In Which I Find Out… A Gamer and I Have a Lot More In Common Than I Thought 🎮
A computer whirs on a desk, the lid half-closed so that the screen isn’t a distraction but isn’t turned completely off, either.
A large black microphone rests besides the glowing gaming mouse of the computer, and Sharpie illustrations customize the table of the desk. The space next to the desk has a trashcan overflowing with emptied plastic bottles and crumpled snack bags. A set of black headphones and cords wind through the organized mess that is the gamer’s headquarters: a place where recordings, raids, and split-second decisions are made accompanied with a scurrying of fingers on keyboards.
I sit down on the floor of Exean1’s room (AKA the sacred gaming headquarters) and start to record our conversation with my phone. Exean1, as he prefers to be named for this interview (the same name as his username), had graciously accepted my interview request two days ago despite it being on a short notice. After we sat down, we skipped the small talk and got directly into my first interview for The Harbor of Human Minds,
in which I find out that a gamer and I have a lot more in common than I previously thought. 🎮
I start off with my first question:
“Are you passionate about gaming?”
As expected, the answer from Exean1 was “Yes.” 😊
Why, though… Why?
I am not a gamer myself, though I have dabbled in playing Minecraft and various other games before. I wanted to understand why someone would spend so much time in their day gaming when there were so many other passions they could claim to be their own.
“Well, it’s more interesting than watching TV,” Exean1 says. “When you’re watching TV there’s only what is going to happen and you know the story is only going to happen that way, while in gaming, you can alter what’s going to happen, at least in certain situations.”
Exean1 goes on to talk about “sandbox types of games,” where you can alter the situation of a game “in the long run,” and other games where you can make small decisions but still need to follow the storyline of the game… “which is fine too.”
“[Gaming] just has a more stimulating energy than when you [watch TV or do something else],” Exean1 says.
I was surprised at Exean1’s first point. “So it’s like you’re creating your own story, instead of watching someone else’s?” I ask, because stories are what I’m passionate about, and if I can connect that with gaming, I can understand Exean1’s point better. He nods to confirm my question, and I proceed to ask him:
“What is your favorite game right now that goes along with that storytelling aspect?”
Exean1 smiles and says, “Well, I’m sort of ashamed to say this, but it would be Minecraft.”
“Minecraft?” I ask. “But isn’t the story already there in Minecraft? The goal, at least, in survival mode, is that you need to get resources, build things, and survive. You can’t stray from that goal in Minecraft.” I say this slowly because I know very little about Minecraft; I’m pulling information about the game from the back corners of my mind that haven’t been touched in ages.
“To survive [in Minecraft] is really an indirect goal,” Exean1 responds.
“Then what is the actual goal?”
“There’s no goal, really. You can just do whatever you want in the game.”
Huh. Interesting. 🤔 He explains how he is on a server in Minecraft where he works with other people to make his faction base (at which point gaming vocabulary begins to fly over my head) richer and become more noticeable to other people. “It’s nice to know that yes, I feel good that I have dedicated my time to be that great in the server,” he emphasizes.
Ah, that mention of working with people again while gaming. Who are these people? Friends? Strangers? How does one meet these people and decide to work with them, exactly?
“I play with strangers,” Exean1 says, which instantly makes me want to ask him a million different questions about stranger danger and whatnot, but I hold them in to let him complete his thoughts. “We often talk through Skype when we want to talk quickly instead of through typing, especially when we’re raiding and there’s so much happening at once you can’t really type. [In those situations], you need to talk to them in real time with a mic.”
“Do you really care about these people that you’re playing? Like, as people, or is it just for the gaming experience?” I ask.
Exean1 pauses to think about his answer, looking up into nowhere for a brief second before jumping back into the conversation. “Some of them are for the gaming experience, but other players, since I’ve known them for a little bit, I don’t want them to leave. I don’t know them in real life, but I know them in the game, as a fellow gamer.”
That was the first time I really asked a gamer about their online friendships, and though I didn’t fully grasp it then, I feel like I understand it more now. Perhaps there is a sense of camaraderie that comes with repeatedly working with people — players — online as you try to complete a task.
When I follow up to ask Exean1 whether he is the happiest when gaming, he gives me a very realistic answer: “It depends on the time.”
“Because,” he continued, “sometimes I get destroyed [in the game] because of other people wanting my stuff as much as I want their stuff, but it’s pretty impressive how people even get inside the bases. They build a bunch of different complex redstone structures to try and get into the bases.”
Right when Exean1 said this, I excitedly jump to ask him about the idea some people have about gamers not being very smart individuals.
Apparently, as Exean1 had so kindly explained to me, in Minecraft, using TNT to blast structures used to be really easy. As people have found ways to upgrade their defenses, though, people have continuously found ways to build better cannons —
“And that’s a sign of smartness,” I add. “Do you feel like society focuses too much on the idea of intelligence being evaluated by academics in school?”
“I feel like people [in society] are too one-sided…. they need to look outside the box,” Exean1 responds.
“Everybody wants to do what they want, but what they want to do may not be money-generating.” He pauses for a bit, then adds, “Unless you somehow get lucky and get noticed across the world. Sometimes, you just need to get really lucky when you want a passion like gaming, or painting.” Exean1 raises his eyebrows and looks pointedly at me when he says that.
“Would you consider yourself to be one of the lucky ones, then?” I ask.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, are you noticed? How many subscribers do you have?”
“Woah,” I say. That’s pretty impressive, considering he started his channel a little over a year ago. Perhaps that would be considered a very small number in the YouTube world, but if I knew that sixty-three people were reading my blog and taking their time to think about how their thoughts relate to mine, I would be elated.
But in terms of how Exean1 wants gaming to continue into his future, I didn’t know much about his thoughts on that. Did he want his subscriber count to grow? Does that even matter to him, and if yes, why?
“Do you see yourself doing this much gaming in the future? Do you want to make this into a career, perhaps?”
“I don’t want a normal, full-time job in an office,” Exean1 begins. I wasn’t expecting this answer, so I whisper, “Same,” under my breath, and we both share a few chuckles before he continues. “That would take time away from gaming, which I don’t want. I sometimes think, what should I do to maintain my hobby? And sometimes I think, maybe if I start now, if I really need a job in the future, I can somehow combine gaming with the job I’m doing in the future.”
I try to not let my mouth fall open because of how similar his response is to mine when I think about how I would answer a question like that. The core of the reason why this blog exists will always be because I love writing and thinking and sharing stories with people. I do hope that, by creating this blog, it will somehow help me in succeeding in becoming an author, a world-wide traveler, and a wiser, more open-minded and kinder human being. Like Exean1, I have thought that if I start pursuing my passions earlier, perhaps I’ll be able to incorporate them into my career in the future.
“I also feel bad when I don’t post consistently,” Exean1 adds. He mentioned to me beforehand that though he doesn’t plan the content of his vidoes, he does have a schedule for when he wants his videos to be posted on his channel. “Especially since I’m a small channel, when people subscribe to me, they expect something from me.”
“Content,” I clarify, and Exean1 nods. “If I don’t post, it’s almost like I let [my viewers] down.” I nod vigorously because I am so excited at how much I’m relating to a gamer when I had no idea what to expect before coming into this interview. As a small blogger, I feel more motivated to write posts and newsletters for my email and blog subscribers because knowing that people take time out of their day to read my posts even when I’m a rookie blogger is such an amazing feeling.
Sometimes, though, life happens and I find myself unable to keep up posting three times a week.
When I look at it in the perspective of Oh, I’m just blogging for myself, so it doesn’t matter when I don’t finish a post before Tuesday or any of the other days, I am fine with missing a scheduled post or more, but when I know there are people who visit my blog to see what I have to say, I start feeling disappointed in myself when I don’t meet those self-imposed deadlines.
Our interview continues for nearly half an hour, and Exean1 introduces me to a ton of terminology and insights into gaming and producing videos for YouTube that I hadn’t been aware about before this interview.
No, I do not plan to suddenly start gaming, and no, I don’t want to become a YouTuber… but it still is fascinating listening to someone so different than me talk passionately about what they love doing. I might not be able to relate to his hobbies or the way he spend his days sitting at his desk gaming, but it was the light and excitement in Exean1’s eyes when he talked about making videos and Minecraft gaming strategies that warmed my heart. No matter how different someone may be compared to me, I can always find a way to connect with them,
and it seems like having a passion that we both love infinitely is enough to make me realize that I have a lot more in common with a gamer than I had previously thought.
Thank you so much for reading the first post in the newly-created Harbor of Human Minds blog series! If you’re curious about what the Harbor of Human Minds is, click here to read more about the ideas behind this concept.
And before you go —
Are you a gamer yourself? Whether you are one or not, could you relate to any of Exean1’s thoughts or my own commentary throughout the interview? Why is it important to sit down and talk to people we think we don’t have anything in common with? Even if that person turns out to be a total bore, don’t you think you it’s pure human respect to just listen to other people? After all, no one should think that they’re a secondary character in their own life story…
and since you yourself are the unique main character in your own life, do tell me:
What is your passion in life?
Whether I can relate to your passion or not, it matters not, because simply having a passion you love is enough for you to relate to every single human being on this planet who also has a passion of their own. 😊
Thank you for stopping by at Whisked Away By Words,
and I hope you have a wonderful day,
wherever you are in this beautiful world.
🌕 🌖 🌗 🌘 🌑 🌒 🌓 🌔 🌕