Grinding to Valhalla

Interviewing the gamer with a thousand faces

Shawn (Chapter 4)

Posted by Randolph Carter on May 17, 2009

MMO community connection:

Massively | Massively Speaking | OMG-RL!1!| Through the Aftermath

Chapter 4: Preferences

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

At my peak, I would play Guild Wars 6-7 hours after work every night. Now, it’s down to about 2 hours a day across many games

When during the week are your regular play times?

I dabble throughout the day when I get the itch, but the only times I play for more than 30 mins at a time are usually after 10pm EST. I don’t really play on weekends at all, because that’s family time.

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

I’m usually a lone wolf, but I’ve been blessed with a wonderful kinship in LotRO, so I play with them whenever I can. I like to at least be a part of a guild in every game I play, even if I don’t always play with them. In fact, I really enjoy the prcess of starting new with brand new people in a guild who don’t know me at all. That’s so interesting and exciting to me.

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

Definitely. I’ve even met several guildmates. I see my LotRO kinship members about once a year and we go out for dinner, etc.

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?

I usually log in with a plan, but that changes if someone needs help with something. I’m open to doing whatever, and don’t get upset or frustrated if my original plans get forgotten. But this usually means I level slower than everyone else, because I’m not determined to advance as quickly as possible.

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

I used to be all about one game, and wouldn’t think of trying another game. Now (mostly because of my job), I try to have a working knowledge of as many MMOs as I can. That’s becoming increasingly more difficult.

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

I would go insane if I didn’t. My favorites include Fallout 3, Rockband 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, Mount & Blade, Half Life 2 and Wii Sports. I also love to play board games with my kids. I created a simple tabletop RPG for them using only animals as characters and Uno cards for a basic combat system. We have lots of fun with that.

Are you something of an altoholic?

Yep, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I need to try out every class, and every race, and every combo, and… and. Well, let’s just say it takes me awhile to find my perfect character. Even then, I like to go back to other alts and try new stuff.

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)?

I HAVE to multitask when gaming. I’m either reading email, searching my RSS feed for potential news stories and always listening to podcasts or music. When I edit podcasts, I’m usually gathering nodes in LotRO.

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

Only with my gf, who also plays Guild Wars and LotRO. None of my family and most of my friends don’t even know what an MMO is.

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

If it didn’t pay my bills, then yes. I still get guilt trips if I play for too long, and usually make up for that by doing more housework or something else productive.

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

Not since I started playing MMOs, but I think that’s because I started so late (in 2005). I took a break from gaming for a few years while I was in college and married, though.

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