It’s 82% Good To Talk

It’s 82% Good To Talk


Even though 82% of people in my age group profess a fondness for polygons, data provided by the most steadfast (anecdotal) evidence from a trusted (personal) source conducted exhaustively and longitudinally (over the past week) leads me to believe that talk of videogames is best kept to a minimum, ‘lest matron tell the housemaster.

My research methodology has been as follows: if I should meet new people, I’ve make a point of mentioning computer games and emphasising their definitive importance to my identity, observing the results (verbal response, facial reaction, weapons unsheathed) and noting them down in the ring-binder provided to class at the start of term. The experiment is now over. The wounds are healing. If 82% of my age group jerk furiously on their joysticks, playing IL-Sturmovik whilst mother’s out of the room, they’d rather stall than admit it.

The obligatory ‘introduce yourself’ section at the beginning of a new module manufactured an inescapable snare for my first batch of test subjects. Abnormally, instead of feigning enthusiasm for course and classmates, the room reverberated with the rhetoric of one who firmly believes he’s learned more about Realist conceptions of international relations from Sid Meier than from any of the pedagogues we pay extortionate prices to daydream in the presence of. The response was less than I’d hoped for – there was no consternation, but neither was there a sense of support or an air of agreement. Only the vacant expression and glazed-eyes typical of studenthood in the British education system. The lecturer urged my neighbour to disgorge an eloquent fallacy and the red-eyed rats’ cage door clanged shut.

On the bus home, I sat next to a fellow public-transport sufferer. She remarked upon the oddity that neither of us were filtering the outside world by use of earphones and we agreed that our act of deviancy put us at risk of becoming pariahs. I quite liked this girl, and so it was with a wistful sigh that I remembered the rules – since this was an introduction, I had to bombard her with my virtual life history. As those relationship-scuppering words came lolling off my tongue, I became acutely aware of the sky as it began to darken, and her temperament likewise. My diatribe was cut short as I was describing how I got to see my grandparents every weekend because they had a PC and I had Grim Fandango, when she impaled my textual assault with the words, “Sims 2“, “Dad’s laptop” and, “but I have a life as well”. It was at that moment that I realised I’d never assault her again. I tripped off the bus, landing with a thud on dry tarmac, but it must have been raining because I felt my eyes begin to dampen.

I’d given up hope when we awkwardly met on a clustered stairwell. Them: three lads I’d been told wanted to come look at my room so they could decide if they wanted to live in it next year. Me: Vacating that room ten minutes early. It was tricky enough excusing my behaviour when implicated by blushing cheeks, the greatest trick of all would be to embrace the rules – to release the topic of games as chaff in an effort to deflect their accusational harpoons.

“Ah! You must be the lads! I.. thought if I went to this staircase I’d find you – I’m a gamer by the way!”

Their wing leader’s response made it clear my evasive manoeuvres had been unnecessary. These guys were physics students, hence they had to be PC gamers. They were pretty much like you or I, except with attempts at beards. I gave them my blessing and we began exchanging packets via the infrared spectrum.

What have I learned? I’ve learned that the only decent people are physics students and you lot, and that girls really need to discover another game. If 82% of my age group play games, they don’t seem to find their experiences worth sharing in conversation.

7 thoughts on “It’s 82% Good To Talk

  1. I’m on the other side; I enjoy games, and I enjoy talking about them in certain situations, but when I’m in a social event, like the pubbe, I don’t particularly want some random bloke I’ve met once to start discussing the advantages of the mouse in Left 4 Dead over the thumbstick. I want to talk about the ale I’m drinking, the house I’m living in next year, and the crazyness that my friends seem to find so alluring. There are game times, and other times.

  2. I don’t mind talking about games in public, but I do when “people with lives” are there to listen. I don’t think it’s particularly because I’m ashamed of it, but rather because other people – like Poisoned Cameron here – don’t care to talk about it. Yes, I’m indeed this considerate.

  3. Games are this exciting revolution we’re all part of. Still, I’m sure Picasso went on about painting a little too much. I tend to just let rip, damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead. People glaze over though, but that’s just because they’re rude fools or have tragic mental difficulties. If you can follow what’s what on Big Brother you can listen to the microdramas of Counterstrike.

  4. Random anecdote; just over two years ago, a friend (well, perhaps friend isn’t the right word), introduced me to a moderately attractive girl as “This is Si. He likes comics and games”. Clearly, then, I didn’t have much choice in the matter as far as introducing myself went. (Haven’t spoken to this girl since. The friend, well, that was Kara who regulars in RPS will know of).

    I don’t make any pains to hide my gameryness/geekiness/nerdiness, but I *DO* hide just how far it goes. Often at work we’ll be talking about something and I’ll remember an anecdote on the matter, but stop myself because it is just too far. Or maybe I’ll append it with some umming and ahhing, or a “I think”, “maybe”, “perhaps” and so forth. Never do I just say “Oh yes, I know exactly why that is…”.

    Funny you should mention the pub, Phil. I went to a studentificious bar last weekend with some friends, and at one point they were deep in conversation regarding buying a new PC and what parts they should get and such. I was hesitant to join in, more out of shame than anything else. Here we were, surrounded by young attractive types, majorly geeking out.

    Hm, I realise I’ve written all that and not really made any kind of point. Out Of Tea Error.

  5. Gaming is an odd one to talk about really. I’ve got some mates who I can’t bring it up with, some I can. My house mates are a definite no-no for a start. In Nick’s words “I don’t know anything about gaming besides hearing about Counter-Strike “. That was a while ago, back when we started at Uni. I think WoW’s become known since then. When I admit that, I normally make a point of emphasising “It wasn’t for long! Don’t Judge me!”
    My mates back home are far easier to get on with in this regard, since I play a couple with them. I started with alot of Red Alert 2 online with them – fun times! A couple I even play Left 4 Dead with (particularly OCUK – Kearney if you’ve ever had him join a game I’m in with you :D)
    Doing ancient history is a good one for gamers though. Rome – Total War is an institution. A common theme in our lectures is that when the obligatory “Warfare during the XYZ period” lecture comes up on the schedule, we all turn up highly interested to begin with only to realise “Rome – Total War taught me more than that lecture did”. Excellent.
    As for girls. I know a couple of girl-gamers – online though. I saw a study result somewhere that suggested it was largely girls with low self-esteem that game. To be honest, from my experience with these, that’s very, very true. But one of them says Thief is the best game ever. She’s right y’know. [Sob Story]I think that’s actually one of the reasons it took me so long to get over her – someone female, attractive, *and* with a good taste in games. Alas. Never meant to be evidently.[/Sob Story]

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