What does gaming mean?
We've all heard of people "gaming" or are familiar with the term "gamers." But what do those words actually mean? Suppose you looked up the definition of gaming in the dictionary (or on Google). You may get something like "the action or practice of playing video games" or "a person who plays video games or participates in role-playing games." However, you may get various answers depending on who you ask these questions. There are many different types of gamers and gaming genres. It's not always "hardcore" gaming that requires live streaming the most popular games on Twitch or Facebook. The act of gaming could be a relaxation method and escape from reality. For others, it's a great way to socialize and meet new people! Gamers can be anyone who plays any type of video game, from playing Street Fighter in the old arcade, Mario Party on the weekend with good friends, or exchanging fruit in Animal Crossing during the COVID-19 lockdown.
When it comes to different gaming genres- there's a lot! It's sometimes hard to classify a certain game into one specific category. Some games can fall into multiple groups, and they can get very technical and confusing. There are some easier video games to classify, though, like most sports video games with the same rules and characters as you would find in the "real world." The same goes for puzzle and board video games that are identical to or slightly modified versions of their traditional board from. At the end of the day, games are supposed to be fun or whatever you want them to be, it's up to you to decide!
Types of Video Games
So, let's kick off this blog with an intro to some commonly known gaming genres and see what they're all about:
RPG – Role-Playing Game: An electronic game that follows a compelling storyline and allows the main character to explore a fictional world. The characters' story develops through events and quests, and changes based on what the main player chooses to do. The character can typically level up, gain experience points (EXP), and even improve an ability as they play the game. There are usually other characters in this type of game called "NPCs," which means Non-player Characters, who are essentially computerized players. This game usually has an "end" when the main storyline is over.
There are Single player Role-playing games that usually have just one main character and the NPCs. These RPGs lack other real players adventuring throughout the game, though sometimes there are slight exceptions to that rule!
MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online: An MMO is an online game that many people can play simultaneously on the same server. Usually consisting of a massive world map available for exploring with others. MMOs commonly have a chat function that allows you to communicate with the people you're playing with or near you in the game. If you shut off your game, it will still run and progress for others in the online world. There is no real "end" to an MMO, which means you can indefinitely continue to play and interact with others.
A subgenre of an MMO is an MMORPG- Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing game. All MMORPGs are MMOs (it's in the name!). An MMORPG is essentially a role-playing game that is featured in an online world that follows more of a storyline/plot than an MMO but is similar in that you can play online with thousands of other real players simultaneously.
FPS/TPS – First Person Shooter/ Third Person Shooter: A Game that puts the player in a first person or third person visual perspective and allows them to attack their opponents. You can link up with your friends online and chat through headsets, even sometimes through a text chat – though verbal is usually easier when trying to focus! Most FPS/TPS have the option to change your character's clothing or even customize weapons for in-game play. These games can also be played in a solo mode, so you don't always have to group up with friends or strangers. Depending on the game you play, there is sometimes an option to play a solo or group story mode in addition to other modes. Some standard modes would be team deathmatches, search and destroy, battle royale, and more!
Simulation Video Games: A simulation video game is when a game is designed and based around real life and activities. Many simulation games have no actual storyline but allow you to freely do activities such as farming, building a business, creating a virtual life, racing cars, etc. Simulation games provide you with a sense of freedom to explore and design as you please, on your own time.
These are just a few gaming genres to name, but there are many more, and they vary depending on who you ask. The picture here is that gaming and gamers are very broad terms and will differ from one person to the next. Still, at the same time, anyone who considers themselves a gamer or enjoys gaming can likely take away some positives from their experiences. There are various gaming consoles and systems that are out in the world for you to use, no matter what age you may be.
Today we are reaching out to the Gamers of CityWest to tell us in their own words what gaming means to them.
Plus, they will provide us with some insight into each unique experience they have with different games and systems they use.
Gaming is the entire reason I work at CityWest. I started with a super Mario on super Nintendo and slowly drifted into PC gaming. Mortal Kombat changed my life, lol. Eventually, solo PC gaming wasn't enough, and we started playing StarCraft over the dial. One day we started networking with them, and the beauty of LAN gaming turned into weekends of gaming. As it grew in popularity, I had to learn how to quickly set up small networks and troubleshoot windows. I eventually moved, and LAN parties became a thing of the past. I ultimately met like-minded people in my new town, and Geekfest was born. This past weekend marked 15 years of an annual event shared by many - 3 days of sleepless gaming. Every year, I am tasked with setting up the power and network infrastructure. We play anything from Call of Duty to Rocket League, StarCraft, and Mario Kart. Consoles or PC, it doesn't matter. We've built a family of gamers, and it's awesome.
When I was a kid, we had a PS1, and my sister and I had an agreement, she played, and I did the recon. Then if something happened where our character died, I got the blame 😉. This has continued now that we are almost 30 and 40 years of age.
Our favourite game was Harvest Moon, a farming RPG where you got to raise animals, grow crops, interact with the villagers, and even get married. We used to have full-on books full of everything you needed to know, including birthdays, what crops grew in which seasons, where to find treasures and dates of important festivals and events. They have continued to release the games over the last 20+ years, and there is still not a version that we don't buy the day it's released.
It's one of my favourite memories growing up, and one way I still manage to feel close to my sister, even though geographically we are far apart.
Gaming is one of the few things I've accomplished in my life. I've recorded over 356 days (1 year) of actual play time on Xbox since 2009, but I started playing in 1993. I was #112 in Canada for Xbox Gamerscore; I'm currently #13 in BC and #187 in Canada. My current Gamerscore is 525,295.
Gaming gives you a way to escape reality; you get to play in a system you fully understand with a fully pre-defined set of rules you have to follow. There's no black and white or a moral gray area in a video game like in real life; there's just entertainment, strategy, and analysis.
The game I've spent the most time on in my life is probably Halo 2; I was an international champion in one of the first Xbox games to ever be available in online multiplayer. However, my favourite game will always be Final Fantasy 7; I spent months with friends writing a 2800-page guide to everything Final Fantasy 7-related that's still available and referenced online. I generally play only on Xbox because it aggregates all the games you've played into one score, and I've become obsessed with that score. However, every console has hidden gems, and no one should stick to just one.
My first game was Zork, a 1970s text-based adventure I played on the computer with my dad when I was 3. The game that forever solidified my love for gaming was Final Fantasy 7 on the PlayStation 1 in 1997.
Gaming is an exciting challenge and an escape from the doldrums of reality. Currently, my favourite games to play are World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy, both of which give the option of either playing mainly by yourself or playing with like-minded people if you feel like socializing. They also have beautiful graphics and fun storylines to follow, and it is enjoyable creating a character and helping it grow. By making choices, your own adventure book comes to life. I mostly play video games on the computer but have many different systems (PlayStation, switch, DS, Wii, GameCube, Xbox, and PSP). I keep the old methods as there are favourite games on them that I can't get on any other system! My brother got me into gaming when he played Dragon Warrior on the original Nintendo while babysitting me and handed me the controller while he went to the bathroom. I have been hooked ever since 😊.
Our staff here at CityWest are fantastic and have had some pretty memorable experiences bringing gaming into their lives! Based on just those four different experiences with playing video games, we can tell that gaming has somewhat shaped each of these people and brought some form of happiness into their lives. Gaming for some people is purely for the love of the game. For others, it could lead you to new friends for life or even find you a career.
It's no surprise that our tech company is full of gamers. Working in an industry that connects thousands of people to the gaming world on the Internet helps us understand the wants and needs of the people using our products, as we use them too! There's nothing worse than being in the middle of an online game with your friends and then lagging out of the game. You begin to wonder why you're constantly losing connection. Is your system crashing? Are there too many people in your household using the Internet at once? Do you need more upload or download speed? It's always hard to tell. That's why gamers LOVE having Symmetrical Internet (they never have to wonder if it's their Internet connection fails).
CityWest proudly offers Symmetrical Internet packages with no data caps to our fibre-optic customers, as we want to provide the smoothest, fastest, and most reliable Internet that we can. Having Symmetrical Internet gives the user matching upload and download speeds, essential for gaming, especially if you have multiple users in your home. Learn more here.