Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gimpy Gamer

Hallo! I have several drafts I am working on, some of them thanks to you all chiming in on my Ask the Readers post. I want to take a moment to thank you folks that chimed in, I appreciate it and I am working on what you indicated that you wanted to read!


Today I want to talk about gaming. I am a Gimpy Gamer. I am a Mom Gamer. I am a Girl Gamer raising two more Girl Gamers, living with two additional guy gamers. I am sometimes a hardcore gamer, but usually a medium core gamer. I play Xbox games, I play social games. I have played tabletop RPGs, I have played LARPs. I live in Indiana, so you know I play euchre. I can play some other card games. I have played blended games like Zombies!!! I have enjoyed some really terrific ARGs. I have a set of Pirate Farkle which saw some great use during a power outage.


I have some great satisfactions and concerns about the state of gaming today, particularly as it involves politics. Gaming does not have to be political, but it often is and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I do not see any serious political message in, say, Bejeweled. (And I have played the hell out of some Bejeweled, to be sure.) But gaming can be highly political. Some political games off the top of my head: Star Wars: The Old Republic (franchise, two RPGs and an MMO), the whole Fable series, the Mass Effect franchise, and the Bioshock series.


You can play any of the games I have listed and not notice the politics, or not care - but it is in there, and goes to the very heart of some issues that sometimes games can best address. The first Fable questions the nature of heroes. The third Fable address the right to rule. The Old Republic's handling of the truly murky nature of morality shines best in the second game, and this is why it has earned a place on my imaginary shelf of Best Games Ever. Mass Effect forces the player to wrestle with the concept of "the greater good," how to serve it, and what personal sacrifices it may require.


Last night I was playing Star Wars: The Old Republic with my Menfolk and got a face full of politics written so well that it warranted repeated mentions by us. We, as our characters, had to decide what to do about a person illegally imprisoned and tortured for the crime of attending rallies and reading materials produced by a group disagreeing with the local government. We had to face a squad of soldiers that had been abandoned to die by the intergalactic government and the price they wanted that administration to pay for it's crime. Our quest line felt like a Law and Order script (ie: "torn from the day's headlines," and I mean that in a good way. It lead to a lot of discussion about those issues as they pertain to our current and most recent Presidential administration and how they handle these sorts of issues.


What I want to do with this post is start to establish not just my own interest in gaming, but to establish games themselves as worthy of further focus. My life does change how I few games: as a woman, and a person with disabilities, as a bisexual - all of these things and more are part of how I view games and influence my opinion. Lucky you, I will be sharing my opinions with you and asking you for your opinions. But while we dissect them for meaning and influence, I want us to not forget that the point is to have fun! Speaking of, I have a bit of housekeeping (both personal and literal) to do before I finally get to try out Deepak Chopra's Leela. Once I do I will share what I find here!


Have fun!