Gaming And Me – My Identity As An Intermediate Gamer

Screenshot by Flickr User: nixinStudio
Screenshot by Flickr User: nixinStudio

Many of you may not be familiar with me or my blog over at simpleek. If you visit my blog, you may notice how I call myself the “intermediate gamer.” Ever since I started blogging over a year ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about my experiences and my identity as a gamer. I consider myself an intermediate gamer because my level with games lies somewhere in the middle. I’m not completely clueless about gaming because I have watched my cousin play Mario and other games that would be considered classic and retro at this point. I have held a controller before and played a little Mario, Mortal Kombat, and Aladdin as a kid. For some reason having a brief flirtation with games as a kid wasn’t enough for me to become a hardcore gamer.

My transformation as a gamer didn’t come until 2009, the year I decided I wanted to purchase a Nintendo DS and then the Wii. The Wii attracted me to gaming because of the motion controls. I don’t know why, but the idea of interactive gaming that encourages you to get up and move was appealing. By purchasing the DS and Wii it just opened up the floodgates to more gaming devices my friends felt I needed to have. When the PSP was added to the bunch, thanks to a friend who gave me one as a birthday gift one year, I thought this would be the last portable handheld device and console I would have in my possession.

Friends thought they could sway me to add an Xbox 360 or a Playstation console to my growing collection of gaming devices. I refused for the longest time. I was content with Nintendo and all the current systems I had. And the games! They just never stopped coming. I bought a few and then each Christmas and birthday were opportunities for my friends to pile on games they thought I would like to add to my growing library. I still have an insane backlog of games. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to put a dent on them.

My resolve against getting another console finally broke sometime in the fall of 2012. My friend showed me Dragon Age: Origins and I was a goner. It quickly became, “Why hello there, Xbox 360! Where have you been all my life?” The rest, as the tired saying goes, was history. I was knee deep into gaming and there was no turning back. I don’t regret my transition into a full on gamer. It just makes splitting my time amongst other leisure activities way trickier than it was before. Navigating my new found status as gamer was exciting, confusing, and a little intimidating.

Being the intermediate gamer meant I was no where near being a total infant in the realm of games, but I wasn’t an expert either. When I bought my Xbox and it came time to play a game where I had to get used to all the buttons and joysticks the controller had, I was as awkward and unsure as the girl who waited with baited breath to find out if the guy she had a crush on in high school may actually like her back. That’s how I compare the experience. It was a little embarrassing to find the simple use of a controller hard to grasp. What do all these colorful buttons do? When do I need to use the left/right trigger buttons? Why am I getting dizzy from moving the camera with this joystick? Believe me, there were plenty of issues I had to overcome when using the Xbox controller for the first time. These were not issues I encountered with the Wiimote.

Nowadays, these aren’t issues I have anymore. I was amazed by how quickly I got over them. It was a matter of getting used to something unfamiliar. A few years have gone by since my entrance into gaming, but I’m still reluctant to call myself an expert gamer. I have a lot to learn and plenty of games to conquer, but maybe in a few years time I can proudly call myself an expert gamer.

12 Comments

  1. duckofindeed says:

    I took some time to get into video games, too. I used to watch my parents play, and I was too afraid to try it myself. I don’t know what I thought would happen. Finally, I started playing myself, and I found it wasn’t so scary at all. And yeah, some of those controllers do have a lot of buttons. Two analog sticks, four trigger buttons, and a bunch of other buttons. I feel fancy with all the buttons. It makes me feel smart.

    Like

    1. simpleek says:

      I was always self-conscious as a kid to really dive in and play. I preferred watching people play. Good thing I got over that in time. I always found the Xbox controller really scary the first time I held it. Of course, once I got the hang of all the buttons, triggers, etc. I just felt really silly afterwards. You live and learn.

      Like

  2. Dragon Age: Origins was one of my first major games, too. It’s how I got into games as an adult, much like you! And I totally remember trying to play Halo with a friend years before THAT and getting dizzy from spinning my character around, not knowing how to shoot. (My poor friend. It was a terrible co-op experience for her.) That’s one experience long-time gamers don’t remember… but it’s quite a big day, as an adult, when you finally overcome that initial hurdle of just being able to use the controller!

    Like

    1. simpleek says:

      Most definitely! I also had the same issue with Halo too. I played that game with the same cousin and friend I mentioned in this post. I had the worst time trying to figure out the controls for the game. I died plenty of times during our co-ops and both of them got the most kills too. It’s funny how they tried to tell me what to press without being physically in the room with me. I suppose all new gamers have their noob moments. 😛

      Like

  3. You, my dear, are a gamer. As someone who avoids the use of categories to identify a person, I say if you play games you’re a gamer. It doesn’t matter if it is casual or not, beginner or old timer. You just game on, girly! 😀 Either way, a good read. Thanks for sharing.

    – Britney

    Like

    1. simpleek says:

      Haha! Thanks Britney. 😉 I love being a gamer, especially if it means I can meet and interact with awesome people like you! I think nowadays a lot of people can be seen as gamers, but there are different levels and intensities for what type you are. As long as people are enjoying themselves and having fun that’s all that matters.

      Like

      1. I’m sort of back and forth on the ‘categorizing’ stereotypes even further. It’s a little nuts really, but I do agree. Some people are into it more and some aren’t. But then again, I’ve been a hardcore gamer for some years then a casual gamer for others. And I don’t think casual gaming makes me any less of a gamer girl. I can still pick up a controller and whoop some a– if I feel like it. 😉

        Enjoying the game is definitely all that matters.

        – Britney

        Like

  4. Hatm0nster says:

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as an “expert gamer” to be honest. Time spent with games really doesn’t determine one’s ability to play them. Even those of us who’ve been playing for years and years can’t really be called experts since games vary widely from one another. Even in genre’s like shooters or platformers. For example, I’m good at Halo but can barely manage in a game like CoD or Battlefield. Excellent at Mario-style platformers, but lost in a game like Little BigPlanet.

    To echo the commenter above me, you’re a gamer. The amount of experience you’ve had with them doesn’t do anything to add or detract from that.

    Like

    1. simpleek says:

      That’s an interesting way to look at things. Some gamers might disagree because they feel it’s purely based on how long you’ve been a gamer to label themselves as experts.

      Like you, I discovered what games I’m good at and which ones I’m not. Even if I’m bad at something doesn’t mean I don’t want to play it. You definitely need to play with people who are patient and don’t mind your lack of skill in platformers, FPS, etc. Either way, I discovered how much I really enjoy playing games, even if I’m a little late to the party.

      Like

  5. Sam Leung says:

    I personally agree with the people above – to me, you’re a gamer! It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing or how good you are, to me, if you have a genuine love of games and have played at least a fair number of games so you know what it’s all about, then you’re a gamer! I know there are people out there who don’t consider other ‘true gamers’ unless they can get high scores or tons of kills, but to me that’s really what’s important. I’m as competitive as the next gamer, but being better or more experienced doesn’t make than my some of my friend doesn’t make me a ‘truer’ gamer or a more ‘expert gamer’ in my opinion. As Hatm0nster said, considering the variety of games out there, I think it would be difficult to call any of us ‘expert gamers’! You’re totally a gamer to me! 😀

    Like

    1. simpleek says:

      Thanks Sam! 🙂 The word “gamer” appears to be a loose term these days with the amount of popular game apps that have been popping up in recent years. Just about anyone can be called a gamer, even if they are only playing Angry Birds or Cut the Rope on their phones/tablets.

      Like

Comments are closed.