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Everyone who plays video games has their own "thing about video games".

You know what I'm talking about. "The thing about video games is..."

Only it varies from person to person.

Well, for me, the thing about video games is that I secretly hate telling people what I'm playing.

Not because I play anything weird or deviant or embarrassing, mind you. No, it's because all these people with better social skills than I inevitably remember what it is I said I was playing, and then, some time thereafter, want to know if I've beaten it yet.

I know this doesn't sound like a terrible problem to have, but I have a secret: I don't play video games to beat them, or to win.

Part of it is that I play a lot of games where there is no way to beat them, or "win". I've played an amazing amount of Sim City and similar games over the years. There are scenarios you can "win", but most of them take an hour or three, and doing that is hardly "beating the game".

But I've also played an awful lot of things you can win, or beat. And I haven't, for the most part.

Because the truth is, I haven't even tried.

In real life, I'm somewhat competetive. I do enjoy winning, or succeeding at things. I don't want to leave you with the impression that I'm a completely spineless ball of apathy, or something like that. Because I'm not.

I play video games for entertainment. That's it. There's nothing competetive about it for me. I don't feel compelled to advance plots, to beat the big baddies, to get the "best ending". I don't really want "the best equipment", when that's possible. Nah, I'll just stick with the mid-tier stuff you don't have to jump through a bunch of unpleasant hoops to get.

I guess this is actually not that uncommon a thing. Mobile gaming seems to be full of casual games for casual gamers. I don't really know, because I don't have a smartphone, for philosophical and privacy reasons.

So where other, normal, people might casually play, um... *flails wildly* Bejeweled or Candy Crush or something, and attract no comment... I casually play Halo, or Morrowind, or GTA:SA. Or Harvest Moon, on the DS. Just... without trying to advance the plot, or "win".

I think this is because I spent my formative years playing MUDs, on an ancient computer that had never been powerful enough to run any big AAA games, even if there'd been money to buy one. Or indeed hard drive space to install or download one (downloading at 1mbps).

MUDs aren't something you "win" or "beat". Especially not when you're a casual gamer who only plays maybe six hours a week. They were, they are still, I guess, as much about exploring and the social aspect of things as about advancement.

So after spending years casually playing/hanging out on MUDs and MOOs and whatever else, even now that I have a computer that's slightly more powerful than a toaster, I still view gaming as a comfy, relaxing way to unwind, basically.

...and that's why I hate talking about video games with people IRL. It's a little weird, but totally explainable, if I felt like talking about myself for three minutes straight. Which I don't. I don't like to talk about myself at all, honestly. There's a reason I've never had a blog, never really used social media.

I can put stuff up here and not have to deal with spam comments, or the hassle of picking and registering a domain name, or remembering to pay for the registration. I don't have to host it and remember to keep the DNS updated.

It's not like I don't have opinions, or things to say. Obviously. In a way, I guess I am to making webpages as I am to gaming - rather eccentric and entirely casual.

And that's probably totally okay.

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