Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From Under a Rock - Why Do We Game?

I have given this a great deal of thought as of late. What separates us from the mundane normal people? Is it some spark of creativity that needs to find an outlet in miniatures gaming or role-playing? Are our ideas literally bursting forth from our imagination and do they need to breathe for us to become fully satiated? Is it not enough that we game? Why do we challenge those around us? What makes us different?

We need to create...

Must we continually improve our hobby with our research and our input? For some of us it is truly an expression of explosive thought while others want to learn as much about their past and history as they are able to. What separates us from the fold? I do not know exactly but I think that all of us gamers seem to have the need to create in common. Whether it be creating a new layout to recreate a battle fought long ago to developing entire worlds with which to explore and populate.

We need to invent.

But that's not enough is it? Somewhere deep inside us is the need to invent another idea that no one else has yet fathomed. Why? Are we related to the inventors of the past and how can we use that inventive spark to our advantage when we are gaming and when we are outside in the real world? Do we use progress charts? Some gamers have reams of paper dedicated to their ideas. I would be willing to bet you have at least a few loose papers of ideas floating around.
We need to live in a fantasy world...

This is probably a hot topic. Some would agree with me. Some would definitely disagree with me but once again I find that we as a gamer collective seem to be culled from people who enjoy daydreaming and probably spent a good deal of our time in school, at work and at home daydreaming about faraway distant and in some cases fictional places.

We must see our creation through...

When we develop an idea and give it life we then want to see if that creation can survive time. What is it about the test of time that makes us want to judge our developments? What is it that makes us want to wander? If my elf bladesinger is just able to make it to level fourteen , but then it's level fifteen. It's almost like we cannot stop at saving the princess we must find the princess, defeat the villain, stop the plot, save the world and write an epic of our stuggles all the while enjoying the detachment that we get from creating something. That's really it. We are creators.

Gamers are NOT average people...

In the world around us we see the mundanes and somehow we also know things. Maybe not always everything that they don't but we see something. With our exceptional penchant for our own version of reality and daydreaming put together with a dose of hard facts we are a force to be reckoned with. I dare say take any gamer worth his salt and put him against any football fan and see who would do better against Ken in Jeopardy. We just know things and we are the most of us very smart and intellectual people.

We challenge what others accept as 'it is what it is'...

We cannot stand when something doesn't make sense. Even when the rest of the world cannot seem to figure out what we mean and why we are so obstinate we just cannot stand something that is broken. We know what's broken. You should know what we know. If you do not know then it is your fault. We can be very obtuse and obstinate but that gives us an edge in the gaming world. We enjoy debates and most of us seem to enjoy a verbal dual but we cannot stand cliches like 'it is what it is' and 'well that's the way the cookie crumbles' or even '2+2=4' because in our minds those are mutable facts. In fact some of us, myself included, seem to really challenge the status quo. And because of that the status quo hates us. What the do not understand they seek to destroy. It is a fact.

We cannot fathom why they cannot use their imaginations the way we can...

This is really the rub isn't it? We cannot understand why they refuse to engage in something as rewarding a hobby as ours. When we sit down to do battle with one another or to explore a hidden crypt that may contain ancient evil we just do not understand why they would rather sit and watch a reality tv show than to get into this really awesome adventure.

In the end, we game because it is in our blood. Happy gaming!

Images in this post from Marktoon and are used with permission. Check out his stuff. It's great!


  1. LOL, Yup Pretty much covered it all!

  2. Post of the month. You win the internets!

  3. Thanks Don and Greg. I thought I had put it here earlier but I wanted this to include something that encouraged people to put why they game.

    So, why do you game?