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Anyone here play computer games online?

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Anyone here play computer games online?

Postby waynemr » Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:01 am

I've been an avid computer gamer since the 80s, and I've been doing hard-core online and LAN gaming for about 13 years. I'm in my late 30s, happily married, and I've got 2 kids... But I still get that vibe from tons of folks in Madison, that computer gaming is somehow bad, childish, or downright criminal... and well, it kind of pisses me off!

The computer gaming industry makes more than Hollywood for crying out loud and if I walk around talking about the latest independent film, people seem to think I'm cultured or hip - but talk about the latest indi game, and people seem to look at you funny.

Have I just been hanging around the wrong places, or do the majority of adults in Madison do play computer games, but they just hide it in shame or something?

Just today, in fact, I tried to submit a listing for a large LAN-party to the "Guide" for the Isthmus, but it got rejected because they don't list online gaming events because it will take up too much space... WTH? Too much space? There are like 4 groups that put on LAN parties in the area, and each does like 1 or 2 a year. How can 10-12 events per year take up too much space? Seriously, look at some of the stuff listed in the Guide. There are tons of niche and odd listings that are far less popular for folks in Madison than a LAN- party.

So anyway, I was just curious how many folks play computer games in Madison, how often, and do they play online or just single-player stuff?

Oh, and if anyone *is* interested in a 120-seat LAN-party, I'm helping to put one on at UW-Whitewater on April 22nd - ust go check out http://www.iron-lan.com
Last edited by waynemr on Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Beer Moon » Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:28 pm

I can only assume they think there are a couple hundred people lugging their rigs back and forth to each other's houses each weekend and that they would want to advertise.

Or perhaps they think you tried to advertise an actual ONLINE event, rather than a LAN party, where most people often GO ONLINE to play a bit, but where the point is typically to play on the LAN instead to take advantage of the near-zero latency and truly test skill against skill instead of internet connection vs. internet connection.

The Network of Gamers party boys put stuff together quite often, and advertise on their site. They might help advertise your event; I think they're all about developing the LAN party scene. They also give out cool stuffz at their LANs, and soon as I get me an LCD this summer I'll be joining them, because I have no desire to move the 70lb Trinitron back and forth to LANs anymore. I did it once, and that was enough.

Anyway, the social stigma that games are for kids is going away at the same pace as any other stigma goes away. Give it another 20 years.

However, almost every study shows that nearly half of PC gamers (online or off) are over age 30 or 35, so you are DEFINITELY not alone.

I'm 31. If not for Oblivion, I typically spend about 10-15 hours a week in World of Warcraft. I also log into Quake 4 now and then, but I've been re-catching up on my old RPGs lately (like System Shock 2), so I haven't been online as much as usual.
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Postby dogmeat » Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:29 pm

I play computer games and I'm not ashamed of it. I think a lot of people that look down upon gaming don't understand that many games require a lot of thought and skill.

That said...

If the traditional media outlets ignore you, skip past them. The folks at Dane101.com would be happy to help promote LAN parties or any other type of event. Drop them a line.
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Postby waynemr » Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:55 pm

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.

Another thing that comes to mind, is that Madison is home to two top-tier game studios - Raven and Human Head. You would think that the city collective would understand the commercial potential and actually work to encourage more game-related events. Perhaps a Wisconsin Game Festival or something, like the Wisconsin Film Festival.

Dogmeat... did you used to live in Milwaukee? I used to know another "Dogmeat" who hailed from those parts.
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Postby dogmeat » Sat Mar 25, 2006 8:48 pm

I've been going by the handle dogmeat for about 14 years, but I never lived in Milwaukee.
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Postby nickled&dimed » Sun Apr 09, 2006 4:02 pm

I played second life last summer quite a bit, and even made some money doing it, but i had to quit when I went back to work.
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Re: Anyone here play computer games online?

Postby Begbie » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:01 pm

waynemr wrote:I'm in my late 30s, happily married, and I've got 2 kids...


Can I ask what you do for a job? I'm not being snarky, I'd really like to know. I used to have all kinds of time for computer games, online and not. Even after I started law school I found time. But now, with a baby girl just two weeks old, I can barely find time to sleep let alone spend any time playing computer games. And it's only going to get worse once I start at my first law-type job in the fall. I am starting to think I'll never finish Half-Life 2 or GTA: San Andreas--at least not until I'm retired. (See? Those are pretty old games and I haven't even finished them.)
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Re: Anyone here play computer games online?

Postby nickled&dimed » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:27 pm

Begbie wrote: But now, with a baby girl just two weeks old, I can barely find time to sleep let alone spend any time playing computer games.


See, you think you're never going to let this kid watch tv, or stop reading and painting, but one day, when you are feeling as worn down as you are now, and about to burst from the frustration of never ever completing anything in this word without interuption, your beautiful offspring will turn its lovely open gaze upon the tv and not glance away. and instead of switching the box off while repeating the tired platitudes of parenting common among non and new parents,
the cloulds will crack open,
light will fall out of the sky
and the very voice of god will speak into your soul ....
...It's all right, my son. Two episodes of Arthur won't hurt the child. Why don't you go online.
...and as a lulling, if uneducational, peace falls upon your house, you will give thanks over your own amazing ability to change your mind.

Until then, live in hope.
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Re: Anyone here play computer games online?

Postby waynemr » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:13 am

Begbie wrote:Can I ask what you do for a job? I'm not being snarky, I'd really like to know.


I design web-based application for UW-Madison, and honestly, I only play computer games about 0-5 hours per week, mostly in 30-minute spurts. It all depends on the kind of games you play, when it comes to young children.

For instance, I tend to play either extremely long strategy games, like Civilization 4, or very short first-person-shooter games, like Call of Duty. For Civilization, you can actually play it while feeding the baby. Ultimately, though, it comes down to negotiating with my wife for a little free time each week. I agree to watch and care for the kids on weekend mornings, letting her sleep or read, and she lets me game while washing the laundry in the basement.

Gaming and kids can happen, without getting the kids hooked on TV. You just can't do 3 or 4 hours at a shot, or do 20+ hours per week.
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Postby Shpiker » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:26 am

Started online gaming with Team Fortress Classic (included on the Half-Life program) about 5 years ago and have recently been turned on to WoW (started in Dec) and play about 5-7 hrs / week. Borderline addicting...
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Postby jammybastard » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:39 pm

Mid-30s, wife, 2 kids and I'm active in a Wisco based BF2 clan:
Wisconsin Death Trip
We've got a LAN happening May 4-7 in LAX.
Info in the WDT forums. It's open to anyone, at the Pearl Street Brewery and for $20 it's all you can drink.
Other than that I don't go to LANs because we have our own server and I don't like lugging my rig around. In fact I'm building a small microATX rig for this LAN b/c my system is too big to move.

BTW - once you have kids they are in bed by 8pm and you have time to play, or have some quality time with the missus.
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Postby Begbie » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:39 am

Perhaps once the little ankle biter is a bit older, I'll have time for games again. Perhaps. But then, my wife wants me to spend time with her too. Could we get a referendum going to add 6 hours to every day?

It'll also probably be easier once I can move my computer out of the baby's room.
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Postby waynemr » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:06 pm

Another thing you can do, is save up good deeds by your wife's accounting and then ask to attend a LAN-party, like IRON-LAN VI, which is coming up on April 22nd :D

Tell her you could win one of many fabulous prizes, just for showing up! We've got something like $2,000 worth of goodies to give out, and we're still expecting stuff from another ten sponsors.
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Postby Scooterboy » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:00 am

I've only played 2 games online, and have for several years. First it was Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, then Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.

I play online maybe, 2 hours per week, sometimes a few more. I'm a student at The Jedi Academy, and a Master has recently accepted me as his Padawan. Most of my gameplay time is spent in sessions with my Master, who lives in Europe, or in classes with other instructors. Occasionally I'll engage in duels at the Academy or venture onto public servers but mostly I enjoy learning the fine and complex art of the lightsaber. :D
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Postby forwardourmotto » Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:07 am

Yes, yes I do.

Primarily Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. That game is good times.
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