Friday, June 5, 2015

LIVING a gamer girl LIFE

Discussion Thread:
Balancing RL (real life) and Fantasy and how to help them feed into each other.

***

We've all done it, been up late and alone when you suddenly find yourself stuck in a load screen, or turning off your computer, when the silence or the black screen suddenly act like a mirrored surface and you see your reflection--giving you just enough time for the quiet voice in the back of your brain to yell "What the hell am I doing with my life?"

If that moment could make an "achievement" sound, we would all have earned it! I'm a gamer girl with pride. I'm also a gamer girl who needs structure.

Why am I directing this to women? Well, not to feed into stereotypes, but just in the SCIENCE alone of how male and female brains are different, I think we tend to be more aware, more active, (or at least feel more guilty) about the people, things, life experiences, or chores we are neglecting. Not that guys don't ever do this, but their is a reason the word "bachelor pad" is a usually accurate cliche. Men are happy functioning with bare essentials, where I on the other hand, know if we were faced with a zombie apocalypse (which my family will totally survive, btw. More on that in a follow up post, I'm sure), every time we find a safe little dugout, cave, or abandoned prison, one of the first things I would do would be to crawl out and grab some weed flowers to decorate with.

I don't want to survive in life. I want to thrive, and when I can't do that, I want to put beautiful things into the world one moment at a time.

The games we play? ARTISTS have come together with some of the greatest minds and technology of our time to bring MUSEUMS to our living rooms. To bring the ancient art of good story telling to our finger tips. To allow us to engage the ancient and essential part of the human brain that has allowed our species to survive for so long by being cunning, and fast, or stealthy and ferocious--defeating those who would hurt us. Puzzles, whole new universes, cooperative entertainment, and even community that expands beyond our village to stretch around the globe.

I am a PROUD gamer girl and gamer mom.



But.

But!

...when are we participating, and when are we JUST escaping? Too much. Where is the line of quality of life and quality of gaming life? When are we triggering the pleasure of center in our brains like crack cocaine does or overeating? (check the science on that, I'm so not making that up.)

How do we, as women in our lives, enjoy our games, and not neglect and/or "should" all over ourselves? You've heard the saying, right? "Don't should on yourself!" Haha, stupid to say out loud, but true. Especially because depression is not uncommon for introverts and the gamers I know. Beating ourselves up will just drive us to more escape from the rude voices.

This post is to open the discussion of how we make sure we are enjoying our games, AND TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES.

Things you can share here?

Something you did once that changed your life that wasn't a game, and would you ever do it again? Why or why not?

You're thought process when you sit down to play, or do you shut everything out because you know you should be doing something else. Basically, does turning on your game make you feel positive or depressed? Or both?

What are other ambitions in your life, and are you doing anything about it? Even if it's just planning for the time in your life when your schedule will allow it? I came to a point where I "surrendered" to being "mother of young children" -- tired of feeling thwarted, I really thought about it, saw the arc of my life, and said "I will not feel bad about the dreams waiting on a shelf, the movies I don't see in the theater, the hot dinners I don't eat" and it helped me. I'm actually coming to the end of that surrender time and now having to decide what I want to be when I grow up is freaking me out!

What could you do to engage with people in your real life and your games? Do you go into your children's mine-craft homes and ask them how or why they built what they did and try to understand their thought process? You should, it's fun. When you are questing, do you tuck a kid on your lap and stay focused on the quest instead of farming or stealing, and let them help you talk to npc's? That, also fun!

How do games add to your real life when you're away from home?

How does real life add to your gaming experiences?

How does your relationship handle this dynamic? My husband really loves ESO, and a few months ago we hit a new rough patch for us where we struggled with his total and complete obsession with ESO for two months... (I'm not sayng I did this, but I hearda bout a girl that unplugged her husbands tower and without a word, tucked it into the covers of the guest bed, propping it comfortably on the pillow and then I said enjoy your new wife. I mean SHE did--the anonymous person from the story), but she super liked him so one day she sat down and I made four folders he has to click through to get to the executable file. Er, "she" did... They Are:

1 - "Is there anything else you should be doing?" which means is there something that will nag and bother your brain so you don't enjoy yourself, or is there a dirty dishes in the sink? Playing is more fun if you do a quick chore and "earn" it in my opinion.

2 - "Clean up your game space" throw away trash, put dishes in the dishwasher, file the mail on the keyboard

3 - "Decide how long you want to play" what is today? Is it a weekend? What will you be mad on Monday you didn't do on Saturday? Just, no big deal, set an alarm on your phone while your computer boots up, in two hours "weed garden" and then play, then alarm "family time, dinner" play, and finally "turn to your wife and say something nice to her"

4 - "Have fun! Love, your Gamer Wife" which means, don't tell me later that you have no free time and you're so busy. KNOW you are playing a game! Decide to have fun. Sell stuff fast that you were going to decon if it means you get to the "fun" part quicker. Stop spending sop much time organizing your hoarded goods unless THAT IS what you wanted to do :) Also, it means don't feel guilty, or like you have to sneak gaming-- if you used the folders, then I WANT you to take a break and have fun.

(boys paying attention, if you do that above? I can personally guarantee the chances of your cute gamer wife smooshing her face up against your face go WAY up.)

(I mean. I'm guessing from what my friend told me.)

Anyway, that's what this is about.

Feel free to discuss, share, support, confess, and think!

The floor is yours:

1 comment:

Angel said...

Interesting and good write up. I think my pov is pretty different from others. I grew up in a family of gamers who met through tabletop gaming. For me and my husband I'd say gaming is a way of life. We don't have children yet but i could see that changing things up a bit. I do love that you mention using games as a meeting point with children. Part of my love for games came from my parents letting us join them in their gaming, or setting up games for us and interacting with us. in high school i played in my dads d&d group with all my friends too, half high schoolers and half middle aged men and it was fun. We linked up computers and all played diablo together and when mmo's became big we even played world of warcraft together.( heck my mom plays eso with me still when she's able) Even my husbands parents who are not as avid gamers started to do board game nights where we really managed to get close and over come some of our differences. Whether computer games, card games, tabletop rpgs and board games i feel it is an incredible platform not only for telling stories, exploring ourselves, but for connecting with people. We always say in our family "the family that games together stays together". Oh heavens sorry about the freaking essay...i may have got a bit excited lol