitchell:

buzzfeed:

Two 700-pound alligators were killed in Mississippi, the largest alligators ever killed in the state’s history. In other news, we should all stay out of Mississippi. 

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but this is pretty disgusting behavior. These things are the closest thing we have to living dinosaurs, and we’re letting these idiots go out and kill them, for what? So they can use it as their Facebook picture for the next two years? 

If you know anything about the southern states, alligators are so plentiful, they’re a nuisance. Anything over 6 feet is considered dangerous and is liable to be killed. The creatures don’t go to waste (you legally can’t even kill them and then dump the body.) Every part of that alligator will be used for anything from food to clothing and so on.