A special 4Q interview with a master of the games. Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes today with hundreds of choices online and at home with complex gaming stations that require exceptional eye and hand coordination, memory and the development of game strategy. To give you an idea of just how popular gaming is, the website – Steam – an online community, store and entertainment platform has as many as 2-3 million users online at any one time. It also has the record of over 8 million visitors at the same time. Think of the fame of Minecraft or World of Warcraft.
Adam Hudson loves games. It started with an Atari when he was seven years old. His fascination hasn’t stopped. He has agreed to talk about gaming with us this week.
4Q: In your own opinion, why is gaming so popular, not only for children but people of all ages and especially adults?
AH: There is obviously an entertainment value there but I think what really captures you is the sense of achievement you get from them, whether it's beating your friends and family at pong, getting the high score in Donkey Kong or finally saving the Princess in Mario. For some, it's taking out that raid boss with your Guild Mates in World of Warcraft. For others, it's topping the leaderboard in Call of Duty. All levels of people who play games feel the same sense of elation. In my opinion, the smartest thing the gaming industry ever did was invent Achievements. Basically, its digital bragging rights so you can say, “I did this." They are incredibly addictive.
4Q: To be a serious gamer online, what kind of equipment would a person need?
AH: It really depends what you are into. The basics would include either a console or computer to play the games and an internet connection. Everything else is about your comfort. There are tons of add-ons for console controllers and a huge market of gaming mice and keyboards.
If you don't mind me interjecting my opinion, to be a serious gamer, online or otherwise, takes commitment, a reason to want to get better. Most of all this comes from your community. As I mentioned above having people that can relate to your experiences is what drives you to take it seriously. Makes those achievements something of real tangible worth.
4Q: As well as online gaming, you have always been fascinated with role-playing games (RPG) such as Dungeon & Dragons and war gaming such as Warhammer 40, 000 and most recently, Infinity. How do these type of games differ from online games?
AH: In one sense not much, it's still that learning the mechanics of the game and then using them to the best of your ability to get the upper hand on your opponent. It's still about that sense of overcoming a challenge with your wits, skill and sometimes a little bit of luck.
A big difference is in the community you share it with. Online people have anonymity about them and some can be real jerks. That doesn't always change in real life but it's definitely something that being face to face influences. One down side is you usually need to line up a time to get people together. It's the type of thing you do one night a week with snacks and laughs. Video games have the advantage of needing much less space and equipment. On top of that, With the Internet your community is international. You can sign on and, boom, you have a whole world with thousands of people any hour of any day.
4Q: I understand that RPG needs what is called a Game Master. Is this something you have done and what is the purpose of a GM?
AH: I have or should say I've tried. The GM is your Storyteller and Judge all rolled into one. Like Tolkien, they lead you "there and back again", choose the monsters you fight and decide how you are rewarded. Just like an Author they create your world. To be a great GM you need about all the same skills’ creativity, Imagination and careful planning as well as the ability to create a scene and allow the players to partake how you see fit. Of course there is also the boring part of enforcing the rules, but it is a game and it's all about the fun in the end.
4Q: Just to sneak another question in here, I understand that you are responsible for creating a friendly, competitive competition at a local gaming facility where you have invited players to participate in a weekly round of Infinity. How has this experience been?
AH: At the risk of sounding like I am repeating myself, I can say the hard part has been being creative, imaginative and a careful planner. The good has been the camaraderie and being amongst fellow minded friends. Like any leadership role, it's been a rollercoaster. Truth is, Infinity is a game I am passionate about and I couldn't ask for a better group to play with. We have tournaments with people coming from out of town and we're slowly working our way into another province. I'm looking forward to being a part of the community and seeing how it grows.
Thank you Adam for taking the time to talk to us about this popular pastime. Happy Gaming!
Thank you Dear Readers for visiting the Scribbler this week. If you would like more information on gaming, try these sites.Warhammer 40, 000
Infinity, The War Game
Free games for all ages
Infinity, The War Game
Free games for all ages
Painting your models
Are you a Gamer? Leave us a comment below, would love to hear your thoughts!