I Want To Be Alone.
When I was little I got the ninja/spy game 'Saboteur' on the ZX Spectrum as a birthday party present. (The Spectrum was a 1980s computer that needed a tape player to load games and had 48k of memory. As the games loaded the machine made a sound like train wreck arguing with a dial-up modem.)
Saboteur was the hit of the evening. The ZX was hooked up to a portable TV and my friends and I took turns playing. They were having a great time with a great game. Actually, the game was so good that I told my friends I'd wished they'd all go home so I could play it by myself.
It was a remarkably bratty thing to do. With hindsight I can only blame my immaturity on my age. Thankfully I've grown up in the intervening years. If I were then what I am now, I'd act differently. This time I wouldn't announce anything. I'd just swat my friends away from the game knowing they'd be too small to fight back.
I'm 1Dgaf and I'm an anti-social gamer.
It's always been difficult deciding whether to spend time with friends or games. I've lost count of the times I've turned down nights out in order to sit in front of a console. I'm not totally alone in this of course. We've all known the glorious postal thump of a long-awaited game landing in our hallway and the subsequent the thrill of replacing gaming expectation with satiation. That's understood. It's almost expected of us. My problem is that I'll stay in for games that aren't even that good, let alone new.
I don't care whether I'm playing Splinter Cell 3: Eurydice Yesterday or BMX XXX 2: Nipples Like Tricknuts, I'd rather sit on my sofa than go out and have to interact with you hu-mans. No doubt my views are coloured by my friends being drunkards and me being teetotal, but rarely is a night out as enjoyable as a night in. (Even if the night out is at a titty-bar.)
Why brave the vagary of life 'outside' with 'people' when gaming guarantees you a good time? I've often found myself in clubs bored out of my mind thinking "I could have been at home leveling up". I've never been sat at home playing a game thinking "I wish I were surrounded by coke heads and fat birds that can't dance".
The problem is, no matter how tiresome an evening I avoid, regardless of how sure I am that I did the right thing by staying in, I'm always slightly ashamed. Why? It's my life. My seconds ticking away. Why can't I feel free to spend them as I wish? I always thought that the older we got, the easier it would be to justify the way we choose to live our lives. That when I was a grown up people couldn't say sh*t to me about my gaming.
As it turns out, the older a gamer gets, the more peculiar society finds him and the harder it becomes to for him to give credence to his hobby. The more he enjoys staying in to play games, the more pathetic a creature he becomes. Not only is he nerdy, he's nerdy and lonely. 'They' would have us believe that only the socially inept would prefer the company of consoles to corpora.
Why are we forced into a position where being a gamer is somehow mutally exclusive with the ability to socialise? There is a difference between not wanting and not being able to. Also, why is the solitary man considered abnormal? Who decided that speaking to people has to be more fulfilling than playing a game? Fake handshakes and chit chat aren't all they're cracked up to be, you know.
Games - even bad ones - stimulate the mind and the imagination. Can we say that about each exchange we have with people? No. So isn't that worth turning down the occasional invite for? Yes. Now I just have to wait for the rest of society to agree with me.
Until then, I'm 1Dgaf and society thinks I'm an anti-social gamer.