Community Service

The dictionary describes community as:

“A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.”

So, with that in mind and with the current boom in gaming communities are we right to grant us that label?

Here on Ready Up I’d say we have a really nice community of people, but we don’t all live in a specific location, and we have no government, although I’m sure Kirsten would love to put into place some sort of Shoe and Peggle tax, and perhaps Rook would start up the campaign for Cheesecake Tuesday to become a national holiday.

It starts to change a bit though when we hit the “common cultural and historical heritage” tag, something that when you think about it, we do share in common.

Our culture, much like the majority of gaming communities that populate the internet is very much gaming related. Of course, one must be careful not to compare the cultures with the ‘real world’  of cities such as Prague and London to that of gaming. There may be similarities but apart from the odd minor crossover it’s a very different ball game.

I suppose you could compare our cultural elements to a cake. On the top you’ve got the sugar filled icing, in the middle the spongy filling and on the bottom the base that holds it all together.

The layer on top houses those with the winner takes all mentality, you want to be top of that scorecard by any means possible. The middle layer includes the kick back and relax, where many just want to lounge around and have a good time, you’re not in it for taking the gold medal but rather for the random fits of laughter that frequently occurs over your headset. On the bottom we have the casual or family culture, who, more often than not just enjoy playing to socialize with friends and family.

So with that said I suppose we do have culture. I’ve only touched upon it loosely but the basis is there.
“Historical heritage” is something we definitely have, just mentioning the likes of Streets of Rage, Star Wars: TIE Fighter or X-COM: UFO Defence gets any internet forum awash with nostalgic thoughts of the past. It’s plain to see to anyone that the history and heritage of gaming is there, and any gamer worth their thumbs will at least have a basic idea of their hobbies grand and illustrious history.

We may not have the structured leadership of a government, or perhaps all live within the same geographical area but does this mean we’re not entitled to label us as a community? I don’t think so anyway.

Gaming communities in my eyes are so important to the industry, they are there through thick and thin, the highs and the lows. They defend its corner against any that dare oppose it,  or perhaps to slander its name.
Perhaps the most important part of the community is that it brings people together, playing games together that probably wouldn’t even have talked to each other, let alone stay up until 4am fending off waves of zombies despite having work the next day. The communities forge friendships regardless of race, gender and creed. We stand by each other’s side, armed up with magic, swords and M16A4’s, we vanquish mighty dragons, and overthrow ruthless dictators.

When we’re not together, immersed in our world, we’re in the ‘real world’, talking and discussing topics ranging from industry news to real world subjects like sport and politics.

With gaming communities across the world continuing to grow, and the industry on the whole not only acknowledging their presence but also embracing them with open arms, if you ask me, the ‘real world’ doesn’t know what its missing.







9 responses to “Community Service”

  1. MrCuddleswick avatar

    Did someone say “X-COM: UFO Defence”!?!

    (weeps tears of nostalgia)

  2.  avatar

    But we do have a “specific locality” in cyberspace and although we may not have any kind of democratic government there is a sort of benevolent dictatorship with the forum admins.

    I’d say we have a community in spirit and definition.

  3. Albull avatar

    God dammit, I am not Anonymous I am Albull-ymous.

  4. Michael avatar

    *slaps Cuddleswick* Pull yerself together man!

  5. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    We all come to Ready-Up, this site amongst many within cyberspace. We may not ‘live’here, but we do visit and spend considerable amount of time here in a social aspect. Therefore, we are a community, friends, colleagues, nemesis. We don’t live in the same geographical area, but the meets bring us together (at least it will do for me when I attend one).

    I read this when I came home, on the way home, I did buy cheesecake, and it is a Tuesday, but that is just coincidence. Cheescake Tuesday is my replacement of Pancake Tuesday as a ntaional day for that ymmmy treat. Of which I would share with this community, except it doesn’t fit well into the modem.

    Oh and, woohoo, I got mentioned in a blog.

  6. MarkuzR avatar

    Excellent post, there’s nothing quite like a sideways look at what you class as “the norm” to see what society as a whole would make of it, given the chance. Perhaps the only stigma I have associated with “me” is that I’m neither a gamer or a non gamer. I don’t really fall into any of the aforementioned categories and play all my games on my own, purely as a way to escape the mundanity of running a business and having to deal with clients who refuse to take advice or pay attention. I don’t care about achievements or high scores though, I just want to know that my time has been well spent and that the game is worth playing and worth playing well.

    Having said that though, I have been known to indulge in countless hours of Command & Conquer over LAN whenever we manage to bridge the English-Scottish divide and end up in the same room (it never works over the ‘net, thanks EA for destroying the Westwood Online service!).

    The mere mention of XCOM was enough to prompt me to post here though. I think back to my Amiga days and the excitement of playing that game for the first time. The “clunk clunk clunk” as the little doods traipsed across the alien craft’s floor and the muted screams as one of my “auto shot’s” actually manages to hit a Sectoid… those lovely little creatures. When I moved up to PC in 1996, I was delighted to see that the map de-fogged whenever my soldiers moved around in the darkness so you could actually see the ground around them while they were standing there… that gave the game a whole new lease of life and even today in 2009 its installed on my mini Vaio so that I can play it whenever I’m on the move. There aren’t many games with such longevity these days, at least none that I’ve played.

    So anyway… great post, and it sparked some great memories so thanks for that.


  7.  avatar

    *salutes due to overwhelming emotion causing speechlessness*

  8.  avatar

    Hmm.. why am I showing as anonymous? I’m logged onto the forum.


  9. big mean bunny avatar
    big mean bunny

    did you seriously start a blog

    The dictionary describes community as:


    instant fail

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