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Office politics: a follow-up

Last year I wrote about the personalities in my workplace with regard to video games. These include ‘the male-bonding gamer’, the guy who doesn’t actually enjoy them but plays to have something in common with his colleagues; and ‘the I-take-an-interest-for-my-son gamer’, who buys his ten-year old some really inappropriate titles. I myself identified as ‘the secret gamer’: someone who doesn’t discuss their hobby due to the attitudes of the levels of management above them and the need have to constantly justify their part in it.

Since that time however things have changed somewhat and even ‘the sexist gamer’ has mellowed, now accepting that women play too (but obviously โ€˜more casually than menโ€™). It means that occasionally I’ll participate in a conversation although more often than not, I’m content to just sit and listen. It’s liberating to have recently found out that my new boss is a gamer herself too; she knows her stuff when it comes to the best practice framework we make use of at work, and the fact she plays video games herself just makes me respect her even more.

There’s also the fact that my team moved into a new office a couple of months ago so we could be closer to another group we work with frequently. As luck would have it, I ended up being placed opposite ‘the inclusive gamer’: someone who has a healthy attitude to gaming and those that play, and who’s open to trying new types of releases. We’ve had a few discussions now about indie games and although he hasn’t heard of many I’ve played, he has tried Celeste and Hollow Knight and has started branching him out of his triple-A comfort zone.

He attributes this change mainly to getting a Switch shortly after it was released in March 2017. Not only has the console raised his awareness of titles from smaller developers due to its eShop, he now has more opportunity to play; his commute into work is a couple of hours each way and having the portability of the Switch means he can use that time to get stuck into a game. Like many of us, it’s not always possible for him to sink hundreds of hours into a release so Nintendo’s machine is fitting in nicely with his adult lifestyle.

A colleague from the other team we’re now based with overheard us chatting about this subject and came over to join in with the conversation. He agreed with the inclusive gamer: the Switch allowed him to play while his other-half ‘watches her crime-dramas’, and he’s enjoying it so much that he hasn’t logged into his Steam account for over a year now. This then prompted 30-minutes of him explaining to me exactly why I needed this console in my life and how I was missing out by not having a Switch.

His arguments:

  • Argument one: you can play video games and not hog the television, so you can sit with family while they watch whatever it is they want to watch.
  • Argument two: you can take the Switch on your commute or to other places, so you don’t always need to be at home if you want to pick up a title.
  • Argument three: the console makes indie titles more accessible through its eShop, and you find out about games you might not otherwise have heard of.

  • And my responses:

  • Response one: playing video games don’t mean hogging the television in my house. More often than not, my other-half and I can found playing something together.
  • Response two: I don’t like playing titles on my commute. I use that time for blogging and getting Later Levels in order, so I’ve got more spare time at home for games.
  • Response three: I find out about indie titles through other blogs, gaming websites, expos and word-of-mouth. I don’t really need a Switch to put them front and centre for me.

  • He’s adamant he’s going to manage to convince me to buy the console before Christmas but I doubt he’ll succeed. It’s mainly down to the way video games are viewed in my family; they’re our preferred form of entertainment, and we’d much rather play something or watch a stream than gather around a television show. I’ve come to realise I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner who shares my love for the hobby and who wants to participate in it together.

    But itโ€™s also good to have colleagues with whom you can discuss games โ€“ even if they do try and talk you into getting a console you donโ€™t want or need. As written by Fitzy over on Game Time recently: โ€œThere are people I can talk to comfortably and that alone makes my job so much more enjoyable. Itโ€™s still work at the end of the day but now I have people to talk to whilst we share that misery. Yay!โ€

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    14 thoughts on “Office politics: a follow-up Leave a comment

    1. Great post! I’ve gone from working in a place where everyone plays games to one where everyone thinks it’s extremely uncool. Actually, its not as bad as it sounds because I get to talk about all the other loves and interests in my life – sometimes when you are embroiled in gamer culture you can’t see the wood for the trees, the art of a game gets lost amongst specifications, feature sets, graphics discussions – a sort of exclusionary language where you’re only trusted if you know what all the buzzwords mean but discussions of how a game makes you feel become oddly subservient. This is how sexism in gamer culture has been allowed to grow so much – this air of pomposity and elitism suffocates any outsiders who want to enjoy what we enjoy, too.

      I think working in a diverse place made me realize how bad it is. The discussions people have about cinema or music aren’t conducted in the same way that we do about games and it’s really odd.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s someone I know who doesn’t like video games at all and doesn’t entirely approve of her young son playing them, for all the usual reasons: they’re childish, there’s so many other better things you could be doing with your time, etc. But she’s an avid Disney fan and watches all of the films; and I can’t see how that’s really any different.

        People still seem to have a tough time accepting gaming in the same sphere as cinema or music. Either they don’t enjoy the hobby and therefore don’t see its validity, or because they’re gamers themselves and (as you mentioned above) the language used can be exclusionary. There has definitely been the start of a change over the past few years though and it’s something we’ve got to keep fighting for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

    2. I’d like a Switch, but only for a few games at the moment which means I’m not desperate to get one. I guess from a more casual point of view it might be a good way to ID new indie games, but for me, I spend a lot of time looking in to games, to find new and exciting indie titles to play. By the time something hits the nintendo store there is already a good chance I know about it.
      I have a few people in my work who are in to games, but mostly the AAA titles. It’s nice to be able to chat with them about games whilst in work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like we’re in the same place when it comes to buying a Switch! I usually find out about indie games through posts or recommendations from other bloggers, so I really don’t feel the need to purchase a console I’m highly likely not to use after the initial couple of weeks…

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    3. Speaking as a Switch owner and I may be in the minority but I barely use it in handheld mode. The idea of using it on my commute sounds good but I wouldn’t be able to shake the thought that someone might try and swipe it. Probably paranoia from living in sketchy areas in the past but I wouldn’t be able to relax. Not only that but I’d probably miss my station ha. Also it’s not worth it taking it for a short commute in my mind. Half an hour plus and it’s great. But 20 minutes or so for me so I’d get a tournament on Mario Kart and that’s about it. But I wouldn’t be 100% relaxed playing it so I’d rather blog or read.

      If he uses the eShop to find new indie games, at least he’s trying indie games unlike a lot of gamers. Really though, I think the majority of us reading this blog go to the eShop, or their equivalents, when we already have a game to purchase in mind.

      If that’s his reasoning I don’t think you’re missing out on much. Besides the stellar games, but you can skip those other features.

      And cheers for the quote, I feel famous haha.

      Like

      • I know what you mean about not feeling entirely comfortable playing games on the commute! I travel into work extremely early and it’s often the case that I’m the only female in the carriage. I already get weird looks from fellow passengers when they see me watching a stream or reading a news article about a release, so that would just be even more pronounced if I pulled out a Switch.

        If we got one, I think it would just end up like our Wii U after a few weeks: unused and gathering dust in the corner of a room somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah I understand that. Just want to blend in with the other passengers and not draw attention to yourself. I know gaming is more accepted and popular now but that doesn’t seem to transition to commutes in my area. I barely see anyone playing games only super rare occasions and I’m not planning on setting a trend on my train haha.

          And yeah I’ll give the Switch credit, it has more good games at this point since its release compared to the WiiU release. BUT, I still have to give it a wipe down most times I play it, as it just doesn’t have the same frequency of good games that other systems have. In my opinion anyway. I also find that the Switch eShop’s game prices are more than the PS4’s for the same game during sales. I know you get the benefit of portability but like I said, I don’t use that feature much. So most of my indie games I play on the PS4 mainly due to cost and convenience of having most of my games on the same system. So yeah, I think you’re fine without one right now.

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          • The only game I ever see people playing on my commute is Candy Crush or some variation of it. But they’re probably also the same people who’d deny being gamers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I used to play all my indie releases on PC but I’ve found myself switching over to the PS4 recently. It’s partly due to my machine needing an upgrade but also because of how easy it is to get home after work and switch on the console. The type of games I enjoy can be a little harder to find in the PlayStation store but if you know what you’re looking for, they’re there waiting.

            Liked by 1 person

    4. If it helps, I got a Switch on launch day and it’s been a huge dust collector, haha. Yay for inclusive gamers! I work with several inclusive gamers and it makes work so much better. My old boss was even a friend on Xbox Live, and he also let me come in late on new Amiibo launch days ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      • Wow… I’d say he was in the running for best boss ever! I’ve yet to have a conversation with my boss about video games although I know she plays, so I’m looking forward to digging into her knowledge when the time comes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    5. I think the Switch is great, but it’s not a ‘must have’ in my case. I love that they’re loading it up with Indie titles, but it’s all games you can already easily find on Steam. I do have a friend who needs to travel a lot for work these days, and it’s hugely useful for him. We’re pretty spoiled as gamers, these days!

      (I did love Mario Odyssey more than I thought I would, though.)

      Like

      • I love getting my hands on a new console as much as the next gamer, but I don’t think I’d get much use out of a Switch and so it makes it a little pointless. I might as well save the money and spend it on more video games instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    6. I’m glad you’ve found some fellow gamers at work! Apparently there are some in my building as I occasionally hear ringtones or text tones from video games, but no one in the department I work in plays games. People already profile me as an “IT guy” because of my appearance, so I avoid sharing my hobbies so I don’t get shoved into an even more stereotypical box.

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      • We’ve come so far… and yet we still have so far to go. It sounds similar to the reaction I’ve had from a few colleagues outside of my own team when they find out I play video games, and ask if I like Candy Crush. ๐Ÿ˜’

        Liked by 1 person

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