Sunday, 01 October 2017 09:59

What is my story, I wonder?

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Every gamer has her story of creation...

His moment of revelation, the guidance of a universe-ordained path that lead to their own grand, epiphanous moment in which they became a gamer. Each one has their own unique testimony that lead to them pressing start for the first time. What is my story, I wonder?

Within the PC gaming community, there are tons of different subcultures. There are hardcore gamer who takes everything to the next level. Their minds become immersed in the ones and zeros, the community, mechanics, quests, equipment; the gaming world collides with theirs in a beautiful and exciting way. There are the casuals, who play with their friends, more focused on simply playing than improving, unlike their hardcore counterpart. Within these two large divisions, there is an even bigger world of genre and culture: MOBA, fighter, MMORPG, FPS, puzzle, indie, and even those anime games in which you date the girls (don't lie we've all been there, for the reasons of sheer curiosity, of course — nothing more). And, if we want to go one layer deeper, we could talk about the diversity from game to game, how you can be on a god level of League of Legends, but haven't the slightest clue on how to start a match in DOTA 2, let alone what lane to be in (I speak from experience, naturally).

To go one more step into the neverending community of gaming, we could talk about favorite teams, players, champions, classes, maps, equipment, and the ever-so game-changing skins. But I think we’re deep enough as it is. After all, this is my story, and I have barely talked about myself!

My story begins in the early 2000s, 2004 specifically. But, by no means was this the first time I played a video game.

I have fond memories of jumping to my feet mid game while playing Smash Bros, to get some sort of advantage on those still sitting on the couch. I have the declining grade cards of grade school exactly mirroring my discovery of Runescape, then Everquest 2. But 2004, that fateful year, I was told about World of Warcraft. The idea of a vast world to explore, kingdoms to be conquered, and epic loot to be lost to the one raid member in your guild that needs it for his 'off spec' (I'm not bitter, I swear), was enough to get any gamer in the early 2000s wide-eyed and ready to give up $15 a month, on top of countless hours.

I convinced my mom to take me after school to pick up the box, with a fold out front showing off its features, and I promptly installed WoW on her Toshiba laptop that was far below the minimum requirements. Hours upon hours passed, and it was done. Over the hours I had persuaded my mom in giving me chores so that I could afford the steep price of $15 a month (I was in grade school, give me a break). I created my account. I logged in. And my life was forever changed.

I played for about seven years, finally ending with the Cataclysm expansion. Over those years, I've had late nights with two or three friends in one room, eac of our battlestations outfitted with the stereotypical candy, Code Red Mountain Dew, and what’s left of some frozen pizza. I've been a part of the communities being built across the world. Some of my final memories are of the rise and fall of the arena scene, and finally calling it quits at a 2,100 arena rating in 3v3s, and the attendant sadness of finally disbanding the arena team with my friends in different states (Hi, Kori and Joey!).

I may have stopped logging in to World of Warcraft at some time around 2011, but I can say with confidence: I never truly logged out.

Each gamer has their reason for why they love the game they're most invested in, they can go on for hours about some lore that they find fascinating, or even complain about how the champion the enemy plays is so OP and how their champion is much harder and balanced. And that is why I love it: the community. Sure, I get excited seeing the announcement of the next Heroes of the Storm character, the rumors of a potential Half Life 3 [EN: I got bad news for you], but the main attraction always has been, and always will be, the people. Each culture is vast and rich with their love, strategy, passion, and jokes about their games. Every person has a reason as to why their game is far superior to its competitors, and why you have to play with them.

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Alexander Esperanza

A.W. Esperanza is self-proclaimed coffee addict, with nothing but coffee, adrenaline, and the hope of a new, life-consuming MMORPG to keep him going. You'll frequently find him at his desk with a breakfast burrito and cup of lukewarm coffee within arms length. As a born again nerd, he enjoys competitive gaming, Magic the Gathering, and being immersed in the gaming community.