My friends and I used to save the world. Now we do not.
Year ago, we would storm castles, murder rouge generals and discover distant worlds together. When I was a boy I could leave behind the troubles of my mediocre teenaged life and escape to do things that seemed greater than myself at the time. Through interactive entertainment, I met good friends, and found the first sense of community which carried me out of the darkness of my small-town roots.
I met these people, traveled across swathes of land with them and intend to invite many to whatever future wedding I may have. I always thought we would have that scene forever. Through Xbox One to 92 and beyond, there would always be a place to play, commiserate on life’s misfortunes and to share in our personal triumphs.
But one day, for whatever reason or reasons, it stops.
People get busy, find outside interests and immerse themselves in their own trials and tribulations. To be fair, I have done the same thing and still love and stay in touch with my peers, but as time goes on, I must admit there is a painfulness to it.
I switch on a console or sign on to an account and see a sea of usernames tagged with an “offline” status. While I continue to experience stories, sagas and tales that trump anything one can find in television or film, so many of the people I grew up with spend their time elsewhere or concentrate their attention on other forms of entertainment. One day, many of us logged in for the last time and did not know it.
Of course, I still remain. But for how long?
I make my pilgrimages to GameStop, watch E3 briefings and try out all forms of interactive entertainment. These days though, much of what I play is in solitude. With the passage of time, I am an island in the gaming scene.
With the exception of a cooperative game I tried months ago with a friend, I can not remember the last time I dedicated hours to a multiplayer game. Without those I knew it feels hollow. I am like a man in his 40s trying to hit on a teenager, it does not look good and at the end of the day I can’t help but feel a little bit bad trying.
Maybe I will abandon the pastime for good in the years to come, and maybe I won’t. But right now, the community that made it so special to begin with is missing. So, friends, acquaintances and others, if you’re out there, let’s bring it back sometime. After all, Canada got added to the latest Civ and I know that, like the Gandhi in the series, many of you would be tickled to fictionally nuke it.