Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Whole New World: An Introduction Post

"A Whole New World"

Means something a little different when Aladdin and Jasmine sang it in that one Disney movie, but the overall idea is about the same.

When I started dating my now-husband, I had very little to no knowledge that "competitive video gaming" was a thing. At all. Heck, I didn't really understand the really big picture of video games in the first place. I thought I did! I played a ton of Halo and Super Smash Brothers in the dorms at my university. Even beat the boys in a Halo tournament my sophomore year.

I didn't understand the lore, but appreciated that some did. I didn't spend every second on the computer playing games, though realized that some did. What I did not understand, however, was that when you have a group of individuals who make it their life to create, research, play and breathe video games, a very specific and identifiable culture emerges.

I had dated a gamer before. He played WoW and a few other games while we were dating. We had a tricky break-up but remained friends. But I digress. I thought I was prepared.

I was wrong.

When BreakyCPK and I first started dating (how we met will be a separate blog post. It's too cute not to be), I was relieved I finally found someone that I was entirely compatible with. A self-proclaimed "geek" who was also a bit of an extrovert and had many similar interests that I did. It helped that he was my type and very attractive.

For those of you reading this who may not know who BreakyCPK is, let me explain super quick. He came from California, where he started delving in to the new world of "shoutcasting" or broadcasting video-game sporting events. He did this independently, while going to school for sports broadcasting. People started to notice, and really long story short, was hired by a video game company in Michigan to do this full time. Eventually, he would become the Video Production Lead for a video game called Heroes of Newerth, where he not only continuing to "shoutcast" but to produce marketing videos for the company. (TL;DR He works for a video game company)

My first glimpse in to the culture that revolves around video games was actually on our  second date. He took me to a movie, where a bunch of his friends showed up. I could tell he was embarrassed and didn't arrange for that to happen, but I found it so endearing. I met an eclectic group of folks around the same age, and even younger than me who were so supportive of Breaky and his new love interest. I couldn't help but plaster a huge smile on my face. Very interesting people and I knew and hoped I would see more of them soon.

Some brief things I found out about the culture of those in the video game industry.

1. You will not find a more passionate group of people in any other industry. Arguments could be made for many different fields and I know many fields have very, very passionate people. However, those in the field of video games are hard-working, pseudo-obsessive individuals who spend their work time and play time revolved around their craft. Not just their craft however. Once they find a topic they find interesting, they become the experts on that. Politics, music, board games, etc. Makes for absolutely fascinating conversations

2. The stereotype of the "gamer introvert" is false. So many video game professionals have outgoing personalities and are extremely social and involved with the community. As with any group of people, you will have both extroverts and introverts, but in the video game industry, regardless of which you are, you are family. Many social events revolve around work friends, and include everyone.

3. The lingo is.... different. Because of the sheer amount of time spent with others of their craft, video game enthusiasts of all professions have created a sort of new language. I can say with pride that I have caught on to this and even find it leaking out while in "normal" situations. I may do a blog post on that one.

4. You find and make forever friends. About 80% of our wedding party were from the "video game industry." Many others actively play the same games we do, creating a sort of family. I could not have asked for a better wedding party on our very special day. Many of my female friends are either working in the video game industry or are girlfriends/fiances/wives of those in the video game industry.

There are so many other little nuances to this world and culture. Way too many for one blog post. When I started dating Breaky, I didn't realize how different my world had been. I also didn't realize there were others in my position who were new to the whole professional video game culture, but wanted to belong.

That's the basics of what this blog will be. Also recipes that many have demanded I share, as well as I'm sure, insight in to the ever changing and evolving world of competitive video games, and maybe life in general.

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