Who would have though I’d be playing Internet games for a university course? Well that’s exactly what this week’s post is about. While I do like playing games (and I will admit I have played the occasional game of solitaire on the computer, I was hooked on the adventure game Myst for awhile, and I even played the shooter game Doom) I haven’t yet got hooked playing games on sites such as Facebook and I don’t consider myself to be a true “gamer”. Maybe it comes down to the time I have available and how I choose to spend that time. A quick game of cards on my computer or a game on my phone while waiting for an appointment is something that can be used as a time filler and can be switched on and off as needed.
For me, when I think of playing games I relate it to playing at a table with a group of friends, getting together at a predetermined time and a place, chatting, having something to eat, and so on. I know other students in the class said that they can do all the same things over the Internet but for me it’s just not the same. I like the feeling of actually being in the same room, of having that personal connection. That being said, I can see why others participate in social media games. For example friends who don’t live near each other can still arrange to ‘meet’ for a game, they can chat online, and it gives them the opportunity to maintain a long-distance friendship. For others maybe it’s the chance to ‘meet’ new people. For others maybe it is the competitive aspect of scores, and bragging rites, and while I do like winning (and who doesn’t), having my scores posted for all to see is not something I’m terribly interested in.
But back to the game playing for this course … I decided to Candy Crush Saga because two of my friends are playing it on Facebook. I know this because I regularly receive updates about their progress. After completing round one I’m asked if I want to share my results (no, I don’t). I play on but don’t complete the level so I’m asked if I would like to buy extra credits or ask my friends. Another option is to watch an advertisement to gain a new life or even start another game to earn credits for this one. I feel like I’m constantly being manipulated and I don’t particularly like it. The commercial aspect takes the fun out of the game so I move on to another. This time I try Words with Friends. I don’t know anyone who plays so I opted for a random opponent. It was extremely slow paced, so it wasn’t long before I lost interest. I considered downloading the app to my phone, but when the installation process stated that it would have access to my contact list I aborted the install. I wouldn’t subject the people in my contact list to unnecessary messages and or advertisements and I hope that they feel the same way. Maybe it’s because I work on a computer all day that I don’t want to spend my social time on a computer. That being said, I can see why so many people do enjoy social gaming. It just doesn’t happen to be for me.