Digital Storytelling: Online Gaming

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Image source: https://plus.google.com/+NathanielClay/posts/BoFkvhko3nd

Before anything I would like to give two facts I think are important to know before you read anything else.

  1. Of the 1.6 billion people online, 44% play online games
  2. Approximately 50% of gamers are women

Being a gamer, and more specifically an online gamer, I noticed that there is a trend for the media, whether it be television, movies, or the news, to portray online gamers and broadly gamers as a whole, in a negative, unrealistic way. It seems bizarre to me that this is still happening today, because as you can see from the statistic above, online gamers are hardly a minority group, in fact if we look at gamers as a whole they make up almost 20% of the worlds population.

Through interviews with online gamers, and personal reflection on my own experience with online gaming, I hope to show a realistic picture of who an online gamer is and what the online space is like.

 

Will,29 aka Voluntarius

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When did you start online gaming?

I started playing when I was 17.

Why did you start?

I got into it because a few mates thought it would be fun to play online, and it would be a bit easier than everyone organising meeting up.

Why have you continued?

I have continued playing because I enjoy the variety of games that are online and the different people I have met through online gaming.

What game/genre do you play the most?

The genre of games that I play the most is rpg (Role playing games).

Do you tend to keep to yourself, just play with friends, or interact with other players?

I tend to do a bit of all of them; I enjoy playing with friends the most, but I like being able to play alone or with new people. It’s always fun seeing how other people play.

Has your experience with people online been positive or negative?

My experience with other people online has been genuinely positive. I do occasionally get the annoying people but it’s rare.

Do you think there’s a negative image of online gamers that is portrayed in the media?

I think the image portrayed is usually exaggerated quite a bit. But I don’t think it’s been overtly negative.

Do you think you’ll continue gaming online in the future?

Yes, I will be playing online in the future, I’m looking forward to seeing how the games and the community advances into the future.

Finally do you have any stories about online gaming/ interacting with others online that you want to share?

Haha! No. I really have anything interesting to say about experiences online.

 

Laura,20 aka ltreglo1.

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When did you start online gaming?

I started online gaming when I was 10 years old.

Why did you start?

I started because my older sister, who is three years my senior, was already doing it so of course I had to play them too. It is because of her that I am interested in games. I would always sit and watch her play the X-box or the PlayStation, but I was never allowed. But the computer we had was our parents so that was the first console/device I was able to play games on.

Why have you continued?

I have no idea. I waste so much time because I am just addicted. It gives me the escape that I love and as an avid reader I love the imagination involved in a lot of the fantasy games. I did have to cancel my World Of Warcraft subscription at the start of university because it was getting out of hand how much I played it, but I did buy myself one month recently and remembered just how much I loved it.

What game/genre do you play the most?

If I had my way the only game I would need to play is World of Warcraft, but that is expensive because you have to pay a monthly subscription. I do love Tera because it is very similar to WoW and is free which is always a bonus.

Do you tend to keep to yourself, just play with friends, or interact with other players?

When I was younger and playing I was very confident, I was actually a guild master (it just makes me laugh to think about it now) and had a large group of friends who I always did raids and quests with. However now I am a solo player, if i want to do a raid I just go with randoms, which always bothers me because it is never as good as with friends. I do still try and interact with other players when I get the chance in hopes of making friends, but it hasn’t happened within the past few years.

Has your experience with people online been positive or negative?

Overall my experience has been positive, it has been fun and definitely overshadows the negative that does happen. As a female player I find there are a lot of lewd and sexual remarks made on the public chats. But the bad always has a louder voice than the nice and there are still genuinely nice people online. But because of this and trying to protect my enjoyment of the game I don’t tell people my gender, age or name.

Do you think there’s a negative image of online gamers that is portrayed in the media?

Definitely there is the image that we are slackers and incapable of being and existing within normal society. There is the stereotype of the hermit who is only awake at night, but that isn’t true for everyone. I know most people who look at me would not assume that I was a gamer. The gaming community is growing, so of course there are people like that who are hardcore and really into the games to the point of being creepy, but most people are just normal people who enjoy playing games.

If yes, what would you say to people that haven’t played?

I tell people just to try it because everyone will find something they like about a game. It combines all the great elements of facebook,books, and tv and movies. You can’t judge something that you yourself haven’t tried.

Do you think you’ll continue gaming online in the future?

I will definitely try and continue gaming, but now that I am out of school it is getting harder to fit the time in around work, university, friends and sleep. It will probably just be the case of not being able to play for such long hours in a row.

Finally do you have any stories about online gaming/ interacting with others online that you want to share?

This year one of my non gamer friends tried playing a mmorpg (massively multiplayer online role playing game for the first time, at a lan (local area network) with me. That was pretty fun, and hilarious.

 

Clancy,20 aka OfTheOverflow

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When did you start online gaming?

I started online gaming in 2010.

Why did you start?

I started because I was geographically isolated from friends out in Greenwell Point (a half hour drive East from Nowra).

Why have you continued?

I have continued because it is some of the most fun you can have at home, and it’s a good way of chatting with friends while mutually playing a game.

What game/genre do you play the most?

I probably play FPS (first person shooters)/Rhythm games/racing games equally.

Do you tend to keep to yourself, just play with friends, or interact with other players?

It depends; while playing PS4 console I’m usually playing with friends, but on PC I’m by myself at the moment.

Has your experience with people online been positive or negative?

I don’t usually chat to randoms, but when I have it’s all been mature and friendly but that may be due to the games I play being catered to a more mature audience.

Do you think there’s a negative image of online gamers that is portrayed in the media?

Absolutely a negative image, not entirely undeserved. The guise of anonymity allows immature people to be assholes, especially to women for some reason.

If yes, what would you say to people that haven’t played?

Just give it a go, or at least talk to a gamer.

Do you think you’ll continue gaming online in the future?

I will absolutely continue; I’ve literally have a match of Battlefield running in another tab.

Finally do you have any stories about online gaming/ interacting with others online that you want to share?

Way, way too many hilarious memories and stories to list. I have hours of clips that I’ve not uploaded just on my HDD. This one’s a classic for me though:

‘Keanu’ is Kezza6421, meant to be the magnet for C4 but our other friend got launched a millisecond later by it instead

 

 

Hayden,20 aka Flopsy

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When did you start online gaming?

I have played games pretty much my whole life. I can still remember playing Snowboard kids on the Nintendo 64 with my Dad. I would have only been around 4 at the time, but in terms of online games I would have started when I was around 16 years old

Why did you start?

I started out just playing Call of duty, Battlefield and other Fps’s like that, just because heaps of my mates were playing them and I didn’t want to be left out.

Why have you continued?

As I continued gaming online and off, my love for it grew, and when I realised that you could play a lot of my favourite types of games online I was hooked. If I was playing a game online it not only meant I could play it, but usually meant I could also hang out with my mates.

What game/genre do you play the most?

I play a bunch of different games in all different genres, but I guess at the moment the game im playing is the mmorpg Tera. I think the genre I play the most would probably be rpg’s, I just love the idea of creating your character and then progressing through the story, getting stronger and stronger.

Do you tend to keep to yourself, just play with friends, or interact with other players?

I think I’ve done a bit of all three. I love when I can find a time where me and some mates can all be on at the same time and play together, but that’s not always easy with uni and work. Usually I’d say then that I just keep to myself, a lot of the time it’s just easier that way; that’s not to say that I don’t play with randoms, a lot of the games I play have part where you have to play with others, and most of my experiences with that have been really good.

Has your experience with people online been positive or negative?

As I said before, most of my experiences have been pretty good, of course in every community there are always a few people that can be, in the nicest way to put it not fun, but they only make up a small percent of gamers out there. I will say something I’ve noticed is that for certain games the amount of ‘not fun’ people can be larger, but I’m not sure why that is.

Do you think there’s a negative image of online gamers that is portrayed in the media?

I would say that there is a definite trend to generalise all gamers as the same outdated image of a white, nerdy guy with no social skills, who still lives at his parents’ house, and I’d say that’s a little on the nose to say the least. In my experience the gaming community is made up of a vast range of different people, the only thing I think we all have in common is that we like games.

If yes, what would you say to people that haven’t played?

To people who haven’t played, I think the easiest thing to understand online gaming is just to talk with a gamer. After a quick chat you’ll be able to see that were just normal(ish) people, who are usually nice…, unless you steal one of their kills, in that case prepare to be in a world of pain.

Do you think you’ll continue gaming online in the future?

Yeah, at least for a while, or until my friends decide to give up, it’s always going to be at its core a bit of fun.

Finally do you have any stories about online gaming/ interacting with others online that you want to share?

I remember one time, I was just walking along in game, and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a character in a tree. I was a little curious as to what they were doing, so I stopped to watch. After waiting for a while, I asked what they were doing, and I turned out they had only just started playing games and somehow got stuck in the tree and didn’t know how to get out.

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