Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Computer Games

So I've got this theory about computer games. First of all, I think computer game manufacturers are pretty brilliant. They give you such instant payoff! You get points, levels, stars, increased stats.... Virtual pats on the backs. They constantly make you feel like you're doing such a fabulous job. And who doesn't want that?!

But, and here's where the theory comes in, I don't think they have the same effect on everyone. I think everyone falls into pretty much one of these categories. Or, at least, one at a time.

The Gamer-- This person treats gaming like a hobby. They carve out time for it like others might carve out time to watch tv or play tennis. (And the game is typically a first person shooter or an RGP (or even an MMORPG). (And if you don't know what this means, then I'd venture to say that you are NOT a gamer.)) Those virtual pats on the back are just part of the complete package.

The Strategist-- This person uses the playing of games as a way to tire out their left brain, so their right brain can claim exclusivity while writing. The virtual pats on the back? Whatev. They're frosting.

The Time Waster-- This person heads to the game section of facebook when they can't figure out how to dig themselves out of the hole they wrote themselves into, or when they can't figure out what the heck is wrong with the part they are editing or how to fix it. Those virtual pats on the back are the only thing going right. Like water in the desert.

The Ungamer-- This person doesn't need no stinking games! They've either got other hobbies / methods / time wasters, or they are just so completely focused they need nothing else.

What category do you fall into? And if it's one of the first three, what's your poison?

If you fess up, I will, too. I fall into the Time Waster category. And since I've felt a distinct lack of time for a while now, I've stepped solidly into Ungamer territory. My go-to when I occasionally fall off the Ungamer wagon? Bejeweled. My game I don't call a game because I can't just keep playing? Words With Friends. My games I don't consider time wasting because I only play together with my hubby and kids? Call of Duty 2 & Warcraft III maps (because there's nothing quite like the classics ;)).




39 comments:

Daisy Carter said...

I'm a time waster/ungamer, for sure. I play a restaurant simulation game on my phone *cough, Spongebob Squarepants, cough*, but only every once in a while.

I do sometimes have old-school Mario marathons with my family, but like you said, that's not time wasted; that's family time!

JeffO said...

Hmm, I'm not sure where I fit. Before I started writing I played World of Warcraft fairly heavily (a Gamer?), but I've dropped out of it, haven't logged on in months, and feel almost no desire to do so. I miss the people, but not the playing.

I have been tempted to reload Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas recently....

Kimberlee Turley said...

My husband is the strategist, and I'm the Ungamer.

Used to play a lot, (six hours a day) but then I got sick of having to upgrade my computer ever three months because the graphics card was too slow.

And I hated having to spend a half hour downloading patches for my games before playing them.

If I get back into gaming, it will be on a closed system like the Xbox.

Adam Heine said...

I was once a Hardcore Gamer (heck, I even used to make them).

Now I'm very much a Time Waster. I've cut out the Facebook games, though, and play strictly online flash games, like what you might find on ArmorGames.com.

Colin Smith said...

From time to time I play on our Wii--Super Mario Sunshine, Lego Star Wars, or Lego Harry Potter. Sometimes I play one of the Zelda games--but only under the supervision of my 16 year old daughter who is a total gamer and laughs hysterically at me while I attempt to play. Personally, I love a good game of Sudoku. :)

Jill Campbell said...

I'm definitely not a gamer. At all. Well, unless you count Just Dance 2 on the wii. I totally rocked that game. This is the only time I beat my kids without a stick. Then I figured out it was really just exercise and stopped.

J. A. Bennett said...

I think I fall between the strategist and the time waster. I love games!

S. L. Hennessy said...

I'm one of those people that think games these days have awesome stories (some of those game writers should write books) but cannot for the life of me figure out how to play them. Sigh. Great post!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Great insights here! I too am an ungamer and love Bejeweled, which I'm pretty good at but too cheap to purchase. So when I use up my free trial games then I'm out of luck.

My FB friends love to play games, and I tried FV in the beginning, but why have everything die? I'm on this computer enough as it is.

Happy Tuesday,

Kathy M.

Gwen said...

Gamer~! Though not hard core, I play maybe a few times a month, but it's for a couple of hours each time on the big screen TV down stairs. My current game: Final Fantasy XIII. I just got to a really good cut scene, and watched it just staring in amazement and going Ooo, so pretty.

WilyBCool said...

I like to play with my sons. When I can get them together, I pull out World at War or Halo and show them that the old man still can show them a thing or two.... well at least that I can die gracefully. ;D

Valerie Hartman said...

Strategist makes it sound way better than anxious or wasting time, but I do use Sudoku to clear out my thoughts. Kind of thinking without thinking, no?

Family game time could never be a time waster, whether electronic or not. However, sitting down with the kiddos while they watch kid sitcoms is definitely a time waster!

Oh, oh. And I know what a MMORPG is! Ha!

Emily R. King said...

How about "The Mom Who Wants To Be Cool" category? :D I have to keep up with my kids somehow.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I have a gamer son and oh I hope he grows out of it. ;0) I am a time waster and my current poison is Words with Friends.

Angela Brown said...

I was once the Time Waster, obsessively hitting Facebook games when I first set up my page a long time ago. However, long has it been since I've played an FB game. I probably have a thousand invites to Farmville, Aquarium, Vampire or Mafia wars that have not been accepted in, like, forever. I don't play video games, laughing when my Chipmunk plays with her friends and they get all frustrated and excited at the points, cute music and character interactions.

Now, I'm firmly in the Ungamer corner.

Joshua said...

The first one, and damn proud of it. Though I've created a sub-genre that's the bastard child of The Gamer and The Strategist: I use playing games as a reward system for getting writing done. The time is carved out for gaming, but only if I get some editing work or writing done.

Vices: I love the Fallout games. Epic RPGs. I'm not a fan of multiplayer or co-op games, so MMOs are not for me. Not enough time, is really what it is.

Kelly Polark said...

I try not to start online games because I don't have time for them! But on spring break I tried Words With Friends. Im obsessed now. :)

Elana Johnson said...

I am such a time-waster when it comes to games, though I do like how you said it tires out my left brain so my right can write... Maybe I'll adopt that from now on!

S.P. Bowers said...

Warcraft III. Have to love the classics.

I think I'm a social gamer. Yes, I know that's not a real category. I play games, be it computer or board games, to be have fun with friends and family. Sometimes I fall into the time waster with angry birds or Sudoku and I have been a gamer in the past, but even that was to do it with hubby.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I live in a family of gamers (37, 12 and 8), but I really don't feel the need myself. I last played when the original Worms was brought into the house - I did love that one - but then they went and un-platformed it and it wasn't the same!

Carrie Butler said...

Oh, I'm a gamer (and usually a beta tester). MMORPGs are a great way to relieve book stress. I just wish I had more time for them these days. ;)

Cristina said...

Oh, I don't play games. I just can't. But the husband and both kids love them. I much rather spend my time reading, or eating chocolate... or eating chocolate while reading.

Ruth Josse said...

Total time waster. But I think procrastinator is the more appropriate description. Words with Friends is my addiction with an occasional Angry Bird or Temple Run game.

Peggy, I totally wouldn't have tagged you as a Call of Duty gal! That rocks.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm a gamer. In fact, I've been wanting to play Harvest Moon again really bad. Maybe when I get this current book up to par. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Hubby and I like to play StarCraft2 together. We play almost daily.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I may be in the minority, but I don't have any games on my computer! I don't even know how to get them.
But I do have words with friends on my iphone and play scrabble in the evenings to relax my brain.

Stephsco said...

I'm a gamer but I invest pretty heavily in the same few games. I'm many (many) hours into Elder Scrolls: Skyrim on XBox. It's a beautiful open world game that you can take in so many directions. I've been playing this off and on since November, so I'm definitely getting my money's worth.

I understand the addiction of angry birds, bejeweled, words with friends. I think there are games appropriate for all types of people, whether the Xbox controller freaks you out or not :)

beccabooklover said...

I think I fall in the category of The Gamer. I love playing games on my computer, wii or ps3. I used to play World of Warcraft but got tired of it, so on my PC I mostly play Rome: Total War or the Sims 3. I love my ps3 and play such games as Assassin's Creed, Red Dead Redemption or Skyrim. I just love being immersed in a good game!

Jack said...

Ok, Peggy, you got me. I'm a gamer!

I do carve out time for the latest and greatest. I don't even try to finish a level...I try to conquer it! If there are 10 stars, 2 hidden passages, 1 uber brick and an extra character to unlock--I'll go for them all! Yup, I'm that bad. There was a time a few years ago I used to burn through a game a week (way before writing took over my life). If it was an RPG? Look out. I had to complete the levels at least once without getting killed on the Hard level!

Oh, yeah, I'm definitely a gamer!

Your turn :)

Tonja said...

I'm an ungamer married to a gamer.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I'm probably a time waster when it comes to games. And my poison? The Sims 3. I usually end up making some good stories on there though. :) And I like getting my characters married and ruin their relationship or make them happy. :) Very fun.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Ungamer, represent! LOL. Not a game fan, but the hubby is!

My C

Hannah Hounshell said...

Would it sound too cliche if I said I don't really fall in any of those categories? Can I mark the little check box in the corner that says other? :)p

Anyway, I'm one of those people who plays games to wind down from writing, or because I just got stuck and I need to let things simmer for a bit(I don't consider it wasting time cause I'm thinking, darn it). It's not unusual for me to abandon the game I'm playing to grab the notebook and pen I keep by the computer and suddenly start scribbling away.

Also, my particular poisons are Sims 3 and Little Big Planet. Pardon me while I go indulge. It's been a long day :)p

Leigh Covington said...

I fall into the Time Waster category too! My game: Words with Friends. IF we consider that a game. It's frustrating when I can't continue when I need it. *sigh* Love it though.

And I love your categories. I think you totally nailed it!

Angela Cothran said...

I'm and Ungamer. Does that make me sound old? I am old. I would rather read a book any day. My pat on the back is when I post a review on goodreads and see my TBR pile shrink just a little.

Lan said...

I am an ungamer married to a gamer so I know all the lingo, I just never feel the need to cross over. Though I have to admit, my dream come true would be for one of my books to be turned into a game. That would be amazing!

caramiaamore said...

Hey Peggy!

This was a really fun interesting and had some interesting insights.

I think I would probably say I am the Strategist or the Time Waster. There are times when I really need to make my left brain just shut up and can't find anyway else besides some random card game or such when I need to get some focus. When that is what I am doing I limit myself to about 10 to 15 minutes at most and get right back into writing.

When I am the Time Waster, I don't think I need an excuse, you pretty clearly explained it right there.

Cara

Sarah Pearson said...

I moved from WoW to SWTOR, but now I don't play anything. I was spending too long on them, and I need that time for other things :-)

linda said...

I'm a time waster. (I feel like I need to start with "My name is Linda and... etc." because it's really a bad habit!)

I do like strategizing for card/board games, but computer games are for decompressing and for when I'm too lazy to do something actually productive, haha.

Elodie said...

Time Waster :D
I loved THE SIMS game but it´s been awhile I played. MARIO KART is another game I quite enjoy :D On the computer, I am a pro at Solitary :D