Monday, May 30, 2011

Gamer Conversation for Non-Gaming Dummies

You are a non-gamer in a social environment and you wanted to initiate a conversation with a person who you know is a video game fanatic. Do you know that initiating the conversation by utilizing stereotypical as well as highly random "gaming" questions can be quite an annoying and an uncomfortable situation for us gamers? I was reminded of this fact today during the Memorial Day gathering that my significant other and I hosted - Hmmm BBQ. I don't have local gaming buddies as I have mentioned many times before but my close friends and families do know that I game a lot. Here are several examples of really horrible opening questions addressed to me that almost always make me go "Huh?" and I would roll my eyes while answering them in the most unenthusiastic tone I could possibly muster:

a) So, did you win your last game?

b) Hey, how's the leveling up going?

c) Have you reached the next level yet?

d) You got that high score yet?

e) Are you having fun with your new games?

The problem with these questions is that they are too specific yet highly random. Not only that, these questions make it sound like you really don't care about the answer because you are making an impression that video gaming is just a simple, one dimensional activity. Video games are not only about winning, level-up, and/or high scores. Here are the appropriate questions that you should be asking a gamer to start off a good conversation with him or her if you really have to go into it with a game-related inquiry. The key here is that you have to avoid making it sound like you know something about video gaming when it is obvious that you don't. Ask general gaming questions. You don't know what games the person has been playing and the kind of gameplay conditions in place so avoid speculating about those things:

a) So what are the hot new games available right now?

b) Have you been playing any good games recently?

c) I heard that you are really into video games.

d) So what's going on in the gaming world?

e) I heard that x is a good game. I'm no gamer so what do you think?

I am sure that I am not the only person who gets asked the silliest gaming questions by non-gamers at a get-together. I don't think there was any ill will involved when the awful gaming questions were asked and that the non-gamers were just trying to be engaging but there is some general rules that people should follow during a personal discourse: never assume and don't try to pretend that you know something when you really don't... Unless of course that you are just a natural born charmer.

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