So Many Memories

I have been playing EQ2 since release, and for the last few years I’ve played fairly steadily. Typically I take a ‘break’ and wander off to other games but I’ve learned how to multi task so well that I’m able to juggle multiple games without too many issues. Lately I’ve been thinking about how many memories I have of in game events and friends, so many years worth. It’s incredible how much a simple video game can affect our lives and how we interact in it. I wouldn’t give it up for anything, and I don’t consider it a ‘waste’ of my time.

However. As the years pass I notice that things change. Players change, and those who I used to game with on a fairly frequent basis are (well to put it bluntly) growing up. Moving on to real life responsibilities and in some cases that means no more gaming. A lot of my friends have families and children who are growing up and require a lot of attention (as it should be). The gamers are not the only ones changing, but the games are evolving as well. At first I tried to dig in my heels and demand that everything stay exactly as it was but that’s a pointless effort on my part.

I often wonder how many of us are gamers for life. Whether we’re 12 or 120 will we still be playing these MMOs as we do right now. How do we make the choice to finally let go and move on to another hobby to fill in that void of time if we’re not gaming. While I don’t think that games have an age limit, I do think that as we get older the desire to game perhaps grows less. Or at least the desire to play games as we did growing up, with the community that is out there now. Perhaps I’m wrong, but those are just some of my thoughts this morning as I sit here thinking.

Happy gaming, and I’ll see you in Norrath!

5 Responses to So Many Memories

  1. Sharon says:

    I know that wistful feeling. I’m almost 40 years old, and mom to four kids. I’ve been gaming since I got my first computer when I was 9 (a TI 99/4A). It’s part of my lifestyle, and part of the culture that my kids have grown up around. As Olphas said, it’s my form of relaxation and something I do when other people might sit and watch TV. I played MUDs all through college, and gradually, I saw the community drift off as people moved on to the Next Big Thing. Some of my friends quit playing when they graduated or had families, and never went back to gaming. On the other hand, I still occasionally visit the MUD that I’ve played since 1993. I’ve seen that drifting off happen in both my WoW and WAR guilds, and I’m sure that eventually I’ll see it with EQ2 also (though I’ve only been there a few months.)

    Clearly, there are people who find gaming an enjoyable phase of their lives, and then they move on. But, there are also those of us who will still be playing well past retirement. :)

  2. Lars says:

    Like you, I’ve been in EQ2 since launch playing pretty much steadily with only a few lengthy breaks. Shortly after SF came out, I cancelled. EQ2 was a fun ride, but after all the work I put into ROK and TSO with the mythical and shard armor and whatnot, and SF at first glance just looked like the same old faction and instance grind all over again. It was the first time around, but I was in the mood for something new.

    Mostly I’m playing single player games now, which I’m enjoying because I like the stronger focus on story. I also had the itch to create rather than consume. Haven’t figured out what I’m going to focus on yet, but I’ve been dabbling with writing a video game and looking for potential collaborators.

    I’m sure I’ll head back to an MMO again (actually I do play STO but very casually – I’m only Lt. 3 despite playing since launch). But at this point with all my distractions and new interests it has to bundle up the fun into bite sized pieces of entertainment. My desire to game hasn’t waned, but I’m definitely noticing that the kind of gameplay I’ll put up with is definitely shifting and the long nights of 4+ hours raiding are a thing of the past. I definitely want something that doesn’t require a lot of lengthy set up (if you don’t have long to play, who wants to spend half of it organizing?). This is of course the direction the gaming industry is going.

    But even though it’s what I want, I’m not quite sure I like how that has impacted the games. By making games too “easy” to jump in and have fun and leave like I want/need, the social component has deteriorated, which I also enjoyed. I wonder if there’s a way to reconcile the two desires and find something both casual friendly that still encourages social (and I mean true social gameplay, not spamming my Facebook wall “social.”)

  3. Olphas says:

    I think I started gaming about 25 years ago. Since then it was always part of who I am and I don’t think that will ever change. I’m in my mid 30’s now and the amount of time I usually have to play games is not what it used to be when I was younger, of course. But I still squeeze in a little game time whenever I can. Most people like to sit in front of the TV when they want to relax. I rarely watch TV, instead I relax while playing games.
    I’m taking a break from MMOs right now but I’m sure sooner or later I will return to play EQ2, LotrO or maybe something new.

  4. Blackluck says:

    I’m in my 40’s, been gaming since Civ I and unless or until Alzheimer’s takes me, I’ll probably be gaming for some time yet :)
    It helps that I don’t have kids (by choice), so I have the time to play MMO’s, which as it happens are also by far the most cost effective entertainment dollar. For whatever reason I can seemingly only play one game at a time ….

    As far as EQ2, been playing for 5 years with breaks here and there … simply no other MMO has come along yet to grab my attention, and it looks like it’ll be at least another year or two until that is the case.

  5. Sevok says:

    I’ve been a gamer for 29 years (ACK – ACK!) – since I was 10 and had a Commodore 64. So, yeah, I think gaming is not a passing fad for me; I’m definitely a lifer. Furthermore, since UO came out in ’97, I’ve been more or less exclusively an MMO gamer. I don’t really find any other type of game has the impact an MMO has.

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