When I was younger I had a games console like most of my friends and would think nothing of saving up for a new game every now and then. It seemed to be something that was almost part of the furniture, most people had one of some sort and the paraphernalia that went with it, like the boxes of games. We used to trade them in and there was a large second hand market for them. It’s interesting how things change, and a lot of that seems to be different now, because in recent years a lot of games seem to have become digital downloads, and games shops on the high street have lessened. But then, when I think about it, it really isn’t so different to how I’ve moved over to a Kindle, not only because of the convenience, but because I feel better not stacking up books that I probably won’t read again, except for the odd few special ones.
My middle son has a PC and is quite into gaming and coding, he always has been. For him a lot of the interest of computers is what he can make them do. He likes nothing more than to wire something unusual up, we have various weather stations and radio aerials all over the house that lead back to his bedroom. It’s a hobby that has grown with him, and in the lockdown he’s added to his interest by studying for various licenses to enhance his hobbies.
My daughter on the other hand only uses a computer for photography or design work, as she’s an art student. Instead she plays a lot of online games on her phone. At first it worried me a bit, because she spends a lot of time on her phone anyway, and it’s not that I don’t trust her, or think she’s talking to people she shouldn’t be, it’s just easy to forget she is doing something different from time to time. You see her phone is everything to her, she even reads books on it, so it’s not all bad! Sometimes she spends money on her game, it’s a role play game, rather than a pay to win game so I don’t mind too much. She also chats with other players and has made a lot of connections this way. I found it hard at first because I wondered who she was befriending, but she assures me that she and the people she talks to, don’t even share their real names. They have an idea of the region in which they each live, and although they only communicate via the game, it seems that they are making quite genuine friendships.
It’s funny to see the ways in which our communication with each other evolves, but Katie enjoys her game and the associations she has with others. It doesn’t matter where they live, or how old they are. It doesn’t matter their background or lifestyle. While they are playing their game and chatting they can be who they want to be, without harm to others. There have been times when comments from others that are unnecessary get removed, and players can report anything they feel to the moderators who also patrol the game.
I guess it just shows the way the world is changing and in this day and age it’s nice to know that we have different ways to build connections with others, especially when we still can’t go out or meet others in the same way that we used to. Over lockdown the hashtag for this particular game has been #playaparttogether - I like message it reinforces, that while we can’t be with other people in the same way we are used to, we can still communicate, we can still talk, we can still play.
Take care everyone.