When Syl first mentioned writing about community and games for the Bloggy XMAS Calendar I really wanted to participate but I had nothing to write about. I don't have time for MMOs these days and I don't play a single online game consistently enough to be part of it's community. How would I write about games and community?
But then I had a meeting with an old friend. We hadn't seen each other in a couple years and we were meeting about a potential business project that we could work on together. Surprisingly, we jumped right back into our old habits of discussing gaming.
I mean, yes, we did talk about business stuff later, but first we talked about the Gamecube hooked up to his TV. He just moved into a new apartment and it's the only console hooked up so far. And then, while playing Smash Bros Melee on said Gamecube, we talked about how he's been playing classic EverQuest on a private EQ server. I mentioned my trials and tribulations with playing the entire Final Fantasy series. We had a great time!
I haven't talked to this guy much in the past few years and it just floors me how much gaming helped us instantly relate to each other again. We still love to talk about games and play games even though we're in our late twenties now. I know a lot of people who used to be gamers that have since dropped the hobby. It was a genuine pleasure to reconnect with a friend over gaming.
Gaming with friends is amazing.
You know what other kind of gaming is amazing? Gaming with family.
My daughter is four years old now. She's been playing iOS games on iPods, iPhones, and iPads since before her first birthday. Now, finally, she's starting to get into console gaming with me. We've been playing Wii U together for the past six months or so. I taught her how to play Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Smash Bros.
I can't even express how proud I was the day I came home from work and she was set up on the couch playing Super Mario 3D World on her own. It was a sense of pride, joy, surprise, and nostalgia. Some of my earliest memories are gaming at day care when I was her age. I realized that some of her first memories might be gaming with me. I almost cried.
And now I get the awesome side-effect of being the parent of a little gamer. Randomly I get asked, "Daddy, can we play Smash Bros together?" Of course the answer is yes.
Does she take ten minutes to pick out a character for each player in the color of her choice? Yes. Is it worth it to sit and watch her do ten minutes of set-up for two minutes of game? Absolutely. She's interacting with the game on her own terms. But, most importantly, she's having fun!
Her two-year-old brother is already nipping at her heels. He's been a touch device wiz just like her. Now he's interested in gaming controllers and he can even do an art game on the Wii U gamepad! Pretty soon he'll join us and I'll have two constant gaming companions. I'm so excited for that day!
Until then, I'm happy making friends online to discuss gaming. The blogging community is amazing and helps me stay connected to other people who have the same interests as me.
And they tend to be active on twitter too! It's great for staying in touch and quick conversations about topics. I'm always thrilled when someone strikes up a chat with me on twitter about gaming. If you're looking for more gamers to talk to, feel free to reach out to me @grnmushroom.
This holiday season I find myself thankful for gamers of all kinds. From old friends, to my kids, and my random online friends. Thank you everyone. Keep being awesome!
This post is part of the Bloggy XMAS Calendar. Make sure to go check it out!
Thanks to Syl for organizing this great event!