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 ‘more casually than men’). 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.
And my responses:
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 it’s also good to have colleagues with whom you can discuss games – even if they do try and talk you into getting a console you don’t want or need. As written by Fitzy over on Game Time recently: “There are people I can talk to comfortably and that alone makes my job so much more enjoyable. It’s still work at the end of the day but now I have people to talk to whilst we share that misery. Yay!”
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