It’s getting harder
As a kid, it was always easy to have gaming meetups. My birthday parties were Killer Instinct SNES tournaments. In my teenage years, LAN parties were a staple, and lugging a huge rig around was way more fun than it sounds. The original DoTA, Halo, Madden, Super Smash Bros., and everything in-between was played in my dorm. While growing old has its benefits (ice cream at midnight, take that mom), it also equally has its drawbacks. People grow apart, get families, and either move out of hardcore gaming as a hobby entirely or cut back.
Flash forward to modern day, and one of the only regular things I play that resembles a LAN-esque setup is a weekly Heroes of the Storm meetup. It’s basically just my wife and my friend Steve playing together, occasionally with people online that I know, getting pizza, catching up, and enjoying ourselves. I treasure this time, but unfortunately they’re going to be less frequent, as he’s expecting his first child any day now.
Beyond that I attend local fighting game tournaments, but for the most part, the vast majority of my gaming experience is rooted in online play. Everything has become more isolated. Now, I’m not one of those people who laments change, as the vast improvements to online infrastructure have greatly benefited me over the years, especially in the MMO realm. By that same token, a lot of the aforementioned friends use online play to reconnect with people — whether it’s due to a newborn or moving house.
I don’t have that local connection as much as I’d used to, but I’m always looking for ways to reconnect with people. For now, gaming online mostly fills that void. What’s your situation like?