The Nomadic Gamer
I believe it was Petter who first used the term (to me in chat) that I now see springing up in games everywhere, you can call it what you will, but we’ve all basically turned into ‘nomadic gamers’. To be more specific: “communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location” – in fact I think this would make a fantastic blog name, so I went and created a new site on wordpress in preparation for an idea I have for 2010.We’ll see how it goes, if it goes anywhere. I haven’t fleshed everything out quite yet.
Anyhow. There’s no denying that as we approach 2010 we’ve turned into nomadic gamers. I know VERY few people who play ONE game and ONLY one game these days. Sure maybe you only play one game at a time, but how long do you play for before you move on to something else? Are you constantly applying to betas and hoping to check out ‘the next big thing’? Maybe you enjoy free to play games which rarely hold your attention for any length of time. Or maybe, like me, you’re writing for work and it’s incredibly important to be up to date on everything that’s going on and to have a wide variety of game experiences under your belt.
When I was playing EverQuest I didn’t play anything else. I’m not sure why. Was it because I was content with the game, or maybe just because I didn’t know about any other games out there (remember, still relatively new to this whole scene). Was the MMO industry so small back then that there simply was no other choice (I know there were other choices, I’m just listing off potential reasons here).
So why is it that we’ve become SO intent on trying every single game out, and while we may return ‘home’ we spend a good portion of time trying out new things. I’m not bashing this method at all, I just find it very interesting.
One thing that really interests me is the fact that while we used to look for communities IN GAME we’ve taken to finding our gaming buddies elsewhere – perhaps in order to compensate for the lack of community we feel within the games themselves. With everyone playing everywhere, it can be hard to find that solid community of long time friends. I, for example, turned to twitter, where I can be friends with a whole slew of gamers no matter what game they’re playing in. Before that I used Xfire to connect to my friends who were all over the place, and Raptr, and other programs that are similar. It’s a method for me to still feel a part of the gaming community, even if I don’t actually have a ‘home’ within the games themselves any more, because I’m all over the place. It’s hard to make friends when you’re not sure if you’re playing a particular game for a week, a month, or maybe just that day.
No matter where you find yourself, the key of course is to have fun. If you’re not having fun doing what you’re doing, then don’t do it (unless of course it’s work related, we can’t ALL enjoy every aspect of work all the time, other wise they’d rename work into happy fun time or something similar). I’m still getting used to this nomadic life style of gaming, but it’s been enjoyable. I’m looking forward to what 2010 may bring, and I hope everyone has a great year, no matter what game they find themselves in.