So I recently threw out a question to our community. The question? What makes a good community member? I knew the things I considered important, but I really just wanted to get a feel for what other community members thought and felt. I ended up being pleasantly surprised by the response as feedback from individuals rolled in from the different sources.
Lots of different great points and topics to touch base on were received. So the idea is once a week (this is the goal, may be more often or less depending on real life availability) I’ll take one of the topics brought up by our community members and we’ll run with it.
I do want to take this time and offer up my sincere gratitude for those who were willing to share their thoughts on this subject. THANK YOU! Encouraging a healthy community is something I’ve always been interested in, so thank you all for helping me on this project!
First things First – Fighting the stereotype
Being social or being community minded is not something generally associated with the stereotypical gamer. So I feel like before we launch too far into this series, its important to have a handle on some base information and clear up some misconceptions that may be out there. The point made in this particular post is a simple one, but it’s kind of the foundation point for what will be discussed from here on out.
We all know that when people say the word “gamer” – even today, there are still many out there who entertain images of “gamers” being people with little or no responsibilities, people who reside in their parents darkened basements staring blankly at a lit computer screen or at the tv connected to a console in front of them. They typically think of “gamers” as individuals that hide out from real life, choosing instead to escape reality and avoid most social encounters, preferring their own virtual realm.
In truth, while there may be some out there that fit into the above dated perception of a “gamer”, in all reality that case is more the extreme than the norm. Overall that whole “gamer” stereotype is quite dated and no longer accurate (if it ever was accurate to begin with is debatable).
Playing video games used to be seen as something that “kids” do for fun, but when you consider that statistics now show that the average gamer is roughly 33 years of age, I think it makes it clear that a definite shift has occurred. A Digital Trends article reports that 70% of Americans play video games, that is over 165 million people in the US alone, and the video game community in other countries is definitely on the rise. It goes on to mention that there isn’t even really” a significant divide between adults and children playing video games”.
What does this mean? It means that gaming in general has become a more mainstream form of entertainment. Far more people who actually do “have lives” and that do “maintain their personal responsibilities” participate in gaming then what you may have originally perceived.
These same people, …… these “gamers” have real lives they attend to. These people generally do have jobs and families, boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives and all the ups and downs associated with that. Some go out in the sun (some even have tans!), some are even pretty athletic, and some even volunteer their time in their real world communities.
See I know all of this because “these people”…. these “gamers” are not only much like you and me…. they ARE you and me.
I’ll introduce myself a bit to those who haven’t followed my blog. I’m married, have three beautiful children that I truly adore, and that keep us pretty busy. We have a house, a dog, a yard.. I have crazy and very opinionated extended family members that mean well.. (lol, but then don’t we all)….. I have a full time job, and for the past 4 years I’d been pretty involved off and on with a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. I’m proud to say that I’ve contributed to the building of 4 different homes in my local town .. and I’m a gamer.. a gamer that is slightly obsessed with Final Fantasy XIV in my free time… a gamer that actually enjoys this online community, and would like to see it continue to grow and flourish into a positive influence for all those involved.
What it boils down to, and kind of the point of this introductory post is that no matter how shallow or deep your personal immersion is into Eorzea or FFXIV , or any other game for that matter, it should never be forgotten that those fellow players are tied to actual real life people.
They are here to relax while playing a game they enjoy… just like you.
They want to get the most out of their time in game…. just like you.
They have wishes and goals and desires…. just like you.
They are real people dealing with real stresses associated with life in general…. just like you.
Point to take away from this: Players are more than pixels on your screen. They are human beings too, just like you.
Just like in real life, you aren’t necessarily going to agree, or even be fond of all individuals you meet up with, but regardless there should always be present that initial base line of respect given simply because they are indeed real human beings. Being a human yourself should lend itself to respecting what it takes to be a human.
With that fact expressed and now out of the way and, I think we can now properly begin this series. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it.
Ninja Edit: Oh hey! this was my 400th blog post! Woohoo!