I currently hold a 9-5 job. And besides my job and this blog, I spend my time reading books and gaming. Steam reports that this routine nets me about 20-30 hours on the platform playing games every 2 weeks.
So I met another gamer, a female one.
I know, I have a few girl friends that I can occasionally ask out for a quick game of L4D1/2, TF2. So females playing games aren’t that foreign to me. These casual female friends of mine also occasionally become MVPs of the games they play. (I feel that I should address women in gaming in more detail, but let’s try to stay on track. I’ll talk about this next time.)
But this one’s different.
By a gamer, I mean people who appoint games as something they do.
It’s not just a hobby, its never “just a game“, not something they do just for fun.
It’s a lifestyle.
I know that kind of pushes things a little, but people like her, people like me – cannot imagine a world without games.
We are gamers.
We love gaming, we love reading about games – one of the many things we hold dear to in life. Our PC and our console has become like family to us. We talk a lot about games, we entered alphas and betas, and made pre-orders. Our steam wallet is never empty, always up for a new daily deal. Our backlog is never empty, always a game to play.
I know this girl sounds like the girl any gamer would dream of.
She’s a legit female gamer, she doesn’t game for attention of the boys.
Her love for games is real, like a red hot fire that burns throughout the nights whilst she games till 2-3 am.
Perhaps her passion burns even brighter than mine.
She holds a 9-5 job as well, but her time spent on playing games can reach up to 3x of mine. It gets kind of scary.
When I first met her, she seemed like the general demure, petite young maiden – until she asked for my Steam nick. Shortly after, I did some CSI:Steam on her and found out she has that outrageous amount of time poured in gaming.
I wasn’t turned on like you normally expect gamers would.
In fact, I was worried that my friend is suffering from some pathological gaming addiction or similar afflictions. Perhaps it was just gaming compulsion that she has. That amount of time she spends playing is hardly normal, given that she is employed for a full time, 9-5 job.
I would even go as far to say it is unhealthy.
I felt, if anything, less likely to date her.
But before other female gamers come and rip this site apart, let me justify this.
Let’s call this girl Danielle, only because I know no “Danielles” in real life.
Now, Danielle is a fair looking maiden. She looks better than your average girl; Her hair was black with a tint of orange brown that is evermore obvious in the afternoon sun as it shone rays of warmth through her loosely woven hair cascading down her thin frame. Her eyes were a rich shade of brown, gleaming in collaboration with her seemingly glowing fair skin.
Maybe she doesn’t have looks that can kill, but wire her up and she definitely will.
So things are getting very confusing for everyone. You might think:
She shares so much in common with you, she’s pretty and she’s nice. What are you waiting for?
I’m pretty sure we can organize our efforts in a team game pretty well and start a shit-storm Co-Op style. Sure, I enjoy our time together, capturing control points together and all. But at the end of the day, I felt like I was talking to someone else. Someone who’s not Danielle, but (Insert Steam Nick). At these moments where she games I felt that she was cut off from reality, she becomes less aware of her surroundings and happenings. She ignores the vibrations and ringtones on her cell just so she could take the enemy down.
She was a mirror image.
Upon introspection and a little self-reflection, I saw how disordered our lives were. Perhaps I only realized this because there was an initial state of limerence that I tried to explore (albeit with a logical approach), which consequentially led me here. To put it bluntly; I mildly explored what it would be like to be in a relationship with her and found myself making a tactical retreat back to my spawn point. I used to game a lot as well, hitting 90 hours on the Steam counter. Experiencing it first hand, I know that cutting corners is inevitable; sleeping late, putting less effort into assignments and relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, I know people who are able to play games with moderation. Some of my mentors and seniors have been happily married for over a decade, have a well-paying job as well as an active APM. One of them holds a Ph. D, whilst 2 of them are teachers. These people are prime example of people who practice and balance efficiency and organization in their work-play life. Some of the skills are transferable to real life situations, but gaming through the night is no catalyst.
Through some events of my own, I was forced into the very same dilemma a couple of years ago. I didn’t stop playing games entirely, but I cannot deny that part of the solution was to cut down on my game time. Somehow, I now enjoy games a lot more. Because I can’t really be bothered with the monthly leaderboards, my stats and whatnot.
So… gamer girl?
Log off, turn the computer off and your fable ends here. Enter life, your new dungeon master.
I think for things to work, things have to change.
This is an article written by PP1MT.
He blogs at PP1MT.COM
At the point of time this article was published, Danielle’s game time has dropped to 50hrs/forthnight.
The two of them are still single, and are good friends.