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  1. #61
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    That's a good point you didn't, however the OP mentioned he was looking for suggestions for him and his girlfriend. I'm also making the assumption that most of us here are white straight males.

    You're absolutely right though, the online gaming culture is a terrible place altogether and it makes sense that people wouldn't be interested in joining it.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    That's a good point you didn't, however the OP mentioned he was looking for suggestions for him and his girlfriend. I'm also making the assumption that most of us here are white straight males.

    You're absolutely right though, the online gaming culture is a terrible place altogether and it makes sense that people wouldn't be interested in joining it.
    Regular gaming culture, and even forums, don't have this problem though. They have some casual bigotry, but not anything different from any other fandom that girls participate in just fine. As long as you don't go to the mainstream shooter focused sites.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    I shudder to think that mainstream shooter focused forums exist.

    But I know they do.
    "Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""

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  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    I approach getting people into games the same way I approach getting people into anything I'm passionate about. I talk about it, introduce them if they aren't familiar, ask them if they'd like to give it a try sometime, ask what they liked/didn't like about it if they've tried it before and try to figure out if there's something they'd like. When I get people involved in things I'm passionate, it's not because I want them to be part of this with me. It's because I think this thing is super awesome and I want to let other people find out how awesome it is. Games are a huge part of my life--mostly board games and role playing game, but video games certainly factor. I would have trouble living with someone who wasn't at least interested in my experiences in playing those games and the way they affect me--but if I want to actually play games with someone, I shop around at my local gaming society.

    I do try very hard to spread the word about board games and more rarely video games*. I tell people about cool things I've experienced, talk about game design and games as a medium, and ask people what their experience with gaming is. If someone has never tried games or seems really interested in something I describe to them or has a bad experience with games that I think I know the antidote to ... I'll suggest they try certain games and offer them time and hardware if relevant. Most of the people I know have been exposed to gaming in some form, though, and have a pretty good idea of whether or not it's their kind of thing.

    Then I find people who have only ever played Scrabble and Monopoly, or have only ever seen their siblings playing WoW or Call of Duty or Rock Band and aren't super interested. And again, for those people I present a menu of options and try to impart understanding of the variety the medium offers. If they still don't seem interested, that's that. I ultimately don't do anything to get people interested--just to get them exposed. And aside from my siblings, partner and a couple really close friends, I don't even need them to necessarily put up with me jabbering on about this or that specific interest of mine--there are always other people I can talk to about gaming or physics research or whatever.

    As for the things people have brought up about gaming culture and it's problems ... I always explain the caveats of gaming when I talk about it--mostly because they frustrate me and inevitably come up when I talk about games. I'll explain how board games are expensive and really hard to try before you buy, for example, and how it can be difficult to get games going given how much time, space and collaboration even a standard length board game can take to initialize. I talk about the problems in gaming culture and geek culture at large. And I try to make it clear that the games themselves can still stand on their own to an extent. If someone expresses distrust of the medium by way of negative associations with geek culture, I'll share how I deal with those problems, give examples of games that subvert or avoid the problems, give examples of safe communities, and give examples of how similar problems crop up in other mediums they aren't prejudiced against. Again, some people just aren't going to bite. It's not their thing, or irrational distaste prevails. As long as they aren't judging me for not sharing their distaste, I'm just happy to have had the chance to talk about things I love.

    My partner and I play Minecraft and she thinks she would enjoy Left4Dead and really wants to try it out with myself and a mutual friend who plays. But I don't think there's anything really suggestion-worthy about these titles other than that they're good games and one of them is a-typical so even many avid gamers have never been exposed to anything like it--disliking gaming at large usually isn't a sign you'll dislike Minecraft. I could say something very similar about things like Rock Band (though it's very popular) and Super Hexagon. They aren't prototypical games and they intersect prominently with interest areas outside of geek culture so disliking geek culture and games you've been exposed to usually isn't a sign you'll dislike these.

    The best "gateway" games are the best games. How "accessible" they are depends much more fundamentally on the person accessing than the game itself, and I've had success introducing my sisters to the rather complicated Arkham Horror even though they'd never played a board game remotely like that before (they do both play certain video games and are very much involved in geek culture, but I don't think that's why they took to AH so easily). So you have to know your audience, you have to be upfront about what they're signing up for, and you have to pick a good game. More importantly, don't force it and don't do it just for your own sake. They like it or they don't, and you can always try later with a different game if you really think they'd like it better.


    P.S. I know I've done it right when the person I've introduced to a game shares it with their other friends. When my sister borrowed Arkham Horror and taught it to her grad-school buddies (most of them liked it), I felt pretty great. I'd shared something I was passionate about and as a result, a bunch of people had fun with something they might not have encountered otherwise (though I think one of them had both heard of it and was into similar board games). That's a lot more important to me than finding one more person I can play games with.

    *More people are more familiar with video games, in the circles I walk.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 30-03-2013 at 11:04 PM.
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  5. #65
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    Bioshock got my missus really into gaming.

    She loves horror, and Zombies, so we used to Left 4 Dead a lot.
    She's really not geeky in the slightest, just enjoys what she enjoys.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Solium Infernum is the only game I've gotten "preachy" about in memory with non gamers. And it's essentially a board game, oh and Necromunda and Bloodbowl which are literally board games (necromunda is technically a tabletop game though).
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    There's one thing you absolutely cannot do though, this doesn't just apply to your SO, but to anyone who isn't a gamer.

    You have to understand they don't know why you love spending 40 hours a week on an MMO or in an FPS. You cannot try make them understand by being that guy. That guy is the guy who gets frantic to get people to understand and starts telling them how they should feel when playing something.

    Nothing will turn someone off more than too much of that.
    yeah, agreed.

    (to the OP) Gaming is something we grew up with that holds a special place in our heart and is interwoven with our childhood and adolescent memories. If your SO doesn't get it, be content that you have a special thing for yourself that you can share with friends and others online, while appreciating what she finds interesting.

    People can love things with the same intensity we love games and it baffles us as to how they see their particular interests as nothing but boring and tedious. Things like knitting, birdwatching or... trains (ugh!)
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by His Master's Voice View Post
    I'm not psychic. I had no ability to read the post you just wrote when I was reading your snipe at non gaming specific social issues.

    You seem hung up on the community aspect of gaming as it's major turn off. But that says nothing about the medium itself.

    Not sure what the art part is about. I mean, I get what you're saying, I just don't see why would anyone factor that into the decision to introduce someone to gaming.

    The addictive aspect of gaming isn't really about gaming either.
    Sorry for the late response.

    No, technically it isn't part of gaming as a baseline - but gaming having that stigma and that attachment to that kind of community is the exact sort of reason I would advise someone to not get into it.

    fatuglyorslutty.com

    If I tell a female friend to get into gaming, by and large the above is what they have to look forward to unless they are being completely isolated and can't share their hobby with someone. Overall, they're just going to feel marginalized and slighted.

    Most halfway intelligent people I know who aren't in gaming already dismiss any time I bring it up because of the very things I listed. Its reputation precedes it.

    The things I'm ragging on are mostly facilitated by gaming because it's how they market. I can't tell you whether or not they started it or whether they're just perpetuating the unique type of individual that tends to like video games these days, but it's not exactly something I recommend someone sticking their hands in unless they've already grown to love games like us.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakir View Post
    Most halfway intelligent people I know who aren't in gaming already dismiss any time I bring it up because of the very things I listed. Its reputation precedes it.
    In my experience most non-gamers I know have no idea whatsoever about the ins and outs of gamer culture; they've dismissed gaming as a potential Thing To Do a long time ago, based on very vague notions and no first- or second-hand experience. I remember talking to one friend who thought I was pretty weird because I played games, but thought I was extremely weird because I played games on my own rather that with other gamers, until I explained to her what gamer culture is like and why I prefer to avoid it.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    In my experience most non-gamers I know have no idea whatsoever about the ins and outs of gamer culture; they've dismissed gaming as a potential Thing To Do a long time ago, based on very vague notions and no first- or second-hand experience. I remember talking to one friend who thought I was pretty weird because I played games, but thought I was extremely weird because I played games on my own rather that with other gamers, until I explained to her what gamer culture is like and why I prefer to avoid it.
    This is my experience as well. Maybe they played Pokemon or a Wii game or Mario Kart at a party but that is it. And even people who play Halo/CoD/GTA look down on people who play the more niche stuff, even tbs and rts and rpg, and rpg people look down on tbs and rts and rts look down on TBS and on and on. Obviously this isn't all people every, but the majority of people are like this.

    Most women I know don't know about the horrors of dude bro gamers, except they might know some dude bros that game, but its not anything like what gamers know about the problems.

    They just think I'm a "dork" or w/e. In highschool there was the whole nerds are cool/cute cause of Adam Brody thing, but even then they didn't show gamer culture in that show, just one socially awkward boy who played a zombie game.

  11. #71
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    Fiancee played Civ 4 an awful lot a year or so ago. Now she just plays puzzlers on her phone.

  12. #72
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    I had a girlfriend before that I managed to "convince" to spend some time playing games with me. we started with first person shooters and ended up in sport simulation games.
    I know it's hard to change women outlook towards games but it's not impossible. it can be done.

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popej View Post
    Fiancee played Civ 4 an awful lot a year or so ago. Now she just plays puzzlers on her phone.
    My girlfriends have always enjoyed Civ, actually so does my step sister. But yknow they are generally into history, also politics and Sim City 4...

    Can't imagine any of them enjoying shooters. So it was just tailored to their personality which is what I'd do with anyone I knew and any particular hobby or interest. Doesn't seem like rocket science.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    Nalano builds a strong case against gaming culture, but I'm not sure how much that supports his original position that he wouldn't encourage anyone to get into gaming.
    To explain the latter, you have to embody the former. The first and hardest question is the most obvious: "Why are YOU interested in gaming?" And sure, I can say I grew up on it. I am not making a moral argument, after all; I've been in front of computers since I was four years old. But I also understand the limitations of the activity and see no particular benefit to entreaty people who are not into it. I have friends who have a PS3 and a copy of, say, Soul Calibur, but gaming is not what they DO. It's not an hour a day; it's, "oh yeah, it's in the corner if you want to." Like that half-eaten bag of chips during a party that stays half-eaten.

    What is there to say about gaming that would convince somebody who doesn't game? It has a high startup cost, a high time requirement, and once you've done all that, you're drowned in B-movie narratives, tits and ass and gunwank, and the most hostile invective this side of a Slipknot concert. To say it's an acquired taste is to insult anchovies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timofee View Post
    Surely the key here is balance though?
    I am not calling it an addiction, just as I am not calling potheads addicts. It is a culture, and the enthusiasts of this culture are not socially palatable to the mainstream. Yes, you can play XBox casually without encountering dudebros, but you are always aware that if you delve deeply enough into this pastime, you are entering the realm of dudebros. The games themselves reflect this. It turns a pleasure into a guilty pleasure, and such a feeling of guilt is well-deserved.

    There are modicums of this in every pastime, of course. Another I tend to do a lot is bicycling - I used to be a bike messenger and currently commute primarily via bike - and the biking culture to me is ugly, stupid, and counter-productive to their own goals. I've written quite a bit on biking activists in general and Critical Mass in specific, because they're something of the equivalent of the Legalize Pot or Free Mumia guys who who up to EVERY PROTEST and immediately color public opinion of the group as a whole.

    But the difference between gaming and biking is, biking activists are clearly a loud and rude minority who go out of their way to make a splash. Gamers largely keep to their own, and the outrage is not when they speak up but when the general public trips over gamer enclaves. I consider myself a connoisseur of the cesspool of the internet, and as such my tolerance for stupidity is very high (I speak to you people, after all, much to my real life friends' confusion; their common refrain is "why do you bother?") but for normal people this shit just ain't kosher.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoLAoS View Post
    You mean gay marriage?
    Gay marriage, to provide a salient example, was not even considered at the time of the Stonewall Riots. Society would not have had it, pure and simple. At the time of the Stonewall Riots, they were fighting to not be raided by police in a gay enclave of one of the more liberal bastions in the country. Now more than half the American electorate is pro-same sex marriage, even in historically socially conservative enclaves such as Maryland.

    You think a Black man was electable as President of the United States in 1968? Shit, in 2008 we were half-wondering if Obama would survive his first term. Yet not only did he live, but he's triumphantly presiding over a second term while watching the Republican party slowly implode (with the lovely Schadenfreude of whining that it's not a white man's world anymore, boo hoo hoo). Society changes. Slowly, but inexorably, it changes.

    How this relates to gamer culture is that, despite being at the forefront of technology, they seem to be woefully behind socially, and this juxtaposition is notable because it defies expectation: We expect society to become more progressive and more egalitarian, and yet this forefront of the new is surprisingly regressive and reactionary. What you have here are people who have grown complacent in their ruts and are vocally hostile when roused to move from those ruts. When the public eye is noticing that gamer culture is being outpaced by the mainstream, you should be concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timofee View Post
    Out of interest, do you believe gaming to be worse than other subcultures?
    I don't know. I do know that gamer culture is the ONLY place in my life that I see this sort of behavior. And instead of looking for equivalance elsewhere, shouldn't you be focusing on cleaning your own house?
    Last edited by Nalano; 01-04-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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  15. #75
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I shudder to think that mainstream shooter focused forums exist.

    But I know they do.
    "How do you like to approach the vehicle chase scene? I like to use the machine gun that's mounted on top of the vehicle. You too? Haha, well I guess you're right, it *is* the only available gun. :D"

    "C4 -- do you prefer to have your NPC squadmates plant it and then tell you to duck, or are you a fan of approaching the glowing red C4-shaped silhouette and pressing E *yourself*, and then hearing your man tell *other* people to duck?"
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  16. #76
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    I've had more success getting my wife to play games on the 360 than the PC. She's enjoyed Plants vs Zombies (360 has co-op), Castle Crashers and various beat-em-ups. On the PC, it's just been LEGO LotR. Pretty much anything that we can play together that doesn't have too high of a skill bar or pressure to perform. So, add Call of Duty to that list. I'm willing to lower my gaming standards for some wifey co-op time. :p

    Honestly, though, my life has consistently had less time for gaming since I began getting involved in more social activities. Getting married and hitting 30 has also contributed to that, too. It's just less of a priority, and I think I'm okay with that. I'm realizing that I've wasted a huuuuge amount of my life-so-far playing games. "Wasted" may be a relative term for entertainment or hobbies, but it's hard to argue when you compare it to doing more productive activities.

    I think gaming, like many activities, can be healthy as long as people don't find their core identity or significance from illusory accomplishments. Well, that... and not spending ridiculous amounts of time on it.

    Gamerscore and Steam Rating are basically things I want to keep as low as possible at this point in my life. It's kind of a tradeoff. That's probably why I'm so ambivalent about "achievements," and so completely against time and obligation-intensive genres like MMOs. In an objective view of life, outside of perhaps winning cash from tourneys or something, none of our gaming accomplishments really matter.
    Last edited by deadly.by.design; 01-04-2013 at 05:31 PM.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    It has a high startup cost, a high time requirement, and once you've done all that, you're drowned in B-movie narratives, tits and ass and gunwank, and the most hostile invective this side of a Slipknot concert. To say it's an acquired taste is to insult anchovies.
    As an avid reader I have to deal with the existence of Fifty Shades of Gray and the fact one of the SB officers that tortured my grandfather stole our family library to buff his personal collection.

  18. #78
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano
    How this relates to gamer culture is that, despite being at the forefront of technology, they seem to be woefully behind socially, and this juxtaposition is notable because it defies expectation: We expect society to become more progressive and more egalitarian, and yet this forefront of the new is surprisingly regressive and reactionary. What you have here are people who have grown complacent in their ruts and are vocally hostile when roused to move from those ruts. When the public eye is noticing that gamer culture is being outpaced by the mainstream, you should be concerned.
    Gaming is at the leading edge of consumer-side entertainment technology ... but so is home theater kit. So are non-gaming computing systems--in particular the increasingly flat and miniaturized stuff we're seeing with ARM devices. And then there's all of the horsepower and money and tech that goes into music production, film production ... I wouldn't say gaming is particularly noteworthy in this sense. The industry side isn't really more on the cutting edge than others. At the same time, the gaming industry gets us thinking about technology in a particularly narrow way that follows clear increments--the technology behind films doesn't act like that, the technology behind music doesn't act like that (unless you're the wrong kind of apple customer, I suppose) and that narrow construction of technology is worth acknowledging even if I disagree that it's accurate. Furthermore there's that upfront cost you mentioned and the highcost of entry level gaming tech makes that tech feel more central even if it isn't, really. Consoles in particular provide the same sort of standardization that film watchers get and provide a better point of comparison though the point stands for PC gaming. You don't need to worry about how much RAM is in your DVD player and you don't need to worry about it for your SNES. Especially with more recent consoles, there are still hard-drives and peripherals and whatnot, but the added complexity doesn't really make the tech more essential. You still need the latest TV to watch things in HD and you still need the latest machine to watch Blueray.

    This might seem like an odd thing to jump on in a quote that doesn't really hinge on technology much at all, so I should probably stop rambling and get to my point: gaming isn't more the forefront of the new than film or music. We shouldn't be expecting gaming to look like the cutting edge of social development when it isn't the cutting edge of anything else, and comparing gaming culture to other media cultures in this way doesn't really make sense. Similarly, mainstream culture isn't leaving gaming behind any more than it's leaving reddit behind or leaving the child porn industry behind. This sort of developmental narrative you're applying and using to damn gaming seems incredibly out of place to me. There really isn't anything particularly remarkable about the bad sides of geek and gaming culture and we should be able to talk about any problems the industry and various gaming communities might have without resorting to this kind of special treatment.


    The games themselves reflect this. It turns a pleasure into a guilty pleasure, and such a feeling of guilt is well-deserved.
    I'm quoting this because it made me think of something, rather than because I'm responding to it directly. Here's the trouble ... gaming has just as much merit as reading and film watching and music listening. There are cognitive and cultural benefits to be gained from those other mediums that gaming doesn't provide--some of them cannot ever be made in gaming and some will eventually show up when gaming has been around for long enough. That doesn't change it's merit as entertainment nor does that justify the guilt that is associated with and enforced in gaming--a guilt that is as readily associated the Star Trek TV series, the Mistborn books, the Sandman comics, any role-playing game, large swaths of board gaming ...

    Now I know you were referring to a very specific part of gaming, but you're using it as leverage to condemn all of gaming. To claim that we shouldn't want people to be part of gaming unless they happen to be part of it. That's a load of crap, to me. Gaming has plenty to offer, as does the collection of geeky subcultures it is entwined with. Those dude-bros exist in plenty of athletic sub-cultures, but that doesn't invalidate sports and render all of sports an unworthy pastime that we shouldn't invite people to join us in unless they're already into it.

    Gaming has plenty of value, even if it's just hours of fun. Getting people interested in games doesn't mean forcing them to buy an expensive computer against their will or telling the to play the loneliest most obsessive of games because reasons. It can simply mean showing them the variety of games available, showing them the costs and downsides and setting them loose. I don't see anything particularly wrong with that, and I think the wider the variety of people playing games, the better off the industry will be ... so I call sharing my passion with non-gamers a draw-win scenario.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

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  19. #79
    Network Hub deadly.by.design's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwathdring View Post
    That doesn't change it's merit as entertainment nor does that justify the guilt that is associated with and enforced in gaming--a guilt that is as readily associated the Star Trek TV series, the Mistborn books, the Sandman comics, any role-playing game, large swaths of board gaming ...
    (emphasis mine) I'm only quoting you because you mentioned the Mistborn series. Sanderson is one of my new favorite fantasy authors.

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    my cats ignore my xbox controller. they chew on my keyboard. i have 2 mouses but they prefer to bring their own.

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