I have been trying to get back into video games lately, and I am always curious about my fellow gamers, so I reached out to some people I know online, to see how they gamed. I wanted to ask a series of questions to find out more about their gaming habits, and sort of compare them, because I’m curious like that. I answered the questions myself as well.
1) When did you start playing video games?
Cat -7 years old when my mom bought me a Nintendo
Amavongeek – I’ve played as long as I can remember…starting back with arcade-style games and Atari.
Markus – I was around 6 or 7 years old and the holiday campsite my family would visit had a games arcade and also Space Invaders in the Laundrette. This was around 1985
Emma – 1987 (And now I feel old).
Desiree – I got my first system, a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World bundle for Christmas when I was Four. I played a little on and off growing up when my older brother would share. Otherwise he was a hogface and wouldn’t let me play because I was a girl, therefor it was “his”. I didn’t let that stop me in my interest, but I didn’t really start playing until I was about 17 when I got my own computer with emulators and gaming systems.
Mat – Oh jeez… It was the magical decade known as the 80’s when pastel colours were all the rage and if you’re hair wasn’t huge then you probably worked on Wall Street
Jack – When I was around 5-6
Jan – When I was 4, so like 1996
Elisa – When I was just a child. I actually don’t know the exact year, but probably around 1986 or so
Me – When I was super young, probably 5 or 6, early 80s
2) What did you first play on? (System)
Cat – my friend’s dad had an atari in elementary school
Amavongeek – Atari and then PC
Markus – At home I first had a BBC B which loaded games from cassette tape.
Emma – Atari 2600
Desiree – Super Nintendo.
Mat – The first system I played on was my older brothers ZX Spectrum, I always wanted to play the TMNT game but could never get it to load properly cause you needed to input a code after the tape had loaded and they were all printed on this weird carbon paper in the manual and I could never find the right one
Jack – My friend had an Amiga and I had an Atari. These weren’t the 2600 or anything like that, they were more like really crappy computers. I don’t remember what models they were, unfortunately.
When I properly started playing games on a regular basis is when I got a Playstation 1 when I was about 7.
Jan – Windows 3.11 (PC)
Elisa – Commodore 64
Me – I remember playing games on a PC before there was Windows, but also having an Atari
3) Do you still play? How often? And what systems?
Cat – tetris daily on android- nostalgia of nintendo
Amavongeek – Yes. At least weekly. PC, iOS, XBox 360
Markus – Yep. Not as often as I used to though. I currently play a few games on my phone and I keep firing up my old Xbox 360 in the vain hope of finishing the Assassins creed series. I would say I play a game at least once every other day.
Emma – I play video games daily, mostly on console, but also on my iPhone and PC.
Desiree – OH MY GLOB YES! I play a lot of little mindless games on my phone daily, and play on and off on my Nintendo 3DS daily as well. A couple times a week I play a MMORPG game on the PC. Once my house gets set back up I will also be playing games on a Wii U and PS3. I tend to play those a couple times a week depending on what I’m in the mood for. I mostly enjoy the Nintendo consoles
Mat – I do still play, no where near as much as I used to however. I play a bunch of Marvel Heroes 2015 on my Macbook. My console currently is a PS4 which has seen a lot of use since I got it in April.
Jack – I do! I play a little bit probably 4-5 days a week. I play on my PS4, PS Vita and Android
Jan – Yes, although not as much, about 2 hours a day
Elisa – Yes, absolutely. How often depends so much on what else is going on with my life. Sometimes I play every day, sometimes a week goes by without playing. On average I would say I play 15 hours per week, spread out approximately on three days. I mainly play on Xbox One and Xbox 360, but sometimes on PC and on my phone as well.
Me – Yes, daily. Whether it’s on my phone, WoW on the PC, or something on my DS.
4) RPG or FPS?
Cat – fps-WOLFENSTEIN
Amavongeek – Both. (If I have to choose, RPG.)
Markus – I love both. Can I say both? I think Borderlands, Planetside and Destiny are a great blend of FPS and character development.
Emma – RPG – I get really bad simulation (motion sickness), so I find most first-person games unplayable
Desiree – RPG!
Mat – I’m more of an RPG kinda guy but I do love it when there are elements put into FPS games. Borderlands is a personal favourite of mine
Jack – RPG. For sure
Jan – RPG
Elisa – Both, but if I would have choose, rpg. I happily play both genres, but rpg’s usually have more story content that I enjoy.
Me – I usually prefer RPG because I like making custom characters
5) Do you game online? If so what games?
Amavongeek – Yes. World of Warcraft.
Markus – I mostly play Halo (Reach) and BF3 online. I keep getting a nagging pull to get me back onto World of Warcraft though
Emma – I assume by this you mean multiplayer online? I play EVE Online
Desiree – Sometimes. The only one that has to be connected online is Guild Wars 2. Otherwise I will sometimes go online on games like Animal Crossing for 3DS, Super Smash Bros 3DS/WiiU, and Mario Kart WiiU when I want to play with friends or have random battles
Mat – I’m not much of an online gamer, I enjoy some co-op from time to time. Random death match games aren’t really my bag
Jack – I’m not particularly competitive so I’ve never found the appeal with competing or teaming up with total strangers
Jan – Sometimes, Hearthstone mostly
Elisa – No, I prefer to play either single player games or co-op games with my SO. Stories how women are treated in online games don’t really encourage me to try either.
Me – Pretty much the only thing I play online are MMORPG like WoW or Rift (when I played)
6) What makes you buy a new game?
Amavongeek – Reviewers love it or it’s about something I love (like Alice in Wonderland.)
Markus – If the game looks like it has longevity and I know a few of my friends will be playing it too then that is usually enough. Nothing like gaming online with your mates.
Emma – Broadly speaking, for RPG, story, and character creation options, but I also like strategy games in the Civilisation mould. I’ll look for recommendations from friends, and check out live streams on Twitch. With the exception of BioWare games, I usually wait for a sale to actually buy. BioWare I pre-order.
Desiree – Game play videos, story lines, and artwork.
Mat – Where I work, we used to get a great discount on games, it was 30%. So I ended up buying a tonne of stuff just to try it out. Now I’m a little more picky. There are franchises that I’ll always go back to but new I.P.’s take a little more time. I’ll check out the trailer and any gameplay footage there is. If it doesn’t grab me right away then I probably won’t play it until it goes cheap or someone loans it to me
Jack – Good critical reception, previous ties with the franchise, word of mouth from my friends
Jan – I mostly buy games after I have seen them on Twitch and enjoy them as a viewer
Elisa – Interesting story, genre, setting and characters. I prefer scifi and fantasy action games, rpg’s and adventure games with female protagonists or at least a chance to play as a female at some point. Also if they are sequels to the games I have loved, games from the developers I love or might be great co-op games.
Me – I mainly look for something quirky that captures my attention. And also something that is easy to pick up and you don’t need the whole series to play. I usually check reviews, or go off what I hear from others.
7) Do you have a next gen console? Do you normally buy the new ones when they come out?
Amavongeek – Do you normally buy the new ones when they come out? Nope and nope.
Markus – I used to but the prices have become a little steep now. I am about to upgrade from xbox 360 to a PS4 in the next month. Plus I like to see what the majority of my friends buy
Emma – Yes, but I don’t buy new consoles when they’re released.
Desiree – Yes. Buying the “newest” one really depends on the system, features, and what games are available for it. For example, I have a NEW 3DS XL system when I already had a 3DS because of the amiibo support without having to buy an adapter, some exclusive game titles that would only run on the new system (Xenoblade 3DS), and larger size, but I did not buy a regular 3DS XL when they came out because there weren’t enough features. We own a PS3 but not a PS4 because the price is insane and there are not enough PS4 games that we want to justify the cost.
Mat – I do have the current generation, I think they have been out long enough to call them that. I’m not a ‘Day One’ kind of person when it comes to consoles, I’ve never had one on launch. I get one when I get one. I waited a long time to get my PS4 because there wasn’t really anything I wanted to play on it. Most of the stuff I own on it is remastered versions of stuff I loved on my PS3
Jack – I do. I own a PS4. I’ve updated to a new console within a year of its release every time for the last few generations.
Jan – No, I have never own one
Elisa – Yes I have, Xbox One. Xbox 360 was bought by my boyfriend, Xbox One was released in Finland one year later than most countries and I bought it four months after that. So no, not really.
Me – We pretty much have one from each generation and usually get the new ones.
8) Do you enjoy video game soundtracks?
Cat – depends on the band/composer-more likely to like the music than the games lol
Amavongeek – Sometimes.
Markus – Very much so. I used to love some of the older ones like Loaded and Pandemonium. I think Jurassic Park on the Gameboy was very catchy. The modern soundtracks are increasingly impressive. The Halo Reach soundtrack was stunning.
Emma – The cinematic ones yes. I buy a lot of film soundtracks too
Desiree – Yes. Yes I do.
Mat – Yeah, definitely. A good game score is just like a good movie score. I’ll listen to it outside of the game if it’s decent. It’s much easier to get ahold of them these days. Not like in my day, if you wanted to listen to the music from Ocarina of time then you had to play it again or learn to play woodwind
Jack – Oh yeah, I absolutely love them. They’re especially good for when you’re writing, if you’re looking for good background noise for writing
Jan – Yes, I have a couple in my music Library
Elisa – Yes, immensely. I listen a lot of game music web radios and regularly go to live game music concerts
Me – Games like Final Fantasy have great music which I enjoy, but it doesn’t make or break a game for me
9) What makes a game re-playable to you?
Cat -sense of accomplishment OR my ability to button mash=kick someone’s ass in (fighting games)
Amavongeek – Puzzles and different scenarios unfolding if you make different choices.
Markus – A captivating narrative or massive online community. I also like games which you can pick up for an hour for a quick fix
Emma – A range of choices that alter how the story progresses when you play again. I like the feeling of being part of the storytelling process
Desiree – Storyline. Alternative endings. Side-quests. Achievements
Mat – It has to have a great story, The Last of Us is one of the most incredible gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I must have played that thing like 15 times through just because I love it so much. You also need good characters, someone you can connect with on an emotional level. It also helps if the game plays well, if it’s easy to play but challenges you at the same time you’re onto a winner.
Jack – Different paths and endings. A new game plus mode that actually changes things.
Jan – Probably the story, I also play a game a lot if it helps me unwind
Elisa – Different choices that a player can make, fun and weird achievements and interesting story
Me – Interesting story or side quests, as well as depth of story. But if something is simple and fun I’ll play it again just as a good mind break
10) Opinion about WoW (World of Warcraft) players?
Cat – Nerd bags…some of which I love dearly
Amavongeek – Well, I am one, so……….. you have lots of great people, but you also have a lot of punk kids and cranky lifers. I fall (hopefully) somewhere in the middle.
Markus – I used to be one and loved the game to bits. It has evolved so much since I played though that I wouldn’t know where to start in going back to the game. Have met some very very good friends through WoW that I still hang out with at conventions. Got to love The Guild community 🙂
Emma – I’ve never played WoW. I’m not sure I really have opinions on people who do – the players I know are a pretty diverse bunch
Desiree – It is not a game I was ever able to get into. Part of it was the graphics, and another part is that I don’t believe in paying monthly for a game just to play it. I’m a “pay for it once and own it” type person. I will buy DLC and expansions. Most of the players from WoW that I know are very decent, but you do run into those hardcore fans who are just asinine.
Mat – I can’t say I have one, at least not a negative one. I used to play for a while, decided to stop. It was the monthly subscription that did me in, it was a financial decision more than anything. It’s why I love Marvel Heroes, at no point do I feel guilty if I don’t play for a week or so
Jack – I’ve never played it in my life but whatever floats your boat, man.
Unless you play it so much that it hurts you or people around you (malnutrition or neglecting kids) then do what you want!
Jan – Spent so many years playing it, met some great people there
Elisa – I have read a couple academic articles about WoW and I find the game and the players interesting from that point of view. Gamewise not my cup of tea.
Me – I am one. I can get along with some, but some of the elitest jerks can be annoying and I think they make the game shitty for us casual players
11) Playstation vs Xbox vs Nintendo vs PC, where does your allegiance lie?
Cat – Nintendo….obviously
Amavongeek – PC and Xbox are a tie for me
Markus – I find the rivalry quite funny to be fair. As kids we would have different consoles so we could make sure we had all the games between us. I’ve played on every format and think each has it’s merit. I do think consoles have more appeal for me as you are guaranteed a game will work without having to worry if your hardware needs upgrading or patching.
Emma – Xbox. I play some strategy games and EVE on the PC, but my Xboxes get most of my time
Desiree – Nintendo. Nintendo > Playstation ≥ PC > XBOX
Mat – For a long, long time I was a Nintendo kid. even after Sony and Microsoft showed up. I loved my Gamecube, to this day I still say it had the most comfortable controller ever designed. After my Gamecube I had a Xbox 360 for a good couple of years and loved it but traded it in for a PS3 once I had played all the exclusives I wanted. I have stuck with Sony from then on Playstation Plus is great and I prefer their exclusive titles
Jack – Playstation. Ever since PS1.
Jan – PC MASTER RACE
Elisa – Xbox. It has more intriguing titles for me than Playstation and you don’t have to constantly upgrade it like PC
Me – My heart will always lie with Nintendo for childhood memories, but currently I’d have to choose Playstation or PC.
12) Do you feel gaming has become mainstream?
Cat – Yes- which is awesome….not everyone is a jock
Amavongeek – I don’t think it has yet, because there is still a ton of slack given to people who play – especially at an adult level.
Markus – I do. With gaming being a feature on every phone these days I think it’s very accessible and mainstream. And this is a good thing as a larger market means bigger faster development within the media.
Emma – I’m not sure. In the broadest sense (counting FB and smartphone games), it probably is. But there is still a core of people who see gaming as an identity and try to gatekeep, and a tendency among people who don’t identify as gamers to treat games as a waste of time as though all games were somehow of equal value.
Desiree – Yes. Gaming is one of the fastest growing form of entertainment due to the availability of devices you can now play games on. You have consoles, PCs, tablets, phones, etc. Whereas in the 80’s you have a console system. Maybe a PC. Gaming has also evolved from small 8-bit graphics to vivid worlds of imagination which pulls in more users as well – I would think
Mat – Yes, completely. When I was a kid only nerds and losers played video games. You were uncool if you spent your summers playing Link to the Past instead of going out and being a ‘normal’ kid. Video games are more widely accepted as a pastime now, hell most parents buy their kids console just to shut them up.
Jack – It’s definitely heading that way. We now have eSports coverage on ESPN, for example
Jan – Yes, no doubt about that, especially with mobile gaming
Elisa – Yes I do. Finnish national broadcast company has started to show e-sports and demo competitions on national tv, game studies are flourishing and there are more women gamers than ever.
Me – Yes it totally has, the same as a lot of other things in geek culture in general. But I think with gaming, it’s more mainstream to people who wouldn’t consider themselves gamers, yet they play Angry Birds on their iPhones. Pretty much everyone games nowadays.
13) Do you ever purchase games thru networks like Steam, Xbox Live, PSN?
Amavongeek – Once in a while through Steam.
Markus – I have bought a few from Steam. Team Fortress 2 is a personal fave. And I bought Lego Star Wars through the Xbox Live store when I REALLY wanted to play it and the shops were closed
Emma – I purchase most games through XBL now. I have bought a few things in the Steam sale too
Desiree – Rarely. I like owning physical copies more than digital, but it’s a battle. I like seeing what I own on a shelf and the ability to lend it to a friend, but I also like not having to get up off my butt to switch a disc if I want to play it because it’s already downloaded on the console
Mat – I’ve bought steam games, I have been mainly digital since buying my PS4. The biggest reason for this is that the console works so well, digital content is just easier and faster these days and I for one and glad I can turn on my console and load up three different games without having to stand up. Floating fat chair from Wall-e here I come!!!
Jack – Mostly, yes. I try to buy digitally if I can
Jan – Usually not, bundles is the way to go for me
Elisa – Yes. I have bough a lot of titles from Xbox live and a couple from Steam
Me – Pretty much only Steam or Origin for Sims games.
14) Have you ever played any indie game titles?
Cat – Several- my favourite was called “The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis”- it was rad (PC)
Amavongeek – Limbo is the only one that comes immediately to mind, though I’m sure there are others.
Markus – Sometimes I will go to flash games sites and try different titles there. Some of the creativity is amazing
Emma – Yes, usually as free downloads through Games with Gold (Dust: An Elysian Tale, and Massive Chalice come to mind). I also play Failbetter Games’ Fallen London
Desiree – Yes
Mat – yeah I have. Not a huge amount though. My oldest friend is a video game guy, he loves them, it’s his thing, and he is a big advocate for indie games and indie developers. Most of my money goes on comics each month so the amount I can spend on video games is less than it used to be
Jack – All the time. I mostly play indie games thanks to my Vita, phone and PS4’s Playstation Plus service
Jan – Yes, KSP or HiRez games are my favorite
Elisa – Yes, lots and lots of them
Me – Some for the PC, but rarely
15) If you could only play 1 game the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Cat – Tetris because it’s soothing fitting blocks together
Amavongeek – World of Warcraft…always different content to explore, even if they stop releasing.
Markus – Easy. World of Warcraft. It’s an eternally replayable game with several thousands of hours of content and the option to then create a new character with a completely different skillset and do it all over again!
Emma – My head is saying Fallen London because it’s browser based, free, and new content is added fairly regularly, but I have to go with my heart, which is telling me Dragon Age: Origins. It’s an epic story, with wonderful characters, and even with 12 complete playthroughs under my belt, I can’t imagine being bored of it.
Desiree – Super Mario All-Stars WORLD – because it has all the classic Mario games plus Super Mario World on one cart. Otherwise I would have to say Xenoblade. It took me 100+ hours to beat the game, and I didn’t even complete everything. There’s alternative endings (I’ve read) and side-quests so it would keep me busy. Plus the soundtrack is great and I enjoy the game play.
Mat – Man now that is a killer of a question. Can it only be one game? can it not be a franchise? That I could maybe answer. If it’s just one game then I guess I’d have to say either Ocarina of Time or Final Fantasy VII. If you’re gonna let me have a franchise then it’d be Mass Effect. Both OOT and FFVII have very special places in my heart. Both of them were epic stories you got to unravel and you could be the hero, you could edit the names of the character you played and be the one to save the world. You were the hylian kid from the forrest, you were the ex member of soldier who would kill the final boss and save everyone… except Aries of course… man that still fucking kills me.
Jack – It would have to be something like Skyrim or Fallout. Something huge and near-endless
Jan – Probably WOW, it was not problem to play WOW for days
Elisa – Dragon Age: Inquisition. It has so many different race, romance and companion options that it wouldn’t become boring for quite a while and it has a ton of side quests and captivating story. I just love it to bits.
Me – Probably WoW. There is a lot to do, and it’s very easy to just dick around in it and explore. I am always finding cool hidden things and I love that there is so much.
Special thanks to Cat, Amavongeek, Markus, Emma, Desiree, Mat, jack, Jan, and Elisa.