Stealing from Kubler-Ross and her model for the stages of death there are stages of gaming, at least for the old new gamer. If it wasn’t for PAX, Destiny The Game, the Community, my gaming sherpa Mig, and Bungie I would not have seen this world.
No Time: You deny you have the time. You consider gaming something for teens and violent felon prone men. It is hiding behind self-doubt.
Fear: How does the controller work? What do I do with the game? How do I play? What if I am not any good? These questions flood your mind but tease you to go for it.
Curious: Games seem fun and passing the time on my phone. I wonder what it’s like on the computer or console? I can do this. I want to try.
The Push: A friend, a daughter, son, or neighbor talks about gaming. Talks about the fun and the community. They bring you a game and walk you through it and leave you to explore. It is the first step.
Oafish: Why did I ever think this was going to be fun. I can’t do this. What an idiot I am. But you continue to play and try. Frustration reigns supreme. Yet the rough edges are smoothed over with practice. You give up twice a day and return three times a day.
Believing your own PR: Suddenly you think you are good at this. You level up. You’re more confident and think ‘I am a gamer’. Oh how fragile we humans are.
Surrendering: Watching videos of game play, competition, and friends playing trims your sails of self congratulations. Suddenly in a moment of blinding insight you see that the real gamers are in a zone when they play. They are calm, controlled, and are having fun. There is no frustration on their faces or in their play. You know you have so much more to learn and do.
Egoless Play: It is a game. It is a place to surrender the moment and find peace. It is less about victory or leveling up. It is about playing alone or with others. Community with yourself, the game, and others. You and the game are one. (You get to kick ass and take names. After all we are competitive.)