As we finally return to DIKULT103 classes after a 2 week break, we kickstart a part of the course i didn’t even realize would be a part of it. The gaming-related part of the course. This obviously excited me from the start. I’ve been a lover of video games since early primary school, and i have touched on them a few times in my blog posts so far.
Gaming is hard to define. What is a game? And what type of gamer are you? Two topics that were discussed durings this weeks lectures. Mia categorized us into four different groups of gamers, and the nature of each group really made wonder which one i actually fit into. Or if anyone who plays games manage to only relate to one of them.
We start of with the casual gamer. Someone who perceives gaming as a hobby used to relax. Doesn’t really know much about gaming, and primarily plays stuff on their phone on their free time for example. No specific motivation, just relaxation. A category i cannot relate to at all, to say the least. I barely touch mobile games.
Then the social gamer. A gamer whose motivation is to connect with friends and strangers through the gaming medium. What they play is often decided by their social circle. FPS multiplayer games like Call of Duty and Battlefield or MMOs like Black Desert Online and World of Warcraft (or just any multiplayer game) is popular amongst these guys. And i definitely fit into this category. Playing games alone is fun and all that, but the experience is often enhanced when you have someone to share it with. I didn’t really experience this category personally until a few years ago, which i will explain to later in the post.
The third category is the specialist gamer. The specialist is a passionate video game player. A specialist gamer knows what type of video game they like, and want to get the most out of their experience in a certain category of games. I definitely fit into this category as well. Ever since i discovered video games i have played a wide variety of them. But i seem to find myself constantly returning to the FPS genre. Every time a new Call of Duty or Battlefield game is released, i play the hell out of it for at least a couple of months. And when a new FPS game hits the scene, i am most likely going to try it out and even put a good amount of time into it (examples of these games: Titanfall 1 and 2, DOOM, Rainbow Six: Siege).
And last but not least, the expert gamer. Not necessarily a skilled gamer, but definitely passionate about them. When not in front of a gaming console, they spend time reading about them, researching possible new games to play and follow the video game scene in form of conventions and e-sports events. Another category i can definitely relate to. As i’m writing this post, i’m actually watching a live Call of Duty e-sports event, one of many that takes place throughout the year. I also watch a lot of Youtube videos, no matter if they’re just let’s plays, funny montages or helpful tips to enhance my own skill in a specific game. So on some level, i relate to three out of the four categories Mia presented to us.
Back in the day, i was much more of just an expert gamer. I played a wide variety of games, did a lot of research on them and always found myself excited looking into what was next. But i definitely took a step into the socialist and specialist categories during September 2014. The release of “Destiny”.
Destiny: The beautiful mess of a game
I wanna talk a little bit about Destiny in this blog post. In a couple of weeks i’m gonna present a game showcase of this very game during one of the lectures, and i couldn’t find a more perfect example to talk about than this game. So i’m gonna bring up a few things here that i might not be able to fit into the showcase due to a limited presentation time. I had seen a lot of videos and articles about this game in the weeks up to it’s release, and i was extremely hyped about it. It presented itself like a blend of the traditional FPS genre and the time-investing MMO genre. And it was made by the company that gave us the brilliant series of Halo games, Bungie. What was there not to be excited about?
The release date came around, and i had it in my hands a day early because the pre-order came in early. The first few days with it in my possession ended up consisting of waking up, going to school, getting back home to eat, and then play it until my eyes couldn’t take it anymore. I absolutely loved the gunplay, and the world we were put into was graphically beautiful. But as the days passed, i was starting to have my doubts. I completed the story campaign, and found myself disappointed. The story made very little sense. Some of the secondary characters had stupid dialogue like “I don’t have time to explain why i don’t have time to explain”, and the final boss was basically one of the mid-game boss fights, but this time there were three of the same big guy. And after completing the story and reaching the “endgame”, the part of the game where you’re supposed to put in the most time and grind your way to the best guns, seemed empty and full of unfulfilling repetition. After completing the campaign, you only had a certain amount of things you could do. Strikes, which were missions playable with 3 people with tons of adds and a big boss to defeat at the end. They all felt the same, and gave out little reward. Nightfalls, which were harder versions of the strikes with modifiers like extra solar damage or extra melee damage, that were your only source of upgradable gear at release but forced you to party up with people beforehand. And then the Crucible, the PvP part of the game, randomly dealing out either terrible rewards or a great gun out of nowhere.
I lost interest quickly. I played it from time to time the following months when i was bored. I even had the season pass, which meant i had access to the two following downloadable content packs. And that’s when things started to catch up. Most of my friends had given up on the game already, which meant i had to resort to finding random teammates through sites like reddit or http://www.destinylfg.net/ to find people to do the endgame activites with. When the second downloadable content pack came out, titled House of Wolves, Bungie introduced a new mode: Trials of Osiris. This was the competetive PvP part of the game, where premade teams of three people matched up and played against each other in a survival gametype where if you died, you had to be revived. And you had to win 5 rounds to win the match. And by playing this you could earn exclusive armor pieces or weapons related to the game mode.
Again, all of my friends had given up, so i had to find random teammates. Every weekend i would go on earlier mentioned sites and find teammates, often with little success. We would win a couple of games, lose a couple of games and then disband and never talk again. It all changed during the summer of 2015, when i met some random people and actually made it to the highest honor in the game with them, the Lighthouse. You had to win 9 games in a row without losing to make it there. The weekend after that, they invited me again. And ever since that, i had a big group of 15-20 people to play Destiny with daily. Bungie continued to take critique from their audience and continually improved and added to this game, and it kept people playing. Especially the people who loved the Crucible partr of it. I played the two following expansions with them and even through those for nearly 2 years and over a 1000 hours in-game, and still to this day we play different games with each other.
I’m gonna save the rest of my Destiny talk for my showcase, but this is just an example of how one gaming experience can change your own gaming personality, and how a big community of helpful people can exist purely because of a video game.