Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Genda (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 8, 2009

MMO community connection:

The Grouchy Gamer

Chapter 4: Preferences

At your peak, how much time per week would you say you spent gaming? How about now?

About 40 hours. That was during my EQ raiding days, and that was around a full-time job as well. Still today, I do about 30 hours a week. That’s probably peak for me these days.

When during the week are your regular play times?

Every night after work for a few hours, and most of the day on the weekends around events we have. Right now, we are fully engaged in gaming so it’s pretty regular. It’s not always like that.

Generally speaking, are you more of a social creature in MMOs (grouping to quest, joining guilds, etc.) or something of a lone wolf?

I tend to be more social, but I definitely have my lone wolf side as well. Most of the time, it’s me and Tarkheena duoing. We love playing (especially dungeon crawling) with others though. Right now, we just started back on our WoW Horde characters (who have been retired since BC came out) so we are leveling, trying to get to 80 so we can run with the rest of our guild. We’re not being crazy about it but that’s where most of our effort goes.

Have you made any lasting friendships through your MMO experience? Please explain.

Absolutely. Besides meeting my wife playing EQ, there are all kinds of people that we still keep in touch with and have for years.

Before logging into a game, do you already have a course of action planned out in your head, or do you just sort of do whatever you feel like once in game?

Usually we have something planned. There’s always a big goal hanging out there in front of us (right now, that is running 25-man Naxx.) To get there we have to level, so we know right now when we log in that we’ll be questing. There are times when we log in and ask “What do you want to do? But that is less often any more.

When playing MMOs do you tend to just play one at a time or do you take more of the smorgasbord approach?

I usually have more than one game going, which drives Tark nuts. Mostly I concentrate on one, unless there is a big new release out that I want to try out. Rarely any more do I do more than two though. Most of them are so demanding that there is no way to play that many effectively and have a job. Now if I could get a sponsor…

Do you tend to supplement your MMO gaming with other PC, console or tabletop games?

If I’m really into the game I’m playing, no. I tend to have laser focus on the game or task at hand. If it’s losing my interest, I’ll go to other computer games, then to the XBox or the PS3.

Are you something of an altoholic?

Yes. I have a main and usually a couple of alts that get a decent amount of attention. Currently I have a Shaman main (73), and a Mage (54) and Lock (46). Hmmm, guess I lean toward casters. My Mage doesn’t get much play time now that my wife has her mage to 75. Let her lose interest though and I’ll trot him right back out. 😀

Do you find yourself multitasking while gaming (perhaps watching TV, talking on the phone, out of game instant messaging, playing another game, or even listening to a podcast)?

Always. There is a flat panel mounted on the wall where we play above the desk that is usually on, and I have another computer (I used to 2-monitor my box, but didn’t like the small performance hit, so I unretired a box for browsing and 2-boxing.) that is right next to my main gaming machine.

Do you find yourself having much MMO discussion off-line, perhaps with friends or family?

Any time I get the chance. Most of the people where I work now are not gamers (that I know of) so that doesn’t happen at work. Most of my guild lives locally, so there is an opportunity to get together every once in a while and we do.

Have you ever felt that you game too much? If so, how did you cope with that?

I’m sure I game too much. I don’t smoke or drink or chase women though, so I feel like of the possible vices in my life I’ve chosen one that is relatively less objectionable. Plus, it’s something my wife and I do together which continues to be a bonding experience for us.

Since you started playing MMOs, have you ever taken a break from the genre? If so, please explain.

Yes, from time to time I’ve stepped away. Most of the time it’s in the wake of a disappointing new game and me having the feeling that I wasn’t ready to go back to whatever I was playing right away. During those times, I tend to immerse myself in the meta-game. In most cases, the meta game is at least as interesting as the actual games themselves. That’s how anyone ever came to know who I was, otherwise I’m just another player like everyone else.


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