Editor’s Note: This is part two of my look at enjoying gaming as an adult. Click here for Part I.
If you were able to read the first part of my look into gaming as an adult, hopefully you were able to see where I was coming from when it comes to working with your priorities when trying to enjoy your gaming hobby.
However, there is more to enjoying the gaming culture than simply playing the newest games. Along with prioritizing your adult-life duties so they can be completed as necessary, it is some times beneficial for adults to partake in events and share their gaming experience with other adults as well.
Doing so allows you to engage with individuals like yourself who may share some of the same interests in gaming and some of the same characteristics as people.
Additionally, taking time to engage in this kind of behavior helps keep you interested in the latest games and even experience genres and titles you would have otherwise left unplayed.
Here are a few ways you can get out and about and experience gaming culture as an adult:
– Enjoy gaming with your adult friends –
This isn’t your typical gaming session at a friend’s house where you go over for an hour, play a couple of rounds and head home. What I mean by this is to get some of your friends together who enjoy gaming and make a night of it. This might include a Call of Duty or Battlefield tournament in your home with a prize of some kind between you and your friends. It might also mean getting together a couple of TVs and trying to complete speed runs of your favorite games (such as how fast can you beat Bioshock on easy mode). Or, if you’re looking for something a little more ambitious and you live somewhere with a rentable rec room, there is always the possibility of a multi-team deathmatch tournament in Halo or – as I mentioned earlier, CoD and Battlefield. These are all things that are easy to put together if you take the time and make the effort. Even if you’re not interested in playing, but just want to talk games, sometimes all you need is a trip to a local pub and some good company.
– Attend the occasional midnight release party –
While I’m not as young as I used to be and my all-nighter days are behind me (until the next baby, anyway), I still make time to get out to a midnight release. My most recent release was Battlefield 3 and the next release will actually be Monday night, where I will be playing in a Best Buy-sponsored Modern Warfare tournament (just for that store) prior to the release of Modern Warfare 3. Do I have to do this to enjoy the game? Not necessarily. But, I would make the argument that engaging in gaming culture and playing with others who enjoy gaming as much as you do is a good way to stay and feel connected to the community, similar to why you may be reading this in the first place. There’s just something about getting home with a just-out game at 2 a.m., still pumped up on adrenaline, and breaking into the first part of a newly-released story. Much like a good book, if you’re a fan of the author or the series, there’s no shame in going out of your way to be one of the first people to experience what the story has to offer. Besides, we’re adults and one of the perks of that is being able to stay up late if we want (just make sure you have some time off available at work, just in case).
– Engage in gaming discussions –
This is one of the easier things to get involved with. All it really takes is getting online and joining one (or several) of the hundreds of gaming sites on the Internet where discussions live. Even if you’re not planning on being a regular member, having the opportunity to read the opinions in (mostly) real-time about the latest games and gaming news may be something helps you enjoy the experience of video games as a whole. I really like knowing what’s on the horizon in gaming and being able to form an opinion on those things, as well as engage in discussions about them (if you couldn’t already tell). What I find more interesting, however, is having discussions in which I have to defend my own opinions on topics about games. One of the things that people misunderstand about gaming is that it’s not just a form of entertainment, it’s also a cultural entity, existing as unique memes for us to share and experience. Often times, the stories games tell draw from larger ideas or historical moments that have shaped our world as we know it. Being able to talk about those things (and the less dramatic, fun elements) can be a lot of fun.
– Attend a gaming event –
Over the last several years, events in the gaming world have become more known to people outside of the gaming world, growing with popularity of games themselves and the proliferation of console ownership. Because of this, opportunities – literally around the world – exist for gamers to get out and go hands-on with the latest games and games of the future. Some of these, such as E3, are closed to the public. However, others – such as Pax East – are not and should be visited if you have the time and the resources. Not sure which events are open or closed to the public? Here’s some info that might help you out with that (Ignore the dates – it’s mainly for the base info).
As I mentioned before, it’s one thing to prioritize, which is important to do if you want to maintain a gaming life along with your other responsibilities. It’s another thing entirely to take advantage of the things that can really help you get the most out of being an adult gamer.
If you’ve got something think should be added to the list, let me know!
As always, happy gaming!