This is more a post about myself than anything else concerning gaming. No, gaming does not revolves around me (or you guys will be kissing my feet by now) but I feel that a significant part of my life has been invested in gaming.
Gaming bonds people. For some of you loners out there who play Solitaire *raises hand*, you might not be included. However, if you’re a quiet, introvert sort of person in real life but happen to be an extrovert in your favourite dungeon crawler, then you might not realize that you have made lots of acquaintances and a few friends who play the same dungeon crawler as you.
But I guess I was pretty much an online personality (you could only see how I look like, not that you’re that interested, during deals) until my first foray into gamer gatherings. And I can tell you (solitaire playing guy) that online does not bond people like offline does! It certainly helps to meet people for dinner, chat with them about the latest gaming news, share your first gaming experience and then head to the arcade for a little battle of nervous control.
After my first offline experience (sounds like sex, doesn’t it?), stuff seemed to progress at a faster rate than before. I became “known” to the people who used to know me as an online personality. We forged somewhat closer bonds. Quite a number of gatherings were organized to bring people together. Barbeques, chalets, karaokes, movies, outings.
The sgGamers forums were set up by three friends who wanted to make more friends. A community where we actually do more web quizzes than discuss about gaming. In the end though, we’re all gamers who enjoy a game of Mario Party 5 together when the occasion comes for yet another gathering.
A recent incident on other forums showed me how friends are willing to jump to my defense when the need arises. Others may accuse me of committing a felony, but my friends were skeptical of whether it was indeed my doing. When I admitted and apologized to the community in question for the trouble I caused, it led to forgiveness. Now, even if these people aren’t really friends, they are definitely acquaintances worth knowing and online contacts worth treasuring.
On the IRC channels I frequent, we talk about things other than gaming. (Do note that these channels are frequented only by gamers.) Computer hardware, music, anime, relationships, school, work, anything under the sun. Once in a while, we gather for impromptu, unorganized dinners or suppers. My Trillian contact list is filled with the contacts of gamers with whom I often chat daily with.
Even this blog was formed by friends, who then invited other friends in to write. Through our ramblings and rantings we allow ourselves to know each other better, for emotions can be read through words should one develop a skill for it. We allow our readers to know us better, for we’re always on the lookout for more people who share the same interests as us.
In any case, I felt that this is a nice day to appreciate the friendships I’ve forged. The Singapore community as a whole still views gaming as a waste of time. What they do not know is that gaming, like soccer, like shopping, allows for friendships to be formed. Such friendships may start out either weak or strong online, but should they translate offline, they often become stronger.
And in any case, this is another shameless plug for any of you online personalities out there. Hide, a member of the sgGamers community, is organizing a gaming session at his house, with potential turnouts that already exceed thirty. If you would like to know us better, be sure to add your name to the attendance list!