For considering myself a gamer, I was extremely late to the online realms of gaming in 'traditional' terms. World of Warcraft, for instance, came out in 2004. I wouldn't join it until late 2006. What was I doing before that? Well, Civilization games mostly; playing turns by email over at apolyton, Sims 2, or real life obligations. Apolyton probably best explains why I feel a draw towards the Nontoxic forums.
Which reminds me, if you'd like to respond to a post here on the blog, that'd be a great place to go do it. Let's start some conversations! (I admit, I'm not a very subtle individual sometimes.)
Aside from WoW, my next foray into trying online gaming was on my Xbox 360 (like I said, for some reason, late to the party.) I fired up Uno on a cool fall night, sat down, and expect to find other people who simply were out for a random match of the game in an evening.
Boy was I ever wrong.
The camera winked to life and I was confronted by a group of people I had no common bonds with except for the game of Uno... and I honestly don't think they were there for the Uno. The trolling and belittling started immediately. I sat there in shock, fresh meat dropped into a feeding frenzy.
Needless to say, I'm not subbed to Xbox Live today.
First impressions count.
It's why, for instance, I'm going to do my best to find time to play Overwatch in quick matches during the free play event. I want to be a positive voice for my lower level teammates, hopefully helping them get hooked on the experience and thereby help the community grow. I want to see them experience the thrill of a multi person killing ult or a clutch Mercy rez.
First impressions are lasting impressions.
Take that foray into Warcraft compared to Xbox: I found people healing and helping each other in the night elf starting area. Spontaneous groups before there was such a thing as Legion's sharing tags. At level 23, somebody promised me they'd buy my mount training if I could make it to 40.
The only requirement of the gesture? To pass it along once I was at level cap.
I did so until whatever patch drastically lowered the costs of the ground riding skills. I think the last person I helped with gold that way was my wife's warrior.
I suppose that's why I'm here at NTG too. They made a great first impression on me about their message and goals. I want to be the WoW mount helper, not the Live troll. I want to play with those who also are helpers, even if online I'm a bit of an introvert. I'm honestly pushing myself on the Overwatch thing for the very reason that trolling somewhat pushed me away from playing.
Do we have bad days? Of course. Most of us are human around here after all.
But when the bad day starts creeping in, we at least realize that it's time to take a break. Think of it as a personal "design wall" and step away to let your cooldowns refresh.
We all have our own personal horror stories, I'm sure, so I'll leave my Overwatch set alone. I think what bothers me the most about my Overwatch experience is that my teen son was playing with me at the time. I haven't seen him play Overwatch much since that experience either, so I'd like to show through example that I'm not going to let trolls chase me out of a game I enjoy.
So here we are, NTG has launched with an amazing start, Overwatch just celebrated a free play weekend. Were you able to join us at the payload, the forums, or maybe twitch (which has a great set of links to all the NTG social spaces)? How'd it go?
I've now done my part to try and brave this space again, got a few more anniversary event loot boxes too! I haven't opened any yet, waiting until I hit at least five.
Let's keep making some positive first impressions. :)