Past Entertainment Articles.

Article for the week of 8/14/07

Sights…Sounds…. And Colors….GenCon 2007
Special Gaming Report by, Puns McKenna
That’s right, folks! Its time for GenCon again. For forty years the gaming community has been gathering to celebrate their success and push their latest wares. So each year the convention center fills with booths, displays, and the ever-present gamer geeks.

Gamers from all walks of life will congregate in these places to browse and spend their hard-earned money. And little things like eating, bathing, good personal hygiene, and manners will fall by the wayside. (Checked at the door like a coat or hat) There are all types and flavors of gamer geeks afterall.

Let’s define the different types. Okay, first off we have the Uber Geeks. These particular gamers are the ones that know all the rules, collect all the various detritus of their favored addiction. Game books will litter their coffee table instead of the newspaper or magazines. The Core Rulebook is their Bible. These are the hard core gamers that will become so engrossed in their game that they forget to eat or bathe. Since they are generally surrounded, by others like this it does not become offensive.

The second type of gamer we have is the Semi-uber. These are the ones that are as dedicated to the game but don’t have the cash flow to acquire all the various detritus involved with their chosen addiction. These are also the ones that while they know most of the rules, they will gladly argue any rule that they aren’t sure about. Many folks in the gaming community call these people “rules lawyer’s” and give them a wide berth. These gamers also tend to forget about eating and bathing. However, because they draw attention to themselves, they are often ostracized from groups and told to bathe.

The third type of gamer is the consummate Fan-boy. Fan-boy’s are the most offensive of all gamers, because they practice all of the above mentioned bad habits as well as the few I am about to mention. Fan-boys will find their favored writer, game developer, editor, etc; and they will follow them religiously. Fan-boys behavioral patterns are easy to recognize, as they quite often resemble stalkers. They will try everything in their power to sell a game idea, a story idea, or complain about the direction a game system is going.

The next type of gamer is the one that while he may have a large amount of the detritus, he isn’t obsessed over it. He plays his chosen addiction to have fun. It isn’t a matter of winning or losing with him/her, it’s a matter of having fun. These folks tend to be more laid back. They express their opinions on a particular game system or story line in a logical and rational manner. They aren’t above seeking out their favored author or developer. Yet they never push. They tend to simply say what’s on their mind and accept that they cannot change what is happening.

The final type of gamer is the weekend warrior. They’re laid back, easygoing individuals five days a week, but when the weekend comes they are Hard core gamers. They display traits of all the other gaming types, never portraying the same type twice in a session. These mild mannered individuals undergo what is referred to as “The Transformation”. The dice come out, the feral grins abound, while the snacks of choice are bought by the bucket load.

Speaking of the snacks of choice, here are some common foods that will alert you to the situation. Uber Gamers tend to lean towards not eating, but when food of any kind is placed before them, they will eat. They eat by rote. Their crocodile secretary tells their arms to pick up food and consume drinks. They’re oblivious to all else, including what exactly they’re eating.

Semi-Uber gamers tend to pay a little more attention to what they eat, but much like Uber gamers, they don’t notice it until it is placed before them. Food and drink are usually given only a passing thought when available and never a thought when not forced upon them by a bystander. Both gamer types must constantly be supervised, lest they shrivel up and blow away from lack of nourishment.

Fan-boys subsist on Doritos, Pepsi, and Juju Bees. Anything they can easily shove in their backpacks, pockets, behind their ears, etc, is fine with them. The really annoying Fan-boys tend to chew gum incessantly. They display poor manners by chewing with their mouths open and behaving in inappropriate manners. If you see these people you should either a) avoid at all costs [especially if you are their favored target], or b) Whap them upside the head with a rolled up newspaper and rescue your favored writer, developer, or editor from their clutches. Who knows, you may get an autograph for your troubles. However, I wouldn’t recommend asking for one. You will quickly be termed in the same category as the Fan-boy.

Laid back gamers will have various types of snacks. It’s all a matter of what strikes their fancy. Some even, manage to eat real meals while they game. Not that they will make their own, just that they will seek to eat a satisfying meal at least once every few game sessions. Most of said gamers have significant others that will cook for the horde. Sometimes fast foods are favored, simple for they rapid delivery and the chance to converse with the delivery boy about the game. Never miss a chance to recruit.

Weekend warriors will gather as many easy snacks as they can. They also gather quick meals like top ramen, ravioli’s, and the various other “five minutes in the microwave” meals. These gamers tend to revert back to caveman tendencies. They have significant others that put up with their weekend indulgence, so long as it’s only once in a while. They often grunt responses when asked questions, much to the frustration of the significant other. And “Yes dear” is often heard in chorus.

GenCon, which is a general gaming convention supports many different addictions, or games as it were. Quite often you find the gamers automatically gravitating to their own kind. It’s almost as if the have built in sensors. Their brain has already consumed so much of their preferred game universe that they take on traits of people, items, and places in said universe. The pageantry of gamers is colorful… insightful… and mildly disturbing to the average man. Gamers are often a special breed unto themselves. Makes me wonder if gamers need pedigrees.

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