Submissions and Social Lubrication

It’s officially been a year since I started Mind Decline and it has honestly been wonderful to see the site grow.  Starting from humble origins, MD is now slightly less humble pulling in about 100 views a month.  It’s not much of a platform, but I’d like to share it.  Starting now, MD is accepting submissions.  Read over the Submit to MD! page and send in your article!

To kick it all off, see the below article by Blergosaurus:

Social Lubrication

By Blergosaurus

I do not self-identify as a gamer. On the gaming spectrum (I don’t think it is so much a spectrum as it is two distinct groups of gamers and nongamers that overlap little if at all), I would consider myself something of an ignoramus. I played a little growing up, watched college friends and roommates play for hours, and occasionally helped in Starcraft II. I have a Steam account with two games, both of which I enjoy playing.

I guess I use gaming as a social lubricant. I don’t have anything against gaming, I’m just not interested in pursuing it for my own satisfaction. I am generally aware of big developments in the gaming world through word of mouth, online buzz, or other news stories, which enables me to be part of the dialogue with gamer friends by asking them to expand on what I know already. What little I do know does not come from personal interest in gaming, but from an interest in the individual with whom I’m seeking to interact. It’s like my relationship with football and fantasy leagues: I watch games and learn basic statistics so I can have a conversation with the custodian or a potential employer.

I know when a major game is coming out insofar as it will affect my social interactions with people. I deliberately saw a classmate before Diablo 3 came out because I knew I wouldn’t see him for a few weeks after it did. I couldn’t go out with a roommate Monday or Wednesday nights because his WoW guild met then. An old boyfriend had his custom level featured as a “level of the week” on Little Big Planet, and that’s awesome so of course I played it.

I like knowing things so I can interact with people about a topic they care about; however, I find it intimidating because I am aware of how little I know relative to the amount of knowledge available, and I never feel like I’m asking the right question(s). Thankfully, many acquaintances will dumb things down for me so I can understand what they are saying and how it applies to other ideas. Sometimes it can get frustrating because I can never hope to engage with them on a level that actually interests them. It’s like having a conversation with a child: the speaker may enjoy explaining an idea to the receptive listener, but ultimately isn’t going to get anything out of the conversation himself. I would like to understand more than I currently do, especially for an industry as ubiquitous as gaming. I want to relate to acquaintances on this topic, but don’t know where or how to start.

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