Have you ever started to talk to someone about something only to realize either they have no idea what they are talking about, or they just don’t care about it? Have you gone into a Gamestop, struck up a conversation with one of the employees, and used every excuse in the book to get away because they really don’t know what you’re talking about? I’ve realized that when you’re passionate about a subject finding someone to talk with about it intelligently can be very difficult. It’s a real task trying to size up your audience. Sometimes, you can run into problems with the communication process.
One type of person you might find yourself talking to is the jaded gamer. This person is mostly informed. That makes them very easy to talk to at first. Then, as the conversation progresses, you realize they hate on things just to hate on them. There is no rhyme or reason to why they have such a negative disposition. They may dislike the PS3 because they own an Xbox 360. Or, the person may avoid playing a game such as Final Fantasy XIII only because of the change in the battle system. The jaded gamer can be very set in their ways and it takes a lot of effort to get them to see your viewpoint. Admittedly, I was a jaded gamer for the longest time. However, after being able to afford all three consoles of this generation, I saw the error of my ways. Now, I try to avoid passing judgment until I try a game or system for myself.
Another person you could be talking video games with is the one who acts like they know what they are talking about, but they really don’t have a clue. That conversation usually starts with, “Hey, have you played that new Street Fighter?” You smile politely and say you have even though it was when the game came out almost 3 years ago. Then they go on a tangent about a new game or system, using nonsense speculation from non-credible source. It is all you can do not to laugh in their face because you know they are totally clueless, and are just going to end up going home and playing Madden. Not saying that Madden is bad. I just experienced a lot of this in college.
Then you may find yourself talking to someone about video games who doesn’t play them. This used to be any girl in school. Thankfully, that isn’t the case anymore. There are various reasons why people may not play video games. I don’t think any reason is good enough. But, to each his own. Some may just not be interested. They may talk to you some but you know they don’t really care what you have to say. It’s more a courtesy and can be somewhat annoying. Or, maybe the person doesn’t play video games because they think video games are pointless and a waste of time. They tell you to pick up a book. That’s when you hit them over the head with “50 Shades of Grey” and sit them in front of Final Fantasy VI.
Occasionally, though, you run into a genuine gamer. The funny thing is, it may not be in the most obvious places. Last week, I went to have my car emissions test. I wear a lot of gaming apparel and was wearing a black baseball cap with an NES controller on it. The guy testing my car looked at my hat and laughed. He said there was no way I was old enough to know what that controller was. I told him I was around when the NES was out. All I got was a chuckle and a, “Yeah, when you were like two.” It may not have been a long, drawn-out conversation, but it was a welcome surprise. When Mass Effect 3 came out and the ending was a hot-button topic, a lot of gamers would come out of the woodwork when they saw I was wearing gaming gear.
What is the moral of this story, you ask? Wearing gaming gear will generate good gaming conversation…
Actually, there is no moral. As a site that focuses on gaming, we like to talk games. Sometimes, though, there are some awkward conversations we run into. These are the more common ones I have experienced.
-The 4th Wall is an imaginary barrier that separates a particular medium from its audience. It is also a weekly column on Vagary.tv born from the Just In Bailey column, written by Joey Alesia. Each week, Joey looks at video games and the industry as a whole and works to break the 4th Wall armed with over 25 years of gaming knowledge and a twisted sense of humor. Be sure to follow Joey on Twitter (@wrkngclsswrtr) or email him at Joey.Alesia@Vagary.tv.