Sep 22, 2011

Posted by in Features | 9 Comments

United We Stand: Show Them A Love They Can Never Destroy

United We Stand is an Ask A Jedi series focusing on guilds, groups, and other communities in Star Wars: The Old Republic. By examining the communities that we form, we can create a stronger game for ourselves, build relationships that will last a lifetime, and perhaps even change the world itself.

I find that I often have trouble explaining to others how much I love stuff like Star Wars: The Old Republic, guilds, E-sports, etc and I don’t think I’m the only person that has this kind of problem either. All the time I hear about disgruntled nerds how they can’t find or don’t think there are others who love and understand video games the same way they do. If they don’t say it, then they just act ashamed. Oftentimes then you pass off this shame onto others, blaming them for being shallow and not looking underneath the surface to find a “truly nice person”. I’m sure it’s not true if I were to say that I have never been one of these people, but for me it seems like there are always more people out there that understand then you would at first expect.

They’re Out There

For example, as I have previously occasionally mentioned (a lot), I led a Star Wars: Jedi Academy clan for a few years. I don’t often get to share this experience or when I do, it doesn’t seem like they understand the impact that it has had on my life. About a week ago, however, my roommate GenerallyAwesome, brought home a lady-friend. I love meeting my roommate’s lady-friends, they are always so fascinating. This time I got the chance to grill her about her nerd past, which she apparently got through her ex-boyfriend. I asked her if she had played any video games, she said yes but refused to name which ones (out of nerd-shame). I began to name some off in accordance to how important they were to me and as a shot in the dark; I asked if she had played Star Wars: Jedi Academy. She said yes I was absolutely shocked, but she refused to tell me her story, even though subsequent questions showed that her experience was extensive. In the most random places, even in the middle of the night, you can find people who share your love.

While that example is personal, there is a much better one which I believe at this point has been shared with millions: Day[9] and his, admittedly very long, My Life of Starcraft story. He talks about his love for Starcraft and its community, the way his friends and family supported him in his tournament journeys, and how he now spreads and shares his love to the world. GenerallyAwesome says that it will make you cry more than Aerith dying in Final Fantasy VII did. His story is incredibly heartfelt and soul lifting and fills the nerd with hope and confidence that they can be a better gamer too.

Fly The Flag

The point of both of these stories is don’t be afraid. Don’t be ashamed, don’t be nervous, show them a love they can never destroy. What we think makes us different, is actually what makes us interesting. If you show them how much you love something and why you love it, they will come to love it too. There’s a reason why you love it and those reasons are universal. I love MMOs like Star Wars: The Old Republic regardless of their social stigma because of the amazing experiences that I have had and all the marvelous people that they have brought me to meet.

Yes, sometimes at parties, someone will ask me if I played World of Warcraft or ‘games like that’ and expect me to be ashamed. But I am not, for I love those games and I love the people around those games just as much as I love each person who has asked me those questions. Stand up and point to yourself and say “Yes, I am a level 85 feral druid” or “Yes, I’m beta testing Star Wars: The Old Republic and you should be incredibly jealous”. Only by owning up to our love and sharing it in a constructive way can we build a better world for you, me, and everyone who has ever shared our experiences.

  1. People have been flying their freak flags for a long time. Ya I fly mine. My friends and family think I am weird. So what I have been weird since I was 13. I am 40 now nothing has changed. I was proud of it then I am proud of it now.

    • Wow, that’s quite amazing, if I may ask what kinds of stuff do you think made you weird when you were younger? I ask because I don’t think I have any that doesn’t have to do with the internet.

  2. NopeHundred says:

    I honestly don’t even know where to begin when I try to explain to people. I don’t want to scare someone off by overloading them with this whole community they’ve never heard of or never bothered to learn about. I think that’s the issue that I’ve come across.
    Obviously if you love being who you are then you should share that but like everything else don’t open the flood gates right away. I feel like that’s a problem I’ve seen a lot.

    Also I didn’t cry when Aerith died, FFVII is actually my least favorite of the Final Fantasy series, but Day[9]’s My Life of Starcraft hit me so hard

    • Day[9] makes some great points about this, I particularly remember him saying that you don’t share the medium or the thing with people, you share the people with people and then they understand.

  3. Boogieman620 says:

    I have felt that shame and in CT where I live it is not as open an environent as I would like so meeting people with similar interests is very hard. I no longer feel that shame. I am a proud gaming geek. I don’t mind spending most of my time alone but I would like to have a group of friends here in CT that are gamers. However, I am very happy to be in a SWTOR guild to have the chance to have some new cross country friends.

  4. BoatswainBart says:

    I too was “ashamed” and after years of gaming that widdled down a bit. And when I started work I found a group of guys who too love gaming as much as I do and we have been great friends since. I feel bad for people who don’t have a similar group of friends.

    • I have been incredibly blessed to have met people like GenerallyAwesome who I can share the community with, but he’s not the only one that I have met. It turns out they’re actually not that hard to find, they’re just all as shy about it as the rest of us.

  5. Never been ashamed of gaming. I managed to high level raiding and have a girlfriend during 5 years, and she was not playing any videogame at all. (the funny part is that she dumped me 2 month after I stopped playing wow haha! xD)

    But no, never ashamed of gaming. I had grown with it, it’s part of my life, and part of my friends life. I made some really good friends in wow too. We see each others some times despite the fact that we live at 600 km+ from one anothers.

    But maybe for other things, like music. I enjoy all kind of music, from classical to metal, to good hip hop and dazing electro. But there is juste some people that don’t understand that, or would say “what?! you are listening to this shit?”…

  6. I’ve never been ashamed of it. Just never talked about it, unless someone asked a question or just showed a slight interest. To me, gaming is a hobby. It’s what I do, like how others might exercise or watch TV in their free time. It all comes down, what we find fun individually.

    The biggest shock for me, as far as gaming goes. Would be when I was in college. On nights of picking up Halo 3, or the latest expansion to WoW, to see the # of people waiting as well surprised me. You don’t realize how close you are to fellow gamers, until you see something like that.

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