I’ve been doing a lot of personal development over the last couple of years, and I’m finding a lot of it even delves into the kind of gamer I am and how I view games, the game industry, and other gamers. I’ve recently came to a thought: I don’t like playing multiplayer games with most men and with women who share a specific kind of attitude as those men.
I’m a storyteller gamer. Sure, I pay attention to the stats of my gear, the gameplay mechanics I like, the co-op and multiplayer strategies people use, the changes devs do to the game (such as the changes in the upcoming 2.0 patch for Destiny); but those just are the tools and framework for having fun experiences together that turn into great stories we can tell. I’m in it for the stories, not for becoming the best of the best on the leaderboard or in having the best speedrun times. This is why I tend to not bother with certain games (or at least the multiplayer aspects of certain games); games like the various incarnations of Halo, Battlefield, Call of Duty, etc. I jsut find most of the players care more about their K/D ratio than about actually having fun with friends, and they use gameplay skill as measuring sticks to be elitist and exclude others from their group.
On average, I’ve found that most guys I come across who are gamers have this elitist attitude. It’s rare for me to find a male gamer who is into gaming for the story even close to as much as I am, and even rarer for those people to share the same enjoyment of the specific games I enjoy. When it comes to story, I’ve found many women who share my passion for stories, though few that are into video games; most prefer TV series, movies, and books to video games. It’s one of the reasons I adore PnP tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, to be honest. It’s also why I find I actually prefer to play those PnP games with women more than men, because the women are more able to keep from metagaming and actually invest in their characters as well as the narratives. Most of the guys I’ve gamed with are more interested in beefing up their characters, playing tired old stereotypes, creating the most freakish character builds they can, or having big, drawn out battles and gathering as much XP as they can.
Not all guys are like this, and I’ve come across loads of women players who also care more about K/D ratios and are elitists. That doesn’t change that this kind of attitude is almost an exact opposite to the kind of gamer I am. This has definitely made it very tough for me to find people to game with regularly in pretty much every game I play, and also why it’s hard for me to find a guild I get along with.
This actually leads into another thought I had; that of all the guilds I’ve joined in MMO games, none had people who went out of their way to make new players feel welcomed and like they were part of the group. Sure, some were friendly, but I mean none went above and beyond to include new players as part of the team and get to know them better as people. I think that’s an important task for all online gaming guilds that gets all too often neglected, and one that reflects how certain parts of how all of society is becoming a little more antisocial and mistrusting. What really grinds my gears is that I can’t really blame people for being like that, due to the large amount of trolls and scammers who fester hidden within the gaming community.
So I’m not really sure what to do about it. For now, I guess I am going to try creating my own multi-game, multi-platform guild. I’m not sure what to call it, maybe “The Storyteller’s League” or something. I doubt I’ll get many members, but I want the main goal to be a place where people gather to find others who actually care about getting to know each other, who want to create amazing stories and memories through their gameplay together, and where no one gets left behind. We may talk about stats and gameplay, but they aren’t going to be our primary focus. They’re jsut tools, framework; it’s the people and the things we do that create the stories we’ll tell, the tales that could go down in legend.