Gaming Breaks

In the course of being a gamer, we sometimes get completely engrossed in one game and ignore all others.  This is why, in a video I will be posting later, I mention that I haven’t had much time, if any, to play games on my various consoles.  I got completely engrossed in Elite: Dangerous on top of actively tackling garrison missions daily in WoW.  However, my recent vacation to the great cities of Boston and New York City allowed me to get away from gaming.  I could have gamed while there, but I didn’t bring a laptop that could handle those games and I was far too tired after waking around all day to even think of playing a game.  I have been back now for a two weeks and I still haven’t thought about online gaming.

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This brings me to the topic I wanted to talk about, taking a break.  Taking a break from our regular routine of gaming can be quite refreshing.  It opened up more free time than I thought and I found myself looking for things to do.  I caught up on some TV shows (I can now say I have watched all of Breaking Bad), but I really was kind of bored and didn’t know what to do.  Kind of a good problem to have, no?

The added benefit of my new found free time is that I was finally able to look towards playing some console games again.  I truly have a huge backlog of games I still have to play.  While I will most likely continue playing Dragon Age: Inquisition until I beat it, I still have the original Assassin’s Creed to beat (just need to do the last couple kills).  I even bought a PS4 and Bloodborne because I kept reading so many good things about it.  If I was still spending all my time online gaming, Dragon Age and Bloodborne, along with a couple other Xbox One games I have, would still be unopened.

This doesn’t just apply to video gaming.  Sometimes we need to take a break from our board game groups and our tabletop roleplaying groups.  The break helps us realize how much we enjoy and how much we get out of our gaming groups.  Fortunately for me, the breaks I get from my board gaming and roleplaying groups are because people are out of town.  I really enjoy these groups, and believe I could go without the breaks (not regularly gaming during the week completely throws my schedule off), however it is most likely that these shorts breaks I get keep everything fresh and fun when we get to game again.

What do you think?  Do you take breaks from your gaming routine and find yourself with a lot of free time to enjoy something else?  Do those breaks allow you to go back to other games that you still need to play?  Please leave a comment and/or share on Twitter.


Social interaction in WoW

People are, by nature, social beings.  Most of us crave or require regular social interaction with other people.  We gamers are no different.  How we get our interaction, however, may be different.  Most people think of video games as solo activities, and don’t get me wrong several of them are.  But, just because games can and are played alone doesn’t mean you don’t get any social interaction out of them.  Depending on what types of games you play, you can get a lot out of them.

The most basic, current example would, of course, be World of Warcraft.  I have already talked about working as a team in WoW.  Something that goes hand in hand with working as a team is working with others.  In WoW, there’s a lot of content that can be played through by yourself.  This is usually done through questing and achievement hunting.  Nowadays, we can even go back through old content that used to take several people to complete and complete it alone.  I personally get a lot of enjoyment out of that.  Current content or more difficult achievements or quests require playing with other people.

The tool of online social interaction
The tool of online social interaction

If you team up with the same people over and over, they become your friends.  And although they are just your friends in a video game, they are still your friends.  You don’t chat about random things with random people online, but you will with your friends.  I remember a rogue I used to party with often back in the vanilla days of WoW.  Bahaphat was his name.  While we were never in the same guild, we often did dungeons and quests together.  We would chat about how things were going.  After breaks I would take with WoW, one of the first things I would do when I came back was see if Baha was playing and see what he was up to.  I needed to reach out and remake the connection we had.

Right now, I am in two guilds in WoW; one on my horde character that I am currently neglecting, and one on my alliance character.  In my alliance guild, several of the members only play WoW to play with friends.  They never come online to go through content by themselves, they only come online when we are putting a group together to tackle raid content.  Our guild leader has expressed numerous times that he only plays WoW so he can play with friends.  We all get a social interaction fix off of playing this game together.

In my horde guild, they are a bit more tightly connected.  This is mainly due to them being from all over (unlike my alliance guild where we all work for the same company in the same town) and from being in one of the top raiding guilds in the U.S.  Because they spend so much time playing the game together, all the main people have become very good friends.  If you join their mumble chat you will hear everything from funny stories to how things are currently going with someone’s family.  Members even flew from all over to hang out and go to BlizzCon 2014 together.  It’s almost like they are a family.  Everyone is there to play and socially interact with each other.

How have you made friends in online gaming?  How do you keep in contact with them?  Please feel free to leave a comment and/or share on Twitter.

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