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.

- 1Dgaf

Comments

Good stuff! Having no social life in the first place always helps. Then you don't have to feel bad. So either make an effort to alienate your current friends or have kids (in my case) and there will be no conflict!

I can relate!:) I've tried, but my 'dark side' (I mean
'social side') betray's me now and again. And I've really betrayed it with a SO. Luckily she becomes more a fanatical gamer then I at times. But then forces penance from me as if she didn't enjoy it and takes me out to 'socialize' Ugghh.

I can relate. The more time I spend gaming, the worse the guilt gets.

BMX XXX 2: Nipples Like Tricknuts

This title being so brilliant will just make them want to make another one, damnit! Don't do it!

I can relate to that. I will ocassionally look at the situation and go "Do I want to go sit around with random people and make chit chat about sports or work or whatever, or do I want to sit here and play games?" I'm not saying I always choose games, but I always feel guilty about whatever decision I make. If I don't go out, I can almost hear my mother nagging me about finding a girl, despite there not being any girls there anyway. If I do go out, I keep wondering if I should be here, I always feel as if I'm imposing if I'm bored out of my mind. Either way I'm screwed.

ZX Spectrum was still a big hit in 1994 where I came from.

I memorized the entire theme song from Saboteur 2 and I can still reproduce it perfectly

Ack this reminds me of the time I was invited to a friends house for a day when I was about 13. He'd just got a new PC with something called a Joy---Stick, he'd also bought an obscure game called TIE Fighter, which I must admit took me best part of an hour to realise was Star Wars related (I must have been deaf to the music).
To cut a long story short I had one of those epiphany like moments with the game and spent the entire day playing it without even looking up while my friend went off with some local buddies.
Almost the same thing happened again some time later when he bought Dark Forces.
That is the power of anti-social gaming, it took me months to win back my credibility.
If you're out there Christian, I'm still so so sorry.

I've been accused of my friend of not wanting to do things with them. Let me recall the situation: The choices were
a)walk to the 7/11 with no money so I can watch my friends drink slurpees
b)go home and play FFVII

I chose b. Best choice ever.

sh*t, I have little to no use for meatsacks, save my wife and daughter. Given the choice between some inane chit-chat and an engaging entertainment title I'll dump the human every time. Anti-social? You're soaking in it.

I had that problem first semester when I was with the evil roommate who made me feel like some kind of freak for liking games that made me think and not going out and getting totally plastered every night I could (or chasing everything with two legs and a... ummm... anyway).

Second semester, I was with a new roommate and I felt totally ok. Some nights I'd go out, some nights I'd stay in. I gotta say, staying in WITH FRIENDS is probably one of the better ideas... I'm always most comfortable at home... I'm a homebody (at 19 no less) and that's part of my life *shrugs* Who cares what anyone else thinks really... be Buddhist about it. Your life is right for you, and other lives are right for others ^_^

Now all I gotta do is find that girl I love and have some kids and I'll be good to go... wait... teacher's an antisocial position... right?

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".

That is absolutely priceless I am contemplating a new sig line. Excellent article - I usually am forced to strike a balance because my wife is a social butterfly and I am the troll under the stairwell :). Fact is I enjoy 90% of the things she drags me to, but I wont admit that. The sunlight is warm and fuzzy and my normal vision is greater than 1280x1040.... That being said I too prefer to stay at home and do some "gaming" then go to some random social event. Nice thing is when we can do both :).

I hope I don't get what Demosthenes had. If all else failed I may try and stay with a friend at his appartment (he gets paid 117$ a week to live there). If it weren't for my girlfriend I would probably stay home all day and play games. I just found out from my girlfriend that I probably got a single room. Also one of my friends is getting a 25,000$ scholarship to a university.

Staying in and gaming is almost always my choice. The only time friends are invited is if we are on the LAN. Nothing worse than playing hot-seat or 'pass the (game) pad' IMHO.

The only real exceptions to the rule are Wednesday night Trivia nights at the local pub, and Ultimate Frisbee\ball hockey nights. Gotta keep the bod lean and mean, right!?

Great article, 1Dgaf. At a business dinner last week, I found myself listing all the things that I'd rather be doing in my head. Even the worst games in my collection ranked well above what I was doing at that moment, but other people appeared to somehow be having fun. Extroverts... gotta love 'em.

To start it off, I could probably stay in my room 24/7 and play, if I had all that time.

But the guilt factor some of you mention is peculiar to me. I never feel guilty for playing because the fact that I play means that I CAN, so why the hell shouldn't I then? Otherwise, if I do something else with me woman for example, or with family or friends, I don't see it as a waste of time either. I mean, there is always a way to gain something out of any given situation. Philosophicaly speaking, "you're dead if you do and you're dead if you don't " is as acurate as win-win. It's just a matter of observation point.

I can feel guilty for playing instead of studying, for example, but that means that I really should study because a deadline is looming. In any case, I tend to "make up" my gaming time by playing really late, so it always evens out for me.

To hell with feeling guilty about petty things, you only live once. Have a blast!

I'd just swat my friends away from the game knowing they'd be too small to fight back.

LOL.

I'm lucky in that my husband is not a social butterfly. We usually save our outings for weekends and use evenings after work to veg out and do our own thing, which fits my reclusive lifestyle perfectly.

People sometimes look at me weird if I mention I play games, but I'd be just as antisocial if I stayed home to crochet or arrange flowers. The only difference is how I choose to use my time.

Vector wrote:

I hope I don't get what Demosthenes had. If all else failed I may try and stay with a friend at his appartment (he gets paid 117$ a week to live there).

If he gets paid to live there, you might want to think twice about moving in with him.

Chalk up another antisocial gamer. Actually, I'll take slinging bull with some mates over a couple of beers instead of gaming on most days of the week, but compulsive socialising thingies I've little tolerance for. Inane chit-chat does not interest me, and I see no reason to pretend it otherwise. I'm not the life of most parties I go to.

The craziest situation of them all is when I let slip to people that I play a lot of video games. I get the "But you're socially-balanced and well-rounded" look. Then I have to explain that yes, someone can play video games and still know how to communicate. Always with the stereotypes!

I was at a July 4th picninc at my brother house... I had one of those moments... My brother has this City of Heros thing I like to call his "I have too much money and my brother does so I'll brag that I play this all day long and all he can do is beg...." Game Well he let me play it and my wife yelled at both of us for being anti-social... I was all like "Shut up! I'm playing this game for the rest of the day and there's nothing you can do about it".... on the INSIDE.... I think otuside it must have been "yes, dear" because 5 minutes later I was outside (ACK SUNLIGHT BAD) talking to my friends.

I'm lucky in that my husband is not a social butterfly.

Wha? Wha? That doesn't even compute. Don't all women require constant attention and parading around town in every possible social function?

/plans to hunt down slambie and clone her.