I did my best to get around and read several of these posts, and they seemed to all be very honest and thoughtful replies. I also felt I should probably get around to replying to one of these Challenges myself, but alas I found the first two (Gamergate & Early Access/Kickstarter) to simply be topics I would not be fit to post a response. Ultimately neither had much of an impact on me (sorry to say, but it's true). With a handful of days left, I would like to try and reply to the third and fourth response.
I'll start with the third prompt, and perhaps do the fourth in another post.
"What made you a Gamer?"This prompt was issued by Jaedia, who wanted to know how we came to identify ourselves as a gamer. Cue the origin reel!
I don't have a terribly descriptive backstory that led to my interest in games. I was not a console gamer in my youth (nor am I much of one now), but I did enjoy my time spent in the computer lab in my elementary school. Whether we were learning the controls of the keyboard or printing our own doodles out on that nifty continuous stationery (with the rippable sides), it was always something I anticipated.
This also included the times we had free time, and were allowed to play some of the various educational games loaded on the machines. Yep, I suppose the system played its part to assist me in my joy of being a gamer. Notable titles I remember included Math Blaster and Word Munchers, both which had memorable avatars and just enough enjoyment mixed in with the calculating & pronunciating to resonate on the gamer frequency.
Bringing a PC into the household later assisted to fuel those tendencies. I now had the power to enter a plethora of virtual words to embrace my gamerhood...or at least once I finished my schoolwork, and before bedtime. I was not a highly prolific gamer, to my recollection, so it was mostly either games that would come in some mega-pack with a PC (such as Rogue Squadron), or maybe the occasional game received from a holiday.
As I aged a bit and was allowed to keep one of the old PCs in my room, this brought out the night owl in me, and I could now game into the peak hours of solitude. Paired with the introduction of the Internet to the home, I could now find games online (especially freeware titles) to try on my own machine. I also got pretty heavy into playing Diablo 2 at the time, both online and my own offline campaign. I found RPGs to be a pretty awesome genre, as I could get a lot out of them, and the replayability complimented my overall lackluster game collection.
Since then, the Internet became a much bigger part of what made me a gamer, as I got into communities (ie forums) of other gamers and creative types. These were safe havens of anonymous folk (some which I got to know more than just a username) that opened up channels of fairly like-minded communication. There were my people, and they all rocked. You can also certainly desensitize yourself to a certain extend from trolls and the other evils of the Internet by spending awhile and learning what the nameless world has to offer, which I think has helped in dealing with the world of multiplayer gaming.
So there's my story. I think that from the start, having started playing non-competitive titles kinda trained my brain over time to take on gaming as a casual (and at that time, learning) activity. While I have had my streaks of playing around with something like an online shooter, those tendencies to compete in gaming aren't really prevalent. Just play the game, and I'm sure I'll do my best to make a good time out of it to compliment my gamestyle. If it's not my cup of tea, there's so much out there that something inevitably becomes a better fit.