I don’t think about these days much now (now that I’m officially out of the gamer-closet), but when I was younger, I never told anyone how much I enjoyed video games. A few friends and I would play MarioKart, Sonic, Donkey Kong, or whatever else was hot at the time, but for the most part, these were pretty commercially-accepted games. Few friends knew about the amount of time I spent with RPGs (which to me, were probably the geekiest type of games ever), and I pretty much maintained this low profile. (Minus the guy who introduced me to Earthbound in 5th grade – you still rock).
As I grew up, found gamers similar to myself both in person and on the Internet (the Nintendo BBS was enormously helpful at the time — what a great gathering place). It was pretty apparent that everyone liked a different variety of games (for example, I really just don’t enjoy sports games) … but for the most part, people liked a variety of things. Action/adventure, RPGs, FPS, simulation … they ran the gamut.
In my 24 years, I have never run across a person like the guy I met a couple weeks ago. When I approached him, he was playing Call of Duty 4 — cool game, for sure (I’m not a huge war game fan, either). We got to talking about video games, and BioShock came up, and he had this to say:
“I thought that game was so stupid.”
As you can imagine, my knee-jerk reflex was to shake him silly. I have a terrible poker face, so I’m pretty sure I looked like he’d told me he’d killed my dog or something.
He went on to say that furthermore, anything that wasn’t 100% realistic was a stupid game. I took a step back, and realized that by that definition, my top favorite games of all time were “stupid.” I didn’t realize I’d take this so personally, but I was ready to just close up the conversation and find someone who wasn’t so cripplingly closed-minded, when he affirmed my suspicions and told me the only games he played were the Call of Duty series. That was it.
Apparently he dabbled in any new games his roommates brought home (I imagine these “dabbling” sessions lasting about 5 minutes), but always went back to the tried-and-true.
At this point, I did excuse myself. I know that people have different gaming preferences, but you wouldn’t catch me calling sports games or military-based games (my two chief dislikes) “stupid.” I don’t think they’re stupid, I just dislike the lack of imagination required to play them. I get bored with them. I bet if I put this guy in front of a computer and forced him to play SimCity, his head would explode.
Point being, this guy and I had entirely opposite tastes. What bugged me the most about this, though, was how aloof this guy was, and how readily he was willing to dismiss anything else. I dislike closed-mindedness in general, but this was off the charts for me. People don’t always have to like what I do (I’d almost rather that they didn’t), but to be so dismissive is sort of alienating. I’m a pretty open-minded gal (or so I like to think), so to see someone just shut down and not be willing to discuss or even listen to anything else was so off-putting.
Speaking of BioShock, release date slated for 2 on February 9, 2010. Mega gaming session slated.