Monday, June 8, 2009

Friend or Teammate?

  Contrary to what most grown-ups think, gaming (at least according to me) is not about sitting alone at home all day in-front of your computer screens & controlling some virtual character.  Gaming is about hanging out with friends, having fun, being competitive, having discussions on strategy and basically growing up as a team.  Gaming is not just a passion, it is the means through which we (gamers) build our relationships.  Therefore, maintaining our relationships in gaming is as complex as a relationship with your girlfriend or probably even a lot more complicated.  Having been a part of a team called Guardians and having spent 5 years with them, I know of all, how it is.  I've toured together with them to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Trichy; I've worked in part-time jobs with my teammates; one of them is my classmate; a couple of them are my cousins; a few of them are people that I really admire.  So, they play a major role in my life.

  Gaming teams are usually like Hollywood Celebrities' marriage, they'll split before you realize they were married.  But we have been together for a long time (relatively) and I'm trying to understand how we pulled it off.  Of course, you too have friends and you might wonder what is the big deal about having a team.  Well, teammates are completely different from friends.  Friends are just friends, they might be your neighbours, classmates, colleagues or relatives.  Friendships don't have a purpose or aim.  We have friends simply because we value our relationship with them and we like to spend our time with them and share our life.  A teammate on the other hand, has a purpose, a common goal towards which we have to work together.  A teammate is a person who shares your passion, enthusiasm and love for the game as you motivate eachother to become better.  If a friend is someone without whom you can't enjoy your victory, then a teammate is someone without whom you can't even win.

  Now that I've defined the role of a teammate, let me explain why this relationship is more complex.  A friend doesn't have to be with you every day, meaning you can even live in different cities and still be friends.  You just send him/her an SMS every night to show him/her that you thought about them & when he/she is in-town, you get together & share your memories.  But you can't have a teammate who rarely plays with you.  You can't say that he/she is your teammate because you went to the movies together.  A teammate has to spend a considerable amount of time with you every week, doing something related to your passion and working towards your common goal.  A teammate isn't there to share your life; he is there to make your dream (which is also his dream) come true.

  Since gaming in our country is looked at as a childish, playful or sometimes even as a devilish concept, its hard to dedicate one's time and effort into gaming.  But that is exactly what makes it special.  Teammates are a bunch of friends who believe in something that others don't and they strive hard to achieve something that they alone can dream about.  But if a teammate can't find time to be with his team, then he isn't just being lazy, but he is making his teammates look like an idiot.  Friends don't have to remind themselves that they are friends; parents don't have to tell their children that they love them; but teammates have to be there for their team.  Because, without the players of the team, the team has no meaning.  If a member of a team doesn't participate in the team's adventures; if he is continously absent in their endeavours; if a team doesn't get together at all; then is there really a team?  The line separating a teammate from a friend can sometimes be very blurred and if you don't realize it soon enough, the line won't disappear, but you'll be at the wrongside of the line.

1 comment:

  1. Rightly said
    If a team mate is not there to share a team's adventure, he surely makes the others look like a farking idiot. Having tried a lot of time to cajole certain janthu's in the team, i have given up on playing our game seriously.
    Quote *should have played Counter-strike in Yuri's yard and still enjoy getting owned* that would have made a more enjoyable experience there. :-S


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