Throughout my life, I’ve already played several games, ranging from RTS (Real-Time Strategy), Shooters, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), RPG (Role-Playing Games), and so on. Now, after several years of gaming, I can confidently say that I have a recurring ‘way of gaming’, or how I like to call it, gaming personality.
My Gaming Personality
It all started out in my first game, Minecraft. With multiple weapons at my disposal, I always picked the bow and arrow, because they just felt right. The picking of ranged weapons continued through other games as well. Later, while playing League of Legends, I also discovered my love for playing supporting characters, whose focus is not on fighting by yourself, but protecting and boosting your allies. Lastly, in an MMORPG called Black Desert Online, I found great joy in playing characters that utilize long-ranged magic. In most games, I also joined Guilds/Groups of different players. I loved being part of such a tight community but on the other hand never felt the need to start one on my own and, as a respected guild master, lead the guild through several events. I just liked seeing how it made other people happy that I was online, without being the center of attention.
When taking a step back and looking at this, one can easily see what I mean with gaming personality. I don’t like being the center of attention, which can be seen in my weapons and characters of choice. I like long-ranged weapons (both magical and physical), which means that I won’t be shining on the front lines. I also enjoy playing support characters, who give their allies the opportunities to shine more. All of this can also be seen back in my behavior in a guild, where I do like the feeling of others enjoying my presence, but won’t start a guild by myself. This gaming personality is not limited to one game but spreads out through every single game I play.
My Real Personality
But that made me wonder, how much of this is ‘just me inside a game’, and how much has this gaming personality helped me develop who I really am? The period that I was really into gaming is mainly from being a 10-year-old until now (almost 20 years old), which is a period in which most children start to create their own personalities. I wonder if I hadn’t played any games I would still have been the same person as I am now.
Then, who am I now? Personality-wise, I enjoy being alone as much as I enjoy being around others. I also like to help and support others, and I always tell my friends that I am there to talk with them if they need anything. In, especially new, groups of people, I always start out by watching how everything plays out from the sidelines, to then proceed to go to the people who seemed nice. I never liked having all the eyes on me, but I do love it when, for example, a small group of friends laughs about a witty remark I made.
When we compare this real personality with my gaming personality, how different is it really? Of course, in games, it is more abstract, with weapons, guilds, etc, but when one looks past that, it is almost the same as how I act in real life.
I came to realize all of this through trivial moments that I like to call Gamer Moments. Simply said, those are moments in the real world where I do or think something, which clearly originates from how I act in a game. For example, when meeting new groups of people my mind always starts to make small assumptions on the first impressions. Who will become the leader of the group, who everyone knows and likes? Who will become side characters who just live their own lives without much spotlight? More often than not I envision group battle scenarios where every person plays his/her part.
There are also situations that are much more closely related to games. Take for example an experience I had while laser gaming with friends. We played in a five versus five battle, all equipped with the same basic gun. The battlefield existed of an open area on the right side, and a first and second floor on the left side. In the first round, I just grabbed my gun and rushed into battle. Facing the enemy head-on, I tried my best to score as many points as possible. After 20 minutes the round was over, and I scored a crushing 6 points. That’s when I realized that I had been fighting the wrong way. I was never made for close combat, I was made for ranged fighting. For the second round, I found a place where I could watch the entire battlefield, but could only be seen when one really looked closely. From there on, I just laid down on the floor, not moving, and focusing on every single movement saw. Whenever I saw a head moving, I would aim and shoot. The funny thing is, I did not move a feed the entire round but yet I felt so much more in the game than the first round. I could feel my heart beating and my intense focus on everything around me. It just felt right. In this round, I scored 26 points which were the highest of everyone in the match.
Yet one of the most quirky habits I have gotten from playing games is actually something very innocent and maybe a little bit silly. But after hours of picking up items in games, because they might be important later in the story, there is always this little voice in my head that tells me to pick things up from the street.
I mean, yeah why not, this iron bar will definitely come in handy later!
Bogost, Ian. 2016. Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games. New York: Basic Books.
Quwaider, Muhannad, Abdullah Alabed, and Rehab Duwairi. 2019. The Impact of Video Games on the Players Behaviors: A Survey.
Super interesting blog! I find it intriguing that you manage to distinguish between specific elements of your personality, and even more specifically in relation to games. Do you think that there is a link here between the nurture vs nature idea? Where in this specific context the game is the nurture element (as you’ve been playing games for a while) and it has caused specific elements of your personality?