I am genuinely embarrassed to tell anyone I love playing Xbox.
|If someone were to ask me an example of something embarrasing that I like doing, I would reluctantly tell them 'picking my nose and eating it', which I actually rather enjoy. The thing is, when people ask about my spare-time activities, when I say ''I've been playing a lot of xbox'', people mostly react as if I've just made a slight faux-pas.
To be fair, I do play an awful lot of games now. I've managed to rack up well over a total of 200 hours on Fallout 3 alone, never mind the countless hours I've put into other immense games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and Fable 2, but people treat it like a taboo and change the subject. Not that I instantly tell people I've been playing games for two days straight as soon as I meet them, but when it eeks out into general conversation I'm kind of.... looked down on.
At the company I was with last, one of the guys who was helping me with my C.V changed my hobbies from 'Teaching myself guitar and playing computer games' to 'Teaching myself guitar and interacting with various online gaming communities'. A slight insult to my general personality, as I hate gaming online. ''It sounds better though'', is all I got from the guy and my C.V was completed.
I can understand in a lot of ways why video gaming is seen as degenerative, debaucherous and dull. It has this image behind it of stubbly, spectacled nerdophiles with weak wrists clicking and tapping away in nothing but screenlight in their mothers basement, occasionally eating and working. That's only half true.
Gaming has become so much more sophisticated now, with games such as Mass Effect with it's fantastic dialogue system, galactic travelling and plot scheme, Resident Evil 5 with it's bombastic action and horrifying creature design, Portal with it's sardonic wit and mind-bending puzzles, and on and on... You actually become a part of what you are experiencing - a part of whatever world lies in front of your pasty face, be it a mutant infested New York or the Tamriel providence of Cyrodiil, and that's what separates gaming from theatre, film and music - is the ability to control your experience from where you sit and make it fit your exact preferences, within a unique world, designed with you, the gamer in mind (provided it's a good game).
So why has this bad image of video gamers carried through so relentlessly into next-gen gaming? We're altogether a better class of nerd, us hardcore Xboxers, no worse than the beard strokers you get at an intimate jazz gig.
Having said all that though, I have mindlessly killed thousands of innocent people whilst laughing hysterically for hours on end in GTA 4, so perhaps it should be kept at taboo status...