Lent is Over! OR Suite Gamers
So I did not play any video games this weekend because…I gave them up for Lent. But I watched my friends play. My suite has an odd relationship with video games. Between the four of us, two of us (one dude, one lady) had never really played them before coming to college, while the other two (me and another guy) had. Yet because of the curiosity of the non-gaming pair, we have about 8 different consoles between us, ranging from the Atari to the Nintendo Wii with a LOT of games for each.
I will be honest: I am not all that good. I love fighting and racing games, but I don’t really take the time to actually get good at it (RPGs are more my thing, I think). Yet I enjoy watching the suite dynamics played out through video games. Often, the guys will play while the girls watch. For some reason, the guys seem to have a lot more invested in these games than we do. They play, talk trash, get happy, get angry and it all seems to be vital to their existence. They clearly love the competition and to some extent, part of their self-esteem is somehow tied to it. When I say they get angry, they really do. When Super Smash Brothers Brawl glitches and one gains an advantage over the other, they might stop playing while an argument ensues. When one repeatedly loses, they are visibly upset. “Dudes, it’s not that serious,” is like a mantra here.
I cannot say that it is that serious though. They are great friends, but it is really off-putting to see them get so worked up. My friend and I (along with other friends-usually other girls) often play Brawl and other video games to explore. We want to see how this move is executed or what would it look like if that character was really big or if this cheat code works. When we play, it seems like the atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly. Is this because we are girls or because we are not particularly skilled? We don’t know and we don’t really wonder.
This is not to say that men thrive on competition or that women like to hold hands as they skip through Second Life. We are just the small group that I interact with everyday. The guys are definitely more relaxed when they played Gunstar Heroes for Sega and I would advise your delicate sensibilities to leave if we girls were playing NARC for PS2. We have all the guns and infinite ammunition. Civilian killing sprees are not always accidental.
Does anyone else notice a certain dynamic when playing with mixed groups or is everyone equally invested?