I never cease to be amazed how even though videogames have come so far in terms of mainstream acceptance, there are times when I must contain myself accordingly when showing my enthusiasm for my favorite past-time.
At a former company, I had a good friend who was an avid gamer like myself. We had a lot in common generally speaking, and gaming was a normal topic of conversation for us. I looked forward to small breaks in the day, to take five minutes to chat about games.
At times, during our conversations, my eyes would wander to see who was eaves dropping. More times than not, you can see the glares, either of disapproval or amusement. One coworker of ours, who sat nearby once said to us, “You guys are so funny, you sound like by 10-year-old nephew.”
Is that comment supposed to be some kind of slight, since we’re two grown men, in our mid-thirties with families who just so happen to like playing videogames? No one bats an eye when a bunch of guys go on and on about their fantasy football leagues, but two guys talking about videogames? How delightfully juvenile. I wanted to tell her to eat shit and die, but I would probably have gotten called down to HR and get a stern talking to.... AGAIN!
The glares and passive aggressive comments are not only limited to strangers, casual, and professional relationships. Just a couple of weeks ago, a good friend and I were on the phone discussing Titanfall
strategy. He and I have been gaming together for a long time and have no qualms geeking out and discussing games for hours on end.
In the midst of our conversation, I was delving deep on Titanfall
“best practices” and the virtues of using your Burn Cards and the timely deployment of electric smoke when an enemy pilot is rodeoing you, when my wife just so happened to walk by. Her response… “you guys sound like morons.”
Now, my wife has always been supportive of my gaming past-time, and even though she was half joking, she has no idea how close she was to getting drop-kicked to the face right then and there. I had visions of pulling a Stanley Kowalski and flipping a table over and going on a diatribe about being king of the house and Huey Long or something bat shit crazy like that, but my wife is freakishly strong and would probably kick my ass.
How I look when I'm gaming.
It’s those little instances like that which makes me hesitate approaching people to talk about games in untested environments. Just last week, I noticed a co-worker wearing a graphic t-shirt with an old school NES gamepad the front. I was tempted to go over and strike up a conversation about games with him, but I stopped short and just paid him a compliment on his shirt.
Being relatively new at this company, god forbid anyone gets the wrong idea about me. My new boss could’ve caught wind of the conversation and made a beeline to HR. Sure, the new guy has over ten years of experience and is very qualified, but he was talking about games, let’s confiscate his building credentials and collect his computer., because hiring him was obviously a mistake.
I say this tongue-in cheek, but honestly, you never know. So I'm going to bide my time, wait for just the right time to strike up a conversation about games, perhaps in a dark corner, when no one is looking, like a ne'er-do-well punk from a 1950's anti-marijuana Reefer Madness
Hey kid... you into videogames?