Due to an incident with a slippery wet floor on Saturday, I am now unable to go out into the woods as planned to photograph either myself or the teenagers as I had originally drafted to help. So I am going to complete my last task first as discussed with my tutors last week – I will enter into the world of gaming. It was suggested that since I was asking teens and children to consider the world outside of technology that perhaps I should take up the challenge and enter into their world of social technology, in particular online social gaming platforms. I am not a gamer and haven’t played video games since I was in my early 20s. I was not very good at it then I recall. I am unsure as to how they even work anymore. Both my teenage children play online gaming regularly so I thought it might be a good idea to consult with them.
My son who is considerably more interested in gaming suggested I start with the game ‘League of Legends’, as he said that it is a bit of a friendlier environment. I asked him how I might track my progress in these worlds and he suggested OBS – Open Broadcast Software. This software records you while you game. Exactly what I need but I hope my computer can deal with it.
So today I registered with League of Legends and downloaded the software (Took longer than I had expected) – I am now ready to become the Gamer using the tag “DeeArtist”.
I am not sure how I am going to approach this from a research perspective, I guess I just have to work my way around their world. Get familiar with the environments and learn how to navigate. I am a complete “Noob” – Novice in laymans terms.
– League of Legends is an MMO – Massively Multiplayer Online Game
On the League of Legends welcome page I am told that I have to choose my character type:
- Fighters – Short ranged, high damage melee champions
- Tanks – Super durable, beefy, damage soaking champions
- Assassins – Incredible damage output and highly mobile
- Mage – Spell slinging, magic damage dealing champions
- Marksmen – High auto attack damage dealing champions
- Supports – Utility based champions that aid the team
I am not generally thought of as a violent person so I was considering either the Mage or Support, however my son just laughed at me saying I would never make it as a Mage as they are too advanced for me, and by becoming a Support I will get shouted at for being so rubbish. He said I am better to become a Marksman so that I can take all the fire from the team…..basically become Cannon Fodder! Hmmmmm…..I have to say I am feeling more than a bit competitive already……I will show my son that I am going to be an awesome ‘Gamer’ …oh He of little faith!
Finally after waiting 4 hours for the gaming software to load I have to say the opening graphics and music are pretty impressive. It emanates of ‘Epic-ness’. The illustrations are also rather beautiful. I can see the initial allure.
I am still considering my approach…I obviously want to be mostly an observer but as I understand how these games work I must work in a team as a member so simple observation is not an option. I suppose that is what the whole experience is about, social interaction and that is what I am interested in. I am still not sure if I will admit my intent to the other players initially.
First off I need to do some solo training games or I will be completely rubbish and no one will want me on their team.
Before I could even start I had to figure out the OBS software ….maybe now I am ready to be trained?
The game is not running…….very annoying….my son said “welcome to gamer frustration”, it’s all part and parcel of the experience apparently. Well I don’t particularly like this part of it.
I got the OBS software to work with the game, now I can record my progress. I have to say the tutorial assistant is extremely condescending with its “Well Done!”, however, it is probably designed for a much younger audience. I am not very good at remembering the commands so have to keep asking my son, it is actually really cool that he is getting to share his knowledge with me. I need a good bit more practice before I will be able to join a real game. I can see how easy it is to lose time in these worlds.
I noticed that there are actually UK and Irish tournaments. That actually sounds like fun.
Playing the Game
Playing the game is more difficult than I thought it would be. You are trying to think about what you have to do and follow instructions from other team members. I got an AFK Warning which asked m
e to sign a disclaimer that I would not do it again…serious stuff! AFK means ‘Away from Keyboard’, I left before the game was finished so I could finish something else I had started earlier, also because I was getting a little frustrated at my inability to perform. When you sign into a game you have to commit to each campaign or you get locked out for a certain time frame. I can see why kids get frustrated when we ask them to do something for us when they are in the middle of a game. Maybe we should as parents ask our children to inform us when they are about to take part in a campaign and find out how long they will be involved so as not to upset gameplay and cause gaming friends to get annoyed they them. Quid Pro Quo – give a little and get a little in regards to parent/child relationship.
I was really struggling to keep up with the pace of the game; perhaps this is an area children of today develop because of their interactivity with technology. Or is it simply that I have not put in enough ‘game time’ in to gain experience? I have not been able to chat to other gamers yet either as the pace of the game was simply way too fast.
Becoming a ‘Gamer’ has also led me to research battle reenactments like Jeremy Deller’s Battle of Orgreave. I have a contact for someone who works in reenactments, however I am interested in possibly creating a safer event as reenactments can be quite dangerous as they are highly choreographed and use real replica armor and weapons. I am more interested in using foam and recycled materials.
I looked up LARP, Live Action Role-Playing game. These events involve a lot of self-made cosplay with foam weapons. They have strict rules to ensure that no one gets hurt. I am imaging getting a bunch of gamers together to design the game and the rules for and LARP in the Park (Bute). It could also coincide with costume workshops where the teens make their own costumes with recycled materials. It would take a lot of planning, but could be fun and get the gamers out of their rooms into the physical world. Mark and the group seem eager. It is a huge task. I would have to find out about insurance, parental consent and probably have to pass it with the ethics committee.