How video games can change a life.

You want to know why video games rule?  This is why.

The difference between me and my online character is pretty obvious. I have a lot of physical disabilities in real life, but in Star Wars Galaxies I can ride an Imperial speeder bike, fight monsters, or just hang out with friends at a bar. I have some use of my hands – not much, but a little. In the game I use an on screen keyboard called ‘soft-type’ to talk with other players. I can’t press the keys on a regular keyboard so I use a virtual one. I play online games because I get to interact with people. The computer screen is my window to the world. Online it doesn’t matter what you look like. Virtual worlds bring people together – everyone is on common ground. In the real world, people can be uncomfortable around me before they get to know me and realize that apart from my outer appearance, I’m just like them. Online you get to know the person behind the keyboard before you know the physical person. The internet eliminates how you look in real life, so you get to know a person by their mind and personality. In 2002 at the Ultimate Online Fan Faire in Austin, I noticed that people were intrigued by me, but they acted like I was one of them. They treated me as an equal, like I wasn’t even the way that I am – not disabled, not in a wheelchair, you know. We were all just gamers.

Atheists have a Steam group, for all you godless gamers out there.  :)   My games are retro games, Guild Wars 2, Borderlands 2, NBA 2k12, The Secret World, and occasionally League of Legends with my bro and fiance.  What are yours?

  • Glodson

    I only have one game on Steam, and it is single player. And now my time to game will be limited again. Hell, I would be playing now, but I don’t want my 3 year watching me play the one game I have on Steam. Not age appropriate, like at all. But I do play more at nights on my PS3, and Xbox, even though I’ve not kept up with my Gold Account on the XBLA for lack of money. I love Borderlands 2, but I got that one on the the PS3.

    But games are a great way for people to join together, and I love this story. Many times, I found stories about gamers that make me cringe. This is very heartwarming. Thanks for that.

  • Carys Birch

    I love that you post about games.

    Game of the moment for me is Crusader Kings 2.

  • Mandagator

    I’ve been playing “The Binding of Isaac” on Steam. Single-player, randomly-generated dungeons crawler based on biblical literature and references. Pretty fantastic, very addicting, and only $8 for both the game and the expansion pack.

    • Glodson

      That is what I have been playing. Man, I am terrible at it. But I did kill Mom with the Bible, so I got that going for me.

      • Nate Frein

        I have yet to make it to Mom

        But I keep coming back. I…I relish the pain.

        • Mare Lacrimarum

          Just wait ’till the difficulty is ramped up after the 7th mom kill. ;)

          • Glodson

            Oh goddamnit, it gets harder?

            Man, I need to step it up. I still sometimes struggle to kill Widow if I draw her as one of the first few bosses.

          • Mare Lacrimarum

            For Widow, bombs are your friend. A lot of people are afraid to use them, but don’t be stingy with them. A few bomb hits will put down an early Widow. Also, pay attention to the color of the rocks in the rooms. If you find one this is a blue tint, bomb it. Free soul hearts.

          • Mare Lacrimarum

            Blah. *If you find one THAT is a blue tint, bomb it.

          • Glodson

            Oh, don’t get me wrong, if I’m lucky enough to have bombs, I use them.

            But many playthroughs, I’m very low on bombs. But I will grab the Anarchist’s Cookbook for use on a boss, if I see it. Unless I have a better item.

          • Mare Lacrimarum

            The only other advice I can give is stay close. If you are hugging her, she’ll actually jump over or to the side of you, and not on you. Use this to keep pelting her with shots.

  • Smiles

    Skyrim when I feel primitive. Borderlands when I feel fancy. Looking forward to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (or anything else Platinum Games).

  • Mare Lacrimarum

    ATM, I’m on Awesomenauts, a 2D side scrolling MOBA with an awesome Saturday morning cartoon vibe. I’ve also been spending way too much time on FTL (Faster Than Light), a roguelike, micromanagement space RPG/Sim. (Red Alert! Full power to the engines, Scotty!) It is fun, and tough as nails. Great games, both of them. Go GGA!

  • M

    Skyrim, Magicka, and Civ V for me. Mostly Skyrim right now. I tried the XCOM demo, and it was awesome, so I’ll probably pick that up in the near future.

    I played through Dungeon Siege III, but I’m done with it and unlikely to replay it.

  • pjmaertz

    I’m a bum. I’ve been playing black ops 2 and Diablo 3. D3 has improved quite a bit through patches, so I recommend it if you didn’t like it at first.

    • Mare Lacrimarum

      Have you tried Torchlight II?

  • http://www.atheistnomads.com Dustin Williams

    Damn that is awesome.

  • http://wwww.pinterest.com/pixypi/ pixy

    That story is awesome but maybe the cynic or maybe the realist in me is sure it’s not true that we’re all just gamers to a lot.

    I’m always in the League of Legends Godless chat but it’s always empty! I’m pixypi on LoL and Steam but on Steam I pretty much only play single player games. I’ve played the hell out of Binding of Issac and have been getting a lot of hours in on Don’t Starve. I really want to play Guild Wars 2 but haven’t been able to justify it to myself yet

    I just created a Godless group on gaymerconnect.com by the way http://www.gaymerconnect.com/groups/godless-gaymers Hope it’s relevant to anyone here :)

  • Otrame

    I play mostly Guild Wars 2 since they finally got a Mac client up and running.

    My eldest son and his wife met in the flight tower in the old Orgimar, back in vanilla WoW–he was a new member of the guild she was helping to run. At the time she was living in Vancouver, but later she went home to Birmingham, UK. They spent a lot of time together online, then finally met. They’ve been married 5 years now. Today the three of us are in the same guild on GW2.

    I’ve always thought MMOs were good for kids. You learn to solve problems alone, work in groups, work toward goals. You learn that achieving those goals sometimes involves boring tasks and, perhaps most importantly, you learn that there are a lot of assholes in the world.

    • M

      MMOs are good in general, I think. I learned more people-management skills (and temper-holding) from running a raid and co-leading a guild in WoW than any job could easily teach me.

    • Nate Frein

      Hehehe

      I met my wife in barrens chat.

    • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

      People really underestimate the types of relationships you can have online. I also met my husband in vanilla WoW (and our first in-game meeting was also in the flight tower by Orgrimmar). We dated long-distance for about a year before getting married, and it was more intimate than any relationship I’d had with someone I initially met IRL.

  • Michael Bollenbach

    Splitting my time between Mount and Blade Warband, Xcom (xbox360 version), SWTOR (Harbinger server), and a little Payday the Heist. I have pile of games that i have to play though from the holiday season. RE6, Borderlands 2 (Probably need to restart), Far Cry 3, and now Devil May Cry. And of course In the next few monthes Tomb raider comes out and another couple that i cant think of atm.

  • B-Lar

    I just finished reading “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. It is awesome, and a large theme is the differences between RL and VR. Packed full of 80′s pop culture references. Great book. Seriously.

  • Makoto

    Always great to read these kinds of stories! I’m mostly Halo 4 these days with my best friend, we just finished the campaign and are working through some of the extra maps next. Portal 2, Soul Calibur, even Starcraft (1) when I have the time and people to play with.

  • drax

    I’ve always wanted to play games, but I just never have. Over the years I’ve bought plenty of games for my kids (almost grown now). There are two Xbox 360s in the house and a Wii. Any suggestions for a super newb to get started with?

    • Mare Lacrimarum

      Well, what are your interests? Do you like to drive cars? Read novels? History? Fantasy? Do you spend a lot of time at the paintball range? Do you like doing crossword puzzles? You should start somewhere that intersects closely with an activity you already do for fun, and then branch out from there.

    • Glodson

      Well, I would recommend getting on Xbox Live, with just the free access to start with, and getting a few demos to explore some. And look at your interests in fiction, and expand from there. If you like fantasy, try looking at a game like Skyrim to start with. It is open and expansive, there’s plenty of online resources if you get stuck, and the game lets you play in different ways. If you like more straight up action, try a few shooters to get your feet wet. And so on.

      But the free demos are a great way to get your feet wet without paying for something new. Also, ask your kids. See what they’ve enjoyed and let that guide you. It can be a fun, if expensive at times, hobby.

  • Recreabt888

    I’m splitting time between GW2, Borderland 2, and palying on the Wii U with my kids. I used to play LoL, but wasn’t very good at it and didn’t care to suffer through the “L2P noob” comments of random people.

    • Mare Lacrimarum

      Try Awesomenauts. It’s a low entry barrier ($10, less if on sale), all the ‘nauts are free, the community is very friendly (a few bad apples, of course, but nothing like LoL), and it’ll teach you the basics of MOBA’s while being surprisingly deep.

      • Recreant888

        I played the demo of Awesomenauts on PS3 after the 4-year old downloaded it. I found it fun, and I found LoL fun when I was playing solo on LoL. It’s not really the basics I have trouble with, it’s more about timing last hits and a tendency to overextend myself. If there’s a Godless group, I might re-download to my new comp and give it another go.

  • http://counterapologist.blogspot.com/ Counter Apologist

    Nice to see there’s a Steam Group, though I don’t get too much time on my PC anymore since our daughter was born. At this point I’m on Steam to play Skyrim with a controller in the living room (mouse and keyboard don’t work so well if you’ve got to hold a baby while playing).

    I got GW2 for the holidays and made my engineer to about Level 6, but am lacking the time, which is a shame since we had to cancel our WoW accounts and some of our friends migrated to GW2 after MoP came out.

    On the plus side, the Mrs. and I have managed to get our way through FF7, Dragon Age Origins and Awakening in the two months since our daughter has been born. I’m strangely migrating to being a console gamer for the time being.

    • Recreant888

      Console games do tend to be easier to play with a babe in arms. Make sure you hit us up when you’re in GW2. I’d be more than happy to help out.

  • http://counterapologist.blogspot.com/ Counter Apologist

    Oh and Borderlands 2 is fantastic, but after my first play through, I just can’t do the level/gear grind that my LAN party-college buddies have gone through. The problem is that with the level/gear differences doing co-op together just kind of sucks unless you’re also playing/grinding. It works wonderfully if you’re just starting out though.

  • Glodson

    If anyone has a PS3, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch comes out today. It is an rpg made by Level-5, who does good work and made in conjunction with Studio Ghibli(The studio that made Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, the Secret World of Arriette, and Spirited Away), so if you like the anime and rpgs, it is worth getting. The art-work is beautiful, and I hear the story is excellent.

  • RuQu

    The Godless GW2 Guild that JT was posting about back when GW2 came out is trying to branch out into other games, to create more of a “Godless Gaming Community.”

    We have the Steam group JT linked above, a chat channel in The Secret World (/chat join Godless) and a guild in GW2 (of course). Godless.guildlaunch.com and the Godless Facebook page are where we try and keep some organization going. Come join us.

    Most of my time right now is in TSW, though I still play GW2.


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