There’s a colloquial terminology often used to describe gamers; sad. Such an erroneous description was notably intimated at me for my own urging gaming predilections during the festive period. The fluctuating traveling between my girlfriends and my own propinquity at our respective relatives over Christmas meant there was little time for gaming, so much of these vestigial inclinations were sowed days before Christmas and promptly suspended. The gaming compulsion, prodding with territorial clemency was intermittently muted by the traditional confiscation of your favourite confectionery from the shared family tubs of chocolates (because the Malteasers are always the first to go!). Broached by the enamoured advances of a cool beer or vintage wine and the buffet of carnivorous provisions that only hastens your lethargy. With your pockets lined with discarded chocolate wrappers and stomach laced with enough alcohol and salted meats that your stomach feels as though it has had an abattoir dumped into a distillery, your mind soon becomes incapacitated at the mere notion of gaming. As I nurse the contractions of my consumed food baby, watching Angela Lansbury end the invasion of domestic Nazi infiltration in Bed knobs And Broomsticks, two things crossed my mind: 1. Why are Disney animals so concerned with their modesty? I mean they’re animals? They have natural protection from the elements or fear of exposure. And also why does being a gamer incur the patronising conviction from those that have never played computer games?
The latter query originated from an earlier interaction between my informal mother in law and myself. Now there was nothing overtly malicious in her remark, she has an incredibly acrimonious nature that makes her congenial to anyone that meets her, but there was an underlying conceit to her utterance. My girlfriend and I had been evenly distributed joint gifts to open, much of which consisted of various baby amenities (such is our lives now). We had both purchased individual gifts for each other too. I had purchased a digital photo frame for her to store and display her increasing collection of extraneous photos into one centralised location, amassing credited boyfriend points in the process. Her corresponding present to me was a £20 PSN gift card, a generous bounty particularly genial to my trivialised diversions. “Ooh, is that for your little games?” retorted my mother in law. Little games? It was only a fleeting, spontaneous observation, but it was uttered with such inert contempt that I couldn’t help but interpret a derisive overtone to her comment, as if “that sort of thing” is exclusively participated by teenagers with an aversion to sunlight. I don’t know why but such domestic ignorance always irritates me more than the proponent context, the awkward ignorance to the reciprocated conviction of such a dynastic group, intellectually debilitated by arcane sentiment. I couldn’t help feel abashed at the harsh assessment at my potential mother in laws innocuous comment whilst I sat uncomfortably, vaguely aware of the vapid consternation of period dramas and soup operas on television so eagerly encouraged by our corresponding households. It continues to rankle me still!
Days past, more communal gifts were unwrapped at various family homes, with all the versatile solutions for conscientious yet cynical materialist that we as consumers are. Even once the formalities of visiting all of the subsidiary constituents of your ever extraneous family, and the internal restructuring of your home is commenced to accommodate our surplus cache of festive gifts, I was still straddled by the off the cuff remark administered days earlier. I’ve dealt with ignorance before, the generational aperture between gamers and “others” is a common occupational intolerance regularly asserted by those who simply don’t understand. And then I discovered the sad news that Lemmy of metal band Motorhead had past away. That may seem a little out of context but bare with me. An acerbic performer who for years had indulged in the excesses of his proclivities. Sex, drugs and rock and or roll. And booze, lots and lots of booze! To the point that alcohol could be intravenously siphoned into his bloodstream. The aggressive form of cancer that afflicted him is of course horrible, but I was strangely humbled that Lemmy, the man who kept Jack Daniels in profit to the point that his blood type was probably “Old No 7” passed away peacefully at home with his family, playing his favourite video game. That for me is the most Rock And Roll exit you could possibly want and certainly put my dented pride into perspective. And I feel pity for those simple minded people that will never understand the basic pleasures that games generate.
How do you deal with people that don’t understand your hobbies? Let me know your thoughts. Cheers.