The Research of the Discourse Community of Being a Gamer

What is something that seems to get more addicting among young adults and teens with each passing day? Some people may say it’s phones or the rising influence or exposure of social media. Although I concur with these ideas and assumptions, I am referring to video games. Video games are played frequently with, “In 2018, 29 percent of the responding video gamers were 18 to 35 years old. ” The second highest group had 28% and those were individuals under 18. I could understand why video games are so addictive and so captivating to the young, still developing minds of those who play them. There is such a variety when it comes to video games.

Speaking from personal experience, the act of being a gamer or someone who even occasionally partakes in gameplay gives one so much creative freedom. Once you decide between consoles-I prefer Xbox- you then get to choose the model, color, game CDs, and the feel of your gaming experience with various accessories. Being relatively new to the gaming community, I had various questions about gaming and wanted to become a member. A few of the questions I mentally posed were, “What makes gaming so fun? What are some common phrases shared throughout the gaming community? Does each game or gaming system have its own niche apart from the overall gaming community? These are a few of the inquiries I hope to unveil upon research of this particular discourse community.

I have an Xbox One S, so I decided to start research within my own community before expanding to different horizons. However, before I did that, I took it upon myself to do some general research and find some national statistics about the video game discourse community. I began with a few Google inquiries and then ended up in the inbox of my gamer friends. The main focus here is to understand the gaming community as well as see if their reasoning for gaming correlates with my reasons for wanting to join the gaming community.

While conducting research on this project, I discovered a few things that intrigued me. Although many concur with the belief that video games are played because they are fun, there are underlying factors that come into play that cause gamers to become overly attached and reliant in the fun that video games entail. According to my sources, “The motivation for playing also seems to be a factor in addiction. Lack of successful experiences in real life, low parental support, high video game use by parents, or divorce or separation of parents…” In other words, gaming can be used as a coping mechanism to help deal with the negative aspects life can present. After interviewing a fellow gamer that I used to work with, I received an insight on why he plays games. Massey states, “I like playing video games. . . it relieves everything from my mind. ” Oddly enough, many gamers coincide with the belief that video games help to distract them from stress and life’s troubles. Other interviewees made claims along the lines of, “It takes my mind off things and is just a stress reliever. ” Another person said that it is the main thing that, “keeps them sane. ” Additional ties people have revealed to me between themselves and video games is that “It gives a sense of domination, ” and “reminds me of my childhood. ” Now that I’ve found the reason that people play video games and saw that it correlated with my own personal beliefs, I had to learn the video game lingo.

Video games often have chat rooms where players can communicate with one another and can often give feedback on how a player or team can develop better gaming skills in order to benefit everyone who is playing. Though we may never meet face to face, chat rooms can be seen as a virtual Socratic seminar strictly devoted to gaming. I noticed some words that seemed unfamiliar, so I took it upon myself to ask a gamer who I knew was fluent in this topic. Rainer explained several terms and what they meant in relation to gamers’ conversation. A few words we covered were, “Noob, or a bad beginner, Nerf, or a weakened gun or person, Buff, which is the opposite of nerf, and Weak or 1 shot, which calls out for a teammate to shoot a certain enemy. ” Learning these expressions helped me to become more connected to the video gaming world. Because I had learned some of the gaming community’s lexis, I felt more comfortable in my new niche. I didn’t feel like as much of an outsider and the additional knowledge also made gameplay more enjoyable. I realized one commonality among most gamers. Despite the notion that some players may say they are just playing for fun, the practice of gaming is so prevalent because it provokes a person’s inner competitor. The main goal is to win. Gaming has the ability to make one compete to better themselves and to be better than those they are playing against. Additionally, although gamers play on a team, each person has a specific role. One person has to have excellent shooting range and aim, one person has to be defense, one person has to be the lookout, so on and so forth. The roles vary from game to game. Those who are a novice at gameplay may not have as strict of roles as those who are experts. The roles coordinated with a piece of advice from every player ensures the most efficient and entertaining play.

After conducting all of the research, I feel more intertwined with being in the gaming community. I have developed more confidence as a gamer, and now when I play games, I don’t feel as lost or left out. Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but I have enough information to get myself started. I have become somewhat fluent in the gameplay of video games on the easier level, and am working myself toward the more intense games. After interviewing others and Googling things about gaming, I feel even more sure about my recent console purchase and see it as a good investment. I noticed that I play games for similar, if not the same, reasons as others do. It keeps me entertained, destresses me, challenges how competitive I am, and some games can offer some childhood nostalgia. Soon, I’ll be able to play even more intricate games and compete with others in hopes to win. Until then, I’ll enjoy applying what I’ve learned so far.

18 May 2020
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